The Skeptical Informer, July 2009, Volume 3, No. 5
The newsletter of the IT Skeptic. All the IT skeptical news that is fit to print... and then some!
- War in Iran and/or North Korea as the USA attempts to destroy their nuclear capability. The Yanks are already in hock up to their eyeballs with a series of wars and a massive economic bailout - they can't afford another war, but they can't afford not to either
- Protectionism in either USA and/or the EC (listen to the zeitgeist in both places)
- Ecomonic crash in China as their state-fabricated fairy-stories that pass for economic statistics finally can't be faked any longer
- Meltdown in the European and/or US property markets as the bad loans really bite
- A quiet slide as each wave of layoffs triggers another contraction in our consumer-driven economies that in turn drives more layoffs... I know our family spend is 40% of what it was 12 months ago
- A flu epidemic further depresses both productivity and consumption
FWIW, here are some sample ITIL service catalogue documents. They may not be flash but they are better than what you get in the ITIL V3 Service Design book. I have used these a couple of times with success but they are not extensively road tested: they are provided on an as is basis with no warranty or support.
We've raised the issue before of whether ITIL certification offers a return on investment, especially if you pay your own way as compared to scamming the boss into paying for it. For those of you who are self-funded, the total cost may be food for thought. I reckon it is up to $60,000 or even more, depending on your hourly rate, not to mention 4 to 6 weeks out of your life.
[Updated: I was asked about online training so I looked at that too. Courses are much cheaper but if you factor cost of your time it is still a hefty commitment.]
Let us summarise the skeptical arguments focused around the value of CMDB . [Updated to move some text up from comments]
In my post about the control of ITIL the IT Swami conjectured that the future might hold ISACA gaining control of ITIL's space and possibly merging with itSMF. If that does not happen, it is pretty clear from ISACA's newly announced strategy that they are going to end up competing at least on the boundaries of their respective turfs and possibly over a large overlapping area.
As I have said before, probably the biggest gun in the ITSM skepticking field right now is Aidan Lawes. Once again he has turned the flamethrower onto the ITIL Software Scheme, with a blistering post on his blog: "people with vested interests increasingly seem to find a ready platform for their propaganda... The software assessment service springs to mind as a prime example. Purported to be launched in the interest of the procurer, it seems to be much more in the interests of the small group (OGC, APMG and SMCG) involved in its secretive development." I'll let you read it there. Apart from agreeing with Aidan that a standard that is secret is lunacy (the kind of lunacy that only the British could invent), I'd like to pick up on some points that Aidan didn't address.
[Update: For the record, the IT Skeptic does not believe that there is anything illegal or dishonest about the ITIL Software Scheme. I do allege that it has been conducted in a manner that is inept, naive, unnecessarily secretive and without proper consideration for most of the stakeholders. It seems to me to be about as far from best practice in setting standards as one can imagine.]
A leading cultural assumption in the business world is that anything we do should be benchmarked against world’s best practice. But why pay for gold when copper will do? Don’t aim for best when there is no business driver to do so. Organisations are wasting resource and damaging themselves unnecessarily chasing a “best” standard for everything. A concept that deserves more attention is “core practice”: the minimum needed to get the job done within acceptable risk. Save “best” for focused areas where it counts.
Consultants shouldn't have to defend our hourly rates but we often do. Usually it is to more junior staff working alongside us, or to not-so-smart managers. Many managers I have worked for made less per hour than me but they understood how the world works. I wish more did - it becomes tiresome. Consulting rates are driven up not only by value delivered, but also by risk absorbed, slack capacity, and scarcity.
Here's a great post “It’s The People Stupid”. I almost agree with it, but I think the writer talks around the most important point: “Change The People Stupid”.
The bigger and more successful (and lucrative) ITIL gets, the more we see some consultants trying to create a masonic guild of ITIL "experts". It is a complete myth that one has to be so experienced in ITIL to implement it or run it, or even discuss it.
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