Killer Cats, DevOps, ITSM & Star Wars – BCS CMSG 2016 Conference

It’s Covent Garden baby! The BCS Configuration Management Group held their annual conference on Tuesday. The CMSG was set up in 1995 to provide a forum for the promotion of Configuration Management as a discrete management process. The group now covers the transition areas of Change, Release and Software Asset Management, including the specialist UK SAM Networking Group.

The theme of the conference was “transitioning the future” and the event had three streams:

  • DevOps
  • Change Configuration & Release Management
  • SAM  Licensing & Strategy

 

Roo Reynolds, Chief Operating Officer at Digi2al Limited – Driving Transformation In A Government Environment

First up was Roo Reynolds on driving transformation in a government environment. Roo’s first task was a quick public service announcement on Larry, the cat that lives at Number 10 (where the Prime Minister lives for non UK readers). Apparently, whilst appearing cute and fluffy. Larry actually has a vicious streak so if you’re ever invited to Downing Street, consider yourself warned – the last thing you want is a Rabbit of Caerbannog scenario.

 

Roo talked about the challenges of working in a government environment and his transformation mission:

Roo shared how using Agile transformed the environment:

The next part of Roo’s session focused on practical guidance.

Roo talked about the importance of putting your customers at the centre of the requirements gathering phase “your users are unlikely to grow wings so they no longer need lifts”  As Roo put it “transformation doesn’t have to be huge, the smallest things can make a difference.”

Here are Roo’s top tips for driving transformation:

  • Start with the needs of the user; genuinely put the user first
  • Work with people who are committed

  • Show the thing. Minds out of the gutter people! Roo was talking about having prototypes and getting regular customer feedback.
  • When getting feedback for a prototype, feedback from five people is often enough (hits 75_80% of issues)
  • Walls are important

 

Vawns Murphy Senior ITSM Analyst, Enterprise Opinions – Going From Good To Great Using ITIL & DevOps

I was up next talking about my practical experience of using ITIL and DevOps to make things better in the real world. My session focused on a real life client engagement where we went from IT Ops and Dev teams literally snarling at each other from different sides of the room to a happy, collaborative environment with a 99.91% Change success rate and a 50% reduction in deployment time. There was also a lot of talk about Star Wars , the Avengers and erm, Frozen. You can check out the slides here.

 

Connor Shearwood, Developer,  Springer Nature – Managing Continuous Delivery

Up next was Connor from Springer Nature on continuous delivery. Connor talked about the need for common sense in a delivery environment: “keep things simple, have conventions around how software is built and tested.”

Connor went on to explain the importance of automation explaining “we need to make doing the right thing easy and the wrong thing impossible.

Connor gave practical guidance on continuous delivery, talking about the benefits of consumer driven contracts for micro services, and why automated testing is so important “most of your tests should be automated because people are fallible”.

Connor talked about how there’s no silver bullet; “you need discipline and willpower but having good processes makes things easier. If you make it easy for people to try new things there will engage and they will try”

My favorite piece of wisdom from Connor’s session was this: “You need to have an exit process, broken gets fixed, crappy lives on forever”. Be warned people!

 

Patrick Bolger, Chief Evangelist, Hornbill – Rethinking Your ITSM

Patrick’s session was all about rethinking your ITSM from Shadow IT to Agile. He started by talking about being schooled by his daughter on iPhone usage:

The first part of Pat’s session focused on the rise of Shadow IT and how we risk alienating our customers if we don’t keep up. The first step to sorting it out? Investing in your Service Desk

Pat talked about major trends impacting 21st century IT departments and what it means for IT decision makers:

  • User Experience
  • IT Delivery
  • Information & Communication
  • Innovation & Usage Models
  • Data

The upshot? Next generation IT is all about people.


Pat concluded by talking about the importance of being inclusive when driving transformational: “change is a threat when done to us but an opportunity when done by us”. A very powerful message and a great way to maintain focus on the customer when managing change.

 

Robert Cowham, Consultant, Perforce Software – DevOps In The Cloud, A Pathway To Heaven?

The last session we attended was Robert’s presentation on DevOps and the cloud. Robert opened by talking about the background of DevOps and how it links into Agile. Robert then went on to explain the impact of DevOps on continuous delivery on development and discussed the impact of cycle times.

The next part of Robert’s session focused on the impact of the cloud, advantages and the big players including Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

Robert went on to talk about the practicalities of applying DevOps in a cloud environment discussing how to maximise pipeline flow, automation, feedback, micro services and release technology & containers.

Robert finished his session by demonstrating a functioning pipeline – a fascinating example of real life application.

 

For our money the CMSG conference was a great day, informative, lots of practical guidance and lots of subject matter expertise. A huge thanks to the BCS for inviting us and we hope to be back next year.

Did you attend the CMSG conference? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Event Listing: BCS CMSG Conference 2016

The BCS Configuration Management Special Interest Group are holding their annual conference in London on the 7th of June.

BCS

The theme of the conference is transitioning the future and the event will have three streams:

  • DevOps
  • Change Configuration & Release Management
  • SAM  Licensing & Strategy

This is the 11th conference run by the BCS CMG. The main conference objectives are to share experiences in how Configuration Management supports and enables Change Management in software development and ITIL Service Management. Software Asset Management (SAM) and licensing are critical to today’s organizations and the conference will detail new approaches and strategies to aid today’s practitioners. Best practices in adopting an integrated approach, and communicating and selling this to the rest of the organisation are essential elements.

The Conference will bring together managers and practitioners working across the service lifecycle (which incorporates the application lifecycle) together in an open forum.

 

Event Breakdown

What: The BCS CMSG Conference; Transitioning The Future

When: 7th June 2016 08:30 – 20:00

Where:  BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA.

How To Book: Click Here

 

I’ll be one of the speakers at the conference (check out my session overview here) so if you’re attending the conference, come and say hi!

SIAM for beginners

6196173097_a18978e6bc_zAhead of our joint workshop with the BCS on the 17th of November we speak with 2 experts to discuss all things SIAM, people & culture.

Podcast Guests:

Dave Kelsey, BCS 

Steve Morgan, Syniad Solutions Ltd

Podcast Topics:

  • SIAM Skills Workshop
  • What is SIAM?
  • The interest in SIAM
  • When is SIAM right for me?
  • Culture change
  • What skills do I need for SIAM?
  • What’s available in the market?
  • Are service providers adapting to the demand for SIAM?

Find out more about the workshop here or via the BCS event page.

ITAM Review and ITSM Review Feeds

 

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SIAM Skills Workshop – Free Half Day Event

Tuesday 17th November 2015. 12.00pm to 4.30pm, BCS Offices, London.

attracting an audience

 

Introduction

Following the success of the first SAM Skills workshop, The SIAM Skills Workshop is a free to attend, joint event brought to you by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and the ITSM Review.

Run over an afternoon, starting over an informal lunch, we invite you to join us for an independent Service Integration and Management (SIAM) skills workshop that will discuss the very latest skills requirements for ITSM professionals and an opportunity to network with peers.

You’ll learn of SIAM best practice from both expert speakers and your industry peers, key topics include:

  • When is SIAM suitable?
  • How do you build a SIAM practice?
  • How do you sell the concept to senior management?
  • How to tell when SIAM is not working and how to address key failings?

*Full agenda will be confirmed soon*


REGISTER HERE

 

Event Summary

WHAT: SIAM Skills Workshop

WHEN: 17th November 2015, 12.00pm – 4.30pm

WHERE: BCS, London Office (London, WC2E 7HA)

HOW TO BOOK & MORE INFO: https://events.bcs.org/book/1765/

Event Listing: Transforming User Experience

ITAM_ITSM_LOGOS_FINALFollowing the success of our recent IT Asset Management events program we are very pleased to announce our very own series of events here at The ITSM Review, beginning with ‘Transforming User Experience – Enterprise Service Management and Self Service’ Seminar at the BCS in central London.

In a nutshell: The Transforming User Experience – Enterprise Service Management and Self Service expert led seminar will highlight how the use of self service and automation can help IT departments to focus on key business priorities.

Helping Customer Help Themselves

Do you want to ensure your team or department is viewed as a valued provider and business enabler? This event focuses on how tools and techniques used in IT can be utilised across organisations and enterprises to build real collaboration, improve efficiency and quality of work.

This free* seminar, led by ITSM authority Barclay Rae, will provide practitioners with access to key knowledge and practical guidance on ITSM, networking/interaction and the opportunity to discuss issues with industry peers, together with access to recent ITSM Review Group Test content on Enterprise Service Management/Outside IT and Self Service.

This is an extraordinary opportunity to explore the current challenges of 2-speed ITSM together with practical examples of how to re-invent the IT department using self-service, automation, Enterprise Service Management and positive transformation from with one of ITSM’s leading professionals.

*Free to attend, however cancellations charges apply.

Event Summary

  • Who: The ITSM Review
  • What: Transforming User Experience – Enterprise Service Management and Self Service
  • When:  6th March 2015
  • Where: BCS Offices, The Strand / Covent Garden, Central London
  • Cost: Free
  • How: Click here to book

 

Speaker Profile

SITS ITSM Contributor of the Year 2014 - Barclay Rae
SITS ITSM Contributor of the Year 2014 – Barclay Rae

SITS ITSM Contributor of the Year 2014, Barclay Rae is an experienced consultant, mentor and business manager. With over 25 years working in the industry & upwards of 500 ITSM projects under his belt, you can be sure that his latest seminar will be packed full of practical & proven tips & tricks.

His work as a consultant, mentor and ITSM analyst have put him in high demand at industry conferences globally with appearances at SITS, itSMF, Pink Elephant, Fusion, BCS etc & we are thrilled to have him leading this seminar.

Transforming User Experience – Enterprise Service Management & Self Service will draw from Barclay’s wealth of experience & recent market research, along with practical examples, to help delegates use strategic direction and recognise end-user opportunities to improve their ITSM.

Agenda

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Speakers & Sessions

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Sponsors

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itSMF Estonia Conference 2014 Review

Held in the Swissotel in beautiful Tallinn, the 9th annual itSMF Estonia conference once again proved that you don’t need an over abundance of content, you just need the content to be top rate.

Here are Greg Baylis-Hall and Ian Connelly with a video roundup of events.


Greg and Ian are service management practitioners for Legal and Insurance services and members of the BCS Service Management Specialist Group, who both self–funded their trip to the ITSMF Estonia conference.

You can also follow Ian and Greg on Twitter.

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BCS event review: An evening with Axelos

Greg
Gregory Bayliss-Hall

On the 12th September AXELOS (the new commercial joint venture between the UK Government and Capita) arranged an evening at the BCS offices in Covent Garden to discuss its plans for the future of ITIL, and the rest of the Best Practice Management portfolio, now that they’re the new custodians.

When I arrived, long before the presentation started, I couldn’t help notice a large crowd of people already there (I’m normally the first) – inside and outside the event rooms people where busy chatting, networking and enjoying the refreshments. The atmosphere was building – attendees were genuinely excited and concerned as to what AXELOS had planned.

AXELOS is a hot topic

It’s currently the hottest topic in the ITSM space – reflected when a week before the event the venue was fully booked. Luckily for us nobody was disappointed – BCS had the capacity to move the event to a larger room to accommodate a diverse audience that included ATO’s, consultants, penguins, ITSM tool vendors, sector analysts, and practitioners like myself to hear what Chris Barrett – Director and “opening batsman” for AXELOS had to say about the new joint venture.

AXELOS themselves are in their infancy and are still pulling together a management team and working towards full autonomy by 1st January 2014. The new joint venture will no longer be bound by government constraints, “the shackles are off”, which in my opinion can only be a good thing. Asked who keeps AXELOS on the straight and narrow – Chris replied “the community”.

The evening

Over the 90 minute session Chris walked through his slides giving the attendees an enthusiastic insight into the JV which was reciprocated by a lively audience who came armed with an arsenal of questions.

Quality, relevance and innovation were the themes running through the presentation and are clearly a strategic aim of the JV. The quality is there, but Chris is keen that AXELOS raise the bar, improving the framework and making it more relevant to specific groups such as practitioner’s and CIO’s.

This will come with ideas such as

  • Stronger links to its community and stakeholder groups with a more open and less isolated stance
  • Referencing areas that other frameworks do well that isn’t a key strength of ITIL and complimenting the ISO standards that ITIL helps to underpin
  • Different flavours of courses – refresher, advisory and tailor made training for an organisation could be offered as well as of off shelf learning
  • Internationally they’ll focus on areas that are more relevant to different regions, cultures translations and local nuances; these will be carefully thought through to grow the brand

Training

Training was a hot topic and as with any change people get anxious, some were hanging off each and every one of Chris’s words. He explained it isn’t about doing away with how things are done now – but exploring opportunities such as gamification and giving the end user more options.

The best training in my opinion still comes from having a trainer who has been there and has the experience (and scars) to convey the learning’s. Whether this is via slides, e-Learning or gamification doesn’t matter. It’s about how it feels and the choices that are the best for each individual.

It’s no secret that G2G3 was recently acquired by Capita (the bigger half of the JV) and naturally there will be some influence. Chris added that in his mind this adds to the quality and fuels the innovation, but stressed that it would not be mandatory, simply an added choice for ATO’s. Personally I can’t wait to try it!

Modulate ITIL?

An idea being bounced around is to modulate ITIL. Benefits of doing this would be not having to have a refresher every five years, keeping it progressively updated and relevant, improved interaction with MSP and Prince2 leading to the possibility of a common glossary, and learning the parts of ITIL that are relevant to you. For those in the audience that have been “doing” ITIL for a while, this approach has a sense of ITIL V2 about it.

The AXELOS plan and challenges

Short-term – Minimal disruption to the ecosystem

Medium-term – Continue relationship building with the various stakeholder groups and organisations such as The BCS, ITSMF UK and SDI

Long-term – Developing brand ITIL and ultimately achieving the goal of making ITIL a global framework truly recognised internationally, developing new Best Practice Management products and working with other frameworks.

ITSM Pen
ITSM Penguin – a familiar face at AXELOS events

Final Thoughts

This is nothing short of an ambitious vision from AXELOS. Inevitably there will be difficult key decisions to be made and “not everybody will be pleased, but everybody will be listened to” – Aspects of ITIL and the Best Practice Management Portfolio need to be nurtured and invigorated and it’s reassuring to know that this is the direction AXELOS is taking.

Chris had a good innings and took a record breaking 49 questions from an empowered audience that evening and probably many more afterwards. I guess he may have come away from the BCS that night feeling like he scored his first century.

As always, if you have an opinion as to the future of ITIL, please respond to this blog or email AXELOS direct. You can also follow what’s happening by looking for their communications on Twitter or Google+

This article was contributed by Gregory Baylis-Hall, IT Service Management Analyst at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. Enthusiastically geeky about the Service Management schema – he enjoys working out how it all connects together. Follow him on Twitter.