Giving Back To The IT Service Management Community


No, this isn’t about the returning of your ITIL books to ITIL’s makers (just think how much they would cost to post) but more of the reaping of the knowledge and experience held within the ITSM community (ITIL’s creators, publishers, trainers, consultants, software vendors, ITSM practitioners, and ancillary roles such as analysts) for the benefit of all.

This is by no means a new idea. Various conversations have taken place over the years to create lower-level, more granular, and ultimately more practical best practice information that is freely available to ITSM practitioners. Whether it is in the form of blogs, white papers, discussion threads, podcasts, special interest groups, or “free” training and events, such information is invaluable to the IT people “at the coal face” who don’t want to have to “reinvent the wheel” nor to have to read through a set of ITIL books which IMO isn’t really designed for the hectic work lives of ITSM practitioners. Practitioners just don’t have the time even if they have the inclination. They will also struggle to find really practical help and assistance from such a "sea of text."

Before I continue though, I think we need to lay our cards on the table. Nothing in this world is really free; there are normally strings attached. Taking my own situation as an example, I have recently written “free,” publicly available blogs that are aimed at giving back to the ITSM community (such as “Getting Started With ITIL – The 30-Minute Version” and “Where Is All The Incident Classification Best Practice?”). But you can’t get away from the fact that they “plug” me as an analyst and my employer as a provider of ITSM-related advisory services (see, I can’t help myself, with multiple plugs for my work already in this blog).

Giving back is not uncommon though. Outside of the ITSM community one of the best examples is of lawyers that do pro bono (shortened from “pro bono public” a phrase derived from Latin meaning "for the public good") work. If lawyers can do it, then so surely can people with hearts (sorry lawyers, I do know some nice examples).

So why shouldn’t people working in, and benefitting from, the ITSM community give back?

The short answer is that they do already, as mentioned above. For instance:

  • There are various ITSM-related podcasts, where the participants “play” with no remuneration, with the podcasts ultimately paid for by Pink Elephant or via ITSM software vendor sponsorship.
  • Barclay Rae, an independent ITSM consultant active on the “Rest of the World” ITSM podcast, has a webpage dedicated to content he gives away.
  • There is not an ITSM software vendor that hasn’t provided some insight by way of white papers, thought-leadership papers, and ROI justification documents and calculators (OK, I admit that sometimes these are a little too “and you can’t do any of this without the most spectacular ITSM tool known to man”).
  • However, the biggest act of ITSM generosity has to be the ITSM Extreme Makeover 2011 where a collection of “IT service providers will donate products and services with a total combined value expected to exceed at least US $250K” to a worthy organization wanting/needing to increase their ITSM maturity.

So what am I whining about?

To me the issue is that all of these are good (and sometimes great) but are offered up from a “push” perspective, i.e., what we think ITSM practitioners want/need? I believe that we need to find out what would make the most difference to the lives of our ITSM community peers first and then target efforts to address these opportunities.

Therefore, I think that we need to do at least five things (as a community) to help here:

  1. Recognize that we are a community and a community that often struggles with the same issues (particularly with ITIL adoption).
  2. Offer up our time to help out others (and often ourselves).
  3. Identify where our efforts need to be applied (for example with the creation of a set of standard (core) ITSM metrics and benchmarks).
  4. Deliver on our promises to the ITSM community.
  5. Never stop trying to improve our collective ITSM capabilities and the quality of delivered IT and business services.

OK, I’ll step off my soapbox and leave you to think. Do you want to help? How can you help?

Personally, as soon as I publish this I am going to call Ben Clacy, CEO of the itSMF UK and Secretary of itSMF International (I think), and offer my services. I want, and in many ways need, this to work.

October 2011 Update: Please take the ITSM Practitioner Health Check



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From a Vendors Point of View..

Wow Stephen, you certainly feel strongly about this subject! It is true, we are a community and it is important that we (and I am speaking as a vendor here) support our community. My company, RMS, has recently put together a social networking team of 6 whose mission is to make themselves available on social networking sites to answer queries and give advice to anyone that asks - not to sell product or services! We have two of the team up and running now (aj@rms and alimcox) with the rest coming on line over the next month or so. So if you are struggling with something ask us and we'll do our best to answer!

ITSM tool vendors and the ITSM community

Glad to see RMS joining my list of ITSM tool vendors that are playing an active role in the ITSM community beyond selling licenses/subscriptions (as per

When I worked for Ross Perot

When I worked for Ross Perot the corporate training for many of us included the principle you must give first, either to help understand a problem, or perhaps even go someway to directing folks to an answer. herein lies the 'soft sell'. But, the customer needs to be the judge of your sincerity.

In my case, I try and contribute through vehicles such as linkedin groups, responding where I can with opinions, not recommendations, on specific questions. I also offer a free support site for any question on service management (, and run the ServiceCamp one day event - where we try and create an unconference forum for folks to collectively workshop popular service related issues.

I write occasional blogs to stirs the industry juices, tThen, I give away discounts and freebies, like others, to loyal subscribers of my services..... I have on accoasion provided free training and help to unemployed professionals and ex-military - many of whom I still regard as great friends.

Its an important subject Stephen. And, in think everyone should give a little, and that the trade associations we belong to should do more to encourage and recognize these efforts.

If at first you don't succeed...

Over the years Hornbill has produced free educational content e.g, ITIL State of the nation, free of any marketing/product messages. These were some of the most satisfying pieces of work that I have been involved with.

We've participated in a number of industry driven efforts to deliver content back to the community. SDI and itSMF ran the Service Futures Group a few years ago, meeting once a quarter to highlight challenges and produce reports that offered solutions. Although the group produced decent content, it fizzled out. As far as I recall, there was a nominal charge for the reports, but they definitely provided value and it was refreshing to see industry bodies, vendors, consultants and practitioners working together for the common good.

Previous efforts may have been hampered by practitioners not being afforded the time to attend meetings and the platform for distribution of the materials that are created. We live in a very different world today and with modern technology, collaboration doesn't have to mean hours away from the office.

Hornbill would happily participate in any initiative that drives the industry forward, because it gives us the opportunity both to educate, and more importantly, to learn.

Fundamental to ITSM

At the danger of this turning into an ITSMWPROW love-in I have to agree with Stephen. To me the sense of a community, or rather multiple communities, lies at the heart of ITSM. In the UK I would highly recommend that people get involved in the itsmf UK regional groups. The important message is that so many people have something useful to say, not just the self appointed "experts"

Practitioners can and should help practitioners

Thanks James ... to me there is no doubt that people who have succeeded with various elements of ITIL/ITSM maturity have so much to offer the ITSM community at large. Giving back with a small element of trumpet (or Piccolo) blowing.

Practitioner comment

Stephen I totally agree with you and support your sentiments. I'd encourage you to actively pursue this with Ben at the itSMF. As James points out there is a lot of value to be gained from participation in the itSMF UK Regionals and Special Interest Groups. My SLM SIG is particularly active and we all fully support the concept of giving back to the community through the itSMF's formal channels. Note - these comments are my own, not the itSMF's!

Different organisations seem

Different organisations seem to find the same areas sticking points. Sharing understanding of how far it's realistic to aspire to get as well as how to get there seems useful. Agree that itSMF is a good focus for picking up on this. I'm sure there's a lot of good material already produced which is still relevant. How can we concentrate this in a way that makes it accessible ...

What many forget... that sometimes the most useful advice is that which comes from someone in the same position as yourself. That is why it is so important that organisations at ALL levels of ITSM maturity should be encouraged to contribute. I think it is true to say that many people on public ITIL courses learn from each other, as well as from the tutor.

One of the things I noticed about the Pink conference in the US this year was that there seemed to be much more active networking and informal debate between delegates than at events in the UK. I don't know if that is just a cultural thing or if we could encourage more of it over here.

Good old Blighty ...

I would suggest that in the UK we are sometimes slow in "shouting about" our successes. A combination of modesty, always thinking that someone else does it better, and the avoidance of "sunflower syndrome" perhaps?

Learning from delegates

Certainly true of the ITIL courses that you can get as much (sometimes more) from the other delegates as from the trainers/course material. Also true about itSMF events where the lunchtime discussion can give as much insight as the formal presentations. Comment about all levels of maturity being involved leaves me musing about whether some form of virtual ITSM makeover workshop using a low level maturity organisation as volunteer guinea pig would encourage this.

UK Makeover

The US makeover has attracted massive interest, and hopefully many of the lessons that it highlights will be shared with those of us in the UK. Would a UK version work? I don't know, for a variety of reasons. Chris Matchett and others have suggested some form of ITSM apprenticeship might be an alternative

And it's not just ITIL

And it's not just ITIL courses where the sharing and caring takes place. Any ITSM course should be full of discussion between delegates. I learn a lot from delegates by listening to them too, and I ensure the knowledge is captured (usually by me and my trusty flip chart) and provided to all (usually via email after the course).

I also actively encourage them to swap email addresses/phone numbers etc. and to stay in touch with each other post-course, thus building themselves a wider network of contacts and information sources. Also great for bouncing ideas around, or having a general rant with people outside their own organisation!

I also encourage membership of (for example) SIGs - fresh blood is very much welcomed!

Jo J

There are so many

There are so many opportunities to create online communities now with minimal effort through platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, and yet as an industry I feel we're still not fully embracing these. Here's a good example:

A few weeks ago I went through the speakers list for the itSMF 2011 conference, and out of a total of 50 speakers I managed to find 7 who I either already followed or I began to follow them. Including myself, that's 8 out of 50 conference speakers (16%!) that are using freely available technology to interact with the ITSM community.

Having said that, I think the ITSM-related conversations on Twitter have become much more active over the last few months, and there have been some key people pushing this (most of the people who have commented on Stephen's post actually).

Here's a simple way to get involved quckly - sign up to the itSMF conference event on facebook ( There are currently 6 guests on there and we're feeling pretty lonely... Let's start some interesting conversations in that forum (like this one!) and we can all contribute towards improving the ITSM community.


Proof-reading isn't my strong point - my stats in the above post relate to people with Twitter accounts...

Social media as a vehicle for community involvement

Following on from Matt's post I believe the readily available social media tools are an excellent vehicle for community involvement, contribution, engagement, etc. However many organisations, including my own, do not permit Facebook access during working hours.

G+ anyone?

Getting involved is part of this industry!

Good stream of comments - I've always believed in putting back as this indusrty has been good to me, so I'll be continuing into my dotage.......OK so I know i'm there already!
Right from the days I worked on the 1st pass of BS15000 - now ISO20000 - with Jenny Dugmore, I've championed the backdrop of standards that from the bedrock around which we can express our people led service ethos and vendors can ship their products and services. Off to Beijing for the ISO international congress in October to take consumer stds to the next step - BSI do give me £800 towards it, but......
In addition I think the new media wave that's zipping along now - from the audio podcasts to the new ITSM TV channel we've just launched are going to help us again raise the profile of this industry. I see it as SDI's duty to keep these initiatives flowing - we kick them off at our risk and investment but are reliant on all of you out there using and supporting them to make sure we all stay there in this digitally dominated world.
Lets all keep it up there where it should be through getting more and more involved - collaboration IS the mantra of this decade!

Excerpt from an #ITSMWPROW planning email

DISCLAIMER: I speak for my own twisted self here and not for TFL!

I have a perspective on the topic that I've been thinking about over the weekend. Two actually.
One is that this thing has been tried before and we can't have much hope of succeeding without learning from the past. Look at LinkedIn, ITSM Portal, the gCloud best practice library and more for examples.

The other aspect is the fear that practical content is not transferable. Processes and forms that work for one company may not work for others. It's easier for consultants and vendors to present stuff because they mostly work on a generic basis. All the consultants that come into TFL never design something new. They just shoehorn their own processes into ours.

itSMF regionals are always asking for people (not vendors) to present their own content but there is very little take up. I know why too. We don't take time out of work to go to these events to watch people explain how badly they do stuff. Even things that someone might be proud of can seem dumb from the outside. If I was to present some of the things I have done to non-TFL people then I'd be worried that people would be thinking the same thing. There are enough blogs attacking core ITIL material already.

I know this is partly irrational but I think it's best to be brutally honest.

How about an experiment?

I've got a service requirements process that I think works well for us in TFL. It's not perfect. In fact it was never designed to be. All it needed to be was something that helped and was better than before. Its core is a document that we use as a service model. It's the closest thing we have to a service based SLA although it's limited by the company agreements and capabilities. I could be persuaded to present it at the London regional itSMF meeting in November but I'd like to trial it via the podcast to see if it demonstrates my point.

Nobody knows who TFL is anyway ;)

Joking aside, I think your idea of experimenting has worth. Most of us in IT know all-too-much about falling over while trying to run before we can walk.

Case study approach

Would it be more helpful to listen to someone presenting a perfect process that they have implemented, or someone presenting where they have got to, highlighting the challenges they perceive and seeking input as to what they are missing/approaches they may find helpful ? While the former can give 'aha !' moments, for people who learn more by doing than by listening then the latter approach might be better ... and isn't that the sort of thing they try to get us to do on courses, presumably for that very reason.

The community needs more active people

I certainly agree with the gist of the blog and comments made here. Reading them makes me think of 2 things -

1) This (the need to give back and help others in the industry) is one of the main reasons (IMHO) why the itSMF was created and why it still exists all over the world.


2) We rely on the time of volunteers to make itSMF UK (and globally) work. I'll stick to UK for the moment where we have hundreds of active volunteers without whom we would not be able to operate (doing things from leading the strategy of the organisation to helping run a region to presenting at conference to helping to author a book of whitepaper, the list goes on). The problem is it's getting harder to attract new volunteers and the existing volunteers are either able to give less time or any time at all.

I've mentioned before that I think the itSMF is here to deliver a practical layer for people working within ITSM (whatever framework, standard or other they use) and I think this is where the focus now needs to be from the comments here. We have some great examples of where this has happened - and John Moore mentions the Service Level Management Special Interest Group (SLM SIG) above which has put together one of our most popular books that many people have used to good practical use, including the many number of templates that come with it.

So where can we go from here? Well talking to Stephen today we could start by trying to highlight the areas that are causing the most pain for the most people - where real practical advice or templates or existing documentation, as mentioned by Chris, could be of most value (and conversely also highlighting where there is no real need for this).

Hopefully if we start this with Forrester and itSMF UK initially we could begin to see where to focus effort and then get some effort to focus!

Lastly picking up on something Ian mentioned which I also agree with - we could do better to recognise the people that do give up their time to help move the industry forward and to help the people within it. There are some things out there but we could do with more recognition of the people who contribute significantly to our industry.

Ben - regarding your last

Ben - regarding your last point, one way to do this could be a new award at the itSMF conference for the most outstanding contribution to the itSMF community.

While I don't think that's a

While I don't think that's a bad idea I would rather focus on contribution as business as usual rather than more isolated feats of outstandingness.

Recognizing contribution?

I like Chris' point ... a tool vendor/consultancy/training award or awards would be a great award to win and to "leverage" for "selling" organizations and kudos for practitioner organizations.

Recognition there already

There are some awards that already do this, our current ones are -

- Service Management Champion
- Project of the year
- Innovation of the year
- Student of the year (there's 2 here - ITIL student and ISO/IEC 20000 student)
- Submission of the year
- Trainer of year
- Paul Rappaport Lifetime Achievement award

All can be nominated for other than the 2 student ones which depend on scores in exams and the submission of the year is judged on the submissions (for white papers, etc) that we get through the course of the previous year.

There are also the SDI awards which are also very good and were back in June which have more of a Service Desk angle but never the less celebrate those that are excellent in our industry.

I think there is a good mix without too many Awards (although I am slightly biased!). Last year's winners can be seen here - (within last year's conference report)

Also this year's awards (that can be nominated) close the end of this week -

What I do...

Well, I feel pretty strongly about this issue and believe that there is an important role that everyone can play in this.
Face it, we all need to work and pay our bills -- customer, vendor or consultant alike. We're in the same boat... often leaky, these days, eh?

Despite that, I do my best to help in the ways that I can. What have I done:
* BrightTALK webinars
* Presentations at conferences and meetings
* Serving as Vice President for the Service Management Society, Inc.
* Co-developed and delivered the ITSM-SOS program to help rescue failed/failing ITSM initiatives
* Co-developer and sponsor of ServiceCamp -- first one going live on 18 August in San Diego, CA. [Free to all HDI members]
* Currently writing blogs for HDI on HDIConnect

This is only a portion of what I do and I expect to do more moving forward. None of this activity "puts money in my pocket" and that's OK. Those that have seen my work know that it's high quality and it's not a sales pitch. My desire to contribute is genuine and I try to do the best at it that I can. The more folks in the industry that do things like this, the better off we will be.

At the same time, there's a limit to how much one can or should be expected to do "for free". Every competent professional in this space has invested (almost) incalculable hours gaining the knowledge and experience required. Those who stand to benefit from such guidance need to respect the fact that those of us who provide it by "upping their game". Take the time to formulate good questions or be open to criticism when we try to help make a bad question a good one. It's the main reason why I cannot go within three browser clicks of the LinkedIn forums or participate in some of the blogs. Thoughtful dialogue on important issues is rare these days. We need more of it.

Those that say that they are an ITSM professional are the ones who have the opportunity to lead by example.

What are *you* going to do today to move things forward?

I've got my plan and am executing on it. Please join me...


You are one of many ...

... who give back in there own way. I'm not knocking you or anyone else who does. It's great.

What I am looking for here though is a framework (oh no, not ITIL again) whereby ITSM practitioners can articulate their difficulties such that one or more members of the community can assist (oh no, not LinkedIn groups again).

We recorded a podcast on this yesterday with Ben Clacy and the initial action on my part is to facilitate the creation and use of a very short survey (disguised such that it doesn't feel like a survey) to gauge firstly if there is a need (we might be wrong) and secondly where and what the main issues are.

Framework v. Rigor


We really need to stop using the term "framework" (in this context, at least), because I don't believe it helps us identify and resolve the core issues.

In my opinion, the core issue is a lack of rigor and discipline. There are plenty of forums (LinkedIn), discussion boards and other venues where such discussions can take place. The conversations that "ITSM professionals" traffic in there is nothing short of embarrassing, because it's a good illustration of exactly what I am ranting about.

Yes, this is a rant. I don't do it often and I refuse to do it without a purpose. Here I think I have one. There are some relatively straightforward things that we can do to rectify this:
1. Stop assuming that we all know what 'x' means. Like the term "incident" for example. The definitions "we" use are not consistent, yet we interact with others as if they are.
2. Learn how to ask a good question. It seems that few people *really* either know or take the time to do this. Bad questions lead to similar answers.
3. Think for yourself. This is something I would expect someone to do *prior to* either asking a question or offering an opinion. If I just wanted to know what COBIT said about 'x', I could crack open the book and look for myself.
4. Read what others have already said. This may seem obvious, but operationally speaking, it seems to happen about as often as a verified sighting of the Loch Ness monster.
5. Address the question being asked. Merely adding to the thread with "Well, the ITIL books say...", "I think you need to buy my " or anything of a similar character is an unwelcome addition to such a conversation. If there is something to be clarified by introducing that, fair enough. Most of the time I see such examples, that is not the case.

In the end, ITSM professionals need to start *acting like* the professionals they claim to be. If we can't exercise the discipline required to have the kind of rigorous conversations required to forward the profession, we do all professionals a disservice by claiming to be professionals.

Back off to my corner...


Hello Stephen, Boy do I agree

Hello Stephen,

Boy do I agree with you. Great points.

Each of us have primal responsibilities to pass on to others regarding the extensive experience/prospective we have about ITIL. It kills me to have gone through my life extensively involved in ITIL and see others currently with issues I have addressed time and again in the past. Issues/concerns that are like "water off a ducks backs" for me. How can I find a way to fundamental share these experiences with them so their issues are "non-issues?"

We all are very special in our own ways based on our given experiences. The question is how do we effectively find ways to altruistically help others to address their immediate needs quickly and turn them into non-issues.

This is my motivation. There is a great blessing and fulfillment in understanding those that came before us that helped in our career. For some of us there is a basic obligation, no, a better descriptor, an obsession, to passing on what was given to us.....At West Point they call it the "Long Gray Line."

With that said, I am committed to your call. Now the hard question. What do we do to make a REAL difference regarding your article? After all, you asked the question and took the time to write the article. What happened for me when I read your post is very typical. I read responds to your article and they conveyed the same passion as mine....and yours. The issue for me honestly is I skipped reading their details. Didn't have the time. With all the information out their competing for our time, how do we set our personal priorities and commitment to doing something that is substantially different? Taking/offering/leading efforts to make fundamental change happen?

I will not comment on others eluding to things like awards that might induce people to be more engaged or to the activities they have taken part in. We can do that all day long. The question is how can each of us maximize our activities to affect as many as possible. Some responder have shone they have taken taking personal responsibility for doing something to make a difference. These activities are very impressive but what's next? Do each responder still fell something is missing? Collectively tapping into all this talent in the right way could be "mountain moving."

If, after reading my comments, you and others would like to take part in a live, direct discussion about how we, together, can take action to really make a difference, I will give my fully commitment......

Best wishes to all......Jim

Thanks for your comments Jim

The only way I can see this working is via an industry body such as the itSMF acting in a hub and spoke manner to elicit necessary information from one or more individuals or groups to assist with a prioritized list of practitioner needs. I'm working on getting at least a starting point for the latter.

If we can get this off the ground then the most difficult part will be maintaining momentum. As you rightly state, time (or lack of time) is a killer for most people these days.



It seems to me (increasingly)

It seems to me (increasingly) that what is needed, if we are to genuinely give back to the ITSM community, is a range of people with experience and enthusiasm, and a desire to share with others - for free. I foresee this will need to be a rolling community, to ensure a regular flow of fresh ideas and expertise.

I am very willing, keen and happy to be part of this. My area of interest and experience (and absolutely enthusiasm!) is the people aspect of ITSM - which I believe is by and large still given lip service more than anything else. Please let me know how I can help, Stephen.


From your comments (Stephen &

From your comments (Stephen & Jo), we know there are at least three people with passion to take action.

Stephen, I like your mental model of the hub/spoke. It conveys two key elements regarding ITSM engagement that can make a difference. General (hub) and specific (spokes...I see these actually as nodes on the wheel) focus. Some of us are more generalist and others more specific in our ITSM related passion.

I would love to see a visual model of your concept when you are willing to share, i.e. hub labeled and then your ideas for specifying what each of the nodes on the wheel represent. Having this base model to work from will generate additional ideas such as, "Should some of the nodes be directly linked for efficiency instead of going to the hub."

As with any endeavor, there is a critical balance that has to be met to evoke actions. We need to be ITSM generalist/strategist (hub) to a degree. Sole focus on overall intentions though will lead to too much philosophizing and no action. Same thing applies to balancing commitment to specifics (nodes). This will increase chances of taking beneficial action but the danger is the overall intent and direction can be lost in the "details." Therefore, I think the critical area of success with your model, after initially identifying the hub and nodes, is the link between these two, i.e. the spokes that represent the processes of interactions.

I look forward to seeing your model if/when you feel it is appropriate.....Jim

I'm in

Hi Stephen,

Count me in.

A couple of points based on the discussion so far.

1. A 'hub' is not designed for readers to digest every single update, but to refer to in terms of need or research. A library not a TV station.
2. It is important to point out to ITSM professionals (perhaps fearful of time commitments) that contributing to such a 'hub' in not purely altruistic. Work sells work. As well as contributing towards the industry anyone who contributes to such a hub raises their profile online and generates new contacts and opportunities.

Martin Thompson

my original post

Why did you delete it?

Your original post

Hi Rick

It is still where you posted it ... on a syndicated version of the blog.

This is one of the issues I have with Forrester blogs being syndicated ... comments are all over the place and I/we don't get to see them all without hunting for them.

Your post is at -





Thanks fo rthe follow up. I was wondering what happened to it(-:

Enthusiastic Response

Good to see so many people wanting to contribute and 'spread the word'. It's vital that we do utilise the new media wave that will benefit all of us by drawing in new people and interest to the iTSM industry. Ourselves at SDI, Ben and his team at ITSMF, and many others of you out there are dedicated to use new media opportunities like the audio podcasts and the new ITSM TV channel we've just launched.
Technology that we support has changed the face of business - great to see it helping change the face of how we interact and promote what we do!


Never mind a framework: I have a method for you that might work. You want a "pull" model for ITSM practitioners to get help? How about this:

1. Practitioner asks a question on LinkedIn, the itSMFI Forum, your blog or my blog.
2. We answer it.

re Method

Isn't this method already in operation (various people are asking questions on the LinkedIn groups and getting responses, for example) ? From the various responses this isn't delivering what people are searching for. Ask&Answer might address an individual's specific question, but does it share the knowledge effectively ? If 3 months down the line I have a related question will I be able to find the nugget of information easily ?



Maximising impact

I would agree with Stephen that many of us do take the time to respond to questions, though in my own case I long ago gave up on most Linkedin groups because of the amount of noise, and the frustration when the 1000th person asks "When is it OK to stop the clock?". Our own blogs are also all attempts to provide some generic practical guidance to the ITSM community.

What I think we are trying to get towards with what has now been labelled #back2ITSM is a way of getting trustworthy information into the ITSM arena so that we don't have individuals constantly reinventing the wheel and repeating the mistakes of others, but we do have some progress towards a more effective approach to ITSM. What #back2ITSM actually does or should constitute is quite hard to pin down, but I believe it embraces all the things we are currently doing as well as new initiatives.

A personal bee in my bonnet is I know that there is an awful lot of "briefcase ware" IP out there that might once have been considered commercially valuable to vendors and consultancies but which now would be a lot more useful in the public domain, or at least under a Creative Commons Licence.

Knowledge Management

Shock, Horror! It can't be true! It sounds like you're suggesting that we actually do some good Knowledge Management.
Joking apart, I'm all in favour of eating our own dog food. Effective knowledge management can ensure quality, and timely updating and/or retirement of knowledge when needed.
I really can't get over how many times I suggest to ITSM people that we actually use some of the good ITSM approaches out there - last time it was a Service Portfolio Management approach I found myself explaining!

Knowledge management


Being easily distracted I've just realised that I never made the point I meant when to about maximising the impact of what we are trying to do. What I'd meant to say was that we have to leverage the right mix of approaches, be it soc med, conferences, unconferences or whatever.

That does bring us to the question of good knowledge management, or even the wider question of a knowledge eco-system that enables the right knowledge to flow to the right people and generate further IP.

Knowledge ...

... well it was where Stephen started in the first sentence of the original post !