Don’t box your thinking

I have seen several examples where people are locked to old thinking in ITSM. That happens to all of us and not just in ITSM. Old thinking habits and beliefs are hard to change.

One important source for artificial limits in thinking can be a framework like ITIL. I have commented on this in a few discussions on Back2ITSM and LinkedIn but I want to discuss this a bit more seriously as Bart van Brabant asked.

It seems that many practitioners are hampered by ITIL models and concepts and waste their time in trying to fit reality in an ITIL box. These barriers are completely artificial and should be removed.

Here are some examples:

ITIL does not handle feedback well. It is clear that customers will give feedback via various channels and it is valuable information which should be collected. Do not waste time in trying to fit it in ITIL processes, feedback is not incidents or requests.

ITIL does not describe production. It is the nature of production to change things. Production can be a bit messy, especially if humans are involved. Do not use change management in normal production work, David Nottingham.

Incident-Problem model is very primitive. When a customer has a problem, he wants to have a solution to the problem. This is not the same as restoration of service. You need to fix the customer and you need to fix the service and these are two different things.  When you fix the service, you need to do it well, not just hash it and leave it to Problem management for proper fixing.

The whole idea of Problem Management as a process is wrong. The activity is risk management and problem solving is a capability.

ITIL service definition describes leasing or renting. Leasing is a simple service which can easily be described in a service catalog. IT services are much more complex. You need to manage service proposals, service systems and service acts. ITIL won’t guide you there.

If your IT service has huge amounts of incidents and most of your energy goes to restoring service it is clear that the root cause is incompetence. The best solution is not implementing ITIL but to fire the staff and outsource the service. Contact James Finister. (I won’t say no to finders fees, James 😉

ITIL was a great idea and it has helped many of us to understand ITSM and see some basic structures in the field. Now you must move forward. There are no simple solutions in a box or book. Do not look for a new ITIL.


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