itSMF Communications

Whilst there are some promising signs, communications out of itSMF International to their constituent members are still limited and patchy.

We recently saw our first Board Communications for a while, coincident with Marianna taking over the Chair.

It was followed up by a Communications Strategy, which is great... in principle.

However the Strategy references:

  • itSMF Change Program
  • Governance Plan
  • Chapter Maturity Model
  • 2011 Survey of Members’ Needs

Want to read those too? Good luck with that.

In fact, how many itSMF members have seen any of the following?

  • Minutes of any itSMF meeting at all, from AGM down
  • Financial accounts of our association
  • Rules of association, bylaws, code of ethics... any form of governance at all

A Communications Strategy is a good place to start but can we as members please please see some actual communication, after years of waiting. An occasional Boardtalk and sporadic posts on itSMFI are all very well, but there are a large number of informational artifacts produced within itSMF which never see the light of day, for no good reason that I can see. There is no transparency to the workings of itSMFI.

As well as some transparency, the second key overhaul needed in itSMF communications is a better mechanism of distribution to the people who are supposed to matter: the members. The Communications Strategy leaves the onus on the Chapter Leaders in a trickle-down model of communication. I'd have thought it was pretty clear that this model is dysfunctional. It also makes little sense for over 50 chapters to invent and create their own local distribution mechanism. itSMFI owns a website and a newsletter. I don't see either of them mentioned in the Communications Strategy as mechanisms for the Board and IEB to communicate directly with members. In fact there is NO mechanism in the Strategy for the Board or IEB to communicate directly with members. This strikes me as odd.

I give the new Strategy 5 out of 10, and current itSMFI communications performance a 2 out of 10.

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