'Basic Service Management' by Rob England (a.k.a The IT Skeptic)

Basic Service Management by Rob England

This is a quick review of Rob England’s book ‘Basic Service Management’.

You can find out more about Rob’s book and the TIPU method here: www.basicsm.com. If you want to share your own review please add a comment below.

In my opinion this is a well written introduction to service management.

This book might have also been called:

  • ‘Service Management in a nutshell’
  • ‘An introduction to Service Management’
  • ‘Service Management for Business Owners’
  • ‘The book on Service Management that you buy for your boss’ or
  • ‘How to introduce someone to service management without scaring the bejesus out of them by banging on about ITIL or other IT geekery’

I read this in one sitting and I’m not a fast reader. It is quick, accessible and thought provoking.

It is not an ITSM or IT book per se, in fact I think the best recipient of this book is a non-IT business owner or service owner who wants to appreciate the benefits of service management.

As an ITSM professional, this is the sort of book you need to send to those you wish to educate and influence about your chosen profession. Or as one Amazon reviewer put it: “I recommend reading it before you get lost in ITIL”. This would also be useful to an entrepreneur looking to start or scale their business.

Why Service Management?

“If you are reading this book, you probably don’t manage your services so much. That gives you an opportunity to increase revenues and profitability: improving your service brings increased efficiency and effectiveness. That means increased returns for much less investment than from improving your products or equipment”.

Rob England, The IT Skeptic

Rob is a great wordsmith and well respected in the ITSM industry – my only criticism of this book is that I wish he had used the power of metaphor, story telling or examples to describe his seven practice areas. The second half of the book tends to slide into a glossary of his basic service management terms and bullet points. I thought this might have been a perfect opportunity for Rob to use some examples in order to reinforce his message and walk the reader through his ‘Seven Areas’ rather than explaining principles in purely theoretical terms.

In the ‘How to Use this Book’ section Rob urges the reader to “Read it, It is short”. In a similar fashion my advice to you as an ITSM professional is, “Buy it, it is good”.

Have you read Rob’s book? Please share your opinion in the comments below.


3 thoughts on “'Basic Service Management' by Rob England (a.k.a The IT Skeptic)”

  1. Thanks Martin for those kind words.

    A fair point about anecdotes and examples. others have said similar things. 50 pages is a tough limit and i had to give up many things. I sometimes toy with doing a 100-page version of the book…

  2. I would keep it to 50 pages if you can. It’s a strong selling point if you are urging someone to read it (Especially a senior manager who is a bit ADD) You could always break out the finer points of the seven practice areas into a separate guide.

    All of this is nitpicking. I look forward to seeing TIPU when you are ready to let it loose.

  3. Well done Rob, congrats on the book.  You know my opinion but as always I’m gonna share it again given this chance.  The original service Management resulting from product management research and professional guidance dating back to the 19060s is all about gaining visibility over and managing what I call the magic number 42, representing the 4Es and 2 vital service equations, namely:

    – Expectation
    – Encounter
    – Experience
    – Emotional Genie

    Value and Expectation Equations…

    Each has a silent ‘C’ representing the customer or outside-in perspective and perception and where we begin the process of shaping our operations, attitude and approach as a service provider would…

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