The IT Infrastructure Library www.itil.co.uk
As many readers will know, The UK Government and a British outsourcer called Capita have formed a joint venture (JV) to own and sell the whole "Swirl" best-practice portfolio, which includes ITIL and PRINCE2. The company (which remains nameless) exists from 1st July, and will be fully operational from 1st January 2014. This is the end-game (end of days, some would say) of a journey to commercialise these frameworks that started with the mysterious disappearing 1.1.1 five years ago. OGC was run by two of the highest-paid civil servants in Britain: you don't put highly-paid execs into a tiny backwater like OGC unless it is to return a profit.
Having met Peter Hepworth (JV CEO) and Chris Barrett ("opening batsman", read: running PR interference until the JV gets a formal PR voice of its own) at the SDI13 conference in Birmingham, I thought it was time to write down a few thoughts I have over the JV.
The Capita/UK Govt JV is having a planning session on 23rd May. This is your opportunity to suggest agenda items. Don't mess about with paragraph numbering or translating into Bulgarian. Here's what I suggested.
ITIL has been sold (and Prince2 - the following discussion applies just as much to all of the "Swirl" products sold). It is a commercial product. No more half-way house with OGC outsourcing publishing and accreditation: they've gone the whole hog and flogged the Swirl suite off for the corporate shilling. (First example of this in the UK Government apparently and supposedly a model for more.) How do we feel about this new situation?
I wrote last week about how we are in the dark over the new joint venture between her Majesty's UK Government and Capita owning the "Swirl portfolio": ITIL, Prince2 and assorted other IP products.
A bulletin (pdf) has fluttered down from the castle wall today.
Lots of people are asking what the IT Skeptic makes of the recent announcement of a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and Capita to exploit the Best Practice Library. They're asking why I haven't made any comment yet. Two reasons: (1) I was off-grid for 10 days and (2) we haven't been given any information useful enough to draw many conclusions. Clearly the behaviour I call "Castle ITIL" will continue: you will be informed when they are good and ready to announce by decree, and until then the castle gates remain firmly shut. But I have been able to glean a few things...
How exactly does the UK Government spend time and money building a "Government Service Design Manual" targeted at builders of the Gov.uk online services that only once mentions ITIL?
And how does Gov.uk think that essential public services like passports, BD&M, benefits, justice, citizenship and tax are going to run with "Resources for service managers" that barely summarise the syllabus of an ITIL Foundations course?
DevOps ideology and dangerous over-simplification, that's how.
The TSO bull is back in the ITIL china-shop. Tweet this. The legal department of The Stationery Office (the publishers of ITIL) sent a letter to the publisher Lulu.com (not me) complaining that my book Owning ITIL® "contains the Intellectual Property associated with ITIL". This was puzzling. More than that, it was bloody annoying, as Lulu delete a disputed book without recourse, the big pussies.
It was especially annoying once I established just how trivial and vexatious the complaint really was. TSO are acting like a legal bully and the world should know it. Especially they should know it right now, as the Cabinet Office are negotiating the sale of ITIL's rights.
If this is Castle ITIL's idea of how to build a community, then ITIL's demise looks ever more certain. It is disheartening.
We've come a long way as an industry. Some of us more than others. VMWare for example. Their announcement that they replace ITIL is just another Crap Factoid that shows they are still in the Tin Age.
In ITIL, we don't separate Incidents from Problems properly. This causes a muddy and confused definition of both. Join me as I try one more time to make this clear.