Competition: Review “Standard+Case” – Win a Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire
Write a review, chance to win a Kindle Fire

Regular ITSM Review columnist Rob England (a.k.a. ‘The IT Skeptic’) has just published his latest contribution to the ITSM industry:

“Plus! The Standard+Case Approach: See service response in a new light”

Book blurb:

“If your customers see your group as bureaucratic and inflexible…

If your staff feel process bound…

If your process doesn’t adapt to a changing world…

See service response in a new light.
Standard+Case is an exciting new approach to categorising and resolving any sort of response activity, such as service desk, tech support, public safety, social welfare, or health. If you have anything to do with responding to situations when providing a service, read this. It will change your view of how responses are handled.

Standard+Case applies to anything that requires a human response: there’s either a standard response or there isn’t.”

What they said…

“By tying together the mature practices of ITSM and Case Management Rob has strengthened and filled in gaps of both frameworks. A must read for ITSM professionals!” Troy DuMoulin, Pink Elephant.

“Great reading and concept. Now I want to build it.” Matt Beran, ITSM Consultant.

More info on the book:


To help Skep get the word out on his new book we’re running a competition!

In a nutshell: Write a review of Rob’s book, post it on this article, the best one wins a Kindle Fire.

Competition rules:

  1. Deadline to receive reviews: Sunday 28th July
  2. How to enter: Post your review as a comment on this blog entry or by email
  3. The ITSM Review will choose the winning review (i.e. Not Rob)
  4. Rob doesn’t mince his words on book reviews, neither should you. We welcome all reviews, good or bad. We aspire to useful and perceptive content on The ITSM Review – this should be no different.
  5. The ITSM Review’s decision is final, yada-yada
  6. We reserve the right to change the rules retrospectively to cover our backsides with the guiding principles that we are a) Good eggs and b) not evil 🙂


Image credit

13 thoughts on “Competition: Review “Standard+Case” – Win a Kindle Fire”

  1. PS – A review written on your own blog linked to here equates to an entry. Just let us know you’ve written it. Thanks, Martin

  2. Rob’s “Plus! The Standard+Case Approach” book is another way of looking at how we can better manage and deliver IT services to the organization. In general, I like the concepts and the principles presented in the book. Specifically,

    1. Rob did an admirable job explaining his Standard+Case model in detail: how the model works, when the model is appropriate to deploy, why we should care, etc.

    2. As someone with IT operations background, I believe Rob’s advice and recommendations are actionable. Theories and high-level frameworks are good to know, but the rubber will eventually need to meet the road. I am convinced that Rob’s approach can work for many IT organizations.

    3. If you have had exposure to Rob’s work via his blog, speaking sessions, or his books, you know Rob likes to call things as he sees them. This book is no exception.

    While I do not have anything negative to say about the book, I would like to bring up one observation. People reading this book should be aware that the “Standard+Case” model is not presenting anything new or revolutionary when compared to ITIL. Rather, it is another way of looking at how we can do things. If you already have implemented ITSM leveraging ITIL with satisfactory results, I am not sure Rob’s model is going to bring you an even more spectacular result.

    That said; I would encourage strongly giving Rob’s model a try if you are struggling to get organized in the service response area. Respectable frameworks such as ITIL and PMBOK call out what the minimum, basic professional standards ought to look like. When properly implemented with discipline and care, I believe Rob’s model can help an organization achieve that basic, professional level and be more effective at what they do.

  3. Here you have an international review written in Spanish

    The key concept behind the review: the important thing that Rob teaches us in this book is not about the existence of Standard and Case… we knew this since a long time ago in ITSM. The important concept is that we need structure, policies and resources properly balanced to manage both kind of responses, instead of keep trying to use a single set of policies, procedures and tools for everything.



  4. If you are quite new to ITSM or have not yet been fully converted into an ITIL ideologue this book can be nice introduction to an alternative, the author may say complementary, method to ‘process’ management. The introduction of case management to ITSM is long overdue and after reading this book (and some other sources) it seems almost criminal it has taken this long for ITSM to make some use of this practice. Rob England richly deserves praise for throwing a spotlight on this neglected (by ITSM) corner of process management. The book does a decent job of explaining the theory – or at least, this authors theory of how one could use (and implement) case management.

    The highlight of the book is the chapter in which we have a rather humorous narrative of case management at work. In this particular story we can quickly see how case management could be effective, thrown in to this story are some of the author’s other pet projects – such as internal case management certification, and gamification.

    Overall though, I expected more from this book than it delivered. I had expected a bit more in the way of actual use cases, a dive into the guts of case management where we can expose the good, the bad and the tiny details that are often the difference between a real success and just being another management fad. The concept of Standard + Case is fantastic, one of the more illuminating ideas about service management I have ever stumbled across, but this book seems to be out a bit before the idea has been fully marinated or tested. There is also a regretful lack of insights gained from legal, health care, social work, or police work on what really works for case management, as if we could not possibly learn from ‘others.’ There are absolutely no ‘real world’ stories, IT related or otherwise, in this book that point the reader to a better understanding of the benefits and limitations of case management. The reader is left with a lot of theory, some slightly repetitive history of process management and bloating due to discussions on how to implement change in a company. Quite frankly, while I do not doubt the author’s experience or skill in the matter, there are plenty of other books that cover this ground more thoroughly and more convincingly.  

    Another issue is there are the few detours into periphery subjects like DevOps. The author claims this book was written for the ITSM practitioner but then fills up several pages explaining rather general ITSM concepts. Besides, I found there were rather dubious claims that DevOps is based on “anti-fragility” and DevOps is all about Standard Change (ITIL speak). Both of these are claims are misplaced. Anti-fragility is not about being “flexible to adapt to change” – that is being robust. Being anti-fragile is about benefiting from change, which is a bit more than just adapting (coping, adjusting).

    Also, DevOps is not all about Standard Change (preapproved change requests) – it is about “rapidly producing products and services.” The mechanisms used to deploy code may use automated, standard means, but the code or configuration itself may be completely new and never before introduced –this by default negates it from being a Standard Change. To use an analogy – the use of a syringe to administer medicine is a standard deployment method. However, the medicine itself may be ‘standard’ or it may be a trial drug. Just because we are using a standard method of deploying the medicine does not make the medicine itself standard. DevOps is not all about Standard Change although it does use standardized deployment methods. At any rate, all this talk about DevOps is just noise, a distraction; that is rather my point, why is it here filling up pages? These pages would have been better served providing more empirical evidence that this Standard + Case theory actually can be viable in a company, particularly, in your company.

    I do believe that the study and use of Case Management is important to any service management professional and specifically to any IT service management professional. Rob England was the first to bring this concept to my attention, and I would hazard to say, to many people in the ITSM world’s attention. For that we must all be grateful and in his debt. The book however was too long to be succinct and too short to be comprehensive. In the end, it is a nice starting point for this concept but it will not be the capstone or even, I suspect, in a few years time the author’s best book on the subject.

    I hope that he will try again, perhaps after some real case studies, and some real tales from the coal mine (even those outside of IT), and produce a book with more substance to support such a great sounding theory and one that makes use of an editor (the occasional spelling mistake, mixing 1st and 3rd person in the same paragraph, this sort of thing is okay for a blog, but not when you are asking for my money). All and all, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.  

  5. This book is a recent edition to my library. I am quite familiar with the subject of case management and happy to see it addressed in the following book by Rob England aka The IT Skeptic. So happy in-fact that I think it deserves the following review – available here –

Comments are closed.