Speed Dating meets Networking?
When I went to my first itSMF Regional Seminar last month, I never would have believed that I would be putting those words together!
According to outgoing Chair Jane Suter, their last attempts hadn’t been quite as successful, revolving around groups moving from room to room. However, on arrival, we were handed slips of paper with what looked like safe-combinations on them, and corresponding numbers were dotted about the venue, the idea being that at the various breakouts, we proceeded to the relevant number on the list to meet with like minded numbers!
This worked really well until we got to lunch time when we actually missed out one session altogether and the feedback session for the last one took a while – but it was actually a very valuable session.
I suggested that they should build in the time to do more detailed feedback, because after each presentation, and then each networking session, we were encouraged to look at the subject matter and incorporate those into our introductions.
I’m sure it’s an approach that has been done before, but was a pretty effective mechanism and a good icebreaker, especially for a few of us who were first-timers at these events.
The Role of the new CIO in an End-to-End Service Management Environment – Mark Fowle, Attenda
This was a well presented and well thought out presentation, not pitching Attenda, but putting forward their perspective based on their customer base.
The presentation focused on how the IT Director role was perhaps drifting away and being replaced with that of a Chief Information Officer as a key contributor – moving away from pure technical focus and looking to solve business problems.
When I put this in context with a CIO pitch a week later at the itSMF UK Software Tools Forum in Manchester – the focus of is very much on achieving business outcomes, setting and achieving meaningful Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Enforcing Service Management practices through interoperable systems – Neil Forster, Attenda
Neil’s time was perhaps a little shorter than he had intended, as he ran us through how Attenda put a management layer over the top of their third party tools to provide them with platform to get information to their engineers, when they need it.
Neil focused in three key areas – Event Management, Incident Problem and Change Management, and Service Knowledge Management
They have developed mechanisms to have their engineers check for likely “best bet” matching tickets, and with links to knowledge based articles approved by team leads.
His key message was the presentation of information at the point of need, as well as embedding knowledge in the process.
Service Management in an Agile/SOA environment.
The final speaker of the day was Graham Youngs, from Tata Consulting Services –I had been on the periphery of an Agile-run software development project for an ITSM deployment and until that project the only scrum I had heard of had everything to do with Rugby Union and nothing at all to do with ITSM!
In fact what it focusses on is speed of change versus quality of service, and what I could draw from my own experiences was that a good Agile project manager is as much a key to a development team’s success.
In my own experience, although there were attempts to break down the barriers between development and operations, it still needed flexibility and a firm hand from the agile/development management side to keep members of the team focused on their immediate role as well as the bigger picture.
A friendly environment and easy to network thanks to the “speed dating approach”
- Things to improve
The structure of the networking breakouts were relevant to the day’s theme and I think that they should allow some feedback time on the sessions as the group become very interactive at that point, making the seminar worthwhile.