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Lost in the Library

Lost in the Library

Sometimes a framework only makes you work harder

I am a very organized and procedural person. The evidence is in the hundreds of procedures, processes, plans, methodologies and a smattering of paradigms I have filed away. These were painstakingly defined, developed or stolen by me whenever I had a new project, as I always found it more exciting to create new procedures than modify existing ones. It gave me a great feeling of achievement to create new processes — a feeling I rarely got from the project itself as I rarely followed these procedures.

I recently took a nostalgic stroll reviewing my years of procedural plethora. Some were still time-stamped 01/01/1980 (the date of most documents until PCs got battery backup clocks) while others were beyond my purview because I no longer had a copy of WordStar or Peachtext.

ITIL's a lot more comprehensive than I expected, or hoped. I was looking for something to just give me the result with little effort on my part, but apparently ITIL bears no relationship to Lotto

I wasn't going to repeat my mistake of replacing all my old systems with yet another system. This time I needed a related set of best practices in some integrated framework. I turned to the consulting organization that most companies use today for leading industry information: Google. My search on "framework of best practices" and "IT" revealed ITIL, which I discovered is not a consultant company, but the IT Infrastructure Library. I wondered if I could borrow a book on control from it, but as I looked into it deeper, I was drawn into a world of strange concepts such as IT business integrated processes that seemed to be a contradiction like military intelligence and customer service.

I waded straight into the six books of ITIL Version 2. Book one is Service Support, which includes the management bad boys: configuration, problem, incident, change and release. That list sounds like a criminal rehabilitation program. Book two is Service Desk, with the successful half of the management family: IT financial management, IT continuity, capacity, availability and service level.

I looked carefully through the first two books but just skimmed the last four as I wanted to get on with my project rather than waste time reading or planning. ITIL's a lot more comprehensive than I expected, or hoped. I was looking for something to just give me the result with little effort on my part, but apparently ITIL bears no relationship to Lotto.

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