Gearing up for the new year ahead: what would readers most like to see from the IT Skeptic in 2008?


The Gap between ITIL and ITSM

I would be most interested in exploring the limitations of ITIL in the context of ITSM and the limitations of itSMf and its ability to meet the needs of ITSM professionals and the ITSM industry..

My definition of ITSM is Delivery of IT within a enterprise, so expand ITIL into topics of software development lifecyle, project management, business consulting, navigating company politics, gathering user requirements, facilitating meetings etc. etc. etc..

Brad Vaughan

ITIL contains more than you think

In the Netherlands we've been dealing with a discussion between the ITIL people and the application management people if ITIL is specific for Infrastructure Management or not. With the introduction of ITIL3 the conclusion is (in my own words) that on a strategic level application management is part of the service life cycle but on the operation level the best practices in application management are lacking. Thus, the software development lifecycle is part of the ITIL3 framework on a strategic level. And for more best practices and guidance in software development you still have to look towards something like CMM-I. The same can be said for project management (linking it naturally to Prince2).
The Service Strategy book contains a lot of guidance on business consulting and gathering user requirements, even though you might want to read the book several times before you will find it. And there is a section in, I think the Service Transition book, on facilitating meetings as well.
You seen, you do not need to expand ITIL. That is already done. They had the same idea that a Service Management Framework needs to be about more then only infrastructure management ;-)
Now, how do we get the whole IT community to understand this and not limit our discussion to just the ITSM incrowd?


Who left the IT in itSMF?

Your comment inspired this post

Already happening

(1) With the release of version 3, ITIL ceased to be an acronym and became simply a brand: "The ITIL Service Management Practices".

(2) The authors were mindful not to venture outside of service management. For example, app/eng development (CMMI) or governance/audit (Cobit) or defect elimination (6-Sigma) or programme management (Prince/PMBOK) and so on.

(3) In my corner of the world, CFOs and CIOs have quickly picked up on the new version and its orientation on customer outcomes. Nonetheless, I was surprised to hear a CIO for a $15B company use an ITIL phrase in this CIO webcast:

These CIOs now view ITIL as an enterprise framework, not an infrastructure tool. CIOs have been a rare bird at itSMF conferences. Perhaps that will change.

So my point still stands!!

I think the replies to my comment actually reinforce my point, rather than debunking it.. The problem is maybe my point was not clear.


ITSM ~= ITIL, CMMI, PRINCE2, CoBIT, SixSIGMA and many other practice, methods and frameworks.. (assumption: IT is a Service, therefore Service Management = IT Management)

ITIL should not try to be all these other things, because focus=quality and in the spirit of openess, you should leverage learnings in other fields. Additionally these other things have cultures and communities which have very different goals that are equally important.

What I would like to get ITSkeptic to do is spend more time on expanding the discussion from ITIL to all these other things that are essential to a professional who considers themselves in the IT Service Management Field.

My view at the moment is ITSM and particularly the itSMf is core ITIL focussed with some discussion on integration of ITIL with these other frameworks, practices and methods.. I think the governance of the development of ITIL should focus on that scope and the professional body should be more inclusive of these other frameworks and concentrate on making the Service Managers knowledgeable of these areas.

This is my normal b*tch about itSMf being the marketing arm of ITIL and not a professional representation of Service Management.

$0.02 as always

Brad Vaughan

integration is still at the horizon

Paul - may I disagree?
In the Netherlands a number of organizations have indeed adopted an application-flavoured version of ITIL, and therewith reinforced the drama triangle. This has largely been caused by the fact that ITIL was so very weak on guidance for the application management function. But that doesn't justify emphasizing the separation between application management and "the rest of IT service management". I even think it is counterproductive. I can't think of a reason to undermine the integration of the IT services domain - which includes the application function.
So you're right to say that ITIL covers the software lifecycle at a high level, but it never spent many words on it. And it definitely has not been integrated into one service structure.

The second point I disagree on, is the idea that ITIL should expand - or as you say already has expanded - to cover the entire domain of information management. There are many frameworks, powerful organizations, and completely new fields out there, that ITIL hasn't even touched upon. Just imagine that domains that are served by parties like the Data Governance Institute would be overrun by ITIL/itSMF... I can't imagine how that would could be done. Cross-referencing between the various frameworks is limited to only a very few, and is done at a very abstract level, so there is no real integration whatsoever. And as long as the involved parties want to hold on to their identities, I have little hope for any integration. Anyone having seen the battles at the election field will recognize that protection of interests is too often the main driver. Integration is still at the horizon.

ITIL V3, Application Management & ASL

I've recently had the pleasure of co-authoring an OGC White Paper on the Application Management aspects of ITIL V3 with Machteld Meijer and Sharon Taylor. It gives an overview of what V3 does and doesn't cover and I agree with Paul, it may surprise you. There are a couple of areas which could have been covered in more depth but the paper also refers to the more specialized Application Services Library (ASL), which complements ITIL in these areas. You'll find it on

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