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Posted by Stephen Mann on January 26, 2012
I need to say something. I need to say something about ITIL in light of all the “poking” I have done via various mediums (such as the What Next For ITIL? and Giving Back To The IT Service Management Community blogs). The fact that ITIL is an easy target; and that breaking something is far, far easier than creating something. Hopefully, we all appreciate that it isn’t really that difficult to pick fault with just about anything, even if it is nigh on perfect (oh, and that is not intended to be read as “ITIL is perfect”). But as the oft-quoted senior manager quote says: “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.”
I have great admiration for the creators of ITIL (or the IT Infrastructure Library as was) even though I do think that ITIL v3 became bloated, and potentially confusing, misdirecting, and demotivating. And, having only dipped in to my digital copy of ITIL 2011 I can’t yet comment on the latest incarnation of the IT service management (ITSM) best practice framework.
So what do I really want to say? Or “for heaven’s sake man, please cut to the chase.”
ITIL-bashing doesn’t work but we continue to do it
This might be an overly-dramatic statement but a lot of us do it.
I’d like to think that most, if not all, of us do it for the right reasons: we want I&O organizations to be better at managing IT service delivery and at enabling their parent businesses via technology. However, I can’t help think that WE need to change as much as ITIL needs to change.
Let’s look at some “facts” (OK, “facts” might not be the right word):
I could keep going with both of the above bullet lists but see little value in doing so.
We all seem to be banging our heads against the proverbially brick wall; whether it is the purchasers of ITIL-related goods and services, or professional or part-time commentators on the “ITSM industry.” I think that we all need to stand back, take a breath, and say, mutter, or shout out that it’s not working. Is this not an “ITSM civil war” where no one wins? One side wastes time in a futile attempt to topple ITIL, the other continues to buy or sell ITIL-related products and services that never seem to fully deliver the anticipated benefits. The real casualties are the organizations and people that invest in ITIL but probably never fully get what they wanted or needed.
I truly wish I had the answer for everyone. A way in which ITIL could be better delivered (across publications, consultancy and advisory, software, training, and the sharing of experiences) such that we all get more out of it (other than qualifications).
The best I can do at the moment is think that there needs to be a “meeting in the middle,” where:
ITIL is (or at least was) “documented common sense,” the real issue is that common sense isn’t as common as it ought to be. Is it possible for us all to work together for the collective good? I hope that Back2ITSM will help many but, longer term, we need to address the root cause: the disconnect between theory and reality when it comes to ITIL.
So what do you think? Do I need to return to Planet Earth? As always, your comments are not only appreciated but encouraged.
UPDATE: Two popular ITIL-related blogs:
If you enjoyed this, please read my latest blog: http://blogs.forrester.com/stephen_mann
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