The Skeptical Informer, September 2008, Volume 2, No. 9
The newsletter of the IT Skeptic. All the IT skeptical news that is fit to print... and then some!
I give up. Like many readers I would like to see ITIL certifications being a serious contributor to the professionalism of the IT industry, but I get the distinct impression this isn't going to happen. Foundation certification is a boom industry. The post I made on "ITIL Version 3 certification: seven sources of free ITIL V3 Foundation practice exams, and some ITIL Version 2 sources too!" has moved into the blog's all-time top 10 for popularity. People just want to get the ticket. The ITIL Intermediate and Expert (hah!) certifications are aimed at the same market. They aren't about making better practitioners; they are about selling certificates. They don't test ITSM; they test the holy books. The courses are built to be delivered by non-experts and marked by machines (You can't test an "expert" through multi-choice. And it is the usual Castle ITIL arrogance that says the questions are beyond challenge by real experts. It has already happened that written answers to ITIL V2 Manager's exam gave an alternate answer that was rewarded. Impossible under multichoice). And yet V3 Intermediate and Expert exams won't be available via Prometric, i.e. you have to sit a face-to-face training course first if you want to be examined. Why? Well it could be said it is to make sure you get the training you need. But I call that hypocracy. The exam should test the quality of the candidate, not the associated course. And if the candidate is too poor or remote to attend a course (think developing nations), or just smart and experienced enough not to need to, then they should have that option. So the real reason is evident to me: to maximise revenue to the training money machine. The trainees are complaining. The trainers are complaining. The ATOs are complaining. Even the EIs are complaining. But Castle ITIL shows no sign of even acknowledging the issue publicly (while busily hosing it down behind closed doors). They aren't going to budge on this one. It's all about the money now. ITIL is too big and too successful for it to be anything else. I don't see this changing. People need to accept that ITIL is a commercial product focused on financial gain for the ITIL industry. Play their silly games when you need the ticket. Learn the magic formulas that get you a pass. And understand the value of the certifications when they are presented to you on a CV. When you need to get the job done, use ITIL when you have to (usually politically) or it is best fit, and look for less-voracious alternatives otherwise. I've written about how the COBIT suite of publicatuions is a substantial body of knowledge now, and how it is increasingly pushing down from the overarching framework and audit criteria into ITIL's territory of the practical "how". Wait until you see the new COBIT's User Guide for Service Managers. We had some fun on the blog this month with vendors asking for a drubbing with some published bullshit (there are those who would say that adequately describes this blog but we try to stick to facts and we don't hide, disguise or abuse them). BMC and Forrester published some supposed research which was as laughable as it was misleading. Really the BMC paper was beyond the pale. You should heap scorn and derision on any BMC employee who tries to use this crap on you. EMA scored an own goal with numbers that suggest CMDB is successfully implemented in only a tiny percentage of sites. A firm called Interfacing technologies tried to spam the blog so we took a hard look at their ITIL "solution". I got email spam from a group whose use of the term ITIL was just silly. And ITSMWatch ran an artcle of mine under the banner "How Software Vendors Lie About ITIL Support " - even harsher than I would have been :-D Polls and competitions typically don't get a lot of response on the blog. (Congratulations to Mike Walter for winning the photo competition). You readers prefer to read - but I would really love to see some input from you on the latest one: Legends of IT. We could really have some fun digging out all the great yarns ('tall tales and true") from our past. And I'm giving away a $100 gift voucher. I know you have a story or two - please share. A few changes to the blog this month: a changed look, a tag cloud of topics, a comments browser, a CMDB widget, free IT magazine subscriptions for qualifying subscribers, a Dipity timeline, a thread for your favourite books, and you can post photos of yourself on "My Account". In fact you have a whole node about you now, we may look at allowing you to create a profile page on The IT Skeptic if anyone is interested? On a final note, personal tragedy once again affects those close to me, and reminds me that ITIL is only business, not anything important. Let's all keep some perspective on Father's Day.
Overwhelmed by ITIL V3? In order to make your ITSM life easier, the IT skeptic has created a body of knowledge (BOK) called Real ITSM and the associated philosophy of Realitsm. The official Introduction to Real ITSM introduces Realitsm to the world!
Making IT Real. Get Real.
The long awaited ITIL V3 - COBIT V4.1 mapping white paper is available ... for a price. This is the final paper in a long-awaited series that answer the question left unanswered by the ITIL V3 books - how does ITIL relate to the standards and frameworks around it? The answer is that ITIL is very much a subset of COBIT's more comprehensive coverage.
This post has been podcast
[Updated again: links to COBIT planned content]
Those who say "COBIT is the what and ITIL the how" either haven't read COBIT, are oversimplifying or are being excessively polite to ITIL.
Introducing a new series of posts: The Legends of IT , written by you.
Tell us the great Legends from your IT past, and vote on the Legends of others.
Best Legend will receive a Christmas present of a US$100 Amazon gift certificate, and of course bountiful glory.
ITIL v3 has shed the down-home, amateur grittiness that provided its appeal, as I wrote recently in ITSM Watch.
Its new commercialism might help ITIL’s appeal in some sectors but it diminishes it in others. While the largest organisations and the Service Management zealots have all embraced ITIL v3 with fervour, many of the less obsessive are lukewarm in their enthusiasm for v3.
When we speak of a new profession(alism), could it be that by focusing on IT we are focusing on the wrong thing?
Following on from ITIL V3's after-the-fact attempts to link up with external standards such as ASL and ISO20000 (something one thought might have happened as part of the design and development of ITIL V3 rather than as a retrospective scrabble) we have eTOM.