I make my living from Service management or ITSM in general and ITIL® in specific in majority of cases. My association with ITIL and ITSM is not a forced one, just because it is helping me to earn a living – where as I am extremely passionate about Service management or specifically ITSM as a domain and ITIL® as a framework applicable to that domain.

At the same time, I do criticize inconsistencies and errors in ITIL® documentation (and even more on some of the decisions/practices from the governing bodies of ITIL®) through this blog, which may even give an impression that I am against it and I don’t support adoption of the framework – which just the opposite of truth:

I can see many of the consultants/experts/practitioners out there who criticize ITIL® are in fact passionate about the domain and supportive of the framework, just like me.

The criticisms in this case are more aimed at:

  • Removing/correcting those flaws and making the framework more consistent and strong OR
  •  At least makes the practitioners around aware about the errors/issues/pitfalls/risks.

What is the context here?

A lot of discussions on the internet forums these days tend to go around in such a way that gives an impression, there are only two options:

  • “Full-ITIL” or “No-ITIL”

The arguments tend to polarize into:

  • ITIL® is “THE” framework for ITSM or
  • ITIL® is useless and should be dumped – look at XYZ (or ABC or what ever) as an alternative!

Why is it so? Why can’t it be:

Option A:

  • ITIL is a (more than)useful framework that can be adopted for ITSM in the context of this organization
  • You might also need XYZ (or ABC) framework/standard to complement the practices of ITIL to gain maximum benefit.
  • (More importantly) While adopting, be aware of these inconsistencies, gaps, missing links to be taken care of!

Option B:

  • XYZ is the most suited framework for the context of this organization
  • You can also complement the practices by adopting some selected practices from ITIL

There are enough discussions out there which give great insights into why ITIL® is not a Perfect framework that can be adopted as is. In either case, it was never intended to be!

But there are also enough case scenarios and examples out there to prove that ITIL contains a (much more than) useful set of practices for ITSM.

Some of the arguments against ITIL go in the line of: since it is not entirely adoptable, or since it contains a handful of inconsistencies/flaws, we will dump it or ignore it!

Is there any framework that is applied or used by any organization in holistic fashion to the fine points?  Can’t think of any!

At the same time aren’t there frameworks that are useful to the organizations in parts, or in an adopted/adapted fashion? Yes, there are many; and ITIL® is definitely one of them.

It also seems that majority of the criticism towards ITIL® is stemmed from the opposition to the practices of the parties who own/govern it – The Cabinet Office and APMG currently. It is unfortunate that the differences with practices around a framework often spill over as criticism or rejection of the framework itself.

 It is important that the criticism also should be specific – is it on the practices described in the framework or the parties/practices around it. In my opinion, these are different and differently targeted/addressed.

In simpler words,

Don’t judge a Product based on it company OR can we say, don’t judge a Person through the actions of his/her parents?