Tuesday, 2 February 2010


An associate of mine is planning his wedding. He's of Indian heritage, and his frequent worries over the complexity and the cost of the arrangements leads me to the conclusion that it may be a large, lavish affair. I wish I were invited.

It was a slightly inopportune time then for him to be told that his contract was being terminated. Not through any fault of his own mind, company restructuring and cutbacks. Needless to say he was a bit concerned about  how he would continue to fund his big summer cermony.

He needn't have worried really, he's a very able and hard working chap and I knew that he would be snapped up; happily it transpired that even before his notice period had expired he had secured himself another position.

Like me he works in the ITSM industry and I observed with particular interest his optimism about this new contract. I'm getting kinda long in the tooth and I must say, I've seen it many times. It goes something like this:

  1. Individual departs from contract bemoaning political and organisational factors that prevent ITSM or ITIL from being implemented in the correct way. 
  2. Individual looks forward to the new contract having been sold the dream of how service management is to be implemented properly at the new organisation, and how the individual will play a key part in making that happen. 
  3. Wait a year or so. 
  4. Go to (1.)
The fallacy is the thinking that ITIL is the thing that will change service management for the better*. This approach simply views the organisational stuff as an obstacle that gets in the way. I think that it's the other way around. The organisation is the thing. Get that right and ITIL (or anything else that you're trying to do) will follow.

*Don't get me wrong ITIL is extremely useful; it's a great tool. But a Mont Blanc fountain pen won't enable you to write like Graham Greene

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