A quick report on ITIL which may be of interest. As is commonly known ITIL is the UK ‘standard’ framework for setting out best practice in IT service management, support and development. It stands for the IT Infrastructure Library and is a series of publications setting out various stages, process, etc, for which one can become accredited.
ITIL is divided into various components (e.g. Application Development, Infrastructure Management, etc) and recently I attended a 3-day course by REMARC on the IT Service Delivery and Support sections. It is true that it is very much in the abstract, and theoretical, but nevertheless it threw up interesting insights into processes that are considered ‘best practice’. IT Service Management deals with the day-to-day support (service desks, escalation of incidents, problem management, change management, release management) as well as the medium to long-term development of IT services (SLAs, availability management, capacity management, IT Service Continuity, and Financial Management).
Even though it is theoretical many of the processes and tools are of interest to IT delivery in HE. Like all approaches it tends to assume one is dealing with a large company (e.g. PRINCE2 assumes an endless supply of staff to fulfill the various roles) but even a small IT support unit (e.g. at a college or faculty) could probably learn some useful processes, especially if modeled against the local/central support at Oxford.
My course was run mainly for City/Couny Council staff but a couple of members of OUCS slipped in. The trainer was very good, and I think it would be worth looking at some general introductions to ITIL for IT staff at Oxford, and then follow-up detailed courses on ITIL’s different components. OUCS will be looking at this with the possibility of arranging some introductory training via ITS3 if there is demand.