Some thoughts on the Capita JV

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.

Two new heads

No that isn't a reference to a hillbilly's baby. We've seen two announcements this past week of people heading up organisations owning major bodies of knowledge: the Capita ITIL-PRINCE2 JV, and ISACA. Somewhat of a contrast.

The future of ITIL and PRINCE2

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.

How do we feel about ITIL being a commercial product?

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?

A bulletin from the castle

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.

ITIL, Prince2, Capita and the Cabinet Office - in the dark

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...

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