Friday, April 15, 2011

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011: Waste of money or good to go?

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011: Waste of money or good to go?

Okay, so I just paid CHF 112 for a 36 page document - surely it must be worth its value in gold.

Note: CHF 112 divided by 36 pages = CHF 3.11 per page :-) (I was hoping for PI "3.14", but wasn't that lucky!)

Let's dissect the document:

Pages i-ii contain a title page and a copyright statement. That's CHF 6.22 wasted.

Pages iii-iv are a table of contents. There goes another CHF 6.22.

Pages v-vi are a foreword - basically some gibberish and nothing really exciting. Uhm... I start to detect a CHF 6.22 trend here.

Pages vii-viii contain the introduction and is basically telling us that Deming's PDCA cycle is a really, really smart idea. Okay, so they need 2 pages for this (CHF 6.22) and I can do it in one short sentence:

"Deming's PDCA cycle really rocks big time!"

So far, I've wasted roughly CHF 30 and am none the wiser.

Oops, no wait!

Page 34 is a bibliography, sort of semi useful, but I don't really want to buy all these other standards (well, at least, not yet). It actually lists 20 other ISO standards, so better take a holiday if you intend to read them all. A very long holiday that is!

The last 2 pages (35-36) are completely blank! That's definitely CHF 6.22 down the drain. Ah well, it's good for the Swiss economy, so who cares! I certainly don't, as I'm half Swiss myself!

Okay, so once you've flicked your way past the first 8 pages, the fun really starts. Now, before we look at some of the finer details, let's sketch the big picture first.

This document has nine key sections and these together explain Part 1: Service Management System Requirements. Don't start looking for Part 2 in this document, because that's another standard known as the code of practice. Part 1 is all about what you SHALL do, part 2 (again, not this document) is all about what you SHOULD do.

Note: SMS = Service Management System

The nine sections are:

1. Scope: Who is it for, how do we use it?

2. Normative references: It roughly states: "Also read ISO/IEC 20000: Part 2".

3. Terms and definitions: It's about providing a common language and common terminology.

4. SMS General requirements: It's all about Deming's planning activities and what you need to be doing in order to get some Service Management in place. You know, the commitment, funding and policies type of stuff.

5. Design and transition of new or changed services: Okay, we can't just rush into doing things, but need to properly plan our changes.

6. Service delivery processes: Service Level Management, Service Reporting, Service Continuity and Availability Management, Budgeting and Accounting for Services, Capacity Management, and Information Security Management.

7. Relationship processes: Business Relationship Management, and Supplier Management.

8. Resolution processes: Incident and Service Request Management, and Problem Management.

9. Control processes: Configuration Management, Change Management, Release and Deployment Management.

Except a few minor changes (e.g. adding Service Request Management to a title) the standard still seems predominantly aligned with ITIL v2, and overall not much, and that's an understatement, has changed if we compare the standard to the ISO/IEC 20000-1:2005.

Alignment with other key IT Service Management Frameworks like MOF or CobiT still seem a far and distant reality, which seems weird considering the fact that both MOF and CobiT have been catching up with ITIL really, really fast, and personally I see more value in CobiT (ISACA) than I currently see coming from ITIL or ISO.

Ah well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the industry reacts to the new ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 standard (which consists of about approximately 50% (19/36 pages) somewhat useful information), but personally I think it's a bit disappointing as so many other IT related subject areas could have been covered in the standard by now.

Signing off,

Nanoo... Nanoo...