A message from the new Chair of itSMF International

No not here, on the itSMFI website. If you have the slightest interest in the role and direction of itSMF, then go read it and come back here for my comments.

David Cannon has written a good introductory message from the chair. It exhibits a spirit of transparency. It talks of some excellent initiatives:

  • governance of chapters and of itSMFI. Still, I'd like to hear more explicitly about governance of members (e.g. codes of conduct, constitutional restraints). I've written often about how vendors are people too and should be treated equally and fairly. That only works if ALL members are governed by clear codes and monitored for them.
  • leadership, which is a fine ideal so long as it is not at odds with representation (see below)
  • service to members, another fine ideal that we could see MUCH more of, specifically more value to members, if other organisations I'm in like ISACA and ACM are a benchmark.
  • communication to members. Though David doesn't mention how unreliable email communication to grass roots members is. Something must be done to get a single international communication system instead of a chapters bush telegraph.

What I still don't hear are two key things

  • Consultation. David invites feedback, but I'd like to see a more formal recognition that this is the 21st Century. I think community and social are more than buzzwords: they are the state of modern relationships between formal bodies and their constituents and stakeholders. There is this huge gulf between itSMFI and members due to the hands-off approach to chapters and due to the low levels of capability as a channel in many chapters. itSMFI has to do more to connect directly beyond just a forum and a twitter account. We talk all the time about how ITSM is about people and process and not just technology. Forum and twitter are just the tools. Where is the culture, the attitudes and behaviours, and the active and effective processes for developing an itSMF community, for two-way communication? As Chris Dancy often says, it is about talking WITH not AT. Or to use my analogy, it is about coming down out of the Castle and mixing it with the peasants, and opening the doors of the Castle.
  • Representation. David alludes to this in the first of two criteria "Does it increase value to the National Chapters and their members?", and he also hints at it by putting chapters and members in the first criterion and industry in the second, which is a reversal of some previous documents I've seen. But I think Representation should have been the first of the strategic words, coming before governance, service and leadership. itSMFI still doesn't think of itself as the representative voice of the membership, even if most of the membership suffer the delusion that it is. itSMF sits on the ITIL Qualifications Board and standards bodies, supposedly in the role of representing the practitioners (and consumers) of ITIL. But it doesn't think that way and it doesn't act that way. It remains an industry body, the second of David's criteria. And sadly I think David's message still talks that way.

...but all in all I think concerned members will be to some extent heartened by David's message. We look forward to further transformation of itSMF internationally, hopefully including consultation and representation.


really? googling a lot?


googling a lot?

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