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Minimising the Risks Associated with Change

itSMF UK, the UK’s largest service management user group, hosted its Change, Configuration and Release Management seminar on 14th June in London, targeted at service managers who want to ensure that changes are successfully released into the live environment with minimal risk.

Key speakers included Mal Young from the Land Registry, who discussed the creation of a culture of excellence in a high performance organisation; and Richard Hawthorn from HM Revenue and Customs who spoke about the implementation of successful changes in a complex environment. Steve Jones from Aviva explained how to design, implement and maintain an accurate, effective configuration management database; and independent consultant Caspar Braithwaite the journey from configuration management to knowledge excellence.R Gurney

The event was kicked off by Mal Young from The Land Registry on the topic of “Standing out from the crowd as a high performance organisation”. His enthusiastic and enigmatic delivery provided an inspirational insight into how outstanding change, configuration and release can be achieved by having the right tools, the right approach (ITIL) and the right attitude

  • Accentuate the positive
  • Eliminate the negative
  • Latch on to the affirmative
  • “Don’t mess with Mister In-Between”!

sentiment echoed in the Bing Crosby sound-bite Mal shared with the audience who were treated to a master class from a real SME – if he’s the ‘Mister In-Between’ we can learn a lot from him, he’s most definitely not to be messed with!

Richard Hawthorne was next to present, and his confident style, whilst clearly the product of extensive experience, could also perhaps be attributable to the knowledge that his team walked away with the Project of the Year award at the itSMF awards presentation, “Building for successful change in a complex environment”, was the story behind their success. His message was clear, success lies in having the right process, good training, a desire for continuous improvement and the assurance that comes from external validation. However, he was quick to share his belief that these success factors are only achievable with the right mix of passion, trust, energy and co-operation. The story at HMRC made an interesting the picture we had seen with their sister government agency, The Land Registry demonstrated whilst change, configuration and release management may follow similar approaches to meet the specific needs of the organisation is crucial.

Steve Jones from Aviva opened his presentation on “Designing, implementing and maintaining an accurate and effective CMDB”, by confessing that this was the first time he had presented – but you would never have guessed! He shared Aviva’s experiences in developing their successful development and introduction of a CMDB in a relaxed and informative style which made for an interesting and engaging session which generated a lot of audience interest and participation. more from Steve and the Aviva team at future events as their journey to embed the CMDB continues.

Rounding the day was Caspar Braithwaite, who presented the route from Configuration Management to Knowledge Excellence in his own individual, entertaining style.  Amongst Caspar’s key messages were retaining executive sponsorship throughout your journey and importance of not just gathering data and producing information but disseminating the knowledge too.  Caspar’s final words of wisdom were quoting former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his appraisal of “Known unknowns” and “Unknown unknowns”!

Martin Neville, CTO and Head of Service Management at the Audit Commission and a member of itSMF UK’s Events Committee, commented on the seminar:

“IT departments are constantly working to keep up with the pace of change. But this is not without risk: most incidents are caused by a change to the live environment. Balancing the need for change with the need for stability is one of the biggest challenges facing IT departments today. Good change, release and configuration practice and procedures help reduce the risks.”

For more information about the itSMF UK seminar series, or if you are interested in attending, please contact Teresa Corre at the itSMF UK office on 0118 918 6500 or [email protected]

For further press information, contact [email protected] or call 0118 900 1134.

About the itSMF UK
Established over 20 years ago, the itSMF UK boasts over 12,000 members, 60 percent of which are from FTSE 100 companies spanning all vertical markets in the UK.  The itSMF UK’s raison d’être is to help organisation and individuals deliver operational efficiency, service improvement and best practice and standards in IT Service Management.  The itSMF UK connects IT professionals with appropriate knowledge, networks and training programmes to help them better understand complex evolving IT infrastructures.  Through the itSMF members can gain and learn from the experience of thousands of their IT peers.  itSMF UK members are entitled to significant discounts on the latest ITSM publications and events, including seminars and an industry-leading Annual Conference, plus free attendance at Regional meetings and Special Interest Groups (SIGS).  To find out more please go to www.itsmf.co.uk or call 0118 918 6500.

By Rosemary Gurney, member of the itSMF UK Management Board and ITIL Training Consultant at Global Knowledge UK