Monday, 8 March 2010

Once more with feeling

You might have gathered by now that I am a fan of ISO/IEC 38500.  That is why I find myself torn between two different approaches. Personally I rather like dealing with a bit of tension between  world views, but when you are thinking about an elevator pitch you can only nail your colours to one mast.

The first is to to promote the value of the standard by highlighting how well it dovetails with other frameworks. This route takes us down the line of mapping 38500 on to COBIT and ITIL and anything else we can think of. Of course this will work, because we can map pretty much anything on to anything and the resulting diagrams always look good. I like the idea of  people not having to change direction just because a new idea comes along, and positioning ISO 38500 as a mechanism to bring cohesion to the mix has some attractions.And yes one of the first things I did when I got my hands on a copy of the standard was to start mapping it on to ITIL v3.

So why do I feel a little uncomfortable about it?

First of all I worry that mapping will lead us to try and de-construct 38500 and reassemble it from existing components as an intellectual exercise. Secondly I worry that once it has been disassembled  people will be tempted to cherry pick the bits that they want, and they won't end up choosing the most important elements of it.

Anyone who has been involved with SOX will know there is a corporate tendency to sit there and think "Can we get away with not doing that?"

So what is the second approach?

I think it is about looking forwards not backwards.

Rather than thinking about how we can use ISO 38500 to validate what we have already done think about how we can use it to move beyond the limitations of the existing frameworks. In particular think about how we can use it in ways that are distinctive from the way IT normally does things.

Why don't we use it to put some heart and emotion into IT.

More to follow...

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