OGC revising ITIL again

Just when I asked whether there was any change to ITIL V3 books, out comes Project requirements for an update to the ITIL® core publications. OGC say "scope of change is gradual and not too extensive." We've heard that before.

Remember how we were reassured that ITIL V3 was just a 'refresh'? The PRINCE2 folk got the same story recently. So I'm not buying that.

The Issue Log contains 312 issues relating to the five core ITIL publications and the ITIL glossary...
The core guidance will be updated in response to issues raised via the Change Control Log and from criticism of inconsistencies
in both the content and structure of the five titles...
Additionally, user feedback and feedback from the training community indicate that the Service Strategy publication is difficult to understand. The text needs to be made more accessible by using simpler language, so that all the concepts remain the same but are explained in a clearer manner. The readability is to be improved by a technical edit that will involve rewording but not necessarily rewriting the whole text [down to a high-school reading age I presume]...
Roles need to be made consistent across the books, ensuring that the activities apply only to one role...
Restructure the guidance to ensure that all five publications are organized in the same way:
–– Ensure that each process has goals, purpose and objectives
–– Look at how the processes are dealt with, and ensure a common treatment for all
–– Ensure that the books are aligned, where relevant, with guidance in MSP™, M_o_R®, PRINCE2® and P3O®.
–– Ensure that the explanations in the text align with those in the glossary
–– Update to the glossary to take account of the comments made in the Change Control Log
–– Examine the definition and usage of the roles of Product Manager and Service Owner
–– Ensure that service catalogue manager appears within Service Operation

Quality criteria for this update dictate that the content must:
• Be written in plain English and idiom-free
• Be free from inconsistencies across all five titles, and therefore beneficial to the end user and the training community
• Benefit from the simplification of all existing concepts where appropriate

So what do you think? Sound like "gradual and not too extensive"?

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for the revision. I bet TSO are all for it too with all the folks like me who will refresh their books. There will be less jubilation amongst training organisations who are yet to see ROI fromn the last time they updated their training materials, and all the third party publishers like VHP who will need to update their own ITIL books.

I just wish OGC would properly communicate the significance of these changes to the community so we can prepare, instead of trying to pass them off as trivial.

I also wish they'd forecast a timeframe for this so we can all make some plans. They do own PRINCE2 after all.

Read more about this "Refresh Refresh", the ITIL V3 Update, here

Thanks to Ian Clayton and ServiceSphere for both pointing this news out to me. There seems to be no RSS feed from OGC??? (they really gotta enter the 21st Century) and I either didn't get or missed any email. [Minutes after I posted this, OGC announced it on Twitter]

Ian has an upcoming webinar on this that could be interesting - knowing Ian :) Whilst you're in the mood, check out Chris's webinars too.


Rewrite of Service Strategy

After recently re-engaging with reading the Service Strategy book, I'm reversing my reasoning re the re-write of this reference as required by the Refresh Refresh.

The reason is the requirement to... ok enough "re"s. It's bloody hard to read. It is not just the complexity of the concepts and it it not even the academic approach. Some of it is just opaque writing. I waded. I do find that on the second or third read, preferably with a day or two between, it does come clear.

So i am coming round to understand that it can be rewritten without dumbing it down. of course that doesn't mean they won't lobotomise the book while they're in there - I hope not.

OGC revising ITIL again

Having just ploughed through Service Strategy it will be interesting to see if their concept of plain, idiom-free English meshes with mine. Seldom have I read such a turgid business book. It is totally lacking in flair and goes out of its way to turn even the most simple concept into a dull, technically precise and emotionless blueprint that fails to engage the reader, except when the blood pressure goes up as the inevitable "leverages" and "outputs" are thrown in. It is a fascinating example of how to leech the information-carrying capacity from the English language while at the same time appearing authoritative and precise, and as such may actually be more suited to study by political speech writers than IT specialists. It could have been condensed into a quarter of its length and made much more interesting and memorable, but like so much writing in the genre it is prevented from achieving its purpose by reason of a coating of business-babble jargon that covers it like teflon and from which the attention slips at every point of contact.

Appoint a Yorkshire miner to edit Service Strategy rewrite...

How long did it take you to read the book - duration and effort?

About a year after the launch of ITIL V3 I bumped into a bright chap who was working for the local government somewhere in the South East of the USA. During an itSMF event at which I was speaking, at the open forum, he asked me whether it was 'normal' for an IT professional of standing, and some ten years experience, to still be trawling their way through the Strategy book after some six months of intense effort. When asked he estimated he'd probably spent about an hour a day re-reading and rolling forward in his attempt to comprehend the book's meaning. I know, many of you out there may question my definition of bright, but I am going to support the man. He was sharp, as sharp goes in his zipcode.

To his credit, his tenure with the book was also impacted by his need to understand and apply what was presented (albeit with the clarity of the rune language), into the organization's ITSM strategy. All I could say in response was that I too have books at my bedside that have been there longer than I planned. The reason is a combination of things, but in the mix is the appetite a book generates for turning pages, based upon excitement, mystery, and a drip drip of knowledge.

The books that collect dust and show fewer earmarked pages, or where the batteries of the nightlite reader run out before you finish, fall into the category of dull, plodders. Your comments aptly sum up this ITIL page non-turner (although I suspect you were tempted to use less syllables and words in the first version). Much of what the Strategy book tries to say has been said much better by expert Marketing Management authors such as Phil Kotler.

As a Londoner who lived 'up north' for a few years, the general rule of thumb is that the further north you go in England the less words it takes to make a point. So my suggestion is that a Northerner should review the rewrite - even better a Yorkshire miner from the Maggie Thatcher era....

Are we missing the point with the ITIL Refresh Refresh?

Are we (myself included) missing the point with the ITIL Refresh Refresh?

I've blogged before about how ITIL is the Hitchhiker's Guide,

ITIL is relaxed to the verge of sloppy (e.g. the use of the term "process").

ITIL is boisterous to the point of controvertial (Service Strategy on value networks).

ITIl has many omissions compared to COBIT. ITIL focuses on operations, and mostly ignores development/solutions. ITIL seldom ventures into project management or portfolio management, and it skips a lot of aspects of request management.

..and it says sod all about training or other people activities.

Then I extended the analogy to the Lonely planet guidebooks and said

The fact that the Lonely Planet books are incomplete, out-of-date, opinionated and unreliable is far outweighed by their usefulness and practicality... and dammit! their humanness. Their very fallibility and quirkiness is a great part of their attraction. So it is with ITIL.

So is all this criticism unfair and the Refresh refresh unnecessary? Is ITIL intended to be a friendly fireside chat, a rambling yarn, the lore passed down from the Wise Ones? Do we need to lighten up and let it be shambolic? We've got COBIT for the machine-made, fine-tolerance, clinical version.

Maybe V2 was

I think V2 had some of that. We knew it was written in the prehistoric times when dinosaurs were grazing on fields of punched cards but it was still somehow relevant.

Excellent blog on ITIL V3 revision

Just after this was posted, Vinod Agrasala wrote Get ready for the inevitable: ITIL revision Again! which makes some excellent points [that I missed :(]

the official communication urges the readers (all of us!) not to confuse between “Version” and “Edition”. So this is not going to be ITIL V3.1 or ITIL V4; it is going to be ITIL V3 Edition x...

‘Simplify the Service Strategy Publication’! (The feedback from community says it is too difficult to understand – My question here is what was the outcome of public consultation and reviews of the publication before the launch in 2007? Nobody thought it was difficult to understand?)...

What amount of revision is expected in the training syllabus, courseware and sample exams etc?

More Views On The Proposed "New Edition"

Good discussion - I particularly appreciate Ian's analysis and drive to try and keep this so-called "version update' within a manageable and useful scope.

A few quick comments:

There are actually well over 400 known "issues" with the current books. On my blog at http://blogs.pinkelephant.com/president I have an entry titled "Thoughts On The New Edition of ITIL" describing a detailed analysis of the change log done by Pierre Bernard.

I can't help wondering about the pages and pages at the front of the books listing all those folks who assisted with various type of review. So that worked out well, didn't it! What exactly did those people do - other than succeed to get their names linked to the development of ITIL V3? I wonder how many of them will be removing those "ITIL V3 Content Reviewer" statements from their email signatures, business cards and bios!

As an ATO I can tell you we are not the least bit excited about what this update means for us. I don't see any potential for more business, in fact if anything the opposite. Don't get me wrong - if corrections are needed I'm all for it. But it isn't going to mean more business for us - other than those folks who've been holding back from training might now step forward. But, if I was a savvy customer I'd be just as likely to ask "How many more revisions will there be before these books, courses and exams are 100% right?" We're already on version 4 of the Foundation exam, these updates will mean version 5. That's 5 versions of a simple product in less than 3 years. When I say "simple product" we ain't talking anything high-tech here. These are 20-40 question multiple choice exams!

If I had my druthers I'd split the project up and get a bunch of new faces involved. How difficult can it be to read through 5 books and eliminate contradictions? Surely a small team of people could get this done in a few weeks? The re-explaining of Service Strategy should be a separate project altogether. Finally, the opportunity to re-explain existing concepts more clearly and add additional complementary content within the rest of the books - I'd be careful to limit this to "must haves". Otherwise we end up changing stuff just because we can, not because it's absolutely necessary.

Tip of the 'mandate for change' iceberg


Strange question but I'll ask... has anyone at your organization reviewed the books in detail? I ask because in my review I detailed over 1100 anomalies between various parts of the five core publications alone. Most of those on the OGC site are typos, not the type I focused on. I must admit mine do include classic idioms such as found in CSI on page 7 - "CSI is not an emergency project kicked off when someone in authority yells that the service stinks".

I've kept these faux pas to myself in that they are available to subscribers of my best practice online service as a complimentary add-on. When I compiled them the Change Log was generally impossible to find and use. In the period since the launch of V3 I have found many of the complaints about the exams are centered on questions testing obscure statements, many of which are passages of text that at the best of times are open to interpretation. Some of the biggest challenges are caused by differing restatement of concepts across books that differ.

For example, Service Operation has a whole section on Capacity Management, as does CSI on SLM, in the latter the mission differs.

I echo your comments about the reviewers. How can so many people miss so much? Perhaps a clue was that many only reviewed one book whereby trainers and the customer typically have to buy and review all five as a unit.

If they truly set out to resolve these issues it will indeed be a major project.

ITIL V3 Reviewing Experience

I made a sincere effort today to research and answer your question, Ian!

Quite a few Pinkers are mentioned as Reviewers in the books. I spoke to 4 of them today (others have either moved on, or are out on assignment, or are in different time zones/countries from me right now). What they all told me was:

1. They were given good instructions on how to conduct the review, including a spreadsheet template to complete.

2. The completed spreadsheet was sent in and no acknowledgements were received (apparently they were told not to expect personal responses).

3. No one (from the 4 that I spoke with anyway) did a personal audit of the final books when they were published to see if their own respective issues were addressed. To be honest, this surprised me, but then again that would probably be a somewhat laborious process and to be fair, they'd already completed their task when thye sent in their initial feedback.

Getting back to the "Mandate for Change" project itself, I'm not so sure it needs to be a "major project" - as you say. It certainly would be a "major project" if it's done the way the Mandate describes it. But surely a small group of editors at TSO could do the bulk of the work to correct obvious errors and inconsistencies (especially when referencing the Change Log)? Sifting through all the ideas and suggestions for improvements as well as re-formatting the SS book - on the other hand - would be a much bigger task. So much subjectivity. That's why I would have preferred to limit the scope of this update to just fixing what's wrong. If that was all that was done - we could see the new edition out in time to be a stocking filler!

Rewriting SS is a retreat

I gather TSO got some ...er... negative feedback when they just quietly released an unannounced update to all the books. So now in true (ex-)government fashion everyone is in CYA mode and turning it into the biggest production since LoTR.

Service Strategy is the only book that attempts real change to ITIL (I'm not expert enough to debate how much of it is within ITIL's brief of being best or good practice rather than blue-sky conjecture, but that's a different issue. And hey if Service Transition can get away with SKMS...). It is also the only book that assumes a reading age over 17 and needs a concentration span over 30 seconds - no wonder it bombed. Rewriting it is a retreat not an improvement, from an intellectual position to a mass-market one, a victory for the lowest common denominator, a dumbing down.

Incidentally WTF is a "Mandate for Change"? Could we please use our own processes and terminology?



IRRC I was only offered the chance to review one volume. I haven't had a chance to check how many names appear as reviewers of more than one book. In reality there was no way I could have reviewed more than one volume in the time we were allowed.


I heard similar

Hi James

I did not mean to poke a stick in reviewers eyes. I fully appreciate the dilemma as I too received a copy of the draft of each book as an ATO to help me develop training materials - there were awful. How OGC managed to get a book out of each draft in the time allotted was just amazing. So that all speaks to product development cycles and timing.

Elsewhere on this blog I think I read a comment about many folks just being pleased to be listed (hopefully with their names and organizations correctly spelt - see change log) as a reviewer. I fear many did not review the book/s seriously or their comments (rather like mine for Service Delivery V2) were ignored or too extensive a change at such a late juncture to be considered.

There were some folks who shouted out loud about the poor quality of the end product from day one - kudos to those - and they were tarred and feathered and dropped outside of Castle ITIL to fend for themselves as punishment.

A prediction - if they actually reconcile much of the overlap they will arrive at a much smaller footprint for each book. We may well be back to the original request from my team on behalf of the USA - add a lifecycle book - fit all the V2 books to it - update V2 books with a new edition (!).

Another prediction - I have yet to find a developer who can just refresh or maintain a product without them being wired to an electrical outlet that zaps them every time they stray into new code. I foresee new concepts entering V3.1 as a natural by product of fresh eyes on old concepts. This will lead to a new Foundation and perhaps other syllabi.

One caveat - I am reminded its always easier to critique someone else's work...


In October 2007 I wrote an article for a Management Handbook of Kauppalehti (Financial Times of Finland). The Last two sentences were these: The books(V3) are badly written and they have not been coordinated. The new version does have some good elements and many of the errors I have noticed can be corrected but I do not recommend the new version in this form to anybody.

The local reaction has been as Ian described.


Review and refresh


I took it in the intended spirit. I'm quite sure though that some of my fellow reviewers did only volunteer to get their name in the book.

I know personally of at least one bid to author one of the books by two people who at the time didn't even hold the Foundation qualification, and who generally held ITIL in total contempt, bul who wanted to their company's name on one of the books.

I still hanker after the version one books where you knew that that the authors had actually done the job and were comparative experts in their domain.

I also thing the BIG truths of ITSM could fit into a very small book - a catechism of ITSM, if you like

I'm going to reread Rob's post on have we got what ITIL is wrong.

one book that compresses all five

Ian, your own work I think gives you the right to critique.

I disagree that the change log is mostly typos: going through the 430 items I reckon about 50/50 details and fundamentals. it proves that as well as awful proofreading there were really fundamental problems too.

There is one book that compresses all five without significant loss of content: ITSM Library's Foundations of ITSM Based on ITIL3. I reviewed it. I refer to it often when i don't need the exact wording: I carry it to work.

Agreed - 50/50 but...


Right to critique - well I am a customer of ITIL. I in turn provide services to my clients in the form of certificate training in ITIL and have the scars from working at that sharp end longer than I would prefer.

As for the change log - agreed - I stepped too far here saying "mostly". That was an impression I got overall with the type of issues. There are MAJOR issues that folks have not logged - so I suspect OGC has additional input - I pray they do. We will no doubt go through a period of those involved telling us its just a minor paint job. Its not.

I don't know where to begin actually with explaining the looseness of the language across the books. I suppose what I meant to say was that there were many more typos listed than I expected when compared with the number of issues I discovered.

IMHO all the books need a technical edit by subject matter experts - not just Strategy. I think you"ll agree as a fellow author that word-blindness kicks in after the fifth or sixth review..... and we must be open to a frank critique by someone who is indicative of the target audience and their level of reading and expectations.

OGC revising ITIL again -let the the saga contiue

It is a lovely sunny Sunday morning and whilst drinking my coffee with a teaspoon of added cocoa I decided to revisit grand castle ITIL and see what further news. How will the serfs like me influence or be may be impacted by changes in the great schemes?

I also thought now was a good time to foment more mayhem, revolution and discord. The best place was Service Strategy; I would follow this with a foundation exam observation for those involved with training to that syllabus

So here goes.

The OGC inspired mandate for change wishes “To simplify the Service Strategy publication to ensure that the concepts are readily understood and that the content is accessible to a greater number of users.

The last dispatch from skeptic –probably immediately above this one, asks:

What was the outcome of public consultation and reviews of the publication before the launch in 2007? Nobody thought it was difficult to understand?)...

Others, passim, ask who is involved in the rewrite and who is a member of the mystery CAB

So a little background for those who do not have time to do your own research – this could be a useful foundation question

How many people were involved in writing, developing, mentoring, contributing or reviewing the Service Strategy book?
A 69
B 666
C 110
D an infinite number

The answer is C -110, but like many of the answers on the exam paper please don’t consider it to be definitive

In addition to the Chief architect and two authors (3 people) there is /was
1. The “ITIL authoring team contributed to this guide through commenting on content and alignment across the set”.
1.1. There are 11 people mentioned here
2. Mentors
2.1. There are 2 mentors
3. “A number of people generously contributed their time and expertise to this Service Strategy publication.”
3.1. There are 16
4. ..”to develop ITIL Service Management Practices ,,, and produce publications of lasting value, OGC consulted widely with different stakeholders throughout the world at every stage in the process. OGC would like to thank the following individuals and their organizations for their contributions”
4.1. There are 25 people mentioned on the ITIL Advisory Group:
5. And finally the Service Strategy book reviewers
5.1. I count 53

So, if 110 are / were variously responsible, accountable, consulted or otherwise involved what did they actually do to help prevent this sad situation?

What will these 110 people do better next time round?

I think we should be told

And now exams
Ian Clayton says “kudos to all those training organizations who actually read the books and wrestled with finding the best definition only to find the Foundation examiners had chosen another”.

Perhaps all is not lost, despite the five different definitions of 'Market Space' three definitions of 'Service Portfolio' in addition to the other variations on MTBSI ad nauseam ( Key Element Guides, Official Introduction, Passing Your ITIL Foundation Exam, Little ITIL and the Glossary); trainers and student are safe in the knowledge the official definitions used in the exam come from the 5 Books.

As stated by a senior examiner, “When issues arise between the books, then it will be the emphasis that will dictate which book it is”

Not sure what is meant by this, I assume itm eans that if the question seems to be a Design question then use the definition from the Design book; you have now been told.
I hope the question setters and reviewers know this. It reminds me of the ITIL V2 syllabus: “ there is no need to write one as “the syllabus is the books””

It’s now 12:23 and the Red Lion at 51, 55, 45, 48 North and 0, 20, 04, 98 west does a jolly good Sunday lunch for £4.50p of meat, potatoes and three vegetables. It's mainly for the old people so I think I will join them

Nairda Lonut

51, 55, 35, 49 North
0, 20, 04, 98 West assuming Google is right but who knows?

map coordinates

Actually you're a ways out of Luton on Duton Hill

Thanks for the good ideas: see my latest post

Castle ITIL's idea of not too extensive change

Remember this when ITIL V3 came out? (now gone)

Existing ITIL qualifications will not be invalidated by the changes to ITIL because the core principles will not change... Any qualification changes will be clearly explained when announced. The majority of ITIL examinations taken are at the Foundation level, and it is this material that will change the least… we won't be throwing much existing content away, just remapping to a new, more business-oriented framework.

or this?

Candidates are advised that there will not be a major difference between the 2005 and 2009 versions of PRINCE2. The APM Group therefore recommends candidates not to delay their training or exams

So don't worry about any changes to the ITIL syllabus with this latest revision - they'll only be minor.


Vindication of numrous anomalies on the Foundation exam?

Hi Skep

Well the first webinar is behind me - I have scheduled 2 more for Sep 21 in an attempt to get OGC the right attention and feedback from their loyal subjects - more news on those here. I'll post a copy there shortly as well and blog here to let folks know..

Anyway, I missed completely the translation part - whoah!

The biggest issue here for me is the extent of the Service Strategy rewrite. I tried to explain to folks in the webinar that much of that book is Product Management and Financial Management 101, albeit in language that is at best 'sophisticated and elaborate'. That book tries to explain what is already in Product Marketing - pick up a copy of Kotler's Marketing Management and the shells will be removed from your eyes.

The refresh of that book alone puts the Intermediate Service Strategy Lifecycle on hold, and the Expert exam under scrutiny. Needless to say, I feel very sorry for the thousands of folks who may have failed their Foundation exam because they read the wrong definition of MTBSI, or the SLM goals come to that (in two places at least), or the wrong description of the CSI model, process and service owner, or RACI chart....

And... No Strategy book - no V3 strategy. I think V2 will be even more hard to retire now - its life must extend until the 'new edition' is out... There will be impact at ITIL Live as well.

I wonder if they will offer us all an upgrade price for the books? I have over 1200 decipher statements on my website and many are much more damning than those I have read at the Change Log.

And will they really be able to do this without adding one new concept....? Maintenance isn't half as much fun as development....

Watch out for yet another syllabus revamp... where is continuous education when you need it?

Oh kudos to all those training organizations who actually read the books and wrestled with finding the best definition only to find the Foundation examiners had chosen another...

Sir Rob

This is actually great. Our knight in from New Zealand has beaten the three headed dragon of England.

It also great that OGC & co admit that there are too many errors.


Let's go to work!

Shouldn't we (let's say, Rob, Aale, James, Ian and me) offer them to do the job??

Or perhaps not, otherwise we would lack subjects on this forum ;-)

Pitty too that the after this revision it's likely that the most famous side effect of ITIL books (Service Strategy in special) will no longer exist...............
ITIL Service Strategy was always the best book to read if you have sleeping problems !

I'm all for it

Great idea. I would love to do Problem Management, it has been practically destroyed.
Unfortunately this is not very realistic as the changes would not then be minor.


I cannot have been easy

Writing that document ( about the new version) must have been difficult. Whatever the wording is, they do admit that V3 is not good enough. I wonder when the Chief Architect Sharon Taylor will resign and what about the V3 authors who have been travelling from conference to conference as great gurus.

nothing's perfect

My understanding is that Sharon has been the former Chief Architect for some time now anyway. As I understand it, she was always a contractor not a fulltime employee.

I doubt this will reflect badly on the authors - nothing's perfect. i think it will have an impact on ITIL, especailly if OGC keep underplaying it, but it is probably a year or two off anyway given how fast these things move

How long they can wait

This will kill book sales as soon as the word spreads. Two years is a long time.

Other languages

And then....how about all translations to other languages which are ongoing?? Has the CAB considered this??

Castle ITIL

Isn't this just such a classic example of "Castle ITIL"? Just enough information to get everyone worried and not enough information to resolve those concerns.

Who will be doing it? If they don't know yet then tell us.

How will they be choosing contributors? or how did they, if it is all decided already?

What has been decided so far by the CAB? Will we ever know what they decided on each item in the Change Register and why? I bet no: transparency is anathema to Castle ITIL.

What is the timeframe? When can we expect this?

Poke your grubby little change request in here, peasant, then run away while the castle doors rumble closed again. We'll throw the result over the wall one day, if there ever is one.

'Gradual' change?

The word 'gradual' also gives me scare! - that means there is going to be multiple "editions?"

Also, what do you feel about the goal statement (among other high-level goal statements): Service Catalog manager to be part of Service operation?
I understand that can be treated as one of the consistency correction etc - but as a Goal statement?

I have put my concerns in detail on my blog as well!


who's not involved

Duncs asked over on another thread "who's involved?" in this rewrite. More interesting is who is NOT involved. The original authors and architect for a start. Not explicitly anyway, unless they are the mysterious "mentors". As "nairda lonut" said in the comment above, having the original folk as mentors or QA is not desirable - "testing their own code".

Some original authors involved

I think I mentioned in another post that David Cannon said that proactive problem management was missing from the current SO book and that he'd already given them the few paragraphs on the subject.

So, as an original author he was not excluded.

No idea what that means going forward or... :-)


Not extensive but not trivial

All sounds good, but it doesn't sound like a trivial task, and I wonder what further inconsistencies the re-write might uncover. Let us hope it isn't a rush job.

OGC Mandate for Change Project

OGC Mandate for Change Project requirements for an update to the ITIL® core publications © The Stationery Office 2009
What do skeptics think of the recent OGC announcement? see http://www.best-management-practice.com/gempdf/ITIL_Mandate_for_Change_0909.pdf

I assume the CAB have been working very hard since their meeting regarding the Mandate for Change held on 8 January 2009; babies are conceived, developed and born in less time. However, as James Finister opines "Let us hope it isn't a rush job".

Here are a few observations.

Background to the project
• With reference to the latest “developments in best practice in IT service management”; does this mean “good practice” is a deceased (or diseased) parrot. I hope so

2 Reasons for change
• Good to see there is a CAB already in existence and that “The mandate for change has been created as result of…Advice from the Change Advisory Board.

3 OGC requirements
• I wonder how they will measure success with management speak containing phrases and vague aspirations e.g.
o “ an ‘evolutionary approach’
o “change is gradual and not too extensive”
o “achieved in a reasonable timeframe”
o “give real benefit “
• They could at least add “difficult choices” “tough decisions” “do the right thing”. To make life more fun.

4 Aims of the project
• The aims are very worthy for example “To simplify the Service Strategy publication to ensure that the concepts are readily understood”
• The ITIL books are designed for a global audience, therefore their "Flesch reading index" should be at least 70 and ideally 90 or higher. A score of 90 can be ““easily understood by an average 11-year-old student”. Wikipedia suggests that the Reader's Digest magazine has a readability index of about 65.
• For the pedants amongst you, the text in this epistle is 57.3, therefore if you have not been educated to at least Grade 9.2 you won’t really understand it, so no point in commenting. If you do wish to comment, get your comments to www.best-management-practice.com/ChangeLog site whilst you can.
• An alternative approach would be to restrict users (and students on a course) to those who have a minimum IQ 103 and some proof that they have “common sense”

5 Scope for the next edition
• This reinforces the points made above e.g. “….the Service Strategy publication… more accessible…using simpler language…readability improved

6 Quality criteria
• This reinforces the points made above e.g. Quality criteria for this update dictate that the content must: Be written in plain English and idiom-free. Well I can’t argue with that.
• The Plain English Campaign could help with the edit!

7 Quality method
• This all sounds very good, with a “Review Group” comprising members of the Change Advisory Board, real users and members of the training community, however where is the ITSMF. ITSMF could provide the credibility needed as they do represent the Service management community and they are a “body of really very useful knowledge”
• Whilst the APMG are very professional in their approach, I despair when I see the “APMG for qualification elements”.
o Most of the complaints relating to the relevance and quality of the ITIL V3 qualifications stem from the inexperience of the exam panel, syllabus writers and “examiners”.
o It is not a good idea to use people who had (and still have) inadequate knowledge or understanding IT Service Management and ITIL V3 to set and review questions at foundation or intermediate level.

8 Ensuring consistency between editions
• “Mentors will be used to coach and advise the edition update authors. These mentors will have been involved in the ITIL V3 Lifecycle publications and glossary”.
o This may be a potential problem. Is it the old authors mentoring new authors or is it a new set of update authors?. I hope for a new set of update authors otherwise it may become the writers testing and approving their own products. Again.

It’s now time for my hot chocolate.
Nairda Lonut


I never was much good at anagrams, Nairda Lonut. please conbtact me if you are interested in doing a guest post as you are obviously a high-calibre skeptic :) I should have thought of the Fleisch Index. I resisted my usual snide remarks about dumbing down for the American market (until now) but the whole issue of dumbing down ITIL is a worry.

Great contribution to the blog - thanks!!

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