Standardised Service

We endlessly hear that ITIL is not prescriptive. Every organisation is different. We must adopt and adapt. Well... y-e-s.

There is a cultural imperative to fit "the way we do things around here" as much as possible, so as to reduce change, re-education and resistance.
There is a historical inertia due to entrenched incumbent systems.

But on the other hand the benefits of ITIL are standardisation and common language. Thess reduce the costs and time when new people come in: employees, trainers, consultants, auditors...

And hey, how different can it be? And if it is different, why? What is the benefit?

As Rob Stroud said on his blog:

I was in the heartland of the U.S. last week, well Chicago actually, visiting with organizations that are leveraging ITIL®. The interesting question of the week that was asked 4 times in 2 days is: "Why doesn't ITIL come with a set of sample implementable processes?" Isn't an incident at a manufacturer solved in a similar manner at a financial company? Armed with the question, I asked some ITIL customers this week to describe their incident resolution processes. Guess what? They were in fact very similar though their organizations were in totally different verticals.

ITIL is 20 years young and, although it is a framework, I agree that some more prescription is precisely what is required. I have expected it with the ITIL complimentary library that has taken some time to surface...

We need to go beyond simply automating ITIL processes. Don't get me wrong, that is important. But the consumers of our IT-enabled business services are looking to, well, consume services to do their job. What we need to automate is services. I believe this is the next frontier. We need to deliver industry standard business services such as ordering devices (i.e. a Blackberry, mobile phone, laptop), and on-boarding an employee--out of the box. If you think about it, these services don't vary much by industry. Standardizing and automating them would be the start of IT understanding the end-to-end business service delivered that allows us to attach, measure and monitor service levels that matter to the business.

Of course Rob wants to automate them - he's a tools vendor :) Putting that tech stuff aside, perhaps the basic processes and work procedures should be standardised. Think of the churn in helpdesk operatives and the consequent orientation/training costs. Support techs churn less but cost more so it comes out as significant too.

There are prescriptions out there. Oh to have some of it collated into official Complementary guidance and anointed as "ITIL approved".

Organisations that want to go their own way still can, but one by one they'll get over it. The cost benefits of Standardised Service (TM the IT Skeptic, no just kidding) would be clear.

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