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Service Desk and ITSM Nuggets from SITS16

By | June 16, 2016 in Service Desk

Service Desk & IT Support Show (SITS)

As an exhibitor, it seems to take forever to plan for the Service Desk and IT Support Show (SITS) but, once you are there, the two-day event is a case of “blink and you’ll miss it.” Of course if you didn’t attend this year’s event, then you’ll have missed it anyway. Not just the ocean of IT service management (ITSM) vendors displaying their respective wares but also the hectic schedule of educational sessions.

Thankfully, this is where this blog comes in – it’s a potted summary of some of that educational content, organized in a number of action-based statements:

  1. Benefit from ITIL Practitioner
  2. Don’t forget the negative impact of self-service success
  3. Look to the Twitter stream
  4. Get the basics right

1. Benefit from ITIL Practitioner

ITIL Practitioner was referenced in a number of SITS presentations, Paul Wilkinson even recommended that you “pin up the nine guiding principles of ITIL Practitioner on your wall” and use it as a reference in your day-to-day activities. These principles are:

  • Focus on value
  • Design for experience
  • Start where you are
  • Progress iteratively
  • Observe directly
  • Work holistically
  • Keep it simple
  • Collaborate
  • Be transparent

For those of you who might not be familiar with the new ITIL Practitioner publication (and exam), I recommend that you read Stephen Mann’s blog: 8 Things that Stand Out in the New ITIL Practitioner Guidance Book. You can also find more information by visiting the official ITIL Practitioner page on the AXELOS website.

Stuart Rance also talks about how to deliver business value using ITIL Practitioner in one of his audio blogs, which can be found on our Back to ITSM Basics webpage.

2. Don’t Forget the Negative Impact of Self-Service Success

Stephen Mann’s session looked at self-service from a different perspective. We have seen and heard a lot about how to improve the chances of self-service in the past few years such as this white paper and webinar but little (possibly even nothing) has been shared re the adverse impact of self-service success. For example, that:

  • Self-service will remove many of the “easy” tickets (both incidents and service requests) from the service desk queue.
  • Service desk agents will need to be “better equipped” for the more complex issues and requests.
  • Service desk agents will be a premium resource, with retaining staff more important (and harder).
  • Smaller service desk teams will mean less flexibility.
  • Metrics and targets will become skewed on a number of levels.

To ensure that service desks don’t get caught out by their self-service success, there are a number of things that they should be doing:

  • Reimagine the service desk role
  • Value service desk agents more
  • Work smarter, not harder
  • Exploit opportunities for self-service, service desk, and IT operations management (ITOM) automation
  • Reinvent and re-baseline metrics
  • Invest in better relationship management
  • Expect self-service evolution

No doubt Stephen will be creating a blog that explains all these in more detail.

3. Look to the Twitter Stream

Due to the demands of exhibiting, I was unfortunately unable to attend many of the SITS sessions in person. Thankfully however, anyone can still learn things from the #SITS16 Twitter stream, even if you aren’t at the event.

For example, and for your benefit, here are some of the best tweets of advice, commentary, takeaways, and statistics:

  • “Stop calling your colleagues your customers. Stop alienating them” – Simon Kent
  • “Metrics are a platform for improvement” – Stephen Mann
  • “Encourage a ‘no blame’ culture. Otherwise you drive people to do the wrong things just because it's safer” – Ivor Macfarlane
  • “To keep the 90% success, praise the 10% good try” – Ivor Macfarlane
  • “Who cares about the keys to the safe if you don’t event know where the safe is” – Matthew Hooper
  • “Let CSI be your greatest strength, focus on learning and encourage idea creation” – Matthew Hooper
  • “If we don't start talking in business language we deserve to be outsourced” – Matthew Hooper
  • “You need to deliver proactive support to continue providing value. Technology can pick up the reactive support.” – Ollie O’Donoghue
  • “Building a global service desk – we need to take into account people and culture” – Suresh GP
  • “Just because you have a badge to say you can understand processes etc., it doesn’t mean you’re any good at managing people” – Barclay Rae
  • “IT organisations still have a responsibility to security. This is often forgotten in the rush to be all shiny and agile” – Barclay Rae
  • “Major incident management becomes easier when you nurture relationships” – Ian Connelly
  • ‘Listening, reasoning and analytical skills. Those are qualities of a good IT analyst” – Simone Jo Moore
  • “How to achieve a zero blame culture: be brave, be public, reward behaviours you want” – ­ Ben Moss
  •  “Focus more on agility rather than stability” – Charles Arajuo
  • “Lose the Nonsense! Kill those reports no-one reads, stop the useless meetings” – Daniel Breston
  • “Key #SITS16takeaways: evolve or get left behind; focus on your customer (but don't call them customers); speak business not IT” – Sophie Danby

4. Get the Basics Right

SysAid’s primary aim throughout the event was to help educate attendees on the basics of ITSM. This was done through our “Back to ITSM Basics” box, which included a wealth of helpful content from Stuart Rance and Joe the IT Guy (plus chocolate and other goodies).

The Back to ITSM Basics advice included:

  • Save yourself time and reduce potential mistakes by automating your standard changes.
  • Prioritize improvements based on cost and impact, to help work out where to focus efforts.
  • When carrying out an ITSM assessment start with what you do well.
  • Use a Kanban board to help to ensure that you don’t start too much at once.

Although all 1000 of the physical Back to ITSM Basics boxes were snatched up at SITS (so sadly, if you didn’t get one, you’ll have to buy your own chocolate), all of the content is accessible on our Back to ITSM Basics webpage. You do need to part with your email address to gain access though, but in return we’ll give you:

Three videos complete with tips and best practice advice on how to: automate, collaborate, and be more proactive.

Three audio blogs on: ITSM improvements, how to benefit from ITIL Practitioner, and how to become a business-focused organization.

Two workshops: one on “How to Start Collaborating” and a second on “How to Initiate Continual Service Improvement”.

Of course there was so much more to be learned at SITS. If we are lucky we will see other blogs sharing the nuggets of wisdom from the SITS sessions.

Dena Wieder-Freiden

About Dena Wieder-Freiden

As SysAid’s Content Marketing Manager, Dena values most her friendships and daily conversations with the awesome IT service management (ITSM) authorities from all over the world! As they share their knowledge with her, she enjoys paying it forward to the IT community at large. Outside of work, she’s most likely at the gym, the beach, or at home watching a movie and spending time with her family.