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Next Practices in Business Service Management



ITIL 2011: A Quick Overview
by Malcolm Fry

itil 2011A few days ago I was on vacation doing my best to relax when I got the news that my new 2011 edition ITIL books had arrived.  Oh happy days!  I could hardly contain my excitement suddenly I couldn’t contain myself it was like Christmas forget vacation I need to get home now.  If you believe any of this then you are crazier than me.  I did feel some curiosity and anticipation but just poured another Pimm’s and decide it could wait until my vacation was over. 

In all fairness this is a large step in the advancement of ITIL and as you would guess my first action on getting home was to unpack the books.

My first reaction was that the stack of 2011 edition books was noticeably larger than the first edition or to be correct the 2007 edition.  I have just realized I now own 5 first edition publications I wonder if they are valuable?  Probably not but I can always use it as a pretentious boast “Oh yes, I have 5 first editions at chez moi.”  Back to the plot.  Similar colours and exactly the same layout but the diagrams and illustrations are fresher and easier to read.  This is important because of those all-important first impressions. 

So far, so good - but what else did I find when I started to compare the 2011 edition with the 2007 edition?

I was preparing a webinar that was to include some comments on the 2011 edition but because of time constraints rather than review all the books I concentrated on looking at Incident Management in detail. 
The first obvious change was that there is more explanation in many of the sections with most of the bullet lists longer than they were before.  This is good because these are text books by nature and easier to use without long pages of fancy prose bullets allow fast and clear knowledge location.

There is no significant change in content structure until you get to section 4.2.8 where the 2007 edition had ‘4.2.8 Metrics’ where it provided a list of potential metrics to monitor IM.  This was followed by ‘4.2.9 Challenges, Critical Success Factors and Risks’.  Whereas in the 2011 edition 4.2.8 has become ‘Critical Success Factors and Key performance Indicators’ and 4.2.9 has become ‘Challenges and Risks’.  I guess that this is not a significant change because it covers the same areas but I prefer the new structure so that is good news for me. 

The main reason that I prefer the new structure is because it is not a random list of bullet points. For example, in IM there are 6 Critical Success Factors which in turn are supported by 18 Key Performance Indicators each of the KPIs are associated with a specific CSF giving a great base upon which to build metrics and statistical analysis.  Many organizations will benefit from these changes.

The 2011 edition is filled with very useful anecdotes, notes and examples which are very useful helping to clarify some points and somehow make these tomes a little more approachable and understandable.  Personally, if I had to criticize it would be that I would like more of them!

Some of the illustrations have also been improved by better layout and the use of graphic images rather than just text.  The only illustration that I looked at in detail was the Incident Management process flow which had two or three fairly minor changes; some text changes some process flow changes.  The text changes included dropping ‘the’ from the inputs but also the decision box ‘ServiceRequest? Has been renamed ‘Is this really an incident?’ and moved up the process.  This makes sense because the sooner you decide whether it is an incident or not the better.  In addition the process has been rejigged to tidy up the Functional and Management Escalation section.  Again a good idea because structurally there is little change but the process does become neater and easier to follow. 

These are the main findings that I uncovered in my short overview of Incident Management and for me the new edition is a success however there will be those that would have preferred a complete rewrite so there will be divided opinions but this should not detract from the improvements in the 2011 edition.
































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