ITSM Antipodean Podcast Episode 29


Month in Review
Tristan has nothing to say! He has been busy ‘doing’ service management. Fantastic to see Chris Dancy in WIRED magazine talking about Quantified Self.

Rob attended Pink13 in Vegas Baby! Rob reckons this is ‘one’ of ‘the’ conferences. Couple of thousand people in attendance with 5 major keynotes. Big message throughout the conference was people, people, people. Another highlight is Rob’s extension of the olive branch to DevOps community. TSO twitches its legal muscle with Rob.

Karen is happy that a large Australian federal government department bought 20 copies of her Balanced Diversity publication.

The Real World of Change and Release Management

Special guest Rebecca Wilson talks about her Change and Release Management journey. Rebecca is a manager within service management at the Inland Revenue (IR) in NZ. She has accountability for change management, release and deployment and service asset & configuration management. Rebecca joins us to let us about her world, the challenges, the successes and the pitfalls to avoid.

IR is responsible for collecting $60 billion AUD per annum and has IT assets valued at about $1 billion AUD. Process around 500 non-standard changes per month 350-500 releases per annum. The CMDB contains around 21,000 CIs that hasn’t been touched for a while! Rebecca has a team of 7 that gives resource challenges.

IR is unique in that it hands out money as well as bringing it in!

Frameworks aren’t enough. It’s about culture and hand over to production.

Change Management started as approval to deploy. It was the ambulance at the top of the cliff!

“Filling in the change form takes 15 minutes but we can argue about it for 4 hours”.

Need people to understand it’s not the Change Manager against the person submitting the change, its about us all working together to do the right thing.

Release Management took learning from Change Management. But it started like a trip to the Principle’s office! It did have senior management commitment. Started basically and grew from there. CTO said that SDLC should be mandatory not optional. This was mandated about 18 months ago.

You need to have a guiding coalition or one or two success stories under your belt. An ethos was to keep asking ‘how was it for you?’ The team would challenge each other before engaging stakeholders. Consultation was key.

If you know that what you are doing is inherently common sense, start small and share success stories. The team internally modeled the behavior they wanted to see.

Adopt the 80/20 rule – it doesn’t have to be perfect from day one. This can be a hard mentality for IT folk to change.

Tap into other people’s passion. Let’s look good together. Be consistent in the elevator speeches. All of Rebecca’s team has a consistent message.

Reward the right behaviours not the wrong ones. Beware of those with the secret password – the phrase that pays!!

Advice – you should attend Rebecca’s session at the itSMF New Zealand Conference. Don’t over engineer the process. How many planes are trying to land on your runway? Get some of the people that are passionate to spread the word. Don’t have a board full of devil’s advocates, as you will never approve a change. Get the right people on the team. Get first principles right and the process will take care of itself.

Sometimes you do your best work from a dark place!

Our role is just to lift up rocks. Service management just puts sunlight on stuff.

A quote for the coffee mug is “But it’s not really a change”.

We hope to hear Rebecca at the upcoming itSMF Australia Conference as well as New Zealand.

Pick of the Month

DevOps day. Rob is going and possibly in disguise! Keep out of town as Rob tries reconciliation.

Tristan has found an app called “Kanban for 1”.

Booby(s) of the Month

Disgruntled employee spends 3 years destroying work computers with Cillit Bang – a caustic cleaning fluid.

CSC” article and Rob’s review of it.


The team will record the Episode 30 on 27th March 2013.

Suggestions for guests and podcast content to


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