The ITSM Iron Triangle

itSMF USA member Susan Schellhase has reviewed The ITSM Iron Triangle:

I love stories. Not just books, many of which contain great information, but stories with characters and plots that engage the reader at an emotional level. I assumed The ITSM Iron Triangle, by Daniel McLean, with a graphic of Incidents, Problems and Changes on the cover, would focus on the relationships between these three critical ITIL processes. But it turned out to be a thought-provoking story, full of illustrations of the real-world conversations, objections, politics and emotions that pose the greatest challenges to successful ITSM implementations. It focuses on the first and most critical factor in the People – Process – Technology concept, but in an illustrative rather than theoretical way through the eyes of Chris.

Chris is a relatively new employee assigned a very visible task of reducing a fairly significant number of Sev 1 incidents, in the midst of politics, finger-pointing and inconsistent support from management. The concepts are simple and well-illustrated through his journey. For example, he uses a great analogy, likening Incident, Problem and Change Management to Firefighters, the Arson Squad, and Building Inspectors, respectively. Chris learns how important it is to share the vision in clear, simple terms to his management, as ITIL concepts can be complex and sometimes difficult to summarize for the executives who need to be convinced with limited exposure.

This book would be ideal for practitioners who have completed their ITIL Foundation training and so are somewhat familiar with these three critical ITIL processes, and are ready to use this newfound knowledge in the real world. But even the experienced might benefit from the reminders highlighted at the end of each chapter in “Tips that would have helped Chris.” Although the main concepts, relationships and benefits of these three processes are repeated throughout the book, the focus is very much on the cultural aspect, which is only covered at a high level in most ITIL / ITSM publications.

This is an extremely quick read, and one I found hard to put down. In fact, I read it once for the purposes of this review, then read it again to take notes and make an action plan to apply personally. I doubt many in the industry could read the book without recognizing key players or similar situations in their own experiences, although many were exaggerated for illustration purposes. Much of this is Corporate America Politics 101, but it’s not a bad reminder for those of us who get so engrossed in getting the “hard” stuff done that we forget the “soft” aspects can be even more critical.

If you would like to read more about The ITSM Iron Triangle, it is available to buy from our International, European, American and itSMF USA webstores.