Getting IT aligned with the business's needs and strategies is probably one of the toughest elements of any IT manager's job - yet remains among the most essential, right up there with keeping the lights on. It's about ensuring that IT delivers a return on investment, demonstrates its business value, provides continuous …
ITIL is flawed
ITIL is the accountancy form of process managment in that its flawed. It has no capability to proactivly address problems and is purely event driven. The model just don't work that way. It's great for event/problem handerling of events that are happening or happened in regards to managmnet reporting and botom line but on its own it has no scope to alow people to be proactive in addressing problems. I mean how can you charge for something that has no event associated to it.
Have a look at ITIL and then look at how it can handle the unknown. Sad thing is people who use it take it as a bible and foreseen problems end up getting overshadowed as they are not events that are happening.
ITIL is not salt, you cant liberaly sprinkle it everywere and have things taste better. It has a use and it has its flaws. Personaly I see its flaws more than most but I give a shit about my work and in that way its very very counter-productive.
I did the ITILv3 Foundation course a couple of years ago, I thought the ideas behind it were sound... but every company I've worked with that has tried to implement ITIL processes has made a complete balls up of it.
ITIL does work. Organizations that fail to make best use of ITIL just have the wrong culture and people. ITIL isn't about being proactive, it's about learning from errors and mistakes and continually improving the service. You can be pro-active if you want but ITIL isn't about how you do that. In fact ITIL is not about how to do anything, it's about what things should be done, now how. ITIL is mostly common sense, but it's amazing how many organizations overlook common sense unless it's written out as a framework of best practice.
And yes, I'm a fan of ITIL, having helped implement it for large organizations and seen first hand the real benefits it does deliver to IT operations.
"Organizations that fail to make best use of ITIL just have the wrong culture and people."
Just like politicians often have the wrong electorate...
In theory, ITIL is "best practice". In practice, it isn't. It values processes and procedures over people, and results in pointless bureaucracy, which bogs everything down and makes it harder to get anything done.
ITIL is only part of the puzzle...
ITIL usually fails in organsiations where 'techies' have more influence over IT than the business and run roughshod over anything they percieve to introduce extra 'work' into their daily lives. Thinking specifically things like change management. It should also be said that ITIL isn't the be all and end all and should be used in conjunction with other frameworks that support IT and the business like TOGAF, RiskIT, COBIT etc. Taking the best of each is more likely to yield a more comprehensive, wider scoped, service delivery function.
ITIL does have it's places and is good for managment types and reporting to customers and control wth regards to know issues/role outs and the like, heck the Telco industry love it and for the amount of inter-business interworking involved something like ITIL is essentual.
The problem is that people in upper managment take it as gospil and as such force it as a template that if it don't fit then it was never an issue to start with and as we all know this prevents any form of proactive initiative towards problems.
One example would be that I walked into a server room once and I have a extreemly keen nose and could smell a hint of electrical burn (like solder melt), anyhow I tracked it down to a server in a rack and thought this box is goona die. Now all the system monitoring/operations on that server was fine, nothing indicating any form of fault and it was all running perfectly. I wanted to get a spare reimaged ready to replace it as I just knew it was goona die from instint but wasn't able to as it wasn't a issue and as such no fault could be raised. Two days later that exact box died a glorius death, impacted the entire rack to some degree and upshot was it took half a day to get a replacement. In hindsight this could of been avoided all due to the ability to get a charge code issues/athorised but ITIL don't deal with hindsight or experience, its a procedural flow with exacting control and for know issues and other area's outlined above it is fantastic. But becasue it afords no scope for catering for anything proactive it can and generaly always does by managment to be the written in stone approach to everything.
I have noticed that this is more the case with managment types who have very little technical ability and no history of working in the trench's so too speak, as apposed to those who migrated thru the racks up the ladder. I'm not saying that all managment shoudl be technicaly compitent as there staff but it helps, A good manager should need to be as they have staff for that and they can trust there ability and they inturn can trust there manager to deal with there part. They buffer the manager from the technical detail beyond it can be done in X time and the manager inturn buffers the It workers from the likes of HR and other upper forms of meeting the time away type affairs. But there needs to be that level of trust and if the manager knows ITIL then they also tend to shit and breath it and nothing else. Thing is with shit you can get nuts in it and without hindsight you would never know or even be aware that somebody didn't chew there nuts.
No solution is perfect, but if you know and can accept that then you will do fine with ITIL, just don't take it as gospel and rememebr it is only part of the picture and not the frame limiting your canvas space.
I hope managment learn and adapt without costly mistakes of poo pooing hindsight from there staff who know the IT aspect best with regards to what the company actualy does as apposed to what the any paper percspective.
But hey, when companies are measured performance wise on a shareprice controled by outside perspective you can see why for some it dosn't matter what you actualy do but what your perceieved to do and happily pretend that there are no exceptions to any rules. Sadly though most companies worship there share price over any people resource or asset and in that they are nothing more than chips on a roulette wheel.
I hope one day that I work for a company that has ITIL running in a way that caters for initiative and proactivity, but ironicly in a way ITIL does that as we would never have the 5 9's service agreements aas they would all be 100% uptime instead, were do you thing the differences come from, yip excceptions to the rule. Shit happens, but if your not allowed to buy a shovel until the shit appears then you have already lost valuable time, which sadly the IT staff get blamed for dispite that fact they haev no scope to operate in preventing it, even were they could.
I disagree. ITIL is an important part of any IT department.
It is, and should be taken as the most important thing in any IT department. It does create an much needed extra level within the IT department that is much needed.
ITIL is the best practice within the industry. Processes and procedures are a fundamental and people such follow these best policies for the sucess of the organization. It also helps to increase accountability within any organization.