Service Management Scalability

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

An Introductory Overview of ITIL V3 says that "Change Manager" is not a defined role but rather:

"It is not anticipated that a typical organization would consider a separate group of people for this role, rather there is a flow of experience and skills meaning the same people may well be involved in multiple lifecycle stages."
Firstly I would question this statement, I believe that its very hard to manage the checks and balances of due diligence for changes without a strong change resource directing the traffic, answering questions and producing reports etc. In my experience I have not seen any organizations that have managed to forgo this role, in fact during ITSM conferences I have probably met more "Change Managers" than any other.

The tool vendors probably have a solution for this, I am sure there is some software that will "remove the need for a dedicated change manager", not to be a skeptic but I will believe it when I see it.

If we take this as a given, I think there is an issue of scalability of roles in ITIL, it's hard to wear multiple hats, change Manager/Problem lead/Unix sysadmin: probably not a fun job, and pretty difficult to hire for. Do you really want your expensive EMC expert approving RFCs?

A large IT organization has the benefit of resources but even then vacation and training etc. mean that consistency becomes an issue.

ITSM is not cheap, the "tools" cost a considerable amount of money, adoption is hard and time consuming, hiring for service management roles is not trivial, neither is the total person hours devoted to greasing the wheels of the service management organization.

The scalability of the roles defined in the ITIL framework is not helping small IT organizations adopt, or large organizations reap the "ROI" they believe are coming... I believe there are solutions to this THOUGHT of mine, but that's for a later post.


The IT Skeptic said...

The Introduction is referring to Service Transition as a "role" not specifically Change Manager.

neverthe less the book is diverging from the core ITIL books here. It is written by itSMFuk. it is deceptive to call it "Introduction" if they are going to introduce new concepts.

ITIL doesn't agree with them. ST 6.2 and 6.3 are pretty clear there are dedicated teams. As you said, industry good practice is that it is a full-time committed function and roles.

SupportThought said...

Managing change teams in global organisations I have found it fairly difficult to balance the amount of work with the number of change analysts, that was with the luxury of multiple people in that role, the number of changes being carried out has to reach a critical number before a dedicated role can really bring value to the company. I wonder if anyone has experience of this on a smaller scale?

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