Tuesday, February 27, 2007

To change the Culture

From Bob Lewis in his Keep the Joint Running column, Office biogeography of 26-Feb-2007.

"Culture is the learned behavior people exhibit in response to their environment. Want to change the culture? Change their environment. It's the only choice you have, unless you think preaching will have an impact."

ITIL is a Culture Change. I.e. People will have to do their tasks differently, will have to perform to different expectations and may even suffer consequences for doing just what they do now. i.e for not changing.

I've heard it asserted that "(the people in) IT are the most change resistant group" in any company. Purports to come from a mid-1980's survey .

And elsewhere, it's part of the received wisdom that "IT is about Change" (i.e. not us, but 'them' the users), so one of the most important aspects of successful I.T. implementations is "Managing Change" - the (other) people dimension. (And you have the internal people (us) dimension of the team as well.)

The synthesis:
Adopting ITIL is probably the single biggest change, hence most disruptive event, in the life of most I.T. Operations/Services groups. Modulo all getting fired and the work 'Outsourced'.

Bob Lewis's observation is that you have to change the environment to change what people do, the culture.
And a really big part of that would be: The Management.

So I'm wondering:
Do all successful ITIL implementations 'start from the top'??

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