The ITIL Experience is subjective

A while ago on LinkedIn I had this old chestnut quoted at me, so I thought I'd roast it: the Hornbill/HDI/Bruton survey "The ITIL Experience".

Noel Bruton was the same analyst that was so damning of ITIL in an earlier survey: (I can't find the original link)

In a survey carried out by Bruton of 400 sites, about half of the 125 organizations which were found to have adopted ITIL made no measured improvement in terms of their service performance or the rate at which they were able to close helpdesk calls. “Some helpdesks can way outperform a site that has adopted the best practices of ITIL," said Bruton. "Best practice does not mean superior performance. It is beginning to sound that ITIL is the only way to go. It isn’t. It is only one way to go.”

While working with Hornbill, Bruton's tone was more positive.

Summary of main conclusions
- Proof that the adoption of ITIL produces, for most of those who measure it, a real improvement in service levels to the user base as customer.
- More than half of adopting companies measured a distinct improvement in customer satisfaction.

"Proof" is a strong word. It is not justified in this context. If you look at that ITIL Experience survey, the "results" are purely self-reported anecdotal subjective self-assessments - there is no measured ROI anywhere. Nor is there any random sampling, controls, external objective assessment of the responses, reporting of the data, peer review or anything else that might give it the slightest shred of validity. These are all recurring issues with most IT "research". Who did they get for the survey? 125 sites from the "contact databases of the survey authors".

Chokey the Chimp is declaring this "proof" a Crap Factoid.

Readers can check it out and draw your own conclusions, but don't expect any solid $ numbers. And don't let anyone cite it to you as "proof" of ITIL's effect. I think Noel wouldn't want that either.

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