Piles of Paper
Updated: Sep 6
I think we can all agree that there are few things less inspiring than a pile of paper. So why do some members of our industry seem hell-bent on acquiring more and more of the stuff?
Flippancy aside, we are now firmly in the grip of ‘ITIL4 fever’, and once again my LinkedIn feed is littered with posts about people passing the various new qualifications out there, sometimes seemingly as soon as they are released. Don’t get me wrong, I see the names I would expect in terms of industry commentators, trainers and experts in the field and welcome their embracing and endorsement of the progression of ITIL.
What does irk me, however, is the vast numbers of newly qualified people who upon closer inspection have little to no background in our industry or relevant work experience. They are collecting these certificates like they are the Panini football stickers I pursued in my childhood with the singular goal of completing ‘the set’.
Why does this bother me? Since the early days of ITIL, its good name has been dragged through the mud by ‘consultants’ who have charged vast sums of money to deliver something they didn’t understand. Additionally, organisations have employed people who have an immense pile of paper with no relevant experience, context or understanding of the content they are meant to be an expert in.
I predict we will see the usual, slightly amusing trend, where within about six months we will see these consultants in new service management roles, posting in our various social locations on the net. The questions usually take the form of 'I am in an organisation as the global head of service management, can you send me a complete set of service management documents by the end of today?' or 'What is an Incident'. Wording aside the undertone is 'Hellllllllppppp!!!!' I am all for helping but really?
Furthermore, I have been approached on three separate occasions by organisations who ‘guaranteed’ me a pass in any certificate I wanted, in one case, by having the tutor sit the exam for me!
I appreciate that all of the above happens whenever a ‘new toy’ releases within our industry be it governance or technology-driven. However, for some reason, this release of ITIL seems to have upped the stakes significantly in its prevalence. Maybe that is a sign of a global appreciation for the new content; I hope so and time will tell.