Happy Birthday ITIL V3, my how you have ... grown?

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OGC is celebrating the first year of ITIL V3. What do we have to show after a year? I'm underwhelmed.

Obviously ITIL is a large mammal, or perhaps a tortoise, because its growth rate does not match that of Astro the puppy. After a year ITIL is not much bigger and certainly not noticably more mature.


Not counting the five books released a year ago, the passing year has brought us two new books, Official Introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle and Passing the ITIL Foundation Exam, [one revised book, ITIL Small Scale Implementation ,updated: not until Sept 08] and five small derivative books, the Key Element Guides.

Complementary guidance? None. Apparently we can look forward to two books in the coming year Building an ITIL based Service Managament Department (any day now) and Delivering IT Services using ITIL, PRINCE2 and DSDM Atern (April 2009).
[Hands up who has heard of DSDM Atern?]

Online resources? One glossary. A token effort at a process map.


One Foundations course (with changing syllabus) and two Bridging courses.

Several more Examination Institutes to compete with EXIN and ASEB.

No Practitioner/Intermediate courses. No Diploma/Expert. No indication of what the Advanced/Master course might even look like. Names and syllabi and sample exams keep changing all the time.


A new Board on itSMF International.

No public bylaws, policy or code of conduct. No published accounts. No resources for supporting new chapters.

A new itSMFI site precipitated by the old one having its plug pulled.

No sign of the long-promised official ITIL portal.


Happy birthday

With each new revision of the ITIL books we seem to add breadth without adding depth. I was always under the impression that this version was going to have a much more ‘how to’ emphasis yet all the real good IP is still with the consultancies that you need to buy.

V3 adoption across the world is in my opinion very limited as we have many organisations still struggling with the old Service Support and Service Delivery disciplines. In this context it is very hard to take the strategic view that Service Strategy and Design needs.

This also still where the push for ITIL is coming from; if it was from the top the CIO would be pushing the strategy stuff but more often it is from the bottom where the operations focus still rules.

ITIL Master
The last lesson of a Master is simplicity

Value of ITIL V3

>>we seem to add breadth without adding depth

My sentiments exactly!

In V3 I was really hoping for a more coherent, more mature ITIL: a kind of ITIL V2.5.
Instead I get a new framework that reinvents 'all things IT managament' and presents them rather superficially.

Yes, there were some 'ITIL Refresh' consultations at the beginning of the ITIL V3 project, but I wonder if on top of the wishlist of the ITIL practitioners (not the consultants) really stood 'ITIL should address many more issues and make the whole framework more comprehensive (and complex)'?

I think that much of the success of ITIL V2 had to so with its concentration on the 'pain areas' that many IT organizations struggle with and the relative simplicity of its framework (because, frankly, the books themselves weren't so well written or edited). Lack of comprehensiveness was never a big problem - there are many other frameworks to address other areas of IT management - lack of 'how-to' examples and general consistency and clarity was!
ITIL V2 was, by a huge margin, the most popular ITSM framework. Why OGC decided not to simply improve on it and felt the need to make its successor a quite different product is beyond me - they just wanted to force everybody to buy 5 instead of 2 books (of V2, only Service Support and Service Delivery really sold)?

Granted, in presentation and consistency, there are minor improvements over ITIL V2.
I am however getting really tired of all the praise for ITIL V3 and its all new 'lifecycle approach'. It always sounds like ITIL has just now invented the idea of a lifecycle and that before V3 no IT organization has ever thought about 'value creation'.
It is like with the emperor's new clothes. Nobody wants to perceived as unaware of the importance of a lifecycle approach, too operations-oriented or outright unknowledgeable for criticizing ITIL V3 - or wants to spoil one own's consulting and training business.

On a more positive note

Three years ago when the V3 refresh was in the beginning stages, I was lecturing my foundations classes that they'd better start talking in terms of IT as a service. Why? Because all the V3 books will have the word "service" in their titles.

Maybe we don't need depth, just a little more simplicity.

Depth vs Simplicity

Hay Citizen, have to disagree on that one. The way a lot of the books could be simplified is by adding the depth so as people do not have to invent things themselves.

As there is no depth most of the IP within ITIL is created and driven by the consultancies. If that depth was put back into the books guess what would happen?

Also the consultants will go where the demand is, and as I still see little uptake in Service Strategy and Design only a few consultancies will invest in these and the worst case scenario is we see Itil 3 look like ITIL 2 where just a few core books are used.

ITIL Master
The last lesson of a Master is simplicity

Small Scale Implementation not yet available

I just checked the ogc page - the small scale implementation update will only be published by september 08.
By the way - i have passed the v3 expert bridge exam recently (the title expert is still subject to change) - and we discussed about flaws inside the 5 books in detail. the bottom line was that the books were published too quickly and need serious revising to make them consistent.

You forgot one!

Well... you forgot the V3 mapping to ISO 20K published recently and the missing cobit mapping document! .-)

This is veeery slow!


you forgot one

As "white papers" I don't consider them part of the body of knowledge. To me white papers are exploratory and only semi-official.

And you forgot one :) the ASL-ITIL mapping

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