Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Out of contract

It's been an intense year of analysing ITSM data for a large fast-growing enterprise, but the contract is over, the Fairday Research Ltd coffers are suitably replenished and I'm back to exploring people and organisational issues within the ITSM field. In fact, during the course of this contract I sketched the outline of an idea which I look forward to sharing with readers here. It draws upon the previous foci of this blog (culture, motivation, autonomy etc.), but also introduces some new theoretical ideas into the mix. The work pressures during the contract were such that I had a very limited amount of time in which to develop the concept so I have much research and fleshing out to do. As of today (Tuesday) I'm still in post-contract chill mode, but from Thursday I'll be surrounding myself with books and journals in Sheffield University's Western Bank Library (pictured), where hopefully I'll begin tying all the threads together.

As for the contract, it had its pros and cons, much like every other ITSM assignment I've ever taken on, with the additional stress of a 250 mile round-trip commute! There were extremely demanding directors on both the business and the IT sides of the fence. So demanding were they in fact (for statistics, analyses, reports, new initiatives, new processes) that it seemed to me that the organisation had evolved a structure geared in large part to meet those demands rather than using the considerable abilities of the workers to create increased value (via efficiencies, automation etc) and deliver great service. Such an approach is predicated on the idea that the ten people at the top are better placed to innovate than the 500 specialists 'below' them. Such organisational toxicity ultimately helps no one; neither the customers nor the staff, nor ironically the top brass themselves. What CIOs want isn't always what they need...