“It’s one thing to want to innovate, but how can you influence or implement those changes, and do you know where to start?” – Service Management 2016
The 19th national conference in Australia showed us a glimpse of how service management is evolving beyond the traditional ITSM. This year’s itSMFA literally shook IT up by extending conversation to Agile, DevOps, and Lean – the latter finally making its entrance to the mainstream service management vocabulary.
Proliferation of cloud-based tools
As I walked around the exhibition booths speaking with other attendees, it became clear to me that there were now a number of cloud-based IT service management tool providers offering rich functionality with very low barriers to entry. Which essentially meant no upfront costs, expensive licenses, implementation costs, or support costs – just following an elastic pricing model. Tools that were previously only available to top-end enterprise customers, were now available at a fraction of the cost to small and medium businesses – and to their suppliers and partners who look after them.
The implication is that a whole new market could potentially move up from managing their IT and operations by email and spreadsheets to much more sophisticated tools that they previously did not have access to; and perhaps many others at the enterprise end of the market, could potentially move away from on-premise or more expensive tools.
What really happened down under
IT Service Management often does not get the same attention as say, security or architecture or project management; but to have Andrew Mills, the CIO of Queensland Government talk about aligning IT with business strategy was a rare treat.
Talking about the importance of driving self-service adoption in the workplace, Narain Muralidharan emphasized on the necessity for IT to think like growth hackers, and effectively market IT self service to the larger organization. He went on to give a number of simple, yet practical ideas taken from real-world success stories with the self service IT portal, and how to apply them in the service desk scenario – backing it with a case study.Speak the language called human while designing your IT self-service process - @msnarain Click To Tweet
Lean and mean IT
Introducing us to Lean, Em Campbell-Pretty stressed upon how the heart of Lean is its values and leadership – stressing on the need for leaders to create time for innovation with a case study of a telecommunication service provider. I was pleased to see the conference peppered with Lean related sessions, and it showed to me that Lean in IT was beginning to enter the lexicon for many.Lean leaders are committed to employee NPS. Happy people = happy customers - @PrettyAgile Click To Tweet
Adam Seeber’s keynote about Lean and Agile was pretty insightful – how it’s not a choice of one over the other but that it’s taking the best of both worlds to suit your business needs. He emphasized on the significance of it being adaptable, be it Lean, Agile or ITIL, and went on to describe how customers define value for the business more than anything else.Customers don’t care about your silos, they just want an outcome - @adamseeber Click To Tweet
An eye-opener for me and probably majority of the audience was Charles T. Betz’ session introducing the IT4IT standard with Lean language of value chain, value streams, digital supply chain, handoffs, capacity, and value. He explored the current state of IT and offered practical advice on holistically managing IT for business. With the key takeaway around product management being customer intimacy and cross-functional collaboration.When it comes to work mngmt we treat drill presses better than people in IT - @CharlesTBetz Click To Tweet
40 Agile methods in 40 minutes by Craig Smith was a personal favorite from Service Management 2016. It covered various process improvement methodologies – Lean, Agile, Theory of Constraints and everything in between no matter how esoteric. He openly shared the concept, its history, the pros and cons, how widely it was used, and where to find more information.
Bringing in fresh air to the string of topics, Michi Tyson spoke of taking Agile beyond IT and combining it with Lean management and design thinking. Her Lean Canvas and startup background showing clearly in a conference dominated by mature IT departments and businesses. This one was of particular interest because one could see the Enterprise Architecture approach coming through, and the same discipline being applied to the business of IT holistically – once again, using Lean principles.The best process is a process that people bloody follow - @MichiTyson Click To Tweet
That’s about it from my end. A huge shoutout to ITSMFAu for yet another fantastic conference. Service Management 2016 was one for the books. It left me questioning the conventional way of ITSM – leaning towards better IT service delivery.
How was your experience at #smconfau?