The Emperor Still Has No Clothes: no evidence for ITIL
We still call ITIL "best" and we still put up business cases for millions of dollars to implement it, yet there has never been any empirical scientific research to show that ITIL does better than, say, astrology as a framework for IT processes.
"The Emperor has no clothes. Where is the evidence for ITIL?" is the second-most-viewed entry on this blog. Now an updated and revised version has been published as an ITSM Watch article.
ITIL is big business worldwide, perhaps the biggest game in the IT town right now. But there is still no systematic rigorous evidence of its effectiveness.
Analysts often publish “research” which involves asking managers:
- How successful they were in implementing something
- How much money they returned to the business after spending the organisation’s funds
Not only do the participants in analyst surveys often have a vested interest in painting a rosy picture, but the methodology is entirely subjective (“On a scale of 1 to 5, how brilliant were you…”) and totally unscientific:
- There is no control group to compare to.
- There is no blind sampling to remove researcher bias.
- There is often no random sampling: respondents self-select by agreeing to respond.
- There is no peer review.
Often there may appear to have been actual research by the analysts but close examination reveals it is all hearsay.
Everything the IT Skeptic has seen to date involves asking people what they plan to do or how well they did. It is all anecdotal, self selecting, self-serving, skewed bilge: amusing, even useful in some aplications, but not evidence.