It’s London baby! The itSMF UK held their annual conference in London this week. The theme of the conference was “new problems, new solutions” and was held at a sparkly new location, the Sofitel at Heathrow.
— Tony Price (@TonyPriceAtWork) November 23, 2015
Rosemary Gurney kicked off the proceedings in style with a rousing speech; telling the audience “ITSM must stand up and be counted in the business world.” Rosemary introduced the keynote speaker, Simon Wheatcroft.
Simon Wheatcroft Session
Simon opened the conference with an inspirational account of how he taught himself to run marathons despite going blind at the age of 17. Here he is in action!
— Service-Flow (@serviceflowcorp) November 23, 2015
SIAM: Lessons from the Frontline – Martin Goble & James Finister Tata Consultancy Services
The first session of the day was on SIAM and all eyes were on Martin & James.
— Stuart Rance (@StuartRance) November 23, 2015
Martin and James opened their session by taking some of the mystery out of SIAM stating that it’s “a framework that enables you to hit the targets in your vision.” So far so good right? Not too scary, even for a SIAM newbie like me. They went on to explain that SIAM isn’t an org chart or a model, it’s a framework that goes beyond ITIL.
— Stephen Mann (@stephenmann) November 23, 2015
SIAM isn’t however, a magical solution that will fix everything:
— Jon Morley (@JonMorleyITSM) November 23, 2015
Martin and James’ session focused on practical advice on using SIAM. They explained how vital organisation Change Management was explaining “SIAM might be sexy to the CIO but if the Service Desk don’t get it then it wont work”. They went on to outline how to motivate suppliers in working together explaining that organisations need “a fair risk – reward model in order to drive collaborative behaviour.” When asked what a fair incentive would be, James gave a fantastic example where he saw the CEO of the supplier company that had breached their SLA give £1 in person to the CEO of the company that was buying their services stating “it happens once, then everyone reporting to that CEO will make sure it never happens again because of the fall out”. Brilliant example and wise words indeed James.
Martin finished the session with one of my favourite quotes from the conference: “SIAM is a Major Incident bridge at 3 o’clock in the morning where the supplier does something above and beyond, that isn’t even in their contract, just because they like you.”
Cyber Resilience for IT Service Managers – Stuart Rance, Optimal Service Management
— itiltraining (@itiltraining) November 14, 2015
Next up was the total legend that is Mr Stuart Rance on Cyber Resilience and the new framework, RESILIA. Stuart opened the session by talking about why cyber resilience was critical to the business and that if you get it wrong “both your customers and your money will fly out the door.”
He referenced how commonplace security breaches occur citing Target, Talk Talk and the UK Child Benefit breaches as examples stating “if you think you’ve never been breached then your monitoring simply isn’t good enough.”
— Claire Agutter (@ClaireAgutter) November 23, 2015
Stuart then introduced RESILIA, the new framework for cyber resilience. Luckily for all us ITSM geeks, it’s lifecycle based and sits nicely with ITIL. This is what the framework looks like – look familiar to anyone?
Stuart walked us through the framework, giving practical examples of how to get involved suggesting “find out who the Infosec people are in your organisation and ask them how you can get involved. Look, we’re all lazy, we all circumvent controls because it’s easy and we all look sheepish when we’re caught.”
Stuart continued by stating that “ITSM and Infosec absolutely have to collaborate. Every single ITSM process has a part to play in information security so get involved in cyber breach scenarios and testing.”
Stuart concluded by explaining the important role that CSI plays in RESILIA stating “ in Infosec, you wouldn’t even get away with not doing CSI for a month.” You can check out RESILIA here for free until the end of November.
Beyond Base Camp; taking a new route to improve service levels – Stuart Higgins, SUMERIAN
The first session after lunch was from Sumerian. It was tagged as being a session that explained how Capacity Management could support the other ITSM processes something I was really excited about because I don’t think that Capacity Management gets the love it deserves. It opened on a promising note with Stuart explaining “Capacity Management is key to improving service levels.” Stuart continued by talking about using three steps to delivering effective Capacity Management, “run, plan and optimise.”
Stuart talked about the need for automation in Capacity Management stating “most capacity related Incidents could be prevented by using predictive analytics.”
The next part of Stuart’s presentation was a demonstration of how the Sumerian toolset could carry out Capacity Management tasks. For me, this part of the presentation didn’t work, as one delegate put it “it wasn’t bordering on a sales pitch, it went well over the line.” To be fair, Stuart switched back to explaining how Capacity Management could be aligned with other ITIL processes, using Configuration Management as an example. For my money, this session would have worked better as either an interactive demonstration of the software at the Sumerian stand or by getting the delegates involved in some sort of game to demonstrate Capacity Management.
Stuart finished with a great piece of common sense advice stating “we have to be more responsive in IT. Patch Tuesday happens every week, the clue is in the name people!”
SFIA V6: Using Skills to Leverage your Biggest Asset, People – Matthew Burrows, BSM Impact
Next up was Matthew Burrows talking about the latest version of skills framework SFIA. For those of you not familiar with SFIA, Matthew explained that “ it’s a common language to define skills, abilities and expertise in a consistent way.”
Matthew took the audience on a whistlestop tour of SFIA, explaining how it can benefit the business by having the right people, with the right skills in the right roles.
— BSMimpact (@BSMimpact) November 23, 2015
Matthew explained that both ITIL and COBIT reference SFIA:
— BSMimpact (@BSMimpact) November 23, 2015
What I loved about Matthew’s session was how accessible he made his subject matter saying “you don’t have to pay a fortune to use it, just download it and have a play with it.”
Two-Speed Transition: Tradition & Innovation – Starring Release, Service Catalogue & Early Life Support (Service Transition SIG)
— itSMFUK Trans MgtSIG (@itSMFUKTransMgt) November 23, 2015
The final session of the day was a workshop run by the Service Transition SIG. I’m not going to review it as I was part of the session as an enthusiastic SIG member! The theme of the workshop was two track IT, covering traditional versus agile ways of doing Release Management, Service Transition and Service Catalogue. The boss, @itammartin, was on bell duty, making sure that each speaker had their allotted five minutes. The output of the workshop will be pulled together by the SIG and shared with our members, so watch this space!
I missed the awards dinner because I was on child wrangling duty but congratulations to the winners and the nominees. You can see the full list here: and here is a picture of said children:
To be fair, the hug I got when I walked through the door on Monday night more than made up for missing out on the gala dinner! In all seriousness though, a huge congratulations to all the winners and everyone that was nominated and a special shout out to Pink Elephant who won the training company of the year category. Awesome work guys #gopinkorgohome
— Pink Elephant UK (@PinkElephantUK) November 24, 2015
That’s it for now – come back soon to see our coverage of Day 2!