Yeah, it was destined to be this way!

Am talking about the future of ITIL Best (er.. good) practices post the introduction of the “much-awaited” ITIL Compliance for tools!

Last week I was in a tool evaluation session for one of the client. No, they were not looking at a new tool, but were evaluating the new version of the same tool (one of the leaders in the ITSM tool vendors – I am not naming them, as that is not the point here! Even the specific client organization is not a point here – I am quite sure they are one among many. Just using the context for highlighting the issue!)

During the session, I slowly realized that Client’s global automation team had already finalized the tool for roll-out and it was more of a demo (be aware of what you are going to get, very soon!!).

To one of the warm-up questions regarding amount of customization done on the tool to meet the requirements of organization, the answer was:

‘We decided to just use the out-of-the-box tool as it is a Certified ITIL Compliant tool. Also, (you know…) customizing has a lot of drawbacks while going for upgrading to next version, huge cost etc’

I was like: ‘Very nice, sit back and enjoy the show….’

During the demo, as many points were evidently showing gaps towards the actual requirements in the organization (in terms of fields in logging ticket, prioritization etc), one of the senior stake holders (of the region) asked: “Have you benchmarked this tool against how other organizations are using it?”

The answer again was pointing to the fact that it is a ITIL Compliant tool and hence no benchmarking is necessary. ‘Just use it out of the box!’ So simple isn’t it?

Why am I objecting to this life-simplifying initiative by OGC and the tool vendors? May be I am ‘soooo two years ago’!

Sitting back in the chair, a vivid visual projected into my imagination and stayed there: Mighty tool vendors towering over the ITSM arena and picking hapless process consultants and throwing into oblivion….in huge numbers! As I was scared, and since it looked more like a James Cameron flick, I tried to laugh it away and concentrate more on the session. (Mind you, I still have those visuals out there! Shh…)

On a more serious note: No, I am not blaming OGC and other stakeholders who introduced the ITIL Compliance,  for this incident. I am blaming to the lack of foresight to realize that this will be the outcome. It was pretty obvious, isn’t it?

ITIL Good practices (any good/practice for that matter) advocates you define your process first –> understand the tool/automation requirements –> evaluate & select tools –> Customize and implement the tool –> Rollout.

But there is a probablity that the tools will overtake the process design in many organizations soon, since they believe ‘Out-of-the-box’ tool provides them ‘ITIL Compliance’.

How will that get corrected? Or will that be corrected?

I think it can even get into a situation where it is easier to change the good practice accordingly. Let selection of a ‘ITIL Compliant’ tool first, be the good practice!

So? what is the definition of a good practice? Industry-wide practice!!