Does your organisation value ITSM?
I’m always intrigued by obscure phrases that we use every day, and one that particularly fascinates me is ‘to hide one’s light under a bushel’.
The expression has biblical origins, and at the time of the King James translation of the Bible, a bushel was a commonplace device used for measuring dry grain, with a capacity of eight gallons (about four pecks, for those more familiar with the eponymous song in Guys and Dolls). I imagine there’s an EU directive somewhere that would dictate a metric interpretation of the scripture these days, but it’s a colourful image that lingers on in the language as a metaphor for a bright talent hidden from sight through modesty or lack of confidence.
We may be less inclined to hide candles beneath upturned buckets now, but the ITSM world is rife with people hiding their talents or at least failing to communicate why what they do is so valuable. Do senior managers really know what IT service management is and what difference it makes to the business? Are we grasping every opportunity to tell them?
As the main contact for publishing and content queries at ITSMF UK, I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked for an overview of ITSM aimed at senior management level – “not so much a summary of ITIL processes but a broad view of the value that ITSM provides to the business.” There have been many attempts to provide a high-level view of service management that lights the CEO’s candle, but the message has somehow remained frustratingly elusive.
This theme – how to communicate the role of service management and celebrate its successes – runs through this issue of ServiceTalk.
Our chairman John Windebank offers a call to action in his column on page 12: “Come on, join in... help us make some noise and kick up some dust.” John argues that ITSMF – as the champion of IT service management – needs to help ITSM professionals stand up and be counted. That view is echoed by AXELOS’ ITIL front-man Phil Hearsum in his article, ITSM: what’s in it for the business? on page 34. “Too often the IT team sits – both metaphorically and physically – in a darkened room,” he opines, “quietly doing the work while the rest of the business takes the benefits but remains unaware who is responsible for the solutions.”
The great thing about belonging to a forum like ITSMF is that we get to hear about members’ success stories, many of which result in senior management recognising the value that good ITSM brings to the business. Read about Julia Harrison’s Service Introduction Framework at Morgan Stanley (Autonomy with compliance, page 26) or Priscilla Smith’s work at BP (The importance of Early Life Support, page 18) and you discover real high-profile service management in action. The best way to ‘get the message across’ to senior management is to share some of these stories with them.
For Catherine Cheetham and Jon Dodkins at OVO Energy (It’s all down to teamwork at OVO Energy, page 22), the contribution of ITSM to the business was fundamental in supporting a rapidly growing business in a highly competitive sector. It was work that led to them to receiving our ITSM Team of the Year award at the end of last year.
Which brings me nicely to my final point. There’s no better way to communicate the successes of IT service management than through our conference and annual awards. With the call for speakers and award nominations currently underway, why not give some thought to sharing your experiences with your peers within the Forum, and ‘make some noise’ for ITSM?
Marketing & Publishing Manager