The IT framework wars makes you stupid and blind

I often get questions about how to combine different framework, what ITIL says about something or my opinion about using some methodology in the development team and how that will work with ITIL.

Most of the time it appears to me as if people and organizations thinks that there is that ONE package solutions for everything within IT Governance. The truth is that it does exist, but only in theory.

I thought I might write my last blog post this week about the need to be pragmatic, to focus on what you are trying to achieve, what are your GAPs instead of going directly for that one big solution that will be your white knight in shining armor saving you from all your troubles. Because the truth is harsh, no matter what some sales people or consultants might say, there are no fixed solutions, no framework or product that will be that ONE solution for you. In most cases, trying too hard to go for just one framework religiously makes you blind for solutions that would be better for you, thus it actually makes you kind of stupid.

Now, being an ITSM pragmatic I of course still think that many of the needs of an IT service provider can be resolved using IT service management, most but not all. Furthermore, when considering the processes, functions, roles and concepts within ITSM, this is not a black box either, you need to select the parts you want, again, based on your needs, objectives and unique set of conditions. This why I always say, let us focus on what we need to do and then look for how we can do it. This is also why I became passionate about ITSM already back in 2000 when I first encountered it as a newbie in the IT industry. It gives you a huge set of great advice that you can choose to adopt, adapt or simply ignore, it is like a huge bowl filled with candy and we can all choose based on our preferences.

If you want to do something about that support of yours, dealing with long resolution times, unhappy users or some of the other classical challenges there are. I would certainly recommend Incident management for you, because it is very practical and it solves these problems for you, if implemented in a clever way. However, this does not mean that you have to implement all the other parts of the ITIL framework. For example, you do not have to adopt the ITIL SVT (Service Validation and Testing) process. I would actually recommend you to use a more established test approach. Alternatively, let us look at Agile methods for your software development. Does this mean that you need to abandon ITIL and go for DevOps? No, absolutely not, you might pick the burn down chart, assign and train Scrum masters, and then make sure your Change management and Release management works well together with your Scrum approach. Recently the Open Group released their IT4IT reference architecture, “for managing the business of IT” as they put it. Sounds really great. I was also told this can be combined with ITIL, TOGAF and other frameworks since it is on another level. Sorry Open Group, but again, we are just confusing the big masses again with yet another approach. Too early to say if it is here to stay. Anyway, my point is that there are great things that solve your problems to find in many places. However, my message to you is to have one base, one mothership, ITSM, and then you use more specific approaches for areas where you need other solutions, again, with what you need to solve in mind.

This is where you will find your good practice, combining the great ways of working out there, making them yours and ensure they work good together in practice.

There will never be that ONE way that you can implement and all your problems are solved forever, you need to really stay on top of your situation, knowing your objectives, problems, capabilities and based on that always be on the lookout for smarter ways to do things. The most important thing is that you choose to manage your situation. I would of course recommend you to use processes because there is really no better way of dealing with activities

There are plenty of people like me, saying that you need to choose THAT mothership, in my case ITSM but there is one important difference, I know for a fact that ITSM is the best way to get things spinning in the IT department, I have seen and done myself many, many times. So let all theoretical arguments do their thing while you get busy increasing the business value and lowering the cost and risk using ITSM best practices, because it works and solves 99% of your challenges.

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