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ITSM vs. Biology

Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is a specialization of the more general practice of Service Management. I'm at a Pink Elephant conference this week and I'm been thinking about ITSM versus human biology.

When you eat a sandwich, you don't need to provide advanced notice to your pancreas that a "change" is coming to the "body environment." You look at the sandwich and get a whiff of it and your body takes those signals to start the salivation process. Once you start masticating the food, you push some of it down your throat with your tongue. That triggers the peristalsis that carries the food down to the stomach.

Each stage in the process keeps the coming stages apprised of what is coming and they each know what they need to do. There is a lot of communication going on all the time, but there is no master planning. Two way signals keep information where it needs to be, exactly when it is needed, and no more.

We risk running into the same problems with ITSM that we run into with central planning economies: There is no way to centrally manage and know all the information. Trying to accomplish it will result in painful bureaucracy and slow reaction times.

Be organic, with agile communication between steps, and perhaps you'll find better results. It works in biology.

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