August 2007 CIO Decisions Letters to the Editor

Where's the CIO in ITIL?

The piece "ITIL: The Latest Wave in Service Management" [April 2007 issue] provided a nice recap of IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) history

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but also missed important developments. The latest version of ITIL was published a decade ago, a time when the word offshore had more to do with the oil industry than IT. Of course some firms would find it clumsy and rigid. How many IT products have an industry buzz more than a decade after their release?

Rather than interviewing someone involved with the new material, the writer relied on statements from someone involved with a version released more than 20 years ago. Worse, some of the statements provided were misleading or wrong.

The new version has nothing to do with Web services. Rather, it expands ITIL into the realm of the CIO -- an area afforded little attention in previous versions. Given the name of your magazine, this was a startling omission. ITIL V3 offers an organizing framework based on practices from MIT system dynamics, a framework transforming supply chains, industrial engineering and economics -- not to mention new material incorporating Web 2.0, business service management and so on.

This article presented a key opportunity to offer relevant and industry-shaping news to your readership. It was instead a facilitation of the same old service-desk process story.

Michael Nieves
Via email

Tools or People?

Regarding the column "From List Maker to Project Manager" [Project Expert, February issue], I respectfully disagree. Well-trained project managers (PMs) are first and foremost leaders and communicators. Seasoned PMs know that people, not tools, complete projects. And people complete projects on time and on budget when they are invested in project success.

Hands down, project participants are most comfortable with Excel; they don't find applications like MS Project intuitive. And while you're correct in arguing that good project management includes work breakdown structures as well as defined tasks, milestones and deliverables, all these components can be organized using a variety of project management tools.

While you correctly emphasize that many project leaders need to change their practices, the transformation is not about project managers using Word, Excel or any other tool; it's about project managers becoming project leaders.

Rory Weaver
Special Projects Coordinator
University of Georgia
Athens, Ga.

Breaking the Ice

Your Project Expert column captured the hazards of combining business analyst and project manager functions, a situation I've confronted in a recent project ["Beware Career Cross-Breeding," January issue]. I plan to give a copy of the article to my manager. I thought it could provide neutral ground to broach the topic. Thanks for providing a discussion opener.

Madhavi Gupta
Business Systems Analyst


Great job on the cover story "The First 100 Days" [March issue]. I especially liked reading about the perspective of Rosalee Hermens at the Timberland Co.

Chris Grillo
Director of Information Security
Medical Health Plans
Minnetonka, Minn.

Thank you for writing the insightful Vertical Views article ["Tight Budgets and Core Mission Set the IT Agenda," January issue]. The piece is relevant to my current organization, the United Church of Canada, and helped me get a sense of how a nonprofit differs from a for-profit company.

Vanda M. Orsini
IT Executive Officer
The United Church of Canada

Thank you and keep up the great work. CIO Decisions is one of the few IT magazines that I find value in.

Denise Peterson
Director of IT
Green Tree Servicing
St. Paul, Minn.

We Want to Hear From You:
CIO Decisions welcomes letters to the editor. Write to us at editor@ciodecisions.com and please include your name, title, company, city/state and a daytime phone number for verification. We may edit letters for clarity and length.

This was first published in August 2007

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