My recent blog Is it time for a two-speed ITIL? seems to have generated a lot of interest. As well as a large number of replies on The ITSM Review site, there were many tweets and Facebook posts where a wide range of people offered their thoughts and opinions.
A variety of approaches
The overall consensus seems to be that we need a fast-moving online repository of up-to-date IT service management guidance. This repository must be moderated, to ensure the quality of the content, but the moderation should allow for a wide variety of different approaches to be published even if they are not yet considered to be best practice, and even if they contradict generally accepted best practice.
This should be part of ITIL
Some people agreed with me that it would be best if this repository is managed as part of the ITIL brand, but others seemed to think it would be better if it were completely separate. There are a number of reasons why I think we should first try to do this as part of ITIL:
- ITIL has a worldwide reputation as a trusted source of best practice. People may be more likely to contribute content, and to find and use the content contributed by others, if it is seen to be related to ITIL
- If a small group of ITSM people set up the repository then other people may be less included to contribute, and may choose to set up alternative sites of their own, this could lead to a situation where instead of working together to create value we compete for attention, distracting us from the more important things we should be doing
- If the repository is part of ITIL then it will be able to provide valuable input to future publications, either as updates to the ITIL core publications or as new complementary publications. This will provide a means of progressing ideas from concept through wider publication to accepted best practice.
I will discuss this idea with the Cabinet Office to see if I can persuade them to make it happen. If they are willing to try this then I will do what I can to help it succeed, but if they don’t want to then I will look around for alternative ways we can make this happen.
A moderated community
I have been thinking about how this repository might work, and I think we should consider some of the following:
- We must have a transparent governance process, with clear criteria for why contributions will or won’t be accepted
- We need a fair approach to intellectual property rights, encouraging people to contribute material but making sure that others can reuse it without fear of copyright issues
- Each contribution should have an associated discussion thread, so that people can help improve the content – either by making improvement suggestions or by reporting the results of their attempts to implement the ideas.
- We need to decide how maintenance of each contribution will take place. Will new versions of a contribution require approval from the original author, or will there be a process for others to create and edit new versions?
What do you think?
What other features and governance principles do you think we should consider?
I have a daytime job, providing strategic ITSM consulting to HP customers, so I can’t arrange a meeting with the Cabinet Office for a few weeks. Once I have spoken to them I’ll let you all know the outcome.
Image credit: © mezzotint_fotolia – Fotolia.com