IT Governance

Who’s Doing ITIL? Everyone

“Everyone” might be a slight exaggeration, but when it comes to large and successful organizations, several of them are using ITIL. Greg Sanker however sees a problem with people even asking the above question. In a post for ITSM Transition, he explains why asking “Who’s doing ITIL?” approaches ITIL with the wrong attitude.

I Scream for ITIL

Sanker in the past composed a list of major organizations using ITIL, its explicit purpose being to help ITSM professionals make the case that ITIL could help their assorted organizations too. The problem with this list in the present is that it has inadvertently encouraged a mentality that any business can implement ITIL just like these other businesses did. This of course is impossible. ITIL is mammoth, and it takes a lot of good sense and knowledge of the business to know which aspects of the framework to implement.

Furthermore, Sanker says that asking “Who’s doing ITIL?” is akin to asking carpenters if they use a hammer to drive nails:

Sadly, it gets worse. Think about it: how would you respond to hiring a carpenter who turns around and asks his peers if they use hammers to build houses? Imagine going to the place where carpenters hang out to discuss housebuilding. Imagine a young carpenter coming in and asking everyone if they use a hammer, and if they do, do they find it useful? Have they had luck with it, or should they use something else?

The answer will be that they all use hammers, and that they use lots of different hammers according to the situation. Thus, there are much better questions to be asking about whether or not ITIL can be effective. Think about if ITIL can help the business better achieve its goals, remove obstacles, and establish reliable and cost-effective processes. If so, hop on the ITIL train. Just remember that there is no such thing as “doing” ITIL in the first place.

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