You give ITSM and ITIL a bad name!

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 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?!”

WHAT THE?????

Which part of ‘ITSM is all about delivering 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 , 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!

8 thoughts on “You give ITSM and ITIL a bad name!

  • Hi Ivanka,

    Good to know there are some great people in ITSM industry, and in Australia! Although I’m just starting my ITSM career, just obtained my foundation certificate in Melbourne, reading this post is really beneficial! That’s also what I’m thinking of: why do I still feel quite confused after I passed my exam? Yeah, every day should be a school day!

    • Ivanka

      I understand that things can get a little confusing, but don’t hesitate to contact us for feedback, recommendations or to just ask the question. My team and I are here to help you make the most out of your IT Career by providing you with educational resources that you can use.
      Good luck and I hope to hear from you again soon.
      Ivanka

  • Unfortunately, I’ve run into too many people like this. Their issue is misplaced arrogance. Some people think that once they get certified and gain some experience, they’re experts and have nothing more to learn.

    In reality, it’s more of a false arrogance to cover up their real insecurity. These so-called experts act like they know everything, but most are not as knowledgeable as they want others to believe. And when their “expertise” is challenged, they resort to supercilious behavior to cover up their mediocrity.

    I’ve always believed that regardless of how much I knew, there was more to learn. In fact, the more I learn, the more I realize how much more there is to know.

    Don’t let these pretentious morons get you down. There are plenty of real professionals willing to share their experience and engage in meaningful discussions.

    • Alexa

      A lot of times it is a corrosive work environment that discourage learning and festers this kind of attitude.
      In my company, there are many who answer questions as though they know what they say when, in fact, they don’t. I call them the Emperors Without Clothes, after a well-known child story. But since they are held accountable, whether they know or not, they must blarb answers without knowledge to survive, hoping nobody will notice and confront them.
      Oh, well …

      • Ivanka

        Eventually the truth will come out! People sniff out a ‘faker’ from a mile away and it will get harder and harder to keep up the facade. You hit the nail on the head when you talk about being held accountable, as that is the secret to success… Good luck!
        Ivanka

    • Ivanka

      Joe, Thank you so much for pointing this out to me. I have updated the post – hopefully it reads much better now.

      Ivanka

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