ITIL made easy

Implementing ITIL is easy. Really. Here are the secrets of Easy ITIL:

You can certify in three days, or study on the web for nothing.

You can be sure ITIL is easy because even the official ITIL books from the British Government include one called ITIL Lite which promises "a project template to help readers prepare their own project. Ideal for those departments whose budgets have been reduced ... a step by step guide to implementing selected components". ITIL by numbers.

You can buy "ITIL out of the box". It's true, I read it, from a big reputable software company

Reduce consulting, speed implementation, and facilitate documentation with out-of-the-box solutions... software is now designed specifically to deliver the processes contained in the ITIL... The days of hype are over... these solutions significantly reduce the effort required to implement ITIL. With these advanced solutions, you can get a substantial head start on your ITIL implementation

[that's from a guy who is now an official partner of the British Government, entrusted with certifying ITIL products - he ought to know!]

...and I heard it from a reliable journalist

The OGC's seal of approval designates that... tool could be described as ITIL out of the box.

This isn't just me saying it - it's the actual people who work with the British Government owners of ITIL. (Other folk can deliver ITIL out of the box to you too - low cost and no consultants!) C'mon! You know it's true! The software sets up quickly, the processes come with it. You're almost done!

Here are the secrets of Easy ITIL:

  • To implement ITIL, all you need to do is to get the CIO to send an email saying "we are henceforth an ITIL shop". Nothing else is measurable. When folk say they are an ITIL shop, 9 times out of 10 that's all they mean.
  • If that doesn't work for you, pay someone to write some processes for you, put them in binders, and show them to auditors. It is more expensive but not much more disruptive. [I call myself an ITIL Archaeologist: when engaged by a new client my first task is to go look for old ITIL initiatives. About half the time they are there, gathering dust, forgotten by all but a disillusioned few.]
  • If you think you can implement ITIL and then close the project, tick the box, and move on to something else, then you might as well close the project now and save the money. That's right: declare victory, announce ITIL implemented and move on. You'll have the same effect as if you went to the end of the project first.
  • The #1 thing I need to tell you: if you believe in Easy ITIL you will get all that you deserve in life, starting with being removed from your current position sooner or later. There is no tooth fairy and no easy ITSM. You can't buy a solution, and you can't pay consultants for process. The only way to successfully improve your services is to change the way your people think and work. Get over it and grow up, or fail and waste someone else's money.


"Out of the Box"

I checked out one of the links in skeptic's article. Here's a direct quote.

"Service Definition is a highly customizable web application, designed to help companies implement ITIL-based processes quickly and easily, at a very low cost. This innovative product includes templates based on ITIL "best practices", which can easily be customized to suit the needs of your organization."

They use a version of the term "customize" twice. I always thought "out of the box" implied no need to customize. And if you fall back on the concept that every company needs to customize the product to fit their terminology, processes, organization, you aren't really out of the box, are you? Just giving someone a set of templates isn't implementing anything.

I stand by a previous assertion, the only thing that works 'out of the box' is Jack.

Best Regards,

ITIL out of the box

Mr England really! I know you're the sceptic but please be sure to not quote out of context to bend things to your point of view. The article you quote from me clearly states that it's the PEOPLE element that is important when implementing ITSM and that the tools simply make life easier if they have the ITIL processes automated and documented within them (out of the box). Read the analogy given, The car with Sat Nav is useless if you have no driver, or the driver is not trained and licensed to drive!

Oh and by the way, I'm not employed by the British Government, nor a partner of the British Government (apart from the taxes I pay!). SMCG is simply licensed by the APM Group to deliver a service. APM Group are licensed by the OGC (A UK Governement agency reporting to the Cabinet office) to accredit people and companies in regard to OGC owned services (like training and assessments). I know you enjoy having a go, but at least get the facts right and clear so your followers have a chance on making their own opinion.

“A fool with a tool is still a fool.” – Grady Booch

ITIL and the other good reference sources, like USMBOK and CobiT, are to be evaluated and implemented by management to achieve improvement in their Service and Asset Management services.

At the core of things, realized benefits are primarily an outcome of good management and not necessarily the best technology.

Deming wrote that, "The aim is a value judgement."
There is a movie, Wedding Date, in which they talk about the proposition that women get the relationship they want. Perhaps so, I don't know. But, I do know that management gets the service management systems they want - they make the decisions, they set the budget, they allocate the resources.

Gartner says that IT Service and Asset Management is 80% people and process, and 20% technology. Forrester says it is 70% / 30%. Let’s split the difference: IT Service and Asset Management is:
75% people and process;
25% technology.

“Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing hows and whats, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability.” – Larry Bossidy and Ram Charon, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done.

All economic benefits arise from use and not from design. As John Seely Brown wrote, "Processes don't do work, people do."

Getting people to execute consistently requires their buy-in.
"The plan is nothing; planning is everything." – Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

ITIL in a box is simply foolish nonsense. As is any similar concept that having an ITIL tool will do anything more for you than give you a of a jump start over creating the tool yourself and helping you achieve ROI faster and execute better.

As Peter Drucker wrote, "What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it is another matter."

Cary King
Minerva Enterprises
CEO - Managing Partner

we underspend on process and people

I agree. At the recent itSMF Australia conference, I went for
50% people
30% process
20% tech

To clarify, I'm not saying we overspend on technology. I'm saying we underspend on process and especially we WAY underspend on people. This triggered a new blog post


I'll let readers from their own opinion of the article, "Who says you can’t get ITIL out of the box?".

Since APMG are acting as an agent of OGC and since SMCG had a primary role in initiating OGC's product assessment system and providing the initial assessment criteria (i.e. you helped create the service you are now licensed to deliver), I'd say "partner" isn't overstating the relationship, but I'm happy to be corrected. If you act on behalf of APMG who act on behalf of OGC then you most certainly are employed by the government as far as i can see. if it isn't "partner" or "employee" what is it?

Implementing CMS

From the 'who says' article: An out-of-the-box CMDB means you have only to populate the CMDB with the data describing your organization's IT environment.

Of course, what could be more simple? Shouldn't take an intern more than 1-2 days to enter everything. As long as you don't have more than one server, one PC and maybe 4 -5 software applications. I can't come up with an analogy clever enough to mock such a simplistic statement.

Best Regards,

Great article by Mr Turbitt

Reading that article explains why BMC Remedy's market share is in free fall, sinking like a stone*. Unrealistic expectations guarantee disappointment.


* Based on my own study, see (in Finnish and from Finland but numbers are numbers, first graph is market share and second is customer satisfaction).

Great post

This is good and timing was perfect. I have just had some discussion with clients on this subject. One gets the feeling that they are expecting miracles to happen with minimal exercise.

My company's name means the maritime sign that indicates that the northern route is safe. The philosophy behind the name (other than it is an up-pointing arrow) is that a consultants role is warn about dangers and point a safe route. Customers must decide themselves where they want to go and what risks they want to take.

One can bring current problems to light, give ideas on how to solve those problems and guide the problem solving process. The motivation and hard work must come from the customer. I wrote here a long time ago that getting a process up and running takes a long time and somebody assumed that I waste my customers' money by spending months with them. In practise my involvement in a process improvement project which takes 9 months could be just three days.

There are problems with this method.
1) If the customer does not do anything, they get nothing. There is no binder to gather dust.
2) If the project is succesfull, customer may feel that they did ALL the work and the consultant did nothing. Outcome-wise this is not bad, people believe more in solutions they have invented themselves but they may feel that the consultant was unnecessary and that is not good for the business.


Ok, preaching to the choir, but really....

While this is all true and are actually (unbelievably) being pushed out there in the marketplace, our issue as a set of consultants/vendors/practitioners, is that the materials are now RALLY needed and could be used. In the past, most folks were blind to the gaps in common mission vision under the ITSM train wreck because none of us were actually using it enough to uncover those gaps. Now we are all there and knockin on the door and finding out that the Wizard of Oz is actually a pipe organ and smoke machine. What a let down. The issue is that we all really need the Wizard to be REAL and are now stuck with NOTHING. On top of that there is no door #2 or door #3 to find the wizard that CAN help us (no lack of respect to the ITIL Wizard). All the materials have wicked warts that when perception is everything, perceived validity discredits even the best of stuff...

ITIL has the Castle ITIL industry driving it, not quality. It's clearly known.
COBIT is silent. What the heck is ISACA doing to make this mainstream. ummm, nothing?
LEAN is bigger than just IT and ITSM, so it wouldn't be consistently accepted.
PMBOK and Prince don't tell the whole story or acknowledge that there is more to the story.
Six Sigma is all numbers and math so its...hard.
ISO speak is king arthur and round tablean thou shalt prescriptive crap that make people angry or annoyed
MOF is from Microsoft, nuff said.
TOGAF is just a bad name

This truly like the Lord of the Rings. There are lots of great, valuable, pretty rings out there, but none of them are the one ring 'to unite' all. On top of that, the ITIL industry is brutal segmented as well, juts like LOTR. Old Guard Castle ITIL like the grey wizards, ITIL trainers like the dwarfs with axes, practitioners like the tough warriors on horses charging blindly into battle, process consultants like the elves high and mighty in their trees, tool vendors like the orcs. We don't have the friggin one ring (and if we did, would use it right or just try to use it like Castle ITIL does now to create power and wealth - hmmmm), and we don't have the selfless hobbits out there leading us and bringing us all together to do the right things.

I'm tired of all this. ITIL is great, but it's not everything and won't ever be everything. ITSM is what we have to do but the teams we need don't play nice or even together at all. We just can't collectively with all our greedy little hands get well enough out of each other's way and pull the damn oars in the same direction...

Thanks for your voice. Keep it up Skeptic from the Shire...



Ken Wendle has been doing a LOTR-ITIL presentation for years but funnily enough his take on it was slightly different to yours Kory. Great stuff, thanks for sharing that!

Its the heavy mental lifting thats hard

ITIL is easy, reading is fun.

Its applying the concepts, fitting it to your organization, aligning it to existing practices, overcoming resistance to change, selling the benefits and value and finally doing the heavy mental lifting required to use it thats tough.

People want the easy answer(s), twas ever so. So we keep on explaining, working with them and helping them realize that unless you are willing to put in the effort, you are not going to be able to move the rock.

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