Project Management

Video: Five things you should know about ITIL

ITIL was originally just a set of books from the U.K. about IT best practices. Today, it has turned into a global phenomenon and one of the hottest topics in IT. This episode of Sanity Savers for IT Executives gives a rundown of five basic ITIL facts every IT pro should know.

ITIL was originally just a set of books from the U.K. about IT best practices. Today, it has turned into a global phenomenon and one of the hottest topics in IT. This episode of Sanity Savers for IT Executives gives a rundown of five basic ITIL facts every IT leader should know.

For more, you can read the original article that this video was based on, download the article as a PDF, and read the original discussion thread:

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

23 comments
daye.ted
daye.ted

Jason, We loved the bloopers at the end. Thanks

wyattharris
wyattharris

Jason, you talk with your hands way too much. It would be okay if they were saying something but yours have decided to conjure a magic spell during your presentation. j/k but yeah, keep them bad boys under control. Informative video, thanks for that.

thisisfutile
thisisfutile

They might want to consider current standards for web site layout. That thing was more confusing than a student administered, high school site. I gave up on trying to navigate it.

thejendra
thejendra

PRACTICAL IT SERVICE MANAGEMENT Some self promotion by a techie author:-) Visit http://www.thejendra.com to buy this popular book used by several organizations worldwide to understand how to successfully implement ITIL.

Luca Ravazzolo
Luca Ravazzolo

Thanks for the quick run down. Useful as a start up. How about interviews with the People in the UK who actually developed teh concepts and started to implement the idea of such "infrastructure"? TX

deMidgard
deMidgard

I want to know one thing: I started reading (and I'm still reading) ITIL v3 as my first book on IT management. Is there any sense? Or should I read some books before reading ITIL?

ronaldwwoods
ronaldwwoods

Don't confuse the ITIL v3 best practices with the ISO20000 compliance standards. ITIL v3 outlines best practices for IT lifecycle management while ISO20000 establishes auditable standards and metrics.

mark.xxx.smith
mark.xxx.smith

Having been V2 compliant and now V3 compliant I find ITIL really sensible and logical, the only problem is having multiple Clients they all want us to be ITIL compliant but they're not, so when you try and enforce good practice on them there?s a issue, ITIL is a good guide but like all good guides you take from it what suites you.

valerie
valerie

1. The ITIL Books as a primer to IT If your interest is in IT management the ITIL V3 books are not a bad place to start. The lifecycle approach in V3 gives you good guidance for defining, designing and managing IT services (if that is what you are looking to learn). I would recommend you start with the Cliff Note version, however. "IT Service Management Based on ITIL V3: A Pocket Guide". There is actually now one of these for each of the 5 library books, but this paritular pocket guide I reference here is broad based. From there you can decide which publication you'd like to tackle in depth...if you do decide to do so, that is. 2. Good practice is good practice...for those of you who are cynical about prior attempts at CMM or ISO 9000 or whatever, I would postulate that the program was unsucessful or did not provide the desired value because the emphasis was on the program itself: "CMMI" or "Six Sigma" rather than what the good practice had intended to accomplish. It is not ITIL the library, but about managing services...one step at a time, in a way that makes sense for that organization. Once the "program" becomes more important than it's underlying objectives it's ability to be successful is greatly diminished.

amin_adatia
amin_adatia

How many of these best practices do we in IT need? and yes, yet another certification based on multiple choice answers. If we have not larned yet that these approaches to certifications and volumes of best practices are not going to solve the IT problems of not doing good requirements gathering and analysis i favour of quick and dirty fixes and not making proper use of the technology, ITIL is certainly not going to do anything either.

henrik
henrik

Just reading the books will not get you far unless you implement the processes along the way to see what works for your organisation. No harm in reading ITILv3 from A-Z, but the books might work better as a reference when you want to establish or improve your internal processes.

amin_adatia
amin_adatia

If someone (no one maybe?) follows the ITIL v3 best practices, how will ISO20000(?) be able to identify this? Does ITIL v3 have a penalty for failure? Does ISO20000 have anything on action against compliance? Seems to me that ITIL is concerned about writing down what was a best practice a while ago but IT would have progressed to the point that if the ITIL "rules" were followed, then the practitioners would be doing a sub-optimal job. Best practice is after the fact; even God had to wait until the event happened to come up with the best practice thou shalt not kill.

Hogie51
Hogie51

Perfect synopsis, Valerie. ITIL, CMM, ISO 9000, Quality First, etc. are all tools to help companies and individuals make sense of, and improve on, their business. They are the means, not the end. Like all cool new tools, they require us to learn new ways, to see the business in a new light, but the results are better because of it. I finally bought one of those pneumatic nail guns for my woodworking hobby. I have to rethink all my hammer skills and adopt new ways to do the same things. The results - if I do it right - means I can complete jobs faster, easier (read less labor), and with a higher level of quality than I could before. Same with the ITIL tool.

Tank-at-Large
Tank-at-Large

Valerie is correct on so many levels. I have seen Quality Policies come and go since the 70's. The government is was no different, changing quality names with every new president. However, when push came to shove, if the policy and the directives that had been in place for years were in conflict, the directives were the place we went to. The moral: good standards will last the test of time...the fads that come and go are just some fancy new application of those standards. AND, before I get jumped on about standards growing old....standards are a living growing enity that have to evolve as the world they support evlove.

Long shadoW
Long shadoW

I have to agree . The ISO stuff was just another way management got to have a big "VISION" statement and brag point on 'look how certified we are' ! All talk no walk . If this ITIL is another ISO9000 farce then you might as well throw your money in the car back window and drive down the road with your windows open. At least folks will smile and wave as you pass by!

Monty Palmer
Monty Palmer

One more... Reminds me of the late nineties early aughts when I last worked for corporate America and CMM certs were the driving force. This will fade in five years and there will be yet another. Make people money, these fads do.

The IT Skeptic
The IT Skeptic

"Where is the evidence for the benefits of ITIL? There isn?t any. Not the kind of hard empirical evidence that would stand up in, say, clinical trials. There is more evidence for quack alternative medicines than there is for ITIL" http://www.itskeptic.org/node/21

amin_adatia
amin_adatia

Since you a practitioner of ITIL can you provide some concrete numbers as to where and how much ITIL improved the organizations performance as to productivity, profit, NPV for the ITIL project over the period it has taken to implement and been in use. Did ITIL project meet the projections of the project? How many people were on the ITIL project, how many users, what value do they get from ITIL and how often it is utilized and by whom? What is the frequency of "update" of existing data (is ITIL a write only data store?)

mark.xxx.smith
mark.xxx.smith

I agree ITIL is no fad, the company I work for is spending a lot of money making people ITIL V3 compliant we were V2 Compliant it's what clients are asking for.

amin_adatia
amin_adatia

How many of these "alignments to business" thingies does anyone need? A long time ago, we had CASE (upper) as opposed to CASE(lower) where all the work was done, then we had BPR, then we had the OO drive, then we had ISO and CMMI, etc., and now we have ITIL. Before all of this we had goto-less programming and we found out that we should not put business logic in the code -- but we still do with all the "Java Hotshot" programmers because "we should be independent of the OS, the database, but management should allow the company to be dependent of the last hotshot Java programmer fresh out of school. Who will know anything about what is in the ITIL or the document written in Excel because Excel can do anything? ITIL makes the assumption or is a requirement that Executives support this thing? If the lower managers actually can not workout what is for the good of the company and need to have a senior executive throw around the stick, then I think ITIL will also not help. I also doubt very much if the Senior excutives will even look at anything in ITIL; their focus is on the Stock Price and the next quarter results. Is IT (as opposed to the Manufacturing stuff like CAM) actually doing anything in terms of productivity, new ideas in product design, Business Intelligence (Oxymoron?)? If it were then the Big 3 Automakrers would not be in the predicament they are in. Neither would there have been the "credit crisis". What is it about ITIL that will have alerted Senior Executives or the watchdogs that something was going amiss? If the success of ITIL depends on someone following rules, then I think we have many more people who do not follow the rules at the level that it matters.

henrik
henrik

ITIL has steadily grwon in popularity and simplicity for over 20 years. ITILv3 is much improved and takes into consideration aligning the business with IT and focuses on lifecycles as well as processes. If you think ITIL is a fad you are dead wrong. Time will show that I am right in this.

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