LondonUnderground-1024x683SITS’15 happened last week at Olympia in London, and it was two days of full-fledged ITSM. The ManageEngine booth buzzed with activity. We had a steady stream of visitors checking out ServiceDesk Plus, and our team was busy giving demos, ticking off evaluation checklists, and handing out case studies. We had some very engaging conversations with our customers, listening to product feedback and their stories about ServiceDesk Plus. The two days went in a rush.

The seminars, keynotes, and breakfast briefings were packed to capacity, and everyone seemed busy speaking or listening to someone. The discussions were engaging, no doubt, with perceptions, analysis, trends and predictions thrown. But somehow,  real life lessons and anecdotes, the true fruits of ITSM  expertise and experience were absent from the conversations. In that sense, the stories went missing from SITS’15 – stories of what went wrong in service desks, what went right, what saved the day ,what failed , what was memorable and so on. Practical lessons, period.

But for us the real learning came only after the show wrapped up, the booths torn down, and the floor went quiet. The next day, we visited Piccadilly and were on the way back to the hotel in the London Underground. At the Green Park Station, the train stopped. Shortly came an announcement from the conductor: a train ahead had a technical glitch and ours had to remain at the station for some time. 

She did not have an ETA but kept updating passengers every two minutes that staff was on the issue. Passengers were asked to choose alternate routes if in a rush. After a few minutes and a couple of more announcements, we were on our way again. In the next station, the conductor announced that the service would be terminated at Northfields to avoid the delay cascading to other services. Even in the middle of uncertainty, the glitch was resolved soon, communications were handled well, and the overall service disruption was minimized.

That’s when we realized what  ITSM is all about: the way we handle uncertainties in every day IT. And the ‘ aha’ moment came from the Underground and not hearing out a dozen talks at the show ! It made us realize that real service management goes beyond the books, best practice guides, meeting rooms and lectures. If you have an eye for it, you will find it all around in everyday life and carry the lessons back to the desk. 

What we learned on that afternoon from our experience outdid what we heard in SITS’15. You can drive the crowds to a venue but interest and attendance is driven by content that connects to  the audience: stories of how IT teams overcame everyday challenges with best-in-class ITSM, not the principles themselves in isolation.

Service management has transcended well beyond trade show booths and talking points. It is out in the world because more than anything, good service management – in IT or otherwise is all about common sense: that is keeping the business and end user as the cornerstone of all effort. And what better way to learn it by sharing stories. All of us here are in the quest for better service management, to improve lives in the enterprise with ITSM . And better we shall become, in the way we win IT souls for service management success!