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‘KISSing’ ITIL

April 3rd, 2009

ThinkITSM (www.thinkitsm.com) was and is all about making the rules that govern great IT Support available to as many people as possible. Sometimes I feel I am part of a secret society with incongruous handshakes and a strange sounding language that can inhibit rather than enable success.  The industry that has grown around the delivery of supposed’ best practices’ (if such a thing even exists) has been shrouded with verbal secret handshakes that feeds on terms like CMDB, OLA’S and UPC’S. Behind these acrimonious acronyms, sit a good deal of common sense ideas that allow IT departments to simply do a better job with support.

Successful IT Support delivery has no secret sauce or 11 herbs and spices that you have to guess while wiping the grease off your face. It is much simpler than that; taking simple but meaningful steps will get you a lot further than trying to recreate the structure of the ‘IT universe’. We all know of the ‘KISS’ principle; ‘Keep IT Simple Smarty-pants’. It happens to be one acronym that positions change in way that I can believe in (Sorry Mr. Obama for usurping). The ITSM world has been driven by insiders who speak for a small proportion of the people who could ultimately benefit from its message. Why is ITIL not as widely adopted as CRM? Why have more people heard of Salesforce.com and not Service-Now.com? ITSM is good stuff, it makes sense, and it works!  Let’s not shroud our craft into a black box that appeals only to the largest organizations when there is enough wisdom that anyone who supports IT systems could benefit from.  The ITSM and/or ITIL principles should be shared by any company with an IT department no matter how small in a way that it can make sense to them.

I know that we (as an industry) are simply on the wrong track. Proof of this is the amount of consulting time needed to get this processes implemented. Even if you have implemented an ITIL or ITSM approach in your company – are you able to answer the question – WHY? Please don’t answer that it was to adhere to best practices or to get better reports. These are a means to an end and not the end itself. Let’s get excited about the benefits to the business when IT service delivery is done well. What are those benefits? Well that will be explored in my next BLOG posting.

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  1. Bob Oswald
    | #1

    As a manager of IT, I find that the term ITSM has become confusing as many of the help desk tool makers call their ITIL products ITSM. This is probably a shame because the concept is quite powerful when it is focused on how IT interacts with its customers.

  2. David Brighton
    | #2

    One of the main issues with ITSM gaining popularity is IT Management, who seem to be happy to keep the business in the dark about what it truly takes to keep the IT ‘lights on’. This is short sighted in a world where IT departments are in more danger of being outsourced with an abundance of outsourced operations infringing on the IT departments traditional domain.

  3. David G
    | #3

    @Bob Oswald
    What about BSM (i.e. Business Service Management)? How does that relate to ITSM?

  4. | #4

    BSM has evolved from ITSM as a term to apply many of the practices IT use to manage workflow and process to other areas within the organization. For example, an Incident Management workflow to solve an IT question can be easily applied to an HR department who is answering questions regarding benefits or pay issues.

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