Wednesday, March 31, 2010
ITIL Process Activities vs Roles Trap
I have read, with interest and puzzlement at times, the continuing saga and dialogues on ITIL process activities and how some activities should be in two processes for example root cause analysis should be in Incident Management as well as Problem Management; or moved from one process to another or maybe to the extreme, eliminated. Now I know that the ITIL processes are not 100% perfect and there are some inconsistencies and flaws to work out; but it would seem we would rather dig deep to find and criticize all the inconsistencies and flaws rather than look at the general “assembly line” process activity workflow approach from a higher level, business perspective. It is a proven fact in business and life in general that applying a tested process or set of related activities consistently and persistently is the foundation of success.
So rather than rock the “process” boat and duplicate activities in processes and make changes to activities, consider this – that it is a question of the roles we take on in the various processes and not to which process the activity “should” belong. The ITIL process workflows are logical and “make sense” (the work instructions (or the how) might need a bit of work but that is up to the IT organization) but quite often in the planning and development of the processes, the roles and responsibilities are ignored or not seen as important. I would like to think we are not one dimensional beings with one role to play in life and in our career / job; but rather we are multi-dimensional beings with many roles. We may have one “functional” role at work, but we have many “process” roles. The activity we are engaged in would point to the process role – not the other way around. As a Service Desk agent they don’t just have an “Incident Analyst” role in opening incident records and fixing users; they also may have roles in Problem Management e.g. basic quick and dirty root cause analysis with a flash of brilliance resulting in a “possible” workaround; in Change Management e.g. opening an RFC for a required workaround; in Configuration Management e.g. updating a CI record; Knowledge Management e.g. entering or updating a knowledge record; etc – need I go on?
So my two cents worth is we get trapped into a process tunnel or a technology tunnel and don’t consider the importance and power of understanding and integrating process, people and technology into the full service management solution.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
ConfBOK (Conference Body Of Knowledge)
Here we are on road to 15th Annual IT Management Conference, “Changes in Latitudes, Chnages in Attitudes” also known as #pink11 to the twitterati. With the pace of life this millenium, it will be a short road - the next conference will be here before we know it.
So it is time to start thinking now about our next major contribution to the world’s bodies of knowledge (BOKs). Last year we gave you EHOBOK. (and attendees at the conference just gone can download a nice booklet version of it). This year I thought we’d expand the scope to an all-of-conference thing. I thought to call it
BOK Conference High Outcome Yields,
or Special Purpose Real Industry Notional Gathering BOK
...but you can see I was stretching. So I settled on ConfBOK.
As with EHOBOK, we welcome suggestions and contributions to develop a body of knowledge around attending conferences, especially the rest of the conference other than the Exhibit Hall, which EHOBOK seems to cover pretty well from the feedback we’ve had.
More on ConfBOK soon…
Program For 2011’s Conference
Just a quick note to give you all a heads-up.
We’re really expanding the program next year and will have many more topics covered in more detail than ever before. Of course, that can be interpreted as just a vague piece of ‘sales speak”, so I guess I should elaborate!
We won’t just have mostly IT service management topics with a sprinkling of complementary stuff, we’re actually going to have whole tracks about that other stuff. There’ll be multiple sessions about ISO, for example, as well as security, project management, six sigma, lean IT, green IT, the cloud and COBIT. We’ve already got many speakers and sessions confirmed, but there’s still time for you to volunteer to speak and give us all the benefit of your experience or research in any of these areas.
As for keynote speakers, we don’t announce these until they’re signed, sealed & delivered - and that hasn’t happened yet even though we’ve identified who we want and we’re talking to them. I just know that they will be outstanding additions to the program!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Every year Pink Elephant make awards at the conference. We are going to talk to some of the winners on this blog, but first I thought I’d go finds out about how the awards work. Who better to ask than the man in charge of the awards, the one-and-only George Spalding, well known to anyone who has been to past conferences.
Skep: Who does the picking and how?
George: There are three basic awards that must be judged: ITIL Project of the Year (presented to a practitioner organization), ITIL Practitioner of the Year (presented to an individual practitioner), and Innovation of the Year (presented to a vendor organization). The other two awards: Pink Elephant Student of the Year (presented to an individual student) and the ITIL Case Study of the Year (presented to a practitioner at our annual conference) basically select themselves. Student of the Year is awarded to the Pink Elephant student anywhere in the world who has achieved the highest combined score on the ITIL v2 Service Manager exam in the last calendar year (we’ll be changing that up in the future now that the Service Manager exam is going away). ITIL Case Study of the Year is awarded to the presenter(s) of the highest ranked case study session at the annual Pink conference in Vegas (ranking is based on the evaluation scores submitted for each session by the attendees themselves).
So, back to the judging of the three main awards. There is a nomination form and a set of criteria on our website that is available to anyone wishing to nominate an individual, organization or product/service for the appropriate award. The nomination form includes a submission deadline (usually about 3 months prior to the event). All submissions must be in electronic form and will not be returned. Once the submission deadline is past, all the nominations are posted on the internal Pink site. I perform a preliminary screening of the nominations for completeness, adherence to guidelines and criteria, etc. You would be surprised how many submissions simply ignore the criteria. These submissions are rejected immediately. Then I find the six smartest, most experienced consultants at Pink (based on this criteria I am NOT one of them) with well over a combined 100 years of ITSM experience. Lock them in a virtual room and they each separately rate each submission based on the criteria for the award. Based on their ratings we select the finalists and the winner.
Skep: Award winners are presumably all good Pink Elephant customers, right?
George:I wish I could say no to this. You, of course, make this sound like a clever plot that I have devised. But the truth is, that, so far, only Pink customers have been nominated or have nominated themselves. There is no requirement for a nominee to be a Pink customer for any of the awards. And, of course, we ask our own folks if they know of anyone and, if they do, we encourage our folks to get the customers to submit nominations which tends to mean that the winners end up being Pink customers since our people are not usually familiar with non-customers. No pre-req though.
Skep: Where to with the Awards? Will there be more categories in the future?
George: Possibly. Not sure though. Any suggestions by you or your readers?
Skep: Have you ever been tempted to have something like the IgNobel Awards http://improbable.com/ig/, maybe a category for most improbable ITIL project?
George:That’s a category I think better left to someone like the IT Skeptic.
So readers, if you think you have done something notable with ITSM, have a go. You can find the award form and criteria here. For your convenience here are the criteria for the awards:
Companies and individuals are eligible to submit nominations for either ITIL Project of the Year, ITIL Practitioner of the Year or Innovation of the Year. The criteria are as follows:
ITIL Project of the Year
This award is presented to an organization. To receive a nomination, the organization must have:
- A clearly defined project with dedicated management
- A project start date occurring at least 6 months before the conference start date
- Clearly documented and communicated goals/objectives
- A demonstrated and significant commitment to ITIL best practices with involvement of certified staff
- Documented, measurable project benefits
ITIL Practitioner of the Year
This award is presented to an individual who:
- Shows significant commitment to ITIL best practices
- Began ITIL involvement at least 6 months before the conference start date
- Is committed to sharing knowledge about ITIL outside of employer organization
- Works for a practitioner organization
Innovation of the Year
This award is presented in recognition of a product or service developed by the vendor community that has made the greatest contribution to IT Service Management in the last calendar year. Criteria could include:
- Development of open standards for process and tool integration
- Automation of complex processes across management tools
- Advancements in data consolidation, federation or analysis
- Support of organizational change initiatives through innovative use of management and monitoring tools
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
About Strategy Concepts
People have a difficult time understanding strategy concepts. They are not very complex in and of themselves. Making the right decision at the right time is. Let me try to shed some light on some of these concepts while providing concrete examples.
Senior executives (throughout the organization) have constrained and limited resources. They must understand not only the risks to the enterprise, but the impact and dependencies.
A market space identifies the opportunities an organization could exploit to be successful. The market space identifies the possible services that an organization may wish to consider delivering.
An organization could decide to provide expensive luxury items (say luxury yatchs), which has a limited number of customers. They will sell few items but will have a high profit margin. Another organization selling basic hygiene products (say soap and toothpaste) aims at selling large quantities of products as their profit margin will be small on each itme.
Before venturing into a market space, the executive should develop a vision, which is a description of what the organization intends to become in the future. A vision is used to help influence culture and strategic Planning.
To support the vision, the executives then look at the mission statement, which is a short but complete description of the overall purpose and intentions of that Organization. It states what is to be achieved, but not how this should be done.
To describe how the mission statement is to be achived, the executives come up with a series of businees goals. The business goals support the business vision, as well as providing guidance for the IT Strategy, and they are often supported by IT Services.
The ways to describe how the business goals are to be achived, the executives come up with a series of businees objectives. The business objectives support the business vision, as well as providing guidance for the IT Strategy, and they are often supported by IT Services.
Of course, each business unit, department, or group will have their own set of objectives and goals, which will further define how things are to be achieved.
What is your organization’s market space?
What is your organization’s vision?
What is your organization’s mission statement?
What are your organization’s goals?
What are your organization’s objectives?
What are the goals and objectives for you business unit / department and how do they support the organization’s goals?
Can you explain how your role and activities support those goals and objectives?
Now that an organization has decided on its market space, it is time to allocate funds (money) via the budget. There are three basic strategic investment or allocation categories:
Run the business: Business as usual.
- Allocate budget non-discretionary capital to maintain existing services
- Examples include payroll, utilities, equipment, software, and business uspplies
- Allocate budget core capital to maintain business critical services.
- Examples include the above plus business continuity, problem management, preventive maintenance, redundancy, offsite storage, etc.
Grow the business: Still based on core competencies. An example would be to offer our services in a new region
- Allocate budget growth capital to create new services in existing market space.
- An example would be opening a manufacturing plant and distribution channels in a new country
- Allocate discretionary capital to provide enhancements to existing services.
- Examples include new features, new functionality, enhancing performance, and making it more intuitive to use.
Transform the business: Something the organization did not do before.
- Allocate budget venture capital to create services in a new market space.
- An example would be for a manufacturer to open retail stores to sell their products instead of selling them to retailers/resellers
Can you identify the activities or projects you are involved with that are about running the business
Can you identify the activities or projects you are involved with that are about growing the business
Can you identify the activities or projects you are involved with that are about transforming the business?
Capability or Life Cycle – which stream is the right one?
The official ITIL qualification scheme contains two streams of study at the Intermediate Level. The 10 Intermediate courses have been separated into the Service Lifecycle and the Service Capability categories or streams. Once you have achieved the Foundation Certificate you have a choice to make as to where to go next. This choice should be based on your job responsibilities and the role you play within your organization.
At Pink Elephant we refer to these two streams as Management (Service Lifecycle) and Practitioner (Service Capability). We believe this at least gives a sense of direction when mapping your course.
So what’s the difference?
Management courses are focused on the planning, designing, building, deploying, and improving services, and processes as part of each phase. Each of the management courses covers a specific phase of the service lifecycle:
• Service Strategy
• Service Design
• Service Transition
• Service Operation
• Continual Service Improvement.
Practitioner courses are focused on the management and execution of the day-to-day activities required to provide services. Each practitioner course covers a particular cluster of processes and functions. Each cluster focuses on one of four practical applications of the framework. The four areas are:
• business relationships (Service Offerings & Agreements)
• designing services, processes and architectures (Planning, Protection & Optimisation)
• building, testing, deploying service solutions (Release, Control & Validation)
• operational support of the services (Operational Support & Analysis)
So there really isn’t a right stream, it is a matter of which one is right for you.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
They had the training, why aren’t they doing it?
Don’t always assume it is because your staff is taking a bad attitude or that they are even consciously deciding not to do something. They might not be resisting change; they just might not get it. It’s quite possible that, despite all the time and resources made in training, your folks just simply don’t understand.
The training no doubt taught them how to do something, that’s what training is for. But training can be totally irrelevant without context.
You need to make sure that your employees know what’s going on. What is the mission, objective, or goal? There is no doubt that some form of awareness campaign has to happen here. This important step sets the context for what it is they are supposed to be doing. And it isn’t good enough to just tell them. You need to ensure they understand and that they understand not just at the organizational level but right down to the personal level for them – what it is they are supposed to be doing.
And no what is going to be complete without an explanation as to why we are asking everyone to do something different. A person can never be expected to buy into something new without fully understanding and appreciating why. This step can involve a complete education process, from external and internal sources; bodies of knowledge, legislation, corporate direction, etc.
So now that we have locked down what and why, folks are probably ready to learn how. But really before these two questions are answered, training might just be for naught. Then once you have given them the tools to do it and do it correctly, you need to make them want to do it. Let’s face it everyone needs motivation. Help them understand why they should care about doing it, and continuing to do it. This involves performance management, letting them know how they are doing over time and setting up a system of measurements, rewards and consequences to support the management process.
These 4 questions and their importance in the management process are covered in detail in A Tale of Two Employees & the person who wanted to lead them by Dr. Chris Bart.
What is the Difference between ISO 27001 and ISO 27002?
The ISO 27000 series of standards are a compilation of international standards all related to information security. The most rudimentary difference is that the ISO 27001 standard has an organizational focus in that it details a set of requirements against which an organization’s Information Security Management System can be audited. ISO 27002 on the other hand is more focused on the individual and provides a code of practice and a body of knowledge for use by individuals within an organization.
In more detail with specific differences ....
The ISO 27001 International Standard is about requirements related to security techniques for information technology and information security management systems. It is an internationally recognized standard codifying the audit requirements for an Information Security Management System, or ISMS.
ISO 27002 provides best practice recommendations on information security management for use by those who are responsible for initiating, implementing or maintaining Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). Information security is defined within the standard in the context of the C-I-A triad (confidentiality, integrity and availability).
|ISO 27001||ISO 27002|
|An auditing standard based upon auditable requirements||An implementation quide based upon best practice suggestions|
|A list of management controls an organization shall address||A list of operational controls an organization should consider|
|Used as a means to audit and certify an organization’s Information Security Management System||Used as a means to assess the comprehensiveness of an organization’s Information Security Program|
Friday, March 19, 2010
Is Dr. Jim Really a Doctor?
Is Dr. Jim Really a Doctor?
Well, actually, no. But then neither is Lucy van Pelt and she still has a loyal following and can dispense some really excellent and sage advice.
Dr. Jim was given the “handle” The Service Doctor 5 years ago when he became a contributing and featured writer for SupportWorld Magazine. Jim was recognized at a recent HDI event in Sacramento for his 5 years of contributions between 2004 and 2009. Well done, Jim!
Here’s Dr. Jim with his award and flanked by Ellen Donati, HDI Sacramento Chapter President (L) and Brenda Iniguez of Pink Elephant (R).
Jim McKennan is one of Pink’s exceptional consultants and dispenses advice not only in the classroom but on his own blog. I particularly like his entry on creating Raving Fans and boosting endorphins in the process. Can we really make ourselves feel better with an endorphin boosted high by delivering great service to our customers? Probably worth a try.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Celebrating the 14th Annual Pink Elephant IT Service Management Conference, Las Vegas 2010
How things have changed from my first IT conference in 1989. there are so many devices capturing so much media across so many channels now that a rich tapestry of the experience can be created, so those of you who made it can relive the fun and those of you who didn’t can see what you missed. Don’t miss next year.
OK so David didn’t ride in on an elephant his year - there is a recession on you know - but we got to see George in board-shorts; Chris Gardner and Alan Pease blew us away; and a few smart people caught Santana at the HardRock [darn it Brenda you tipped me off then in all the excitement I promptly forgot]
So here, in no particular order, are some of the places where you can share the experience. Send us more!
Thursday, March 04, 2010
There ain’t no ITIL® Certificate hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box 
The topic of this blog isinspired by a panel discussion I was part of at our 14th Annual IT Service Management Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas this past February.
The topic of the panel discussion was The Real Benefits Of Professional Certification. The panel was moderated by Rob England (a.k.a. The IT Skeptic). On the panel were, me, Richard Pharro (APM Group), Aidan Lawes (independent consultant) and Julia Chapelle (Loyalist Certification Services).
The discussions were going well and there was good participation by the audience. The topics were varied and many clarifications provided by the panelists.
I have to admit that towards the end I got flustered. The topic was about the ability to write an ITIL® V3 intermediate certification exam without taking a course. It is permitted to take the Foundation exam without taking a course, but not the Intermediates.
However, why would anyone want to “dumb down” IT’s credibility? Just as we are finally turning the corner, becoming more business focused and recognized by the business as an integral part of the organization’s success - and just as we are getting IT personnel to start thinking in terms of business requirements and business outcomes, this question comes up.
If people are allowed to take an ITIL® intermediate exam without having to take a course, the following is likely to happen. Some accredited training organizations (ATO)s could possibly go out of business unless they go into another direction. Consulting organizations will lose their credibility because they will be regarded as having theoretical knowledge only. The Service Management software tool vendors will be able to make all sorts of claims regarding the compliance or compatibility to the framework. A significant portion of the IT industry will disappear and IT’s credibility is very likely to go down the drain.
If people are allowed to take an ITIL® intermediate exam without having to take a course, it will set the IT industry back about 20 years; right about the time ITIL® was born.
Is there any other businesses group that does not require their members to be properly certified? Spare me the sarcastic comments about so-and-so or about a group you may not like.
How can anyone claim to be an expert in any field without…
a) attending the courses
b) reading the books
c) passing exams
d) practicing the knowledge
e) keeping up-to-date
f) consulting the literature forming their body of knowledge?
Would you consider someone coming out of a trade school such as a mechanic, a dental assistant, an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, etc, to be an expert? I would not. They may be very enthusiastic and be very good at what they do but they lack the so-called “real-world” experience.
I am not implying that some people cannot simply read the book, then take the exam and pass it. Many are capable of achieving this. However, allowing people to take the ITIL® intermediate exams without attending a course would severely undermine the credibility of the whole certification scheme.
Yes there are organizations such as the Project Management Institute® (www.pmi.org) and ISACA®, previously known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, (www.isaca.org) where people can take examinations without taking a course.
However, both these organizations require proof of experience in their domain as well as meeting requirements. It is also strongly suggested that taking a course will greatly increase your chances of passing the examinations.
In the case of ISACA®, the designation is awarded to those individuals with an interest in […] who have met and continue to meet the requirements. Please visit their website for exact details on their various certifications and their requirements.
In the case of PMI®, one has to obtain a credential, prepare for the exam, and maintain their credentials.
ITIL® certification follows a different path but let’s make sure that we play by the rules.
Here is a final thought on this topic. How can anyone claim to be an expert in any field if they don’t put in the sweat equity (effort)?
Q. Will you become physically fit if you buy a membership to a gym?
Q. Will you become physically fit if you buy the latest gym-wear fashion clothes and accessories?
Q. Will you become physically fit if you go to the gym?
Q. Why is the answer no for the above questions?
A. Because you actually have to use the equipment properly, follow a diverse exercise program and exercise on a regular basis.
 Meat Loaf: Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad - song lyrics from the Bat out of Hell Album from Epic/Legacy Records - ASIN: B000056VJ7(www.sonymusic.com)
Monday, March 01, 2010
PinkVERIFY™ Launches As OGC ITIL® Software Scheme Assessor
HP Service Manager 7.1 First Product Assessed
TORONTO, ON – March 1, 2010 – Pink Elephant has officially launched its PinkVERIFY V3.1 ITSM software assessment service as a Licensed Software Assessor under the Office Of Government Commerce’s (OGC) IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Software Scheme. Now, Pink Elephant is able to provide ITSM tool vendors the PinkVERIFY stamp of approval as well as the OGC’s ITIL swirl process compliant bronze, silver or gold logos.
To become a Licensed Software Assessor, Pink Elephant successfully passed a three stage audit conducted by the APM Group. The third stage of the audit was a live pilot of the assessment which Pink Elephant conducted with HP Service Manager 7.1 software.
HP Service Manager 7.1 successfully obtained the PinkVERIFY stamp of approval as well as the Gold OGC ITIL Swirl process compliant logo for Incident, Problem, Change, and Service Asset & Configuration Management.
According to Pink Elephant’s President, David Ratcliffe, this recognition solidifies PinkVERIFY’s reputation in the industry: “We’re pleased that Pink Elephant is now recognized by the OGC and APM Group as a licensed software assessor and that our PinkVERIFY service now incorporates the OGC criteria and requirements of the ITIL software assessment scheme,” he says. “This is a very positive step forward for the industry, not only for tool vendors, but also for users of ITIL compatible software. Congratulations to HP for helping to make history with us.”
The updated version of the PinkVERIFY software assessment service incorporates the full requirements of the OGC ITIL Software Assessment Scheme. It also provides deeper focus on process integration, enabling a tool vendor to further differentiate its tool for the ITIL user market.
“As customers engage in service management projects to align technology and business objectives, this assessment will help validate that a product meets certain requirements to support key technology processes,” said David Flesh, director of product marketing, Software and Solutions, HP. “This latest Pink Elephant validation of HP Service Manager 7.1 is further evidence that this product will help customers meet those objectives.”
For more information about the PinkVERIFY software assessment service, visit http://www.pinkelephant.com or call 1-888-273-7465.
For more information about the ITIL Software Scheme, visit the OGC’s website: http://www.itil-officialsite.com/News/ITILSoftwareSchemeOperationalPilotLaunch.asp
About Pink Elephant
Pink Elephant is proud to be celebrating 20 years of ITIL experience – more than any other service provider. Operating through many offices across the globe, the company is the world’s #1 provider of ITIL and ITSM conferences, education and consulting services. To date, more than 200,000 IT professionals have benefited from Pink Elephant’s expertise. Pink Elephant has been championing the growth of ITIL worldwide since its inception in 1989, and was selected as an international expert to contribute to the ITIL V3 project as authors of the Continual Service Improvement book and through representation on the International Exam Panel. For more information, please visit www.pinkelephant.com.
ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries.
For further information, please contact:
Director, Marketing and Communications
Toll Free: 1-888-273-7465, Ext. 252
This is (almost) not a column about Best Practices
Wow, it is already March 01, 2010. But, how can I write an ITIL-related column after all that has happened over the last five weeks?
First, my wife and I went on a wonderful one-week cruise in the Eastern Caribbean Islands. We enjoyed great food, great weather, wonderful sites, great hospitality, fantastic snorkeling, sailing and very (and I do mean very) relaxing and beautiful beaches.
We did not once speak or even thought about work. The only electronic equipments were my 35mm camera and my wife’s MP3 player. That was it; no laptops, no email, n-o-t-h-i-n-g.
The first two weeks of February were about putting on the final touches for our 14th Annual ITSM Conference in Las Vegas. We then delivered the pre-conference workshops and courses. This was followed by the conference itself, which was a success (as usual – sorry about boasting here). We had great speakers, extremely interesting case studies, and a very busy exhibitor’s hall. As hosts, it is up very early, stand all day, meet and greet people and take care of our customers first, and foremost. I met old friends, made new ones and hey, I learned a lot too.
However, I guess the best part of February were the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia; right in our backyard. Eh, Canada is one huge backyard created specifically, for outdoor activities, fun, friends, and parties.
Not everything went smoothly. The game started on a sad note when a 21-year-old Georgian luger died in a practice run the day before the games began. This was followed by a technical glitch when one of the four pillars for the Olympic flame did not rise as planned. Oh well, you have to expect that Murphy’s Law is bound to show up at some time.
There were many stories of courage under adversity. There were expected and unexpected triumph and losses. Records were broken; childhood dreams were finally realized while some had their dreams shattered; this is what the games are all about.
So, we won at our game, ice hockey. So we had 14 gold medals, a new winter games all time record. Let us not forget the 37 medals won by the USA, also a record. Let us not forget about all the medal winners who won by playing fair. Let us acknowledge the judges and referees who applied the rules fairly and consistently. Let us acknowledge all the volunteers and the hard work done by all over the last seven years to make this dream a reality.
My only disappointment is that the Paralympics do not happen at the same time. These people are athletes who sacrificed just as much as the others did to make it to the games. The summer and winter games should involve both so-called regular athletes and paralympians. Actually, we should simply call all of them Olympic Athletes. Let us do away with the “disabilities” shall we?
You have to recognize and acknowledge that we Canadian know how to party and know how to poke fun at ourselves, all tongue in cheek of course.
What does this have to do with best practices? If you are looking to learn about working together for the greater good, come to Canada, eh, and we’ll show you, eh. If you are looking to learn about great customer service (This is the best practice component) and hospitality, come to Canada, eh, and we’ll show you, eh.
If you are looking a great place for vacationing and for partying, come to Canada, eh, and we’ll show you, eh.
Until next time eh!
One conference slips away and another starts to come together.
It is remarkable how quickly an Exhibit Hall blossoms out of an empty and cavernous room, and how quickly it disappears again. Two hours before the Pink 2010 Exhibit Hall opened, it was still a din of forklift safety-beepers, a pile of cases and pallets and many unassembled displays, and a bustle of roadies, exhibitors and hotel staff assembling reality. Well, what passes for reality in an Exhibit Hall. The “walls” are black curtains, the shiny stands are cardboard and plastic, the tables under the drop-cloths are battered particle-board. It is more like theatre scenery than anything else. A few hours after the doors close, it vanishes in a puff of courier waybills and forklift exhaust.
The conference is over for another year. Extraordinarily, Pink are well advanced in planning next year’s. Same time same bat-channel. Trust me, you need to be at the next conference, Las Vegas, February 20-23 2011. (You can trust me, I used to sell software). I’m not going to say the name of the conference… watch this space for possible rumoured changes.
You need to be there in 2011 because it is one of the best-run, best attended, best-content, best-vibe conferences I’ve been to, and I’ve been to a few. Readers will know I’m no great fan of Las Vegas. I’m too much of an intellectual snob to enjoy the top-side of Vegas, and Vegas is too mild for me to enjoy the underbelly (it’s not prudery that puts me off). That didn’t matter to me at the conference: I existed in a bubble of stimulating ideas, great company and constant good cheer, whether in the Bellagio or out on the Strip. Many of you won’t agree about Las Vegas - it is a big part of the attraction of the conference. That’s great, whatever floats your boat. For the others who are like me, come anyway - Las Vegas is just a raucous rhinestoned backdrop to a great conference. The number of people who have been to three, four or even more of the Pink conferences attest to its value.
Las Vegas actually framed some ideas about ITIL for me. The Bellagio is one of the least-bad-taste venues in town. Las Vegas in winter is almost exactly the same climate as Wellington in summer except without the wind, i.e. about perfect. And I found some great crystal jewelry for our 15th wedding anniversary which was a few days after I got back. So the town was good to me. So was the conference.
Actualy the Bellagio is pretty classy in its own Vegas way. I’m at airport Immigration in Los Angeles trying to get into the USA. The uniformed officer looks at my US address, gives me a hard up-and-down look and says “Bellagio? Is the conference paying for you?”. So obviously it’s a lot classier than I am.
I’d like to thank all the people who introduced yourselves at the IT Skeptic’s booth in the Exhibit Hall or around the conference. Blogging is a lonely one-way game sometimes - it is so wonderful to get real feedback from real people. A big thanks to Chris Dancy and his side-kick Robert for helping me out so much - and all the Pinkers! More thanks goes to them and to many others for fun and friendship. Especially I’m grateful to David and Fatima for being such gracious hosts.
This is sounding like awards night - I’ll be thanking my mother next. This event gave me more ideas and information than a year of web-surfing, more new friends than school, more networking value than LinkedIn, and more fun than two Vegas strippers in a sleeping bag. Be there next year.
Photos by Chris Dancy. See the end of the conference here