ITIL® and Me

In the trenches with ITIL and ITSM.

I’ve been working quite a bit as a ServiceNow developer these days and I couldn’t help but think about…”what if my life was built on ServiceNow?”  Specifically, what would code look like if I were to think the way ServiceNow behaves. For example, someone sent an email asking if a date for next week would be a good time to meet.  I couldn’t help but simply reply with = true.  As a father, I also couldn’t ignore coming up with this nice little script:

if (child.mood.get() == ‘crappy’)
  var excuseToLeave = new GlideRecord(‘things_to_do’);
  while (
     if (excuseToLeave.duration > 120)
       var exitHome = new excusesToExitHome();
Since I’m a perpetual smart-ass, I’m sure I could think of several other “scripts” that would be applicable in life.  Does anyone else have something they’d like to add?  I’m curious to find out.

On April 29th, 2013, Omniquest went to join its buzzword brethren in the technology afterlife.  Originally born on January 24th, 2011, Omniquest came about from the crazy mind of Michael Slabodnick after the helpdesk manager at his local place of employment brought forth a Gartner whitepaper written by Jarod Greene (  Wanting to show off his newly acquired ServiceNow skills, and basically looking to have fun during work while showing how awesome he is, Michael started working on gamification after succumbing to peer pressure in the ITSM world.  Gamification turned into Omniquest after the work caught the ear of one of the directors and she formed a task force to build the concept of gamification into the existing Service Desk.  The code for Omniquest came about from several team collaboration meetings, late-night coding fueled by unknown chemicals, and the general excitement of people changing the way they work and rebelling against the concept of a dreary Service Desk existence.  During its life, Omniquest awarded hundreds of badges and points to the players, but more importantly, it allowed Michael Slabodnick to present at the Pink 12 and Knowledge 12 conferences, which also made for funny and entertaining blog posts.  Gamification is survived by buzzword siblings cloud computing, big data and social media.

So another conference has come and gone.  As in the past, I can’t help but create a post conference wrap-up of lessons learned.  Unfortunately, this one will be a bit different as it’s now from the perspective of someone that has joined the Dark Side.  And yes, not only does the Dark Side have cookies but also you get to wear a cool costume that includes a black mask and cape.  I’m still not sure why some old guy that looks like the (former) pope wanted me to wear it.  Anyway, on to the list…

  1. Life is hard as a vendor:  I always suspected this was the case (as I would always thank vendors for their sponsorship), but now that I went through the gauntlet of manning a booth, I can confirm that yes, it’s exhausting.  Not only is there physical exhaustion of standing for hours on end, there’s the emotional toll of FOMO that comes from missing some very interesting and fantastic content (which seemed to make the requirement to “man” the booth during specific hours as being pointless since no one was around anyway).  And also, let me recap my personality trait; I’m not an outgoing, jolly-go-lucky extrovert of a salesman.  Please don’t get me wrong – I can talk with the best of the neurotic Jews out there and I had a great time making conversation with many attendees, but it is tiring.  Once again, my hats off to the exhibitors (including me).
  2. Don’t ignore the obvious signs of a failing business model:  This doesn’t necessarily have a direct connection to the conference, but I couldn’t resist pointing out an “I was right moment.”  A particular vendor I humorously made fun of during my Post Pink Post for handing out CD’s wasn’t here at Pink 13.  I’m not sure what happened, but my guess is if you have marketing techniques reminiscent of IT organizations from the 90’s, then you probably don’t belong in this decade.
  3. Make sure you network vertically, horizontally and diagonally:  I was making idle chitchat with an attendee and I brought-up the topic of having fun in Vegas (it’s an obvious conversation piece).  The attendee commented that they didn’t have anyone to accompany them on any nightly Vegas activities and that things were pretty boring.  I’ll admit, I could of easily extended an invitation (and I should have), but I didn’t.  On the other hand, they could have as well.  My point is that while attending conferences with a coworker can make the ad-hoc post-conference activities fun, it can also force you to miss out on opportunities to network with other vertical levels, a.k.a., the vendors and speakers.  I’ve been fortunate to meet and socialize with some great people at all levels; attendee, exhibitor and speaker, and I can tell you I’m always able to find some kind of social activity that goes into the morning hours, along with getting to personally know the great minds of ITSM during such activities.  Besides, vendors will often pay for the drinks, especially if you’re a customer.
  4. Don’t upgrade your phone’s software before the conference:  I screwed-up and upgraded my iPhone to 6.1.1 this past Sunday.  Wouldn’t you know it, partway through the conference my battery started draining at an alarmingly fast rate and I became “plug bound.”  As a tip, plan a blackout period for changes to your mobile devices for at least a week before the conference and don’t touch anything during the event.  Your battery will thank you and you’ll have an easier time texting, tweeting, Facebooking, LinkedInning, blogging and generally communicating during the few days when mobility matters.
  5. Jedi Mind Tricks do not work:  Either that, or most of the attendees are strong-minded and can resist my powers of the Dark Side.  Needless to say, I did try on multiple times.  If you are reading this post and can recall a slight memory of a compulsion to visit me during the conference, please let me know…I love ego boosts.
  6. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…until people remind you about it at the next conference:  I think this is self-explanatory, and it’s not always good.  Funny, yes.  Good, no.
  7. The best content does not always draw the best crowds:  I was a bit disappointed to experience this first-hand, and I can’t quite explain it.  I was sitting in Mark Kawasaki’s presentation ( and was fascinated by his experience with unplugging for 6 months and really living in his environment at Emory.  At the same time, I couldn’t believe the room wasn’t packed.  I’m not sure if the content went outside of the normal, conservative pattern of ITSM practitioners, or maybe not everyone knew of the significance.  Either way, it was awesome and I think a lot of people missed out.
  8. My archetype is that of the Royal Guard:  My primary trigger is Mystique and my secondary trigger is Prestige.  I am disappointed there was no personality type of the Rebel Smart-Ass.  I’d really be interested of how close I could get to that personality description.
  9. Irish folk dancers do not have facial muscles:  While they sure move their feet pretty damn fast, I did not see one facial twitch that indicated neurological activity.
  10. Just when I think I have a cool technology prediction that Chris Dancy ( hasn’t considered, he still manages to top it:  Another self-explanatory item.


There you have it, a wrap-up on what I learned while representing the Dark Side at Pink 13.  Did I have fun?  Absolutely (it’s Vegas after all).  Did I learn many new things in ITSM…that’s still open to debate.  While interacting with colleagues in ITSM is the best part of conference, the content I saw was interesting, and some even fascinating (I’m heavily using the word “fascinate” since it was part of a keynote).  As I couldn’t see as much as I wanted, I can’t quite criticize the content as I used to in past blog posts.  Who knows, one day I may even be a speaker at an up and coming conference, and then you’ll know for sure I’ve mastered the art of the Jedi mind-trick.  Until then, you don’t need to see any identification, this is not the ITSM you’re looking for…

I usually like to keep my “end of the year” posts very simple.  I think my entry last year had a theme that went “so long 2011; don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” and if I weren’t lazy I’d go back to read it for certainty.  Fortunately, I’m going to keep with consistency and continue my mantra of not reveling in the past.  So here goes….


See ya 2012!

Hasta la vista!

Auf Wiedersehen!


So long, and thanks for all the fish!


Now that the goodbyes have been said, here are a few things I’m looking forward to in 2013:

1.  Getting back into the ITSM “game:”  I’ll admit it.  After a shooting star launch with gamification in 2012, followed by a slow fiery crash into oblivion near the end of the year, I’m ready to get back into the ITSM contributors circle.

2.  Pushing mobility:  I’ll be honest, I haven’t been very impressed with the mobile offerings out there in the ITSM technology space.  MyIT by BMC looks promising, and I keep hearing about a native iPad app for ServiceNow (which is coming when?!?), but I’m still waiting for my Chanukah gift list to be satisfied.

3.  Honing my ITSM skills:  This one may seem more like an internally focused goal, but I’m selfish so I don’t care.  I’ve recently joined the “Dark Side” of IT (a.k.a. vendors).  While I’m ecstatic to be working with some very brilliant people, I’m also taking an opportunity to learn as much as I can in this IT niche we call ITSM.

4.  More Chuck Norris Posts:  Do I need to explain this one?

5.  Being awesome:  I personally think I was pretty awesome in 2012, but I definitely am going to push the bar of awesomeness to a whole new level in 2013.  I bet you’re sitting on the edge of your seat, just wondering what I’m going to do.  Since I’m horrible at planning, I’ll let you know just as soon as I know…

There you have it.  Another “good bye blank year” post, published out for my 2 or 3 faithful followers to read.  As I’ve written in the past (I finally did reread my 2011 post), adding another number to the year really won’t change much in my IT life.  So bring it on 2013, it’s go time…


(If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a fan of Douglas Adams)