Thursday, 31 December 2009

Futures 1: Women In IT

We're on the cusp of a new decade. I've been allowing myself to think creatively about the ways in which people aspects of ITSM may change in the coming years. This is important, because as alluded to in some of my earlier blog entries below, the direction in which we are heading (values, principles etc.) is equally as important as the everyday tools, processes and technology that we use to do our jobs. I hope this stimulates thought and discussion. Oh and Happy New Decade!


University of Sussex campusI often sing the praises of the multi-disciplinary education that I received at the University of Sussex in the early 1990s. I 'majored' in Social Psychology but was required to take extra courses based on the focus of the faculty that ran the major. I was located in the School of Social Sciences, therefore I was offered and took 'minor' units in politics, history and sociology amongst others. All of these courses were interesting, but the work that I was most proud of was an essay examining eating disorders. As this issue affected (and still affects) mainly women it opened up a whole new literature for me: feminism. I read Susie Orbach's Fat is a Feminist Issue (which I didn't really take to) and countless other feminist critiques of male society which I found myself fascinated by.

A particular sentence that I read for this essay left a lasting impression upon me. Frustratingly, the author and title of the book eludes me. I've even retrieved the old essay and can't find the reference, I can only guess that it was a quote contained within Chernin (1986), Orbach (1979;1984) or perhaps Fallon, Katzman & Wooley (1994). This sentiments initially irritated me but I subsequently came to realise that it was in fact brave, hopeful and futuristic. The female writer said something like: 'why should we aim for mere equality with men, we can be so much better than that'.

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Beginning Of Great Things

It's been a tiring week. Firstly I had to brush up on my PHP and Javasript knowledge in order to create an online dashboard for a client. I finished the task and I'm quite pleased - it captures important information about all of their KPIs on one screen. Then it was time to do the company accounts and chase payments (shudder) - no intrinsic motivation to be found there! I then had to present to a gathering of IT folk about the (neglected) people aspects of this industry. Then it was my birthday: cue late nights, imbibing, weekend breaks etc. So while the wife sleeps off the excess, I'm using the wonderful computing facilities provided by the hotel to blog. A bit cheeky really seeing as the sleeping Mrs is the one paying for the break, so if this entry ends abruptly it means that she's woken up and ordered me off the computer.

On the way up to Leeds I was musing on what it would take to make IT leaders seriously consider different approaches to the people side of their organisations. Such musings were triggered by the response to my midweek presentation. There is no doubt that people were interested; the discussion after my speech was longer than that prompted by the previous two speakers combined. However despite the interest, I'm not sure that people get what a couple of academically trained psychologists can do to help.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Plus Ca Change...?


Obama liked it, and the IT service management community like it too. It seems that change really was the hot topic of 2009. Of course we're not talking political change or RFC-type technology change - it's organisational change that is the new revelation in our industry. Of course it may have something to do with the V3 Service Transition volume introducing models such as Kotter's eight-stage process for change into the ITIL framework. However, irrespective of the forces that have construed to make this such an important area all of a sudden, the ITSM community may need to stop and think about this for a bit.