So it’s been a very long time. What’s new?

I now work for a different team, no longer in Live Service and with no absolute idiots in it or in charge of it. I also work largely from home. The difference in my working life is unquantifiable. As well as the obvious things such as better coffee etc, there’s the feeling of empowerment and also of being trusted. It’s a few years since I felt those things in the Home Office.

A downside to working from home is I cycle much less which has resulted in a 12lb weight gain :(. It’s still worth it though, I don’t think you can put a figure on working from home.

I’m also doing Sober October. I started early so I’m already on day 15. I also have the lurgy from hell so I haven’t really enjoyed my sobriety yet.

Oh and we have a tortoise

And a picture of beer for old times sake


First of all, merry Christmas and all that stuff.

Second, I’ve finally escaped from Incident Management and thought I’d share a couple of ideas. When I first said I wanted to leave, I was told that it was because everyone blames IM. To an extent this is true, IM is the front line of an ITIL based organisation but I think I’ve proved that if you take the time to build strong relationships across your stakeholders, there is little blame and a lot of understanding. It is vital that your customers trust you to do the best for their business, that your suppliers trust you to work with them towards the fastest, best resolution (purely the fastest isn’t always the best and the best will frequently take too long) and your other stakeholders, particularly management trust you enough to let you get on with it without constantly asking “What’s the latest?”. So let’s take these groups in order.

Many people in IT still seem to forget it’s the customer, that’s our raison d’etre. You need not only to understand their business: when will they start making noise; when will it impact their business; and when will they escalate but you also need to know the people: are they laid back; pressured; need control etc and to do this you have to meet them. I cannot over emphasise the need for face to face contact as regularly as you can make possible, VC will do if you can’t make it in person. This needs to be backed up with other forms of contact : email, messaging etc. Now why contact a customer outside of an incident? Because you don’t have time for relationship building during the incident. Once you’re in an incident your customer has to trust you otherwise they will involve themselves and that will disrupt your management of said incident. Relationship building takes time but it’s worth it. If you’re doing it right, when you drop in on a customer the first question won’t be “What’s wrong?” But “Would you like a coffee?”. Work on it, it pays massive dividends.

Suppliers are strange beasts. They have to meet their contract with you but they are also made up of people. People will tend (most of them) to try to be helpful. If you ask a question, they will try to answer. If they ask a question try to answer. If you beat a supplier over the head constantly with their contract then they will start to work to the contract. When you need a favour in the middle of an incident isn’t the time to find out that your supplier is sticking to their SLA. Again it’s about building that relationship and also trust.

Trust. Many people look, naturally, at the cause of an incident and blame the relevant supplier. Why, it’s a waste of oxygen. The incident has happened, is resolved and is now done. Blame gets you nowhere. Your supplier, all your suppliers, have to trust you not to kick them when they are down. The role of IM is to look at what went wrong, particularly from a process point of view, and work with suppliers to improve so it doesn’t happen again.

Or more particularly management. Communication,communication, communication. If you can tell them what they need to know before they ask , they won’t ask. If you’re bad at this (I am very bad at this) task someone in the incident team to handle it. Basic update questions will slow you down so head them off.
I still believe Incident Management is a more blunt instrument than Problem Management. However neither is rocket science. It all comes down to talking to the right people at the right times in the right context. Good luck
Now because I am incredibly happy to be leaving Incident Management, here’s a picture of beer

So it’s been a long, long time since I posted. Currently sat in a Premier Inn in Liverpoool waiting for dinner. I’ve just arrived for a meeting. Today has been productive, met a supplier with whom I have a very good relationship. The way my section at work is currently run has jeopardised that but have been assured all is good.

In personal news my back is sore . I don’t know if I pulled something during a vomiting illness a couple of weeks back but hey ho.

I’m now about to venture out into Liverpool alone for the first time in 25 years. I’ve been here in that time but always with other people. It’s changed massively, going to go to a craft beer pub rather than the old Baltic Fleet ( that was a fun place, ask for details).

I think there will be more to this post but after the craft beer. Now can I walk through Liverpool with an iPad without being mugged?

So made it to the Dead Crafty Beer Company. These places exist when I lived here. The only downside is very few pints, all sold in two thirds but it’s very good beer. Currently having a Kernel but the menu is already tempting me.
So what else? Back is sore and painkillers make me feel ill. Work is shite but hey ho. People who know nothing are treated as expert while I languish at the bottom of the tree. It will all come around eventually though. Or I’ll go contracting at £500 a day, crazy money until you think about pensions etc.  

Well work actually managed to get worse. We’ll see what tomorrow brings but I doubt it will be good.

So 2015 wasn’t a great year for blog posting but let’s see what this year can bring.  There’ll be the usual stuff: working; cycking; trying to drink less etc and the odd rant about drivers in London. There may even be some rants against cyclists as I’ve encountered a few complete muppets lately both on the road and on the Web.

So first up, the job. As of tomorrow I stop being a problem manager and move to incident management. IM is much faster paced as it’s about restoring service as quickly as possible. PM is slower, maybe more analytical but with less outside contact. I’m looking forward to the change but my specialism is problem management so it will be interesting. I also move from being a team lead to being a trainee. I understand IM and have done it as a duty manager but there are all those little things I need to learn.

On the cycling front, I was just getting back into it last year when I suffered from a sore arm. The tests showed that among other things I have an irregular heartbeat. There are still tests to be done but I’ve decided I need to get out there cycling now

rather than later. Kicking stuff off with a trip to Whitstable next week and I’m also aiming for a century a month in 2016.

On the drinking front, I’m trying a new plan. I’m going to drink less but with a better quality of beer. So it’s out with 12 cans of Kronenbourg and in with speciality beers



Well it’s been over a year this time since I last posted. I’ll be trying to write more in the future but this is just a short holding post really.

I’ve apparently got an irregular heartbeat so I’m currently waiting to see a cardiologist. I’ve also had lots of problems with my arm which mean I’ve not been out on a bike much but hopefully will get out soon.

I’ve got a new tablet arriving this week which will allow for more posts on here

Been a while again, must get better at this blogging lark. There will be another blog quite soon though regarding a particular phone recycler who I think people should steer clear of. I’m waiting for my cash to arrive though before I openly lay into them. Watch this space

I’ve done a bit more cycling lately and am getting back into the groove. New tyres should arrive for Lelly today and I’ve got a couple of weeks off soon so will be doing a lot more.

Also I went to see the Tour de France when it came through London the other day.  Below are some pics and a video.

2014-07-07 12.13.05 2014-07-07 12.35.12 2014-07-07 13.47.27 2014-07-07 13.47.43 2014-07-07 13.48.04 2014-07-07 13.49.37 2014-07-07 13.50.02 2014-07-07 13.50.52 2014-07-07 13.51.15 2014-07-07 13.53.28 2014-07-07 13.53.52 2014-07-07 13.53.53 2014-07-07 13.56.40 2014-07-07 13.56.41 2014-07-07 13.56.59 2014-07-07 13.57.04 2014-07-07 13.57.05 2014-07-07 13.57.24 2014-07-07 13.57.26

Well maybe not a video. I’ll work on that.

Well I’m getting on ok with the iPad. Getting the hang of the different apps and the different experiences to Android.

I’m struggling to get used to the breadmaker though but the last one is looking ok as it starts to bake. The first one


The second and third ones didn’t turn out so good though


On a more positive note I also managed 50 miles on Lelly yesterday for the first time since my last gout attack. Hopefully all is now well and I’ll be fit for the FNRttC on Friday night.

Also positive is my latest bout of not drinking is going ok but it’s early days.