The ITIL Manifesto – what it is and why you should get involved

A few weeks ago, a discussion on twitter led to the suggestion of an ITIL Manifesto. An attempt to codify and simplify the core tenets of ITIL from the triple perspectives of experience, theory and aspiration.

Some of the discussions since have talked about a manifesto as a way of remembering, communicating and promoting those principles and values to colleagues, customers and other key stakeholders. They should be broad enough to cover the essence of 2000 pages of ITIL, but grounded enough and easy enough to remember so that the swamped professional can take a step back, think, remember that principle and answer from a position of best practice pragmatism rather than theoretical fanaticism.

Some people have focused on using the manifesto as a way of steering a possible next version of ITIL (if there’s even going to be one), others have argued that it’s a way of making V3/2011 more accessible. Some have argued that it should be an ITSM manifesto, others that it should be ITIL (a vote on the now-closed tricider stream was 5-2 in favour of ITIL) although with only 7 votes out of the 928 unique visits it obviously wasn’t a hugely contentious issue.

AXELOS have been brilliant in supporting us in this. They’ve actively helped drive the twitter discussions, they’ve posted updates to their website and the Head of ITIL practice – Kaimar Karu – has been involved in the community discussions. They’ve not tried to steer the content, but seem happy to let it evolve and grow where it needs to.

The community have likewise been brilliant. Over a hundred suggestions were gathered in the first phase from a diverse range of people. The well known ITSM leaders and authorities have contributed with energy, but have also in more than one case suggested they themselves step back and let fresh voices be heard.

This is where you come in. Yes you, reading this now.

The fresh voices mentioned are the people who haven’t necessarily been active in the ITIL or ITSM community to date, or maybe have been but want to step it up. It could be non-IT professionals who have opinions about IT Service Management. It could be CIOs, DBAs or developers who think we’ve got it all wrong. It could be experienced consultants who have been working so hard at solving problems that they’ve not realised there was an ITIL manifesto initiative and have some 24-carat solid gold insights which ITIL didn’t even know it needed – until now.

The opportunities to get involved are there for everyone. Now that we’ve gathered a mass of raw ideas, it’s time to group them, distil them and craft them into principles or manifesto statements. I’d like to offer multiple routes to do this – both traditional “join a working group” and the less traditional “here’s the original material, go away and self-organise – you’ve got 3 weeks.”

The first meeting of the original few volunteers/contributors is tonight, where I’ll be advocating for all of the above and so, I believe, will all the other participants. We’ll mostly be talking about how we organise and coordinate and who’s going to do the admin-y stuff. I’m going to set up some wider discussions following on from that (Google Hangouts is max 10 active participants) so stay tuned.

If you want to be a part of ITIL’s present, and maybe influence its future, get involved now.

Also keep an eye on #ITILManifesto on twitter, and see the links in the wiki above for the Back2ITSM facebook and google plus groups.