Why ITIL V3 2011 matters and how OGC, TSO and APMG aren't helping

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On July 29 2011 we will get the update to ITIL V3. There are calls for us to just relax and stop worrying about ITIL V3 2011. Those unconcerned by changes to ITIL are those immersed in it: the experts, the consultants, the trainers. The other million users of ITIL can't keep track of all the differences between V2, V3, and V3 2011. They don't have the time or the interest (or the means). Right now they are confused and uncertain. And Castle ITIL aren't helping.

It hurts because ITIL is not just guidance. One of biggest benefits of ITIL is a common language and a standard definition or model. This is useful for new staff, external consultants, auditors, and especially for suppliers. This is why change to ITIL concerns the community. Which version are we using in this conversation or negotiation? Which one should we be using?

Scott Adams (in the Dilbert Principle) said change is power: the power of knowledge held by those causing the change, power over those impacted by the change, struggling to understand it. No wonder the ITIL industry embraces it, and no wonder the ITIL community are less enthusiastic.

They'd be more enthusiastic if Castle ITIL observed some of the basic principles of change - in particular communication and transparency. It would be useful if they practiced Fair Process. Much of the chatter is conjecture and debate about exactly what is in the update, how significant it is, what the impact might be. This chatter goes on in the dark - it is conjecture based on the crumbs we get from the sole lonely FAQ.

Why not publish the drafts of the new books? It would quell the speculation.
Why shouldn't people get advance warning? The trainers and software vendors could start planning updates.
Why shouldn't we see what the decision processes were as the drafts evolved? People accept decisions they understand, even when they don't like them.
Why shouldn't we get a continuing say in what ends up in there? To suggest the authors know more than a million practitioners is arrogance.

Why do we have to put up with this patronising, secretive, need-to-know, just-wait-we'll-tell-you-when-its-ready Castle ITIL approach? Because its the bloody British civil service, that's why.

And because if you let the community contribute and collaborate, then you can't justify locking the result up as a proprietary, copyrighted, for-profit product, that's also why.

Next we discuss that FAQ...


Don't look behind the curtain

I recently attended a webinar touted to be about the ITIL 2011 update. The notes even stated that "changes that are included in the new update" was a talking point. The entire session was about how discussions were held, who was on the various boards, mentors, advisors, authors, etc. I dared to ask the question, "can you give an actual example of a change made in the edition?" The presenter sort of chuckled and made some mumbling response about how we had to wait for the actual release date.

"Shut up, sit down, be impressed by how thorough our process was and buy it when it comes out."

Best Regards,

In contrast ...

ISACA will be posting by June 30 the next version of COBIT, called COBIT 5, on the internet for free download by anyone for 6 months so that anyone can feed back comments and reviews to be used by the international development team to finalise COBIT 5 and publish it in Jan 2012 also for free download by anyone.

Meanwhile, OGC/TSO want GBP 299 ($450) for ITIL 2011 to replace copies of ITIL 3 that themselves cost GBP 299 ($450). It would be a grand gesture for OGC/TSO to allow all owners of ITIL V3 books to be able to download free PDF versions of ITIL 2011.

So, everyone, let's all submit a letter with our receipts or invoices for ITIL V3 books to OGC/TSO and request our online codes for free access to PDFs of ITIL 2011.

A room stuffed full of elephants

Geoff has highlighted one of the saddest aspects of this story - no one who is within Castle ITIL can be unaware of the approach ISACA has taken with Cobit. For that matter they are also aware of the ISO approach to writing standards.

Of course few of us have actually seen ITIL 3.1, I certainly haven't, and it could turn out that the added value the new version delivers is such that it proves the approach taken to be the right one, and that organisations would be well advised to replace their existing copies. Raise your hand now if you think that might be the case.....

.....I'll let someone else count the votes.

My personal view is there would have been no need for the wholesale revision of v3 if V3.0 had not been so slapdash, error prone and disjointed. My personal fear is that the systematic weaknesses of v3.0 will be repeated, not least that the key messages will be lost among large amounts of verbiage.

Unlike Rob though I don't lay all the blame for this on the British Civil Service, though I do believe some of those currently responsible for carrying the ITIL flame are out of their depth and years behind the time. Rather I think the market and the "industry" are ....well are what? I don't want to say "to blame" or "responsible". "Complicit" perhaps, or "co-dependent"?

James Finister

ITIL demonstrates the dangers of inside-out thinking

ITIL managed like an IT 'service' - inside-out. Forget free copies - its a business. TSO is a for profit as is APMG. Why should they give stuff away? The way ITIL is matured is radically different from COBIT - its not built by the itSMF membership. V3 proved that - I know the USA requested more V2 styled trench warfare content and perhaps a new book explaining the service lifecycle idea. This was coupled with extending the syllabus to include all 8 V2 books - giving us a business perspective and ICT set of bookends. Look how far that went.

It did not mention a peep in the requirements document. COBIT has gone to enormous lengths to involve its community and reflect their need. I am not convinced its fair to compare ITIL and COBIT at all.

That said, it would help if they could release access to the ITIL tables of content and index so we could at least see how much we need to worry about shifting landscapes.

Frankly, its my default assumption we shall see little new in ITIL Edition 2011 beyond what was already in the V2 complete set - the Purple Business perspective book rather had BRM nailed. Demand Management is part of Business Capacity Management, which got dropped and includes so many more nuances than just Demand.

Seems like the real customer facing stuff may once again fail to make muster, and ICT left languishing again despite the undue influence of Cloud Computing.

All this is making me feel I need to resurrect and republish that 2005/6 book of mine "I Think Somethings Missing from ITIL...?" - in that book I tried to offer a Xmas wish list of things V3 might target. Most of them remain outstanding. or then again - perhaps I should just remind folks there are 'alternatives'... wink wink

All this reminded me of the list of inside-out thinking indicators I blogged to a long time ago here “IO… IO… Its Off to Work We Go!”

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