The Skeptical Informer, September 2007, Volume 1, No. 8
The newsletter of the IT Skeptic. All the IT skeptical news that is fit to print... and then some!
The ITIL certification storm continues to rage. The IT Skeptic blog saw much activity around training and certification this month. How on earth do APMG expect to have any credibility as a training organisation if they violate the most basic principles of adult education? I am no expert but I did half of a post-graduate Certificate in Adult Education before I discovered what lecturers get paid, and I have designed and delivered many IT courses from one to five days long, and I'm shocked by what I see.
Never have I heard a single authorative source suggest that 25 is an appropriate size for a class in a complex technical subject like ITIL.
Nobody in their right mind would consider covering all five ITIL books in three days - no matter how lightly - with people who have no prior exposure to the subject.
And only post-modernist intellectual idiots suggest that multi-choice is an appropriate mechanism for examining practitioners in IT consulting.
But APMG thinks all of these are a good idea. I don't actually think that APMG or the Senior Examiner Panel are stupid people, so that leaves one other option: that all these decisions were taken with a commercial imperative. They are not in the best interest of the students, they are not designed to deliver quality education, they are not intended to ensure competent graduates. It is hard to come to any other conclusion than that these three decisions are taken solely to benefit the vendors of training.
Pack them in at 25 a course to maximise revenues. Keep it down to three days to make it easy to sell. And make all exams multi-choice so we don't have to pay human graders - we can just run it through a machine.
I find this venality appalling, especially because it is so overt. APMG is answerable to no-one but OGC, who never takes a stand on anything except protecting their own copyright. itSMF exists to promote the industry not to represent the user community, so they are not going to pipe up. The industry can just pillage away unchallenged. No wonder the Department of Justice is sniffing around our industry: I can smell the stink from here in New Zealand.
This month we had several incidents of fairly upset people expressing negative views of me: one at the start of the month and one at the end, and another that suggest I need to "get a life". Sir, I'm trying to.
On the other hand we had some superb discussions going that I think contributed to the ITSM body of knowledge, and I hope were enjoyable and valuable for readers. On balance, a good month for comments on the blog. Here is my precis of the activity:
The debate over value networks continued unabated: excellent points on all sides and a fascinating read.
So too did the discussion and criticism of ITIL V3 Foundations courses and exams here and here and here (the last thread included the ugly issue of class sizes and the awful official feedback mechanism)
There was interesting discussion of how many processes are there in V3 and what constitutes a process that segued into the difference between Risk and Problem.
Sharon Taylor responded to a couple of comments, including the thorny question of exam result moderation (read; adjustment), as did Peter Brooks on the election topics. I welcome the views of the ITIL "establishment" to bring balance to the blog. I had to clarify that in one thread.
My assertion that itSMF members are in fact "shareholders" triggered a good discussion of itSMF's role.
We talked about how to get to version 3 in stages .
Sorry folks, but I dredged up the CMDB arguement again (which turned into a brisk debate of Service Catalogue). Nobody picked up on the irony of me accusing the vendors of beating the CMDB drum.
On a lighter note:
itsm_stephen has been digging into the back corners of the blog and commented on IBM's sale of TSD and how they tried to sell it's latest incarnation to him again!
mbuzina thinks that itSMF can teach ISACA one thing: how to attract publicity,
LiteHeaded was shattered to learn the IT Skeptic is real,
and John Worthington posted a nice poem about me that erased all the nastiness over the month. Thanks John!
ISACA and itSMF can do more together. There is a great deal of synergy between our organisations and very little overlap.
Writing a presentation today, I was reminded again of the biggest hole in the ITIL content, even ITIL3. ITIL3 now describes the lifecycle of a service, and does an excellent job of it. But where is the guidance on how to implement the ITIL process machinery to manage that service through its lifecycle? Where is the lifecycle of the lifecycle, as it were - the meta-lifecycle?
[updated]On contemplating the recent nominations for the itSMF International Board and Chair, I wonder if any other readers share my concern that 5 out of 12 candidates were eliminated on a technicality? Especially a technicality that the current Board and Chair might not have met...
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