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David Ratcliffe, President, Pink Elephant

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    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    “High Hopes” For The Program As Well As The Music!

    Over the past few years we’ve had some fun with the theme of our Annual ITSM Conference and 2008 will be no exception with “Another Brick In The Wall”.

    Sure, that term was made popular by a band called Pink Floyd - a neat coincidence with the name! But when you think of walls you might be tempted to think of something negative and divisive; however, we chose to use focus on the positive aspects of building. If you’re going to build something significant you’re talking about planning, organizing, leadership, teamwork, integration, etc. And the term “Another Brick In The Wall” conveys - to me - some degree of progress and incremental improvement towards a greater goal.

    Anyway, if all of that is too much of a stretch for you, chill out and enjoy the Pink Floyd music!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 08/21 at 10:38 AM
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    Sunday, August 12, 2007

    “It Was A Computer Error - Honest!”

    So often we hear in the press about a “computer glitch” or a “computer error” causing massive disruption. Rarely, though, do we get a detailed explanation of the cause. It’s just so easy to say “computer malfunction” - which was the phrase used today in the LA Times to describe a failure of the US Customs & Border Protection systems at LAX yesterday. Maybe a more accurate description would be “human error in managing the computer systems”.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lax12aug12,0,5727961.story?coll=la-home-center

    I’m not saying the LA Times are deliberately misleading the public, that’s probably the explanation they were given and, after all, the average customer doesn’t really care what’s gone wrong, they only care about the outcome - disruption. But if only the LA Times reporter was savvy enough to ask the next question “What REALLY caused the glitch?” then they’d probably have a more interesting story. “Well, we were installing a patch/upgrade/new program/bug fix (choose one) but we didn’t really test it enough/tell the night shift we’d made the change/train all staff in how to use the changed function/whatever/whatever/whatever (choose one, or insert your own explanation!)”

    To be honest, though, we really don’t know if it was “human error” or “computer error” that disrupted the travel of 20,000 people yesterday at LAX. Maybe it was a “failed switch” - as CNN reported.

    http://us.cnn.com/2007/US/08/12/LAXBackup.ap/index.html

    But I wonder… “computer error” seems to be the default answer every time, when most of the time it’s really human error. And more mature IT Service Management processes (particularly in the area of Service Transition) could possibly have avoided the whole thing.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 08/12 at 10:01 AM
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    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    Planning Session For The 12th Annual IT Service Management Conference & Exhibition

    Today we had another planning session for next February’s Conference. Expect to see some updates posted on the Conference web page very soon describing the 2008 keynotes. The keynote sessions are something we’re very proud of at Pink. We tend to think a bit out-of-the-box and invite along people who are not normally speakers on the IT conference circuit. It’s interesting to note that many of our “old keynotes” have been picked up by competitive conferences in subsequent years. For example, Michael Abrashoff, Jim Lovell & The Passing Zone all premiered at Pink Conferences and then showed up at the itSMF Conference a year or two later - very flattering!

    Anyway, the keynotes we’re about to finalize for 2008 will be just as eye-catching, inspirational and entertaining as those you’ve seen in previous years - I promise.

    We’re also planning to introduce some edgier sessions where multiple presenters will discuss a common topic. Hopefully the result will be some honest, but differing, opinions. Anything that deviates from traditional PowerPoint will get my vote!

    Another feature we’re working on is to provide a more continuous learning experience. What I mean by this is - why should we decide for you when you should be eating lunch? Or taking a break? Is noon to 1:00pm the preferred time for you to take lunch? How about 1:00pm to 2:00pm? Or 1:45pm to 2:15PM? What we’ll do instead is provide a lunch setting during a 2-3 hour window in the middle of the day, and you decide when to take it. In the meantime we’ll have sessions going non-stop from 7:00am until 7:00pm. It’s up to you how much you soak in - and when. For a couple of years now I’ve been saying to folks here at Pink - “let’s not treat our customers like sheep!”

    If you have more ideas for how we can make our Conference a more efficient and practical learning experience for you - please let me know.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 08/09 at 06:36 PM
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    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    Do We Need CIOs?

    I wonder if this is a trend we might start to see.

    http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/tve/?p=175

    What do you think?

    (0) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 08/08 at 03:39 PM
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