Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

What Has ITIL Done for Us?

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What Has ITIL Done for Us?Does the question, “What has ITIL done for us?” ring a bell? If it does, that’s because the title is a parody of Monty Python’s sketch, “What have the Romans done for us?” In this scene, the terrorist chief, Reg, asks the rest of the group what the Romans have done for them and gets an unexpected list of how the Romans affected their lives: the aqueduct, sanitation, roads, irrigation, education, medicine, wine, public baths, keeping order and safety, public health, and peace. Check out the clip.

Sometimes we get so engrossed with ITSM and ITIL that we overlook what ITIL has brought us.

So…what has ITIL given us? Well, the list includes standards process designs, common service management (SM) vocabulary, a common approach to SM metrics, certification, focused education, standards for SM consultants, parameters for SM software tools, clear critical success factors, clear key performance indicators, focused conferences, SM as a legitimate profession, and last but certainly not least itSMF. For example, there are 45 itSMF Local Interest Groups in the USA alone. I don’t know about other professions, but that is a considerable amount, and if each LIG has 50 members on average, that is 2,250 members in the U.S.

Additionally, ITIL books are available in 21 languages, and on average, more than 21,000 people took the ITIL Foundations exam each month in 2013. March was the most popular month with 24,381 testers. There are 22,796 ITIL experts registered around the world. Seems pretty healthy to me.

Of course, ITIL is not perfect, and there will always be detractors, which is fine because the detractors continually challenge us to improve both ITIL and all of the service that relate to it. Unfortunately, in most walks of life, the detractors have a louder voice than the enthusiasts, so it is good to occasionally look at ITIL and say in a loud voice, “You know what, ITIL is great!”

ITIL is your choice. You can walk away from it or adopt it, but you cannot ignore it. As 2014 begins, maybe the detractors could be more positive in their criticisms by offering sound advice and judgment, and the enthusiasts could listen to the detractors so that with a joint effort, ITIL can be improved year-on-year. Let Nelson Mandela provide the quote to sum up this blog, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies”.

Early on, I posed the question, “What can ITIL do for me?” Can you think of any items I missed?