ITIL processes aren't processes

Stuart Rance called out ITIL's dirty secret: they're not really processes. Stuart talks about how some things that ITIL calls a process are not a process.

    Many of the ITSM activities people call processes don’t, in fact, have a simple sequence of well-defined activities, with defined inputs and defined outputs. They are much more nebulous than this. They have poorly defined activities, no clear trigger for executing them, and a wide range of diverse and poorly defined inputs and outputs that are also not fully defined.

I would go further and say none of them are. I hate having to explain to students that "processes" are made up of roles, metrics, policy, plans, tools, people, ... and activities some of which are actually processes.
Any time ITIL talks about a standard model, that's a true process. Take the ticket as input, follow the model steps.
Everything else isnt.
I've said it before (2009):

    ITIL has always only had a vague concept of what constitutes a process. ITIL authors have never felt constrained by the tighter definitions of “process” used by say process re-engineering or business analysis... the definition in the glossary and the definition in the core books differ somewhat. What they have in common is that many of the 24 or 26 processes listed by the Official Introduction or by itSMF do not fit the definitions. A number of activities defined as processes do not fit well with the concept of a clear sequence of looping tasks that respond to a trigger to take inputs and turn them into countable outputs: IT financial management, service continuity management, configuration management, availability management, strategy generation, etc.

Maybe ITIL 4 will stop the madness. They're practices. As in "best practices". It's e.g. an Incident Management practice, which includes e.g. an incident tracking process.

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