My personal motto is “every day is a school day” and I always feel sad and disappointed when I meet people who clearly don’t want to learn anymore.
Last Wednesday I met one of those people again, and 3 days later I still think about the discussion we had. (or rather: didn’t have)
This is what happened: I was introduced to this person who is the Service Catalog manager in his organization. I asked a few questions about this role as I am interested in his experiences.
We all know that in ITIL V3 the process of Service Catalog Management is now a separate process from Service Level Management as well as a sub-component of Service Portfolio Management. And I can’t help but wonder how this works in practice… So I enjoy speaking with people who perform the role of Service Catalog Manager to learn from their experiences. After all – as I don’t perform the role of Service Catalog Manager in an IT company, what better way to learn than to listen to somebody who has his hands dirty from his daily work in the bowels of this process??
But before we even started the conversation, I was cut off by a terse “yeah – I got your email with the invitation to your seminar about Service Catalog Management.”
I never even discussed this with him and it hadn’t come up in conversation, so my instinctive response was “fantastic! So are you coming?”
And you know what he said?:
“NO – why would I? I have been doing Service Catalog for a long time now so I can’t think of anything new you can tell me about this subject. And besides – I deal with Service Catalog stuff every day of the week, so why would I attend an event about it after work hours?!”
Which part of ‘ITSM is all about delivering value to the customer through a process of continual improvement’ did he NOT understand?
Has ITIL become just another job? Has ITIL Foundation become the one and only way to learn about ITIL – as some sort of end goal? I read on twitter today that there are 1,000,000 people worldwide with ITIL Foundation certification, but does that mean that the learning process stops after you’ve received this certificate? I always thought of the ITIL Foundation certificate as the starting point of a new avenue in one’s ITSM career.
You merely receive the overview, a language and get the distinct impression that there is so much more to learn before you fully comprehend the value ITSM and ITIL can offer you in your job, your career, but mostly to your customers and end users.
RT @glennodonnell: Over 1,000,ooo people worldwide hold #ITIL Foundations certification! @RobertEStroud at #IOFE10 <<< but how many really use it?
[note: I checked this number against APMG information from October 2008 and November 2009 and in that period there where 256,530 Foundation exams taken. Average of 21,377 per month]
An attitude like this man has gives ITIL its bad name, and the perception that ITIL is just a paper tiger; just another boring framework that never adds any value to anybody (except maybe to consultants and training organisations).
I wanted to shake that person and tell him to wake up! To open his eyes to what he is doing to his own job, but also to an industry as a whole.
So to you who reads this: formal certification is not the only way to learn… don’t give ITSM a bad name! Be a champion for the benefits the framework offers your company and customers. Learn each and every day by reading books, blogs, white papers, and articles and by talking to people in the industry either via twitter, Facebook or in person at seminars and conferences. How can you gain new insights when you only discuss your ideas and thoughts with yourself?
Every day is a school-day, but you don’t have to be in class to learn!