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As this copy of ServiceTalk is being prepared for distribution, we’re gearing up to welcome many of you to our Annual Conference - this year at a new venue, The Sofitel London Heathrow, with the same excellent networking opportunities and diverse range of speakers and exhibitors that you have come to expect, all in the furtherance of our knowledge and understanding of ITSM. Our Conference theme is New Challenges, New Solutions, and it’s one that not only resonates in the industry but also reflects the way that ITSMF UK has taken a long hard look at itself this year.
Our mission remains the provision of a thriving industry forum for those engaged in the field of IT service management in the UK. We want to enable our members to actively exchange views, share experiences and participate in the continual development, improvement and promotion of ITSM knowledge, best practice and standards. We believe that maintaining the balance between supporting our corporate and enterprise members with that of servicing the smaller corporate and individual members is the best way to harness best practice and innovation for everybody.
A major priority in the last six months has been the challenge of engaging our corporate members in our quest to professionalise the ITSM industry and take it forward. We established the ITSM Leadership Council, which in turn has generated two working groups. The first group is now focusing on the skills required within today’s service management profession and on establishing a unified skills framework; while the second group is looking at ways to raise the profile of the sector, to prevent ITSM from remaining the hidden element within IT. Both those initiatives are moving at a pace, with outputs expected in early 2016. Watch this space! In the New Year we’ll be giving our Leadership Council members a new challenge: how do we create member services for young ITSM professionals - students, apprentices, graduates etc?
To ensure that we as an organisation remain operationally effective, we also reviewed and re-published our Articles of Association. It may sound like mundane work, but we believe that - through the guidance of not-for-profit legal experts - ITSMF UK now has a governance structure for a 21st Century organisation. If you were able to join us for the inaugural Members’ Forum on 22nd October, you’ll be aware that this has moved to a second phase with the generation of a set of revised by-laws, due by the end of the year. Another major challenge and a solution which, I trust, will work for the benefit of ITSMF UK and its members.
September saw the first elections for Board positions under the revised structure. Our new format, with all voting taking place electronically, offered a very efficient and effective way of gathering votes. More individuals stood for election than in the past, and many more members than at previous elections actually cast a vote. A massive thank you to all of the candidates who took part, and also to those who participated in the voting process.
Accountability to the membership was another area that we needed to address. Traditionally our AGM was held at Conference, often with less than 5% of the membership represented in the room. The challenge was to find a suitable replacement. We recognised that we needed to provide a forum for members to express their views and opinions, ask questions and challenge the Board – and we believe we achieved all that and more when we held our first on-line Members’ Forum in October. Questions were posed prior to the event and throughout the session itself by members in person and on-line, and those issues that couldn’t be addressed on the day have been responded to subsequently. Members who were unable to attend can still access the recorded proceedings via the website.
If all this change wasn’t enough, we also moved offices over the summer. That was definitely a challenge, clearing away ten years’ worth of accumulated paper work, brochures and old Conference bags to enable us to move to our new premises in Bracknell. Think moving home and multiply by ten! I know the whole Board were hugely appreciative of the work put in by the office staff during this time and for making the move as pain-free as possible for all concerned.
As we move on to a new chapter, we do so in a very positive frame of mind. We fully intend to remain true to our guiding principles of independence (in that we will not be unduly influenced by any single member, supplier or stakeholder) and ‘for the members’. Our member organisations and the volunteers who work for them are key to everything the Forum does and are ultimately responsible for our direction. We continue to be grateful for all of the time, energy and expertise you expend on our behalf.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our Annual Conference and Awards.