Guest Blog : Unlearning ITIL or just using the customer’s language?

The morning after the itSMF 2012 Awards Dinner is possibly not the best time to schedule the session that was most likely to pique attendees’ interest. But Aale Roos’ presentation on Unlearning ITIL was one that many wanted to hear, even if the initial slides were more about the well-known inaccuracies between ITIL v3 and the 2011 editions.

In the wider business world, we recognize that much of the work we do leverages IT capability into the non-IT Space, although as Aale pointed out, between a new customer demand and fulfillment, there can be up to 9 disparate processes.  And it is a safe bet that consumers who effectively order services will not be spending any of their time analyzing the underlying ITIL processes.

So is a business-based taxonomy for service management really a revelation?

For a global conglomerate looking to adopt a central service desk for all business units, it was important not to adopt ITIL terminology for the initiative to appeal beyond the IT community.  Our involvement in developing the service management architecture for the solution led us to the concept of a ServiceStore – taking common service management requirements but presenting them in a non-IT manner.

Many of the top service management tool vendors now focus on a user interface that attracts a wide audience through self-service and order processing functions coupled with social media capability. The interaction with a ServiceStore ‘shop window’ can shield a broad user base from the complexities and terminology of shop floor disciplines such as request, incident and change management.

But all too often, the language of delivery and execution is used to prove credentials rather than highlight outcomes and benefits. The key is to understand how to apply ITIL disciplines not just to recite them.  Process workflow should be a means to a business end.

So does this mean we are unlearning ITIL?  No.  We are merely the putting the terminology to one side when listening and talking to customers in the language they use, a business-based taxonomy.

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