2012 #5 A tool is not an objective

The IT Skeptic's Skeptical Informer newsletter for 17th November 2012.

Here are a couple of simple principles I wish the IT industry would grok:

1) It doesn't matter whether we are talking about software or ITIL, they are just tools. Any tool is not an objective ("ITIL for its own sake", "We are converting to Remedy") Tweet this

2) Processes (or I prefer to say "practices") are not a unit of work ("we'll do incident first then change"). Tweet this

To improve anything, follow the golden footprints, sing along with the bouncing dot:
Identified need, problem or risk
-> business requirement
-> objective(s)
-> desired IT outcomes (COBIT maps all this)
-> identified improvements
-> designed solution
-> appropriate bits of best-practice processes create a composite solution
-> efficiency and/or effectiveness constraints
-> software requirements

Anyone who starts with ITIL or some tool like Remedy or Service-Now as the reason and framework for their project gets what they deserve.

This ought to be 101 stuff. It still isn't.

Related posts from the blog (don't forget to check out the comments! Always good):

How to improve your service configuration data and what that means for CMDB
Never mind the title of the post. In that post I said:

The way process improvement works - and I explain this over and over to the IT tech community - is
1) get ownership and accountability
2) define the behaviour you expect through policy
3) capture the current procedures and repositories to record and report configuration data
4) communicate the policy
5) educate in how to comply using the current procedures and repositories
6) measure compliance as best you can
7) performance-manage so that people comply
8) when people complain about the metrics, work together to improve the measurement infrastructure
9) when people complain about the procedure being too burdonsome, work together to improve the efficiency of the process and reduce the manual effort
10) when people complain about the data being too inaccurate, work together to improve the effectiveness of the process.
11) if you identify efficiency and effectiveness improvements that imply a tool improvement, make technology improvements according to that requirement in order to deliver that efficiency or effectiveness. For a tiny number of organisations this improvement will imply a full CMDB (see below) technology to automate data capture and/or federate the data view. Mostly not. What you use now will work well enough if you improve the behaviours and make smaller improvements to the tools.

THAT's what we need to do. Standard process improvement. Please can I stop explaining that now?

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