Master's thesis about ITIL

General discussion on all aspects of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
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gregor13
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Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:51 pm

Hello

I must choose the subject of my Master's thesis soon and I would like to ask you for an advice.

I have decided to focus my thesis in ITIL. I am thinking to write about ITIL profitability dependence on the size of the company (if ITIL implementation is also viable for small company/small IT department).

Is it the right direction in your opinion?

Best regards


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Diarmid
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Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:09 am

gregor,

you are making an assumption about ITIL that, in my opinion, is untenable. ITIL is not something that can be plugged in and used by an organization in the manner of a formal method (or "methodology" in the common parlance). ITIL is essentially guidance on good practice in the field of IT Service Management. Despite its own claims, it is not, in my opinion even a framework for ITSM. As guidance it is organized into a framework and at an abstract level this framework describes a reality underlying ITSM. But this reality exists independently of ITIL.

ITIL has no prescriptive elements and therefore how an organization conducts its ITSM can never be described either as ITIL or not ITIL. For success, you "adapt and adopt" ITIL, or, in other words, you take what aspects of it help your organization and develop, in your own way, processes based on those aspects. Consequently any attempt to identify an organization as, for example, "ITIL compliant" or as "using ITIL" rely entirely on that organization's subjective claims and its practices need bear little resemblance to those of any other organization making similar claims. Nor need such an organization's ITSM be radically different from another organization that makes no such claims.

An attempt to correlate the benefits of ITIL to company size would require an enormous statistical analysis of data that is not readily available; and, I suspect, would result in the discovery that the essential ingredient for success in companies of any size is an insightful understanding of ITSM and of quality management in general and that those who fail share a correspondingly poor understanding coupled with a superficial and misguided understanding of what ITIL is and how to use it.

Ordinarily I would suggest that, in your position, you consult more deeply with your tutor. However I have the impression from several similar posts by other students that the academic community does not yet have a good understanding of ITIL and is somewhat taken in by the hype surrounding the subject. I think there is a crying need for someone in academia to look at ITIL from the perspective of understanding what it really is and how misunderstanding and immaturity have led to many naive, costly and unsuccessful attempts to use it.

If you think it might help, you are welcome to email me for further discussion.
"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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BorisBear
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Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:54 am

to sum up, if you don't know that ITIL is descriptive not prescriptive then perhaps you're not best placed to write a thesis on it.
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gregor13
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:38 am

Diarmid
Thank you for an exhaustive answer. It looks like you are a very experienced in ITSM.

I work for a few years as system administrator in a company which I believe adopted ITIL practices for ITSM. That's why I know ITIL only from sys admin point of view and I can misunderstand some concepts.

I would like to learn an ITIL and now the best way for me is to choose it as the subject of my thesis. I am facing the problem with choose the proper subject. Unfortunately, my tutor will not help me as he has no knowledge about ITIL.

If you do not mind I will share here my future ideas about the subject. Likewise, If you would have any idea I would be very grateful.


Best regards
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Diarmid
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:01 pm

gregor,

if you do not have access to knowledgeable academic support and your own knowledge is presently limited, then you are brave to the point of foolhardy to tackle the subject in a thesis. You need a mentor.
"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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DaveInSeoul
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Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:11 pm

Gregor,

I agree with the previous posts about the very, very tenuous links between ITIL and profitability. What might be a very doable topic, however, for a Master's thesis is a qualitative study about why various companies decided to go with one type of framework vs another.

As was mentioned in previous responses, there still is a lot of skepticism about ITIL in many business firms. However, most firms either don't use any framework at all (and have a lot of chaos), or choose one form of an ITSM framework (ITIL, Val IT, COBIT,). A qualitative study of why companies decided on one framework vs another and their perception of how well they are doing with it might well be a good master's thesis topic.

It will all depend of couse, on how much access you can get to the C-level employees of this company. However, I'm sure you could get acess to at least 3 or 4. That in of itself would make for a good Master's thesis.
Dave Martin
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TomOzITIL_2
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Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:10 am

ISO20000 is more prescriptive. Maybe use certified companies as your reference point (if there are any out there)
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alekMK
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Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:58 pm

Hello.

I know it is 5 years latter, but do you have somewhere publicly available your or other master thesis based on ITIL? Please email me at rtgs@yahoo.com
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