Stepping Out of The Shadows to Contribute

"Where do I find the answers to my boss’ stupid questions?"

I’m a newbie when it comes to IT Service Management.

Haven’t been around long and don’t have a great deal of experience in this area.

As many of us inexperienced but eager people do, I read blogs, discussion forums, Twitter streams, LinkedIn groups and try to absorb as much valuable information as possible.

And it’s marvelous how people share a great deal of helpful knowledge (as well as a considerable amount of rubbish).

But it has struck me how specialized, narrow and over the top a lot of the discussions are. At least from my point of view.

At first, I thought it was just me not being smart enough. But after a while I kind of realized that most of the people that show up and contribute to the community at all these places really are the cutting edge developers of ITSM.

I like to see myself as the average Joe of ITSM, a practitioner that tries to contribute to my company’s prosperity. I work to change stuff that doesn’t work and I struggle with the day to day challenges that I presume we all deal with at work.

From that point of view, the part of the ITSM community that shows on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and a lot of various blogs don’t offer that much help. I won’t even begin telling you how many debates on details in the ITIL Core books I’ve read the last couple of years, all at very little value to me.

Where’s the information for us who try to juggle things when the consultant leaves the “ITIL implementation project”? Where do I go to find support and encouragement for the stuff that isn’t cutting edge ITSM but every day struggle? Where do I find the answers to my boss’ stupid questions?

The answer is of course in all the channels used by people in the ITSM sphere. That’s where the support and encouragement is and that’s where all the knowledge lives. We just need to drag it out of the people who camp there, because they are all eager to share if given the chance.

It takes some guts to step out of the shadows where we (the common man, those who fear to stick out) lurk about to gain knowledge. But more people ought to. I think the community would gain by having more people in my position asking questions and by all means giving advice on a regular basis. The general opinion is that even we who are less experienced and are short of knowledge are welcome to use the channels for questions and thoughts of simpler sorts and I’ve never been ridiculed or mocked for asking stupid questions.

The bottom line is that I believe that we need to expand the number of people who contribute and that we should do that with the help of lurkers like me. Give it a try, it’s scary at first and you might feel a bit ignored but it will pay off in the long run.

If I can, so can you. And I’ve only just started!

4 thoughts on “Stepping Out of The Shadows to Contribute”

  1. Tobias, this resonates with me on two levels:

    First, you have pre-empted what I was going to say in an upcoming book review 🙂

    And second, this is what I think back2itsm is about (on facebook), and it is what I try to provide at no-B.S. useful info.

    So you are not alone in tiring of “angels dancing on the head of a pin” debates.

    I will continue to participate in those debates because I think the ITSM philosophers like me need to get the fundamental thrashed out and clearly enunciated: the benefits will flow down to practitioners like you. But right away you need advice applicable to the real world. I hear ya.

  2. What a great post. Love “cutting edge developers” how about adding way over the top prognosticators, experts and just plain bs artists who like to hear themselves talk

  3. I couldn’t agree more with this article. Listening to the titans of the ITSM industry is like a second grade math student listening to a higher ed professor at times. Arguments about the minutia of ITSM and ITIL boggle my mind at this point. Maybe we need a Hungry4ITSM Facebook group and Twitter hash tag.

  4. At the risk of being accused of post Necromancy – allow me to share my experience.

    What you describe is very familiar to me, even though I consult on ITSM.
    It’s true that I’m not an independent consultant – I work at a vendor’s Professional Services department – but a major part of the tool’s implementation project is building a proper, tool independent, process that will improve the service of the client.

    I work on the fine line between practical and theoretical where I can both discuss the best approach for them and configure our product to support it.
    I follow up and I see the results: do the measurements support our theories?

    And yet, when engaging online, I tend to be quiet.
    Standing there, amongst the giants, the impostor syndrome creeps up.
    “What can I possibly contribute? Why should they listen?”

    So I shut my mouth and keep working.

    But maybe, just maybe, the fault is with us.
    Maybe we CAN and SHOULD contribute.
    Maybe we should rise up and say “Wait, What?” and bring the discussion to ground level.

    And then I proof-read this and think to myself “Are you REALLY going to post this?”.
    You know what? I will.

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