When our CEO, Steve Daly, wrote the first entry for the LANDesk blog, he said that “helping you be successful…is what we’re about at LANDesk.”
Our goal for this blog is to be a showcase for sharing stories about how we have been helping people make their IT operations run better, smoother and more efficiently. But it is also about bringing to you the insight of a wide range of people, all over the globe, who are passionately committed to the same goal. Some will be CIOs. Some will be well known analysts. Some will be…anonymous IT operations staff people.
When someone is passionate enough to set up a twitter account (@ITILgirl) and blog to chronicle her day to day experiences working on the front lines of IT operations (and clever enough to remain anonymous), then that person has a voice and perspective that we thought we should share with you. We think you’ll find her thoughts as insightful as we did.
LD: Did you begin your career wanting to be on the operational IT staff?
ITILgirl: I decided in my teens that I wanted to be in IT. I’d love to work with networks and servers, as that’s where my initial interests lay – but I’m grateful for the support role I have at the moment. I might tweet a lot about bad experiences with project managers and external support staff, but I am generally content supporting and developing. I can’t ever imagine myself in management with any responsibility for people, but I’d love to see how far I can go in a technical role.
LD: As a front line IT person, what is the one thing you would tell senior management and industry thought leaders about the way ITIL actually works as opposed to the theory?
ITILgirl: I actually wrote about this very candidly for a piece of personal work recently.
I feel that the exams are treated as a chore more than anything else, and I know plenty of people that crammed the night before the exam and passed. After that, the system seems to be treated with general apathy and regarded as something of a blocker – too much paperwork, too many meetings, not enough agile deployment and progress. I would say that Incident Management and Service Continuity Management are probably treated with the most respect, while Change Management is something that most people will attempt to circumvent and avoid.
Sorry, one more thing: don’t ever underestimate or neglect your Service Desk.
LD: What is the best thing about being an operation staff person? Or tell us about an occasion where you really made a difference for a client?
ITILgirl: The best part is the little things, like getting thank-you emails from my customers and their managers for well-implemented projects or particularly speedy incident resolution. I print them out and save them for appraisals. Sometimes I even take them home and show my parents, but sadly I’m too old to have things stuck in pride of place on the fridge.
LD: What is the main challenge you face?
ITILgirl: Third parties, by far, are the biggest challenge I face on a daily basis. It’s by no means the fault of the individuals I speak to, but most likely the way their service is managed. I know that the companies I speak to operate with ITSM, because they use familiar words and structures, but probably don’t understand the importance of SLAs and business relationship management. There’s one company that, based on experience, I have decided to always phone about incidents so that they aren’t given the opportunity to ignore my emails for up to 48 hours. I suppose technology doesn’t always equal progress.
LD: Why did you begin to blog and tweet about your experiences? What has the reaction been from the ITIL community?
ITILgirl: I began tweeting when I started revising for my ITIL Foundation exam. I felt that it’s easier to learn when you show an interest in something. I met some cool people. About two years later, finding that people were interested in my comments, I decided to make a separate Twitter account with a blog to match. I take great care to keep it as anonymous as possible while still hopefully being helpful.
The initial reaction was a lot of good-natured sighing and eye-rolling about the name I chose! However, I found that there aren’t a large amount of people like me in front-line technical roles that have any enthusiasm for ITIL, and I’m so glad that I might be helping people understand things from my point of view, and other people like me.
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The opinions expressed in this post are those of ITILgirl and do not necessarily represent those of LANDesk.