The itSMF website misses basic information

Whether you are a newcomer to itSMF or a member, there are some fundamental things the itSMF International website does not tell you.

[Update: it is suggested in a comment below that the reason the website DOESN'T do a lot of informing or serving members is that it is not FOR the members. Apparently itSMFI exists to serve the chapters not the members. And therefore this site exists to serve the chapters. Does this mean the itSMFI website is not the main itSMF website? i.e. it does not represent itSMF to the world (or the members). What do you think?]

Mercifully the new site now has an "About" page - for a while there was nothing but a note on the footer. But put yourself in the shoes of someone who has been told to look at this itSMF thing and see what you think. What is service management? Does that just mean ITIL or does itSMF get into anything else? Where can I go to learn more about ITIL? What is the relationship between itSMF and all these other entities? How does it advance my career? Do I get freebies or discounts?

Would it make you get your chequebook out to join? And if you did, could you find out HOW to join? Heaven forbid that the site should actually provide a mechanism for you to do so [yes I know about all the infighting over chapter autonomy etc but a simple form that shot an email to the relevant country chapter would be nice]. The "new" site is very light on information for newbies.

Another point about the About: the header says it provides "Formal documents, Constitution, Standing Orders, Contact info, Press Releases etc." No it doesn't. Indeed it should: the IT Skeptic has long called for some transparency to the fee-paying members, and the general public. So as a member I expect to be able to answer the following questions: Where is itSMFI incorporated and under what rules of incorporation? What is the itSMF Constitution? The definitive version has been in preparation longer than ITIL V3. Is there a Code of Conduct for members? for executives? for chapters? Has there ever been a report to members? Has itSMFI ever had a financial audit? What about IPESC and IQC? Do they ever do or say anything? Is there any policy for itSMF? Is there any strategy for the future? Has the Board or Executive ever said anything? Not so far as you can tell unless some Googling brings up a news post.

If asked (which we aren't because they can't) I'd say the website should fulfill these primary functions:

  1. Represent and promote itSMF to the world, especially promoting membership
  2. Provide communications to and from and between members (and the public)
  3. Provide resources for chapters and members (and the public?)
  4. Provide services for chapters and members and the public: membership, shopping...

It provides some of each one of these, but all four areas have a lot of growing to do.

  1. There is no clear identity or vision or mission. There is no call to action and no mechanism for joining.
  2. The website's strength is as an operational news site, but itSMF has no more-formal regular newsletter. There is a good forum but no other feedback mechanism: no comments allowed on posts, no polling and no member surveys [can't because there is no way to know who is a member].
  3. The e-symposiums are a good resource but there is little else. How about the itSMF's own free publications (especially An Introductory Overview of ITIL® V3 ), chapter newsletters, archives of past newsletters and presentations?
  4. The bookstore is about all.


itSMF International website dead for over a day now...

At the moment there is even more missing on the itSMF website; it has been down for over a day, and at this point it is still down...

Would it be the result of the struggle between itSMF UK and itSMF International?

Do not adjust your set

yes I know. Technical problems with hosting. I know they're working over the weekend to fix it. Ah the joys of webmastering....

chalk and cheese

To further reinforce my point, I'll use my favourite benchmark: ISACA. Compare the ISACA About page content, or the ease of use of the JOIN link which is at the top of each and every page.

There is no way one can

There is no way one can compare itSMF to ISACA or even PMI.

itSMF is nothing close to them...

Go to

Go to

Look at the header.

It says itSMF - Home -

I guess it says it all...

the SA chapter has all that -- wait, no it doesn't

Reading your comments about the constitution and the rules of incorporation, I thought - well the SA chapter has that on their website. I remember reviewing it waaay back, when I was a committee member.

So I went to check - and no, it's not there any more. Maybe most members aren't really interested in that stuff?

*shrug* because the quality or lack thereof of itSMF(.*) websites is a distant second place in important to the participation of user members - those who aren't pushing tools, consulting or training, and aren't looking to drive their career into such organisations.

The usual own goal!


I love this. You've done it again! Far from missing basic information, you ought to look at your own efforts and your own understanding of what the itSMF is about. You are clearly lacking basic information.

I remember some time ago, you praising the itSMF International for using Drupal as the basis for its new website and for having the courage to open itself up with forums for individuals to comment and air their views and ideas. What has happened to change your mind?

I know that in "Castle-NZ", perhaps you may be a little isolated from the rest of the world, but it can survive and thrive in ITSM terms, without you. You do not understand nor appreciate, that itSMF International's members are the Chapters and not the individual members. Communications between itSMFI and the various Chapter Leaders continues to flourish as proven recently by the very sucessful Chapter Leadership Conference. Of the 53 Chapters then in existence, 43 were represented - that's pretty good by any stretch of the imagination. It is for the Chapters themselves to communicate to the membership, not itSMFI, except on strategic cross-Chapter issues and on overall governance.

And since when has the itSMF been all about ITIL? That might be a main stay of its work, but Service Management is much more than this - you should know that! You are not a member of itSMF International but of a Chapter, so I would advise you to address your questions to your own Chapter.

not the official views of itSMFI??

I acknowledged in this post both the CMS news portal and the forum as being good ("The website's strength is as an operational news site... There is a good forum ...").

I'm intrigued by the suggestion that itSMFI represents only the chapters and not the members. You seem to be suggesting that itSMFI is not itSMF's world-facing entity but rather a backroom provider to the chapter executives. This might come as a shock to many. It must be the only "back room" international organisation i can think of. Certainly the gulf between ISACA anbd itSMF looks even wider. What an extraordinary model where itSMFI takes no responsibility for representing itSMF as an entity to the world, nor of providing any commonality of communication or services. 53 sets of redundant services (which we have now) hardly makes much sense to me. itSMF's inability to reliably communciate anything to (or ask anything of) the whole world membership is a joke.

I hope that you do not represent the official views of itSMFI. But then what do I have to compare to in order to tell?

It's simple really......

So the International website is pretty valueless.....
Is it just me or is the fact that it is operationally supported by itSMF UK something to do with it?
Be realistic: if you were itSMF UK how hard would you try -- knowing you stand to lose traffic to your own site?

the vacuum he has to work in

No I don't think that's fair. All traffic is good traffic, and the itSMFUK needs membership as much as any chapter. I know the webmaster works hard on the site. I don't envy the vacuum he has to work in. I think it reflects the deeper lack of a clear vision of what itSMFI is (surely there is not consensus that itSMFI exists as a service provider to the chapters) and a total unwillingness to post any internal information at all (now THAT could be a British thing!)

To "Anonymous Visitor"

You say " do not understand nor appreciate, that itSMF International's members are the Chapters and not the individual members.."
Extraordinary that you deride the role that individual members play in contributing to the health of the itSMFI. Who are the Chapters if they are not the sum of the individual members? This just confirms something I have thought for a while regarding the management of the itSMFI - that it cares nothing for individual members while happily taking their fees.

Oh, and BTW, good luck with that customer service thing.

I completely agree with the

I completely agree with the IT Skeptic's comments here. I recently spent a full frustrating week trying to navigate the broken links and awkward layout of the itSMF site. I've never had such a hard time trying to get an organization to take my money!

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