What is ITSM really all about?

So what is IT service management really all about?

For many people it’s simply just about ITIL, learning the processes and functions, passing the exams to get the certificates and then claiming to be a fully qualified ITSM practitioner. These people have sufficiently demonstrated an understanding of the theory, but haven’t yet sufficiently shown practise expertise. They haven’t appreciated the bigger picture of management of ITSM practices and the need for a wider set of skills ┬áto complement ITIL such as LEAN Six Sigma, CMMI for process management, plus general operations management and governance perhaps using COBIT.

The current training and qualifications scheme completely misses the point of testing an individual’s competence across the whole field of ITSM, and instead only tests the acquisition and retention of individual bodies of knowledge (such as that which is in the ITIL books).

So what has been missed?

I recently attended the itSMF Knowledge Exchange seminar in London called Service Management in Action. At this event, according to Forrester, it was reported that the capability and maturity of ITSM processes as measured using CMMI across the industry has been ‘stuck’ around a score of 2-3 for several years. As an industry we haven’t delivered on the promise of continual improvement to increase the ┬ámaturity of those processes we use to mange the delivery of IT services to the business. We can’t seem to get to the stage of optimisation.

Is this as a result of too much focus on efficiency and effectiveness and not enough focus on driving the development of capability to really make a difference?

Or do we not worry about being the best we could be? Are we doing just enough to keep the business at bay? I call this ‘satisficing’, instead of pursuing excellence we’re happy just to have an easy life where we meet all our commitments but don’t do much more than that.

We’re not driving improved business performance. We’re passive, reactive and browbeaten.

So can we take a lead and teach our staff about process improvement? Can we seek to optimise our processes or are we happy to just copy ITIL out of the book and adopt, and completely forget about adapt?

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