Well, I didn’t leave empty handed as I got a nasty flu which has kept me pretty low for almost a week, but was there something else too? I think there was a vision about the future; it was not clear but it sure was not this beautiful Soviet era ad that was lying on tables there🙂
The Estonian Conference was again good. Kaimar Karu had invited an interesting crowd of speakers and the one day, one stream concept is powerful but it has grown too popular for the venue. As I came in a bit late, I had to sit in the back where sound quality was bad and slides invisible, especially those with small text.
Adrian Cockcroft was for me one of the most interesting speakers. He spoke about his experiences with Netflix and I picked a few points from him:
– “Don’t do undifferentiated heavy lifting” i.e. don’t do anything heavy standard stuff. There are specialized companies for that.
– “Organizations build slow, complex scar tissue processes” when they should be lean and fast.
We were saved from ITIL sessions, the only session which could have been one was done by my favorite ITIL skeptic, Stuart Rance. (Now I can see Stuart reaching for his quill and ink, or more likely his iPhone as he does not consider himself as a skeptic but actually he is). Stuart started his presentation by asking who of us think that CSI is a stage in the service lifecycle or a process or a model. Then he explained that it is about attitudes, behavior and culture. So, bye bye 7-step process.
Many speakers had as their key message to concentrate on what brings value and forget the processes. Patrick Bolger smashed the ITIL tool certifications to pieces, and both he and Bartosz made fun of the full ITIL process chart. Bartosz Gorczynski gaves us a presentation about how to guarantee failure in an ITSM project. It was really funny and so real. I was attending a tools workshop in last September, where the consultants were trying to follow almost all Bartosz’ advice to the letter.
Tobias Nyberg spoke about problems and he also had a fresh, non-process approach. Paul Wilkinson did his ABC sermon and it became clear how the same message came up in many presentations.
I told Paul that I had a lovely real life example of the ABC problem which happened last week. A customer of mine had a minor catastrophe, which might have been much worse. After it had been worked out she said that finding the root cause is not the point. “We know exactly the root cause and we have described the solution before but it just happens again.”
I had a surprise visit to the stage, Kaimar asked me to join a group of people to answer audience’s questions. People had been asked to write their questions so I was able to have peek at them before the start. Some of them were quite hard. I wrote down some of my answers beforehand:
How to start?
- talk with the customers
What is your best advice?
- listen to customers
How to influence management
- use customers voice/message
Stephen Mann talked about commercialization of services which is a good insight. The internal IT competes with web services and it is not an easy race. Kaimar himself ended the conference and left me a tiny bit disappointed. We heard nothing about the future of ITIL.
So what was the vision and message. I´d say it is this: New technology happens fast and IT needs to be prepared to help business with it. There are no easy solutions or simple models, you need to know what creates value and how it is done. You are in a race and the people are the problem and the solution. But you cannot win without good technology.
The full set of presentations are available here http://konverents2014.itsmf.ee/program