ITIL is on the wane - Bruton

Here is an excellent article by Noel Bruton on how ITIL has peaked, that I commend to your attention.

But not just for that concept, though it is a lovely skeptical read. I particularly enjoyed his take on CMDB:

As a process, configuration management has its own problems, largely stemming from four schools of thought - one that has begun its configuration management programme but is yet to complete it, another that is confused about the difference between configuration management and asset management, a further one that does asset management but calls it configuration management because, well, you do don't you, and a fourth that believes configuration management to be so complex and fluid that as to be fundamentally non-doable.

"...because, well, you do don't you". LMAO.

And some killer criticisms of ITIL:

Survey after survey shows that ITIL adopters have had to add other processes to make up for the gaps in ITIL... The refresh was a chance to bring more specific IT service management topics into ITIL to plug some of those gaps - yet they passed it up...
Because it offers no real means of benchmarking itself, nor can ITIL really ever prove that it is successful in operation...
perhaps those who can think independently don't need ITIL anyway, as was the case for, coincidentally, all the finalists in a recent industry award for user support excellence...
No longer can IT managers utter the vicariously decisive sentence "We're going down the ITIL route" with solemn confidence, because ITIL has shown itself to have no particular route in mind.

Perhaps I am a little less apocalyptic than Noel, but I feel the signs he sees [read the article] for ITIL being "peaked" are not signs of its demise so much as signs we are now hurtling down the slope of the Gartner Hype Cycle. Noel sees the wreckage of ITIL at the bottom. The Gartner model sees an eventual recovery to a calmer steady state after the hype wave, i.e. ITIL may not go away, just settle into whatever is its rightful place without all the hysteria. I have myself predicted ITIL's possible displacement by something else, and I'm not saying that isn't going to happen: just that Noel's portents are more related to disillusionment than demise. We shall have to wait and see...


User Support Excellence

What is the industry award where all the finalists did not need ITIL?

I think it might be at and I want to be sure the skeptic is still checking his facts.

You got me, Tom.

You got me, Tom. It is hearsay.

Noel quoted hearsay that those awards you referenced did not include a strong ITIL shop. The finalists were:

HBOS ComputerCall: can't find any mention of their use of ITIL

Pegasus Software: can't find any mention of their use of ITIL

RM plc: can't find who they are. Any word from readers?

Incidentally, the winners of other awards were:

Camelot Group: other than HornBill's token reference to ITIL I cannot find any indication they are an ITIL shop, but this award was to an individual not the organisation anyway

Infra Corporation, Client: LexisNexis Butterworths: any Infra shop one would imagine was an ITIL shop and Infra certainly describe it as such

The Scout Association uses ITIL strongly according to Marval

So the rumour may or may not be correct that the excellence award finalists were not ITIL shops. They certainly don't make a fuss about being one, which most ITIL shops do. Certainly some of the award winners in other categories were.

Thanks for checking. Skepticism is all about seek the facts and question the evidence.

ITIL and awards

HBOS are ITIL users , see

As well as winning the HDI award the Scout Association also won an itSMF award in 2005, so I think you can presume they use ITIL - especially with Don Page giving them advice.

This years itsmf project of the year winners were BT Ireland, again an ITIL shop, using Marval as their SM tool.

I'm not sure how relevant it is that one award scheme (and it would be nice to know which one Noel had in mind) does not seem to require the use of ITIL to achieve excellent user support, after all it depends on the scope of the award - it is is easy enough to transform a service desk without needing to implement the whole of ITIL, and of course just because people aren't explicitly using ITIL doesn't mean the solutions they've come up with aren't the same as ITIL suggests.

I still like all the points he made, just not all of the support

Yeah agreed. This statement was a bit shaky, but don't throw out all of Noel's arguments: I still like all the points he made, just not all of the supporting "evidence" :-)

In defence of ITIL....

Whilst Noel often has something of interest to say, he has never been ITIL's greatest fan!

People often forget that ITIL was developed as part of a wide ranging best practice advice from the erstwhile CCTA, before its more commercial incarnation as OGC. Perhaps a more realistic view is that ITIL can't be effective unless there are other processes for it to interface with. I've often found, for instance, that ITIL programmes reach a point where business processes are not sufficently mature to exploit the benefit ITIL could deliver.

Another key issue for me when it comes to benchmarking success resulting from ITIL is that most organisations adopting ITIL aren't in a position to produce credible "as is" measures against which to measure progress. Two examples come straight to mind - organisations thta claim a 100% success rate for change but don't actually evaluate the success of changes, and those that claim very high customer satisfaction rates that are the result of poorly designed surveys combined with users who have given up thinking IT listens to them.

I think the world leaders will, and should, think independently for themselves and not be constrained by ITIL. The catch is that less mature organisations try to adopt ITIL by leaving out anything which is difficult without understanding the consequences.

popping the hype bubbles of the IT industry

The central theme of this website is popping the hype bubbles of the IT industry.

ITIL v 1 "was developed as part of a wide ranging best practice advice from the erstwhile CCTA". We are on to ITIL v 3 now, and it most certainly is not marketed as anything less than best practice. As I have said before, if you are going to lead with the chin with a word like "best" you better live up to it. So no making excuses for ITIL.

I love your point about ITIL reaching the limit of the surrounding processes. Another way to put that would be that ITIL maturity cannot outrun overall organisational process maturity.

if a tool is any good...they stop making it!

Haven't you come across that situation where you discover that something which used to work really well has been replaced by something that doesn't work as well, but is easier to make or looks more hi-tech? I sometimes feel that way about ITIL. For a practitionner feel I'll often refer back to ITIL v1 rather than v2. Obviously I can't comment on v3 ;-)

I think you've made the point implicitly elsewhere that there needs to be a clear distinction between what is basic perscriptive good practice (if you don't do it things won't work) and best practice (which won't work unless you've already mastered the basics)and somehow ITIL has never faced up to that distinction. To represent best practice ITIL would have to go back to presenting what best in class IT organisations are actually doing, rather than falling back on theory.

Another way of putting the point about ITIL reaching the limit of the surrounding processes is, of course, that organisations get the IT department that they deserve!

ITIL is good basic practice,

ITIL is good basic practice, or Core Practice. It makes the mistake of calling itself best practice

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