Rob England





Rob England B.Sc., CITP is an independent management consultant, coach, trainer, and commentator based in Wellington, New Zealand. He usually works with his partner, Dr Cherry Vu. Together as a team, they brand themselves as Teal Unicorn, transforming organisations to New Ways Of Working And Managing.

Rob is an internationally-recognised thought leader in DevOps and IT Service Management (ITSM) and a published author of seven books and many articles. He is best known for his (now retired) controversial blog and alter-ego, the IT Skeptic. He speaks regularly at international conferences.

He has owned his own consulting company, Two Hills, since 2005. Before that, he had technical, management, and solutions roles for twenty years in the software industry.

Rob labels himself as an "anticryptoequinologist". (He's interested in ways of working for horses not unicorns.)

Since founding in 2005, the motto of his company, Two Hills, has been "Sensible Business Practices".


Rob is a contributor to The DevOps Handbook, and to ITIL (2011 Service Strategy book, and ITIL4 High Velocity IT book), and a lead author of VeriSM. Rob was awarded the inaugural New Zealand IT Service Management Champion award for 2010 by itSMFnz, and made a Life Member in 2017. His book, co-authored with his partner Dr Cherry Vu, The agile Manager (small a) has all-five-stars reviews

Rob speaking
He provides local consulting and training to a number of business and government clients in Wellington, on enterprise-level agility (new ways of working and managing), IT strategy, governance, transformation (especially DevOps), and Service Management (ITSM) topics. He also specialises in helping change IT people, through a behavioural change programme, workshops, and structured courses such as The Seven Tasks of EnGrok. Clients include American Field Service, ANZ Bank, CCDHB, Department of Internal Affairs, Health Intelligence, Housing Corp, Hutt Valley DHB, Inland Revenue, Kiwibank, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Primary Industries, Ministry of Social Development, NZ Police, NZ Transport Authority, Site Safe, Statistics New Zealand, Taranaki DHB, Telecom/Gen-i, Telstra/Vodafone, WelTec/Whitireia polytechnics. He delivers some services through partners HYPR and Macanta.

Rob is one of New Zealand's first Chartered IT Professionals (CITP), a global accreditation. He has a

  • B.Sc. in Operations Research
  • ICAgile Certified Professional - Business Agility Foundations
  • Open Space in Organisations
  • DevOps Foundation Certificate (certified to instructor level),
  • Certified Agile Service Manager (certified to instructor level),
  • Certified Agile Process Owner (certified to instructor level),
  • Certified DevOps Test Engineer (certified to instructor level),
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner Certificate (certified to instructor level),
  • and V2 , V3, and V4 Foundation Certificates in ITIL.

He also has uncompleted tertiary qualifications in Electrical Engineering and Adult Education.

Rob is New Zealand's only certified instructor for the DevOps Institute courses. He also delivers the ITP's Introduction To DevOps course, and the Phoenix Project simulation game.

He is a Life Member of the IT Service Management Forum; and a member of the NZ Institute of IT Professionals (an accredited Member), and the NZ Skeptics.

Content provider

Rob consults, writes and presents for a variety of clients internationally, including APMG, BMC, CCLearning, Citrix, ITSM Review, itSMF, ITSMWatch, Pink Elephant, SDI, Van Haren, and Zoho.

Rob presents regularly at conferences and meetings on a variety of topics, and offers a range of workshops and seminars.

He writes a large number of articles, mostly about ITSM or IT professional development, for major websites such as ITSMWatch, ITSM Review and Datamation, and delivers webinars and interviews for organisations such as Citrix, Pink Elephant, BMC/Numara, and Zoho/ManageEngine. He has seven books published and more in planning and development.

Rob was also well known for his controversial website, The IT Skeptic, which has over 7 million page views, tens of thousands of regular readers worldwide evenly spread across the USA, Europe and Asia/Pacific, winner of ComputerWeekly UK 2010 award for best "IT consultant and analyst" blog.  The IT Skeptic retired in 2019.

Rob was one of "20 must-follow DevOps experts on Twitter" in 2018, one of "The 20 Best ITSM People to Follow on Twitter" in 2017, one of the "2012 #Nifty50 Top Men in Technology on Twitter" and one of the top 1% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012. He was voted the best speaker at the 2011 itSMFnz national conference and voted the most popular speaker at the TFT12 world-wide online conference. He has a Klout of 60 as at March 2018. Five conferences and four webinars have invited him to speak multiple times.

He runs a diverse stable of other sites including BSM: Basic Service Management, Real ITSM (a funny one), Ops4Less (cut the cost of IT operations), He Tangata (IT is the people), Chocolate in the Morning, and others, all built in his own Drupal-based technology stack.


Rob and Cherry are partners in life and work.

Rob has visited about 30 countries. He retreats to New Zealand's Southern Alps when he can. Sometimes he plays with trains.
He is proud to be the last guy in engineering school to use a slide rule and the first person in his social circles to touch a microcomputer (a SCMP and a Z80) ... or for that matter a real computer, having touched his Dad's IBM 360/40 in 1973.

Rob's goal is to maintain his balanced lifestyle while becoming a millionaire by end of 2010 2011 2014 2016 whenever. Details of the plan are sketchy.

He lives in idyllic Waikanae, Wellington, New Zealand.


Advisory consulting on multinational Service Desk capability and capacity for a managed service provider.

Organised OpenSpace day on Miro+Zoom

Advising and assisting on quarterly planning rituals

Establishing and coaching a working group in improvement of services.

Defining service management for a major bank

Presenting on DevOps in-house to a bank and a major utility

Facilitated OpenSpace day planning quarterly improvement for a government IT department.

Designed and delivered training on wide range of work and management topics.

Designed well received New Ways Of Working simulation games "The Message" and "Doily Studio".

Individual coaching of an infrastructure manager.

Enterprise-level New Ways Of Working coaching and training for a large garment company in Vietnam. Improvements in efficiency, effectiveness, and culture.

Ghost writing an executive-level Agile presentation for a government CIO.

Designed a highly acclaimed New Ways Of Working simulation game Diggers.

DevOps awareness for a government policy entity.

Advice and guidance, content, and review of a DevOps project proposal for a government ministry.

Advice and guidance, evangelism and training, measurement model, and vision for three IT DevOps transformations for separate government ministries. Re-engaged multiple times for further assistance. Both are long-term ongoing strategic engagements working directly with CIOs and DevOps Product Owners.

IT service practices review and recommendation for product approach for an academic institution.

"Evangelising" DevOps for three banks, three service providers, and three government ministries.

DevOps simulation game and coaching, for three government agencies, bank, health board, global manufacturer...

"Just in time" service management solution design for an ERP rollout in a large government department.

"Just in time" service management solution design for a contact centre voice solution in a government agency.

Governance models for a wholly-owned shared-services IT provider

Post Incident review for a District Health Board.

Producer of four "Think Tank" workshops for a USA conference, on multi-supplier value streams, IT Governance, multi-speed IT, and DevOps CSFs.

Governance decision-making and risk model for a shared services company and its public owner/customers.

Service Desk review for a government department

Business case for shared services, using government's Better Business Case format.

Coaching and advising an IT Operations manager establishing the role in a new and growing company.

Change and Release practices improvement for a bank.

Service management solution design for network services and data centre hosting for a government department.

Supplier engagement model and process interlocks for an outsourced All-of-Government shared services website for a government department.

Service management review of IT operations for a bank, with recommendations.

Service catalogue and SLA for a telco network service.

ISSP refresh for a government agency.

Evaluating opportunities for implementing service support procedures and tool outside of IT in a government department.

Business and service management models for a regional service provider to multiple public service entities.

Operating model for a laboratory IT system being merged between two hospitals.

Service catalogue content, system and roadmap for a major government department.

Design advice and written content for the service management component of a bid proposal for a telco: the original RFI and the following RFP.

Emergency operational readiness assistance for a service provider to resolve service delivery and support issues with rollout of a new service for one of their clients.

Service Desk consolidation business case evaluation for two local government bodies.

ITSM strategy and plans for a regional District Health Board.

Service improvement programme for the same DHB. Introduced Rob’s own proprietary Tipu methodology to change culture and execute an across-the-board improvement of practices and tools for IT.

IT strategy for a small training/certification organisation. Interesting application of IT principles to an organisation with less than one IT staff!


The most valuable reference of all is when a client engages me a second time. There are at least twelve of those.

"Rob England is an important voice in what is happening now. And what is about to happen. He is one of the new leaders in my view. And I'm thankful for that."  
Daniel Mezick, founder of Open Leadership Network, author of OpenSpace Agility and Inviting Leadership.

“A deep passion for successful outcomes lies behind Rob's experience, knowledge and involvement. He provides a much needed forum for industry pioneers, leaders and professionals to voice their needs and opinions. He does not shy away from controversy, but I have found his ethics to be beyond question and his intentions beyond reproach. In addition, his professional credentials and solid experience place him amongst the top tier of practitioner-leaders in the industry.” 
David Cannon, author of ITIL 2011 Service Strategy and ex-Chairman of the International Executive Board, itSMF

“Rob is a globally recognised expert in best practices and we have been privileged to use his expert guidance on several occassions. He always delivers on time and to budget and, in addition, often suggests a new approach or way of thinking that resolves underlying fundamental problems. His work and approach is highly recommended.”
Annelise Savill, Van Haren Publishing

“Rob is an outstanding consultant with a huge range of experience to draw upon, a pragmatic and flexible approach with a strong focus on getting the people dimension right
When you work with Rob you know that you can trust him to tell it how it is, find the best practical solutions and work through the barriers and politics to get to the strategic goal
He has a fantastic mind and I've always valued his creativity, professionalism and rigour. He'll do what you need him to along with half a dozen things that you also need but didn't realise until he pointed it out! 
In our organisation Rob worked with a lot of flexibility - slotting skillfully into a number of roles when we needed him and offered a great deal of extra value with the strategic papers and analysis that lived on long after his engagement.”
Tracy Street, Health Intelligence

"thanks for providing a voice that spoke truth to power (or at least a bunch of middle managers). Yours is a rare voice of sanity in a "discipline" that seems to value novelty, FUD and snake oil above reality."
Stewart White, on retirement of the IT Skeptic

“Rob is a dedicated professional and an expert in Service Management. We have used Rob for a number of assignments and his knowledge and expertise enhances our reputation for providing the very best people to our customers.”
Larry Lepper, Resultex

Image Image Image