The Emperor has no clothes. Where is the evidence for ITIL?

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Since this is a skeptical blog, it is high time we examined the evidence. Where is the evidence for the benefits of ITIL? There isn’t any. Not the kind of hard empirical evidence that would stand up in, say, clinical trials. There is more evidence for quack alternative medicines than there is for ITIL.

The march of ITIL zealots

Today let's look closer at the recent survey I quoted previously. We will discuss the lack of decent empirical evidence for ITIL in a subsequent blog. Vendor surveys are a poor substitute (I know, I worked for one), but when they are all we have then we should at least listen to them.

Sadly I don't think I can include Evergreen in my Circle of ITIL Skeptics, but they undoubtedly take a mature and rational approach to ITIL:

Which industry standards are relevant to my organization and which are redundant?
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IT Skeptic bumped off Wikipedia

Does the use of Google Ads on this page reduce its credibility? [as if it had any] Is this blog pure opinion? And if so does opinion have any place on Wikipedia? Comments please.

These are questions provoked by recent events. I am most interested in your opinions.

ITIL the cult

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We have seen that the ITIL movement has distinct overtones of a fad. What about a cult? A group that defines its own measure of good and bad by comparing against its own internal reference books then declares that those books hold the key to getting from bad to good sounds mighty like a cult to me.

A colleague gave me a model that I shall call the Skeptical Maturity Model for Technology Adoption. It has four phases

Is ITIL Best Practice?

“Best” is a brave word. “Best” leads with the chin.

The following is reprinted with permission. [Update: This post dates from when the IT Skeptic was anonymous. The IT Skeptic asked Rob England for permission to reprint the article and Rob kindly agreed. Since they are both me, the conversation was held in my head.]

Why chase Best Practice?

I worked with a number of clients in a previous vendor life who were struggling to “do ITIL” because they felt (or had been told) they had to. There was little or no funding, often no project. And why?

What am I skeptical about?

I was asked this question on this forum. Here's my answer:

Skeptics are skeptical about everything :p

Seriously, I need to look at what I have written more closely to see if I am causing confusion somewhere. What I was trying to communicate is that I am a big fan of service management (it is "real"); I even think ITIL is entirely appropriate where there is a business driver for it; in fact I regard ITIL as gold-standard best practice for ITSM. Well, let me call it "gold standard generally accepted practice". We'll discuss "best" soon.

ITIL the fad

One of the big dangers ITIL faces is being taken for a fad due to the wild enthusiasms it is generating. OK the word “wild” hardly applies to service management professionals but you know what I mean. Hopefully forums like this one can restore some decorum.

Service Management is real

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the Y2K spending overhang drove new attitudes to transparency and justification. This led to new techniques (or rather new adoption of established techniques) for business alignment: service management.

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