Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I was about to write my own little posting about ITIL, until I stumbled upon Jeff Ello's article on computerworld.com. He expresses the problem with things like ITIL much more eloquently than I could, so let me just quote him:
For example, ITIL is a self-described set of "best practices for IT Service Management." Many companies have spent many millions implementing ITIL-based processes, despite the lack of any science confirming its efficacy. The logic of ITIL is hard to argue with. But while each new faithful implementation shows short-term promise, I have yet to see a mature ITIL-based organization that isn't oversized, misshapen and grossly inefficient.

It's not that ITIL doesn't work -- in fact, it works exactly as one should expect. ITIL groups are acutely aware of their costs and processes, which is a primary goal of following the ITIL program. On paper, it's very convincing. But ITIL organizations develop a resistance to pragmatic, incremental innovations that others quickly, if sometimes recklessly, adopt. This not only frustrates existing innovators; it makes hiring innovators a contrary act. Over time, that leads to an overall shift in staffing, with deficiencies in key roles that further deteriorate the group's ability to keep up, much less lead. While others race by on an uncertain diet of cheaper, faster, better, stumbling every so often, ITIL groups are typically forced by the weight of their own bureaucracies to stagnate, then belch changes in massive, expensive eruptions.