Thanks to the HDAA, the Knowledge Bird went to Sydney last week for the three day foundation course in ITIL v3. They were kind enough to bestow a free course on me, having won the White Paper of the Year, at this year’s Australian itSMF conference.
Who knew such dry material could be so fascinating? I was thoroughly interested, no doubt in part by having an adept trainer, but also because this “structured common sense” has so often been lacking in the real world that I’ve worked in for so many years. It was almost comical to realise the kind of gap that exists between normal practice and best practice. It was a rollicking stroll down memory lane. It’s just a shame the rest of the class weren’t laughing quite as loud as I was.
What I found revolutionary was the idea of having not just a service desk handling incidents, but a whole other role or department for problem management. In my experience, incidents and problems were one-and-the-same, in terms of the tools and software, but the problems were long-term faults still under investigation, and more often than not, just languishing in the same queue of the relevant team as what I now understand as a known error. Clearly then, problems were the incidents that were open beyond the accepted time to resolve. The ITIL way is so ridiculously sensible, but often not implemented as purely because of budget constraints. And that’s where we need to bastardise the system a little so we can do the best we can with what we have.
I don’t have the physical library to check the details but I was interested to see that the knowledge management process was only glanced over in the course and there was no kind of instruction on using clear and simple language in incident reports, problem reports, etc. Apart from that issue, even as a seasoned operator, I found the ITIL course eye-opening and valuable. I know how useful it must be to those currently in a service desk role, aspiring to management. I only hope they have the supporting mechanisms in place to put it into practice.