The ITIL V3 indexes

Just how good are the indexes on the ITIL V3 core books? Well if one random test is anything to go by, not very...

It would seem from the ITIL certififcation exams that one is supposed to regard the ITIL V3 core books as holy writ and memorise them chapter and verse (since a number of the questions are based on one's knowledge of exactly what the books say word for word as compared to one's knowledge of ITSM or the principles of ITIL).

The reality is, of course, that we are busy folk who dip into the books as we need to. Therefore the indexes are a critical part of the usability of the books as we will frequently go there to see what ITIL says on a certain topic (oh for a consolidated index across all six books eh?).

Sadly they don't seem to be up to the task, or at least not dependably so. I used them deeply recently and they let me down.

When researching Solid Harmony: mentions of PRINCE2 in ITIL V3 I wanted to find out what the books had to say about PRINCE2.

According to the index, the Official Introduction never mentions PRINCE2, but it does: a token nod on page 146. On the same page in the same context it also mentions PMBOK once, and that mention is indexed twice: under PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) and under Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

Service Design indexes the glossary entry for PMBOK (on the wrong page number) but not the one for PRINCE2. Service Transition and Service Operation are the other way around!

So don't count on the indexes in the ITIL books.

Don't count on Google Search either - it didn't find the intro reference to PRINCE2 in Service Design.

No wonder there is an online version. I hope its search functions work well. But I for one won't use it. As I have pointed out before, it is not a good cost model - it is cheaper to buy new paper books every couple of years.

You could always pay thousands of dollars per year to TSO for ITIL Live and see if it does a better job of indexing. Wait! TSO are the publishers of the books...


ITIL book indexes suck

The index to Service Transition tells me Post Implementation Review is mentioned on page 112. This turns out to be a casual offhand mention. It is in fact discussed on pages 58, 105, 112, 113, 160, 169, 224, and 240. Lucky I checked on Google. The book indexes suck.


All part of the lack of focus on the needs of the different real world users of ITIL.

I pointed an excellent test manager at ITIL v3 but he gave up trying to find out what v3 actually says about testing in frustration at trying to follow the references

James Finister
Wolston Limited

Another example

I just encountered an example of this issue in class. I've set the class an exercise to create an Incident Model for a particular issue. One group reached straight for their copy of the Operations book, turned to the index and found nothing. They are there under but there's nothing in the index and the contents only goes to two levels of numbering.

The index is full of entries which point to the glossary which adds no value at all. If you just want to know what the term means, turn straight to the glossary.

The Glossary

I'm not so impressed with the current version, but in the past the glossary has been the best value of all the ITIL publications. The price was right and it was the best canonical source of definitions to close down pointless arguments.

eBook Version

I own an ebook version and search does help in such cases. But the adobe digital editions reader is a pain in the *** (beeped so that americans under the age of 50 may read the post ;-)

Adobe Digital Reader is a

Adobe Digital Reader is a good tool, but that bug of hanging every 30 or 40 minutes is so annoying...

By the way, I use the on-line version much more often that the paper one... You can pretend you are busy with the on-line one... :)

Good tool that hangs every 1/2 hour?

Hi Marcus,

Somehow the definition of "Good Tool" & "annoying hangs every 30-40 minutes" do not fit into the same space of mind at the same time for me.
Add the overall sluggisch response (on a modern laptop with 4 gb RAM) for a reading application (not big bang simulation!) and the lack of functionality with respect to zoom levels (personal feeling) as well as the overall issues of DRM laden products (I have had to re-download the books the second time already), you will get into the category of a lousy tool at least (f****g piece of crap is a better description).

But well, luckily we do not all feel the same ;-)

Hi Marc, Well, I think I am

Hi Marc,

Well, I think I am in a good mood today... :-)

I agree with all your points about how acrobat digital reader is such a f*****g piece of m**********r s**t.

But I still use it ! :-)

Syndicate content