Improving ITIL V3 graphics

Some communications wonks aren't keen on ITIL V3 diagrams, or specifically one diagram from the Official Introduction

The "Clear Messages Team" says :

ITIL... is ...a rich source of bad diagrams.

Even though they are Aussies I'm inclined to agree about this diagram :)

Too many boxes and lines that overwhelm the reader. It is a classic example of violating the conclusion of Miller's paper The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two.

Some ITIL diagrams are very cluttered. But there are at least as many good ones. Like all aspects of ITIL, it is variable.


Interpretation is in the eyes of the beholder.

Like art, diagrams are only one persons representation of how they interpret the subject matter. You need to keep in mind that ITIL (including its diagrams) is a guide for us to build a WORKABLE service management framework. If the diagrams do not make sense then you are welscome to publish your own interpretation (eg

the IT Skeptic's ITIL V3 diagram

I wonder how my own ITIL V3 super-diagram stacks up (just updated it again). Also too cluttered I suspect, though I like the way it tells a story like a comic strip

These diagrams are not art

An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way. - Charles Bukowski (1920 - 1994)

I find all the diagrams in the ITIL v3 books to be confusing and not adding value (with a few exemptions). It is really hard to say complex things in a simple way, but that is what we should strive for. Being intellectual is easy (their goal is to appear knowledgeable). Being an artist is hard (they want to relay a message). All the authors of the ITIL v3 publications are intellectuals and not artists. There is nobody (at least nobody I know) that believes the v3 books to be a good read. They do contain valuable information but they still are quite far from sending out a message.

We need more artists here.

A palbable hit

I think you've hit the nail on the head for me. The value of v3 is often obscured by the way it is presented, bith visually and verbally

James Finister
Wolston Limited

Value Of Diagrams...

Here's my tounge-in-cheek saying on this:
"A diagram spawns a thousand interpretations"

It's great becuase it provides the ultimate in flexibility. After all, if you don't like their interpretation, you can substitute your own!!

If you don't like that, you can always go with one of my favorites from Edward Tufte:
"Clutter and confusion are failures of design, not attributes of information"


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