Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Inverse Anna Karenina Rule

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” 
 Leo TolstoyAnna Karenina

Anyone who has been in IT for a while starts to hear the same themes repeated:

  • "Why did they make a change to X when $BIG_IMPORTANT_THING is going on?"
  • "I called this in last month and it's still not fixed and I haven't heard a thing"
  • "Why are we spending on X when Y is is such lousy shape?"
This experience along with seeing the Tolstoy quote above led me to coin The Inverse Anna Karenina rule:

All unhappy IT shops are alike, each happy IT shop is happy in its own way.

IT shops with low maturity in ITSM are fundamentally the same. They don't manage their processes, require heroes to save the day, and are always in reactive mode. People are busy, but IT is an order taker and nothing more.

As IT shops mature, they begin to align with their business. They take good practices, get good at the fundamentals, and then truly make them their own. They develop effective relationships both within IT and with their customers. IT becomes a strategic enabler and truly becomes part of the business. And since all businesses are different, the happy IT shop also becomes unique.

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