itSMFsa Event in Cape Town - at Engen

The itSMFsa had an enjoyable and well-attended event in Cape Town in June. I would have written about it earlier, but we've been working to get the new itSMF site into shape so that this can be my first blog entry on the site.

Engen very kindly provided the venue (thank you Natalie for your support with the logistics!) and arranged for some very tasty snacks that we enjoyed as we caught up with fellow members of the itSMF - it was a reunion after quite some time for some of us and we all met new people. It was good to see the level of interest, which became even more apparent during the event with the enthusiasm that greeted the presentations as well as the detailed questions.

Dave Campbell-Watts gave an excellent presentation, titled 'Clash of the Titles'- with impressive graphics - of the work that Engen has been doing in Service Management over the past few years. It was impressive to see how much it has been embedded in Engen's culture and how much it has contributed to improving user and customer satisfaction in various areas. As always, though, there is room for improvement. Dave had an interesting description of how different professional could meet, apparently to achieve the same objective, but with startlingly different perspectives and expectation. He described, amusingly, but accurately, how a Project Manager, a Business Analyst and a Service Designer would arrive, well prepared, from their perspective, to examine requirements with a clear idea of their needs, but end up confused, frustrated or combative when their colleagues revealed quite different expectations and assumptions. Dave made some useful, concrete, suggestions on how this situation could be improved, enabling productive teamwork to be achieved - you can look at his slides in our member section on

I then was pleased to be able to introduce some of the ideas that I've been working on, with the itSMF International publishing team, on a similar theme, but exploring what would be required for an integrated requirements process to be designed and implemented.

The audience had plenty of relevant questions and very useful comments to make and there was a lively discussion of what would the implications of the two presentations would be in practice.

The evaluation sheets revealed that everybody had enjoyed the evening very much - one person who attended described it as 'mind blowing'!

I'm looking forward to the next event that I hope will be soon - we've got some very interesting real life experiences from two different organisations who have been working to implement a Service Catalogue. We'll post the invitation as soon as we've arranged a venue and time.

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