Tuesday, 24 April 2007

BCS Service Management Specialist Group Event

Apologies for the lack of posts last week. Just when I thought I had the habit as well!

Last Monday I went into London to an event run by the BCS Service Management Specialist Group as the title of the event piqued my interest: 'IT Service Management, ITIL, ISEB and the BCS '. The group does what it says on the tin. It gets together to discuss and share best practice in Service Management which is MORE than ITIL. Events are normally every month or so at the London BCS offices. If you are interested in joining visit the BCS SMSG website and let them know where you came from ;)

There were nine of us in attendance including the presenter Carol Hulm, Special Project Manager at the BCS.

The main topics of her presentation were:
- ISEB qualification framework evolution
- ITIL v3
- Book launch on 11th May of 'World Class IT Service Delivery' by Peter Wheatcroft
- IT Professionalism

Over the next few blog entries I will address coverage of each of these areas in turn. There were some great questions and answers particularly around ITIL examinations going forward and other ITSM offerings that ISEB may include going forward.

Before leaving I felt compelled to point out that the ProfIT website leaves a lot to be desired and that in my view the BCS professionalism pages were better. Hopefully this will be fed back and we may see some improvement (just call me an optimist!).

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Mind Tools - Kickstart your career

I've been a fan of the work that has been going on over a Mind Tools for many years now and when they launched their 'Career Excellence Club' I had to register to check it out and see whether it would be worth the monthly fee. After 6 months the answer in my view is 'yes'. Being a member gives you access to premium versions of the tools (problem solving, decision making, team leading, etc.), book insights, interviews, etc. The community forums are excellent as members support one another, stimulate new ideas, provide new slants on old ones, motivate one another, etc. It really is one of the best communities out there to my mind for anyone serious about taking a structured approach (or not) to personal development.

The monthly fee is worth it for the weekly Bite Sized Training booklets (usually around 15-20 pages) designed to be worked through within an hour's lunch break that take you through a tool in detail , e.g. providing feedback.

No, I'm not on commission - but perhaps I should be ;)

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Girls and Women in ICT update

It's almost a year since I posted about girls and women working in ICT. Not much seems to have changed in that time from my relatively uninvolved perspective, but things certainly haven't stood still.

It isn't only the UK that has a shortage of girls going into IT careers (we're comparably well off compared to some countries); the European Union are also doing their bit to try and encourage a change. I watched the shadowing video with interest but felt that it really didn't succeed in the way that I think the one over on e-skills UK does.

Speaking of e-skills, the CC4G (Computer Club for Girls) website has had a much needed makeover and there is now some improved content in the way of case studies and links to other sites as well as information for employers who may want to get involved.

Finally, I wanted to mention that from 6th - 8th June in Tunis there is an 'International Colloquium on Empowering Women in Engineering and Technology'. The programme looks quite interesting although I do wonder just how you become one of the 'selected women' :)

Friday, 6 April 2007

IT Profession Update

It's been awhile since I posted about the work of the ProfIT Alliance (partly because things have been a little quiet on the public front). For those who have not heard of the alliance before it is formed of the BCS, e-skills UK, Intellect, and the NCC. They started working together with the primary of creating an IT Profession that is recognised as such in the way that accountants and surveyors are.

In the past week the e-skills sector council published the all new 'IT Profession Competency Model'. The fundamental idea is to recognise areas of specialism in which people can progress without necessarily having to move into management as is normally the case (certainly where I work). There are some staff who really deserve to be renumerated for their level of specialism and currently the only way to achieve this is to apply for a management role for which, in most of these cases, they are not suited. Providing options has got to be a good thing in my book.

For some background read the 'Validating the IT Professionalism Model' report and browse the 'Creating the IT Profession' section on the BCS website.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

On Opportunity

Warning: non-ITIL related reflective post today to match my mood!

What do you do when you are at a crossroads and there is no right or wrong choice, yet one potentially leads to the dark side of the force? How do you decide?

There are lots of useful tools over on Mind Tools to help you with decision making beyond the standard 'Pros vs Cons'.

In my case, today, I chose what I hope is the light. My tool of choice? My gut instinct. I've always been a believer in not simply grabbing opportunities as they arise, but CREATING opportunities for yourself. However, sometimes it is necessary to pass up an opportunity, even one a year in the making, to stay true to yourself. Although hard, remember those old chestnuts:

'Whilst one door closes, another is opening.'
'If opportunity doesn't exist; build a door ...'
'Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.' H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Today I go forward holding fast to the belief that:

'Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.'

I am preparing...