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Centaurs: Organisational Change Management & horse riding.

Centaurs: Organisational Change Management & horse riding.

Part of the problem with organisational change is perception. People see it as something you do, like driving a car, or riding a bicycle. It isn't, though, like that, it's more like riding a horse.

If the horse wants to make a dash for home, or throw you into the ditch, that's what it'll do.

You have to help the horse see things your way, and agree to go where you want it to go, and you have to be aware that horses get tired, and need feeding, because, if you don't feed them, rest them, and give them time to play, they become sullen, resentful, uncooperative and, eventually, die.

It's also best not to walk behind a horse - with organisations it isn't alway obvious where the behind is. [though you might guess]

If you wish to be good at organisational change, you need the equivalent of riding lessons - and, if you've learned to ride a horse, you'll know that riding lessons involve lots, and lots of practice.

You also learn that you can't ride a horse on autopilot. You have to be one the horse and aware of it's every twitch and mood. You have to be fully engaged with the horse - with top riders, the horse and the rider seem to be one creature, with one mind.

Some believe that that is where the myth of the centaur came from - seeing horses ridden so that they looked like one creature, part horse, and part man.

That's the aim. To be like that, when you work to change an organisation.






Searching for Case Studies: Invitation to participate in a PhD study

Hi Everyone

I am a student studying towards a Doctorate in Information Systems at the University of Cape Town and I am inviting companies to participate in my research study. The topic of my study is: Towards Understanding Information Technology Service Management Framework Adoption.

The researcher guarantees anonymity of the names of the participants and the name of organisation which will strictly be used for the sole purpose of the aforementioned research report. The first part of the study will be a survey to be distributed to the whole IT Department. The survey is approximately 4 - 10 minutes long.  The second stage of data collection will involve interviews with the few selected people that are conversant with the ITIL framework adoption. The interview process will take about 35 minutes.

If your company/organisation is willing to help, please contact me through any of the following

e-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Yours faithfully

 Carrington M. Mukwasi


Wikipedia project

Appeal for help

It's not a good time to start, I know, but the new year is, and it's not far away. I also shouldn't be thinking of new projects when my plate is already too full.
Still, I think this needs to be done. If anybody is interesting in helping me, so it's a team effort, I think it would be done as a much better job, and it'd be less work for everybody.

What's the problem?

Wikipedia. Well, there's nothing wrong with wikipedia itself, but the articles on wikipedia that cover the sort of things we discuss here are a mess. I think this is a pity.
I'd like to put together a team, to start work tidying up all the relevant articles on wikipedia.
The aim is not to abuse any copyrighted information, nor to replace, or compete with, any published guidance.
It would be good, though, to be able to include information from other initiatives, such as IT4IT and the ASM to the mix - as well as having good articles on recent areas of interest, such as SIAM.

How would we do it?

Once we have a team, we'd, together, agree priorities. We'd then produce a short-term, medium-term, and long-term plan of what needs to be done.

The short-term aim would be to remove out-of-date material, improve current citations, and provide some coherent linkage through categories.

The medium term aim would be to have a good set of articles that would help introduce somebody to the field, but, also, be a reliable source of information for a practitioner to look up details.


This is not an advertising initiative. Wikipedia is not there as an advertising medium. It's there to inform. So articles need to be objective, and independent, as far as possible.

Are you interested in helping?

If so, wonderful! Even if you haven't much time, just a few minutes a day, of well-directed work, can make a bit difference.


Please contact me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


itSMFsa Notice of AGM


Notice is hereby given for the

IT Service Management Forum of South Africa

2015 Annual General Meeting


Wednesday 9 December 2015
17H30 FOR 18H00

EY (Ernst & Young)

102 Rivonia Road, Sandton,

Attendance is open to all interested parties, however voting is restricted to fully paid-up members only.

To confirm your attendance, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, company and contact telephone number.

Please Note

  • Although Corporate members are entitled to a maximum of 1 effective vote, any number of their employees may attend the Annual General Meeting providing that their presence does not hinder proceedings.
  • A member is defined as a fully paid up member for 2015.
  • Should a fully paid up member wish to receive a copy of the Annual Financial Statements for the 12 months ended 31 December 2014, kindly contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a copy.
  • For a nomination to be valid, the completed and signed nomination form together with all the required information must be received by itSMFsa via email, by close of business on 30 November 2015. Please note that Nominations will only be considered as received once confirmation has been sent to the originator.
  • Nominations will not be accepted if the nominee is of the same organisation as any current board member; however if a current board member has resigned, then nominations from the same company will be accepted.
  • A fully paid-up member unable to attend the meeting may appoint a proxy to attend and vote on their behalf. A Proxy Form may be downloaded from PLEASE NOTE: PROXY FORMS WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE FROM 1 December 2015 ONCE ALL NOMINATIONS FOR NEW DIRECTORS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED.
  • For a proxy to be valid, the completed Proxy Form must be received by itSMFsa via email, no less than two days before the time appointed for the holding of the Annual General Meeting i.e. 7 December 2015. Please note that Proxies will only be considered received, once confirmation has been sent to the originator.
  • To renew your membership for 2016, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

SMEXA '15 Speakers & Presentations


Being the largest IT Service Management Exhibition in Africa, SMEXA15 assumes a different format this year, being a compact, one-day event. SMEXA15 promises an exciting line-up of Service Governance presentations.
The Conference and Expo is brought to you with the support of EY and the following sponsors:
Platinum Sponsor: HP
Gold Sponsors: APMG
Silver Sponsors: Marval Africa and Thinking Dimensions

SMEXA '15 Speakers & Presentations


Welcoming address (Pieter Roos - itSMFsa chair)


1.   The impact of digital on service governance (Manti Grobler – EY)


Business is becoming increasingly digital, responding to the capibilities of smart machines, the Internet of Things, big data, cloud computing and social media.  

At the same time, organisations are embracing the digital workplace with flexibility around how employees work.  IT organisations are required to rethink the way they have operated for some time in order to exploit the opportunities and respond to the challenges of the new world we are facing.


2.   The new style of IT and how it shapes business (Kevin Leslie – HP) | The #BigData Service Desk.   Speakers – (Kevin Leslie HP and Charl Joubert University of Pretoria)


Kevin Leslie brings a unique perspective to the ITSM business .  It  should be seen as a  business  not an academic exercise.  Up to 2008 Kevin had leadership roles in HR, ERP, CRM, Marketing Automation,  PPM and eBusiness platform vendors such as Oracle , SAP, Aprimo and Mercury.  Since 2008 Kevin has had various  EMEA leadership roles at HP Software that has always included ITSM.  He has worked with the largest customers such as Russian Railways (1 million employees) to SMB customers with 5 user help desks.   He has consistently brought a business focus to ITSM, allied to a customer dedication, and a passion for innovation.


The #BigData Service Desk is delivering business metrics unheard of with legacy service desk tools .   

Charl Joubert has been at the forefront of applying innovation at the University of Pretoria.  

This session will share: 

·        The OOTB use cases that have transformed both on-premise and Cloud based service desks.

·        The  business impact

·        The best practice  adoption


3.   Professional services – are we professional enough? (Nigel Mercer – APMG)


In a world where professional service providers are increasingly required to assist their clients in navigating the changing technology landscape, skills need to keep up if we are going to meet such demands.  

Relying on qualifications that were relevant a few years ago to keep us going, is not longer good enough.


Morning tea


4.   Introduction to service governance (Peter Brooks – itSMFsa board member)


Peter recently published his latest book, titled 'Adopting Service Governance'.  

Peter will demystify the term and introduce practical suggestions on how service governance practices could best be established


5.   Roles, responsibilities and competencies for major incident management (Adriaan du Plessis – Thinking Dimensions)


Successful major incident management can often be described as chaos countered by wisdom.  

Organisations that fail to prepare for major incidents could end up having to deal with uncontrolled chaos.  

You will realise the value of preparation when next your roles, responsibilities and competencies are tested and stand up to the challenge.




6.  The cost of poor service governance (Marina le Roux - Pink Elephant)


Failing to invest in service governance could result in some unforeseen negative business impact.  

This session focuses on the challenges, tools and techniques to proactively establish and maintain effective service governance practices.


7.   Integration is key in Service Governance (Ed Carbutt - Marval)


Will the efforts to succeed in Service Governance result in the same challenges as those experienced over the years with many ITIL adoptions and COBIT implementations?  

This session focuses on the importance of integrating people, processes and technology, and how these contribute to increased business value and effective governance.


8.   Too much or too little (Johann Botha – Get-IT-Right)


As valuable as service governance might be, undue bureaucracy stifles service delivery and raises costs.  

Finding the balance between regulatory compliance and sound governance on the one hand, and the cost of governance, is becoming a fine art.


After noon tea


Panel discussion - chaired by Peter Brooks


Closing address - Peter Brooks


Drinks and post-conference networking



DATE: 23 September 2015

VENUE: EY, 102 Rivonia Road, situated conveniently across the Gauteng station
RSVPClick here to register


Directions to SMEXA'15



Adopting Service Governance -- Governing portfolio value for sound corporate citizenship

The ITIL book "Adopting Service Governance -  Governing portfolio value for sound corporate citizenship" is going to be published by AXELOS on the 11th of August.

There is a 10% pre-publication discount - order the book here, specifying the code ASG1 until the 10th of August 2015:

There was considerable interest shown at the well-attended AXELOS webinar, with good questions that the author answers.

The AXELOS webinar is here:

There is also a short introductory film, showing screenshots of the fictitious company used in the examples in the book. This shows the company, discusses its decision, and shows its service portfolio. This gives an idea of how a governing body, such as the board of directors, can, in practice, set up a Service Portfolio, and use it to govern the organisation through understanding the value / cost ratio of its services.

The film is here:

There is a blog on "Delivering organisational value through service governance':

There is also a blog on 'Issues in corporate governance and service governance as a solution' here:

Service Governance is the theme of the itSMF South Africa this year, and it is being seen as a way to communicate a means to govern to the board of directors, and a way to understand that ITIL provided a governance framework, with all the management advice required to make it practically successful.



What is a Service?

What is a service?


Large fleas have lesser fleas,

Upon their backs to bite 'em,

Lesser ones have lesser ones,

And so on, ad infinitum.



The problem:


The Adaptive Service Model (ASM), produced by the Taking Service Forward initiative (TSF) does an excellent job, resting, as it does, on the shoulders of many others who have worked to define services before. It shows how a service interacts with resources, service suppliers and providers, and the other essentials to deliver value. The site is, and the latest diagram is:




The difficulty is how to define the service itself. There are many different sorts of service, and they all must be served (if you excuse the term) by the definition. For example:

Accounting services

Architectural services

Building services

Car services

Catering services

Cleaning services

Clinical services

Currency conversion services

Dealing services

Delivery services

Electronic services

Financial services

Insurance services

Laundry services

Legal services

Manufacturing services

Pathology services

Personal services

Police services

Prison services

Rental services

Room service,

Technical services

Technical services

Wreck recovery services


..And many more. How is it possible to have a definition that encompasses all these, without it being horribly complicated with lots of exclusions or possible alternatives?


There are other requirements of the definition, including:


  • Not confusing 'service' with process, activity or procedure

  • Not getting involved in trying to distinguish 'produce' & 'service'

  • Making it, if possible, easy to understand and remember


What about using a recursive definition?


It has been done before. For example:


Gnu: Gnu is not Unix

Recursion : See Recursion

There's a problem with these two, they go on, like the fleas, ad infinitum.


Mathematicians and programmers have known a solution to this for some time – mathematicians call it 'induction', rather than recursion, but it's the same thing. The solution, is to have an end-stop. Like this:

Calculate N! – that is N x (N-1) x (N-2) x …. x 1 [ 6! = 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 720

A recursive solution could be:


Function factor(N) returns an integer

if N > 1 then N * factor(N-1)


return 1


If you called the function like this:

Print factor(6)

Then the answer would be 720.

Definition of a service:

The Adaptive Service Model describes the context within which a service exists. The service is either:

An Atomic Service (or quantum service)


A service that is supported by other services that contribute to it delivering value.

Definition of an 'Atomic/quantum service':

An Atomic/quantum service is a service at the lowest level of useful description for the circumstances.


The picture below shows the breakdown of a service into its component services. It only goes down one of the trees to the bottom (and there could be services below that), to give the idea.

Usually it would be silly to go below the e-mail service for most purposes, but it's useful to see that you can go as far as you want, if it is useful for a particular purpose.