Its all about the process

Today I had a major change of heart about how i feel towards ITIL I’ve never believed in ITIL, actually even after taking the course and passing the exam I considered that week I spent in that course a total waste of time, after all who cares about how the support cycle works and who does what and when and where, the communication flow and all of these meaningless endless bullet points.

I remember arguing endlessly with my team leader endlessly about the overhead versus the value of all of these little notes we have to religiously add to tickets, about how he was obsessed with the format of the description of the trouble ticket. my point of view was that the main task of any support team is providing support and restoring the service, rather than wasting the precious time they have in documenting how they do it (while they do it). I argued that quality of incident handling is totally independent from quality of the ticket, on the other hand he insisted that they were completely related and dependent on one another. unfortunatly he was correct, and I was completely wrong.

I recently moved to this newly formed team, supporting a new branch of the multinational i’m working in, unfortuantly this new branch is not applying ITIL standards, or any standards what so ever, thus our team is free from any constraints or rules, and we can concentrate on nothing but incident handling, and turns out it’s nothing short of a nightmare…we have like 10% of the over head I’ve had in my old team but I end up wasting even more time, 50% of our day is wasted on decyphering trouble tickets, as our frontline is providing us with nothing but a vague description of whats going on, and we actually have to figure out what they are going through before doing anything. Mainly it boils down to these points:

  • no clear product categorization (so you dont know whats failing exactly)
  • no clear prioritization scheme.
  • no standard format of describing recurrent issues.
  • total lack of an escalation matrix.

What makes it even more fun is that there is now way to communicate anything to the frontline so when a major outage happens you end up handling the outage, and then having to go through the hundred or so tickets generated during that outage.

Most of my new colleagues have never worked in an ITIL regulated environment and thus they dont have that perception of how much process facilitates ticket handeling, how it smoothen up the entire process, today and to my surprise I caught my self using the exact same arguments my old team leader used to use, and i was faced with the same arguments I’d have said.

They believe that we should start handeling technical issues first and then move to proccess issue after gaining the trust of our frontline, on the other hand i believe that we can’t start handling the technical side before smoothing out the process to the degree that allows us to actually have to time to handle the technicality. At least we should be able to communicate with our frontline and at least have the ability to generate reports about the trouble tickets we handle (which is impossible right now). ah and the team should get ITIL certified AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!

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