The IT Skeptic's Solid Gold Hits, Volume 1 - selected quotes

Here are some favourite quotes from the IT Skeptic:

Bullshit sounds less like bullshit when it is exact bullshit

If ITIL V2 taught us how to walk, ITIL V3 teaches us how to run. Trouble is so many organisations are still sitting down.

To create solutions, think of people, process and technology in equal parts and in that order.

One of the essentials of democracy is that extreme views are required to move the lump in the middle so I apply a little leverage at times

Vendors are often guilty of distorting truth, but many buyers are guilty of suspending disbelief

There is as much research for ITIL as there is supporting homeopathy, i.e. anecdotal reports with no controls. Actually homoepathy is different because real science shows it doesn't work. With ITIL we just don't know. ITIL could be as much about the placebo effect as diluted water is.

When all you have is a hammer, the nail looks like the problem.

Software vendors are the opposite of consultants - you only ever see software vendors when you are NOT paying them

It is high time the owners and hangers-on of ITIL got off their high horses and opened ITIL up to the community collaboration so easy in this millenium... If I may continue the analogy: not to the extent of letting the money changers and hookers into the temple, just some sort of protestant reformation.

You don’t see civil engineers coming up with cool new ways to build bridges every few years, especially not cool new ways that turn out to be more expensive and less safe than traditional techniques

If members don't mind the itSMF being the OGC's pet monkey or a carnival of prancing vendors, then they can just leave it to slide down its current slippery slope.

The USA likes steampunk business infrastructure (think mobile phones)

It is so often the vendors with their approach of "When all you have is a hammer, call it a drill" that destroy the useful meaning of terminology.

“Relational database, corporate data model, repository, directory, CMDB”. I hear that old refrain “once we get everything in one place…”

If ITIL is broadly applicable in spirit and not necessarily in detail, then how can we have four-tier certfication and product compliance?

Is ITIL like sacred texts that are read only under guidance of a priest? or are they intended to actually be useful to the public?

You can do ITIL with Post-it® Notes, and the way things are going it won’t be long before 3M are advertising Post-it® Notes as “ITIL compliant”.
The fact is that vendors are full of it when it comes to ITIL.

All the published ITIL documents define ITIL as Best Practice. (Do you recall how Winnie the Pooh said things in Title Case to show that they were Very Important?)

I hear the march of zealots, sweeping aside reason in their quest for ITIL purity.

There is more evidence for quack alternative medicines than there is for ITIL.

If IT ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Adopting ITIL is [often] like ripping up perfectly good carpet so you can polish the floorboards: it is very satisfying but there is no business case for it.

Standards gestate like elephants.

Most analysts produce a combination of insight and gibberish

Chucking facts in a bucket is not Knowledge Management

If Microsoft get sick of being called the source of all evil, they should stop behaving like it.

It isn't the guy with the best tools who wins, it is the guy who operates with more effectiveness and efficiency than his competitors

I was in sales long enough to know that perception will substitute nicely for reality

[Using the term] "Best practice" leads with the chin

My latest prediction is that by the time [a CMDB standard] does emerge blinking, nobody will give a flying fox anyway. CMDB will be, like, so 2007, and IT's chattering classes will be whipping some new concept to fever pitch, safely way out ahead of the possibility of actually building or delivering anything.

...applying that other great Litmus test: common sense [Common sense is something that used to be common, hence the name. You youngsters look it up on Wikipedia].

CMDB is another of these techno-geek fantasies to fix everything - it looks good in concept but turns out to be wildly impractical in practice

When geeks invent tools to fix technical problems it's great. When they try to invent tools to fix people and process problems it's not so great.

Where do these analysts get off, creating markets and then feeding off them? Analysts should call themselves what they are, marketing outsourcers, instead of dressing themselves up in a cloak of respectability by pretending to make impartial assessments in the best interests of their readers. At least the vendors are overt about it.

I thought I kept getting the wrong end of the stick with new terminology, until I realised that is was other people moving the stick.

What defines “bad” process that “needs” ITIL? Getting a low score on a CMM-like maturity model.
What is that model benchmarked against? The ITIL definition.
Who defines the model and then measures it? The consultants who stand to profit from “fixing” the processes.
Kind of circular reasoning don’t you think?

The first step to reforming is often ITIL awareness training, for if they wallow in ignorance they cannot be saved. Never mind what they call their processes now; they have to know to call them the one true process. “Because you are ignorant of my framework, that makes you ignorant”.
The next step is executive sponsorship. First rule of missionaries: if you want to convert the populace, try to convert their ruler.
Then we have to work out how to effect cultural change, which is a nice name for overcoming resistance. In a recent survey “72 percent claim the biggest barrier to ITIL adoption in their business is organizational resistance.” Well, hello.

CMDB is the only major example of ITIL describing what-should-be rather than what-is-and-how-to-manage-it, and it fails the test of common sense.

[IBM] is the company with such a firm grasp of ITIL strategic issues that they sold their service desk product to Peregrine, abandoned to an inevitable brutal death. That's a bit like GM getting out of making engines and then telling other auto makers what they need to make cars.

how do you auto-discover that this logical database on this database instance is accessed by this Java code which is is part of this logical transaction which supports this conceptual business process which provides part of this Service to this Business Unit whose service owner is Fred and it is delivered under this SLA so when we close that logical database we impact Fred's SLA. Sorry but that is a long way from a few pretty network diagrams and a report on how much memory is in the CPU.

If the human race is to have any hope at the end of the 21st Century, we will have rediscovered Quality by then. The trashy disposable pap that characterises Western civilisation at the start of this century will be seen as an embarrassing diversion, like the Naughty Nineties at the turn of the last one.

it is quite true that Pinkverify does not claim "compliance". But it certainly does assert assessment, validation, verification, certification, compatibility, comparison against criteria, explicit demonstration of commitment, reassurance, diligence, support for definition and requirements, and guidance met, which does not leave much else in the thesaurus.

[Stolen ITIL IP on eBay:] This dickless sneaking around with sad little piles of stolen IP, peddling them like a thief on a street corner – it is beneath contempt. Ten bucks a time! These two guys live in the USA and Hong Kong: if you can’t make that kind of money honestly in those countries, you’re an idiot.

If the process is broken technology is not going to fix it. Bang your head hard against the desk while repeating five times "technology is not going to fix it"... If you are paunchy and aging, buying a red sportscar does not fix the problem. If all the kids shun you at school, a HotWheels set is not going to change that. If you can't get your people to write down what they changed, a shiny "Automated Application Dependency Mapping" (or any of the other gadgets being peddled around the ITIL world right now) is not going to make any difference.

the official name is ISO/IEC 20000. Check out how many sites bother with this cumbersome correctness. EXIN don't. Wonder how long before the anally-retentive standards folk set them straight: "Stop calling him Bert. His name is Engelbert".

vendors can't sell strategic process tools because strategic processes don't need technology solutions.

One thing Google couldn't find for me was the Gartner paper in question. I'd love to check out their data, and their methodology.
At the end of the day, though, it doesn't matter how they came up with the number. (I know how they came up with it: they pulled it out of their ... um ... analyst).

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