What ITIL and McDonalds has in common!
Processes and methodologies are great for some kinds of work. If you have a repeatable process that consistently yields a high quality product, you can emulate McDonalds’ approach and hire teens to be chefs. But at McDonalds you will not find the next Gordon Ramsey. People that really want to understand and master their craft will not achieve that in a repeatable industrial process.
Well documented processes are a great foundation for any part of a company when you working with a repeatable process or don’t have a dream team of smart, disciplined and attentive people whose work is more of an exploratory journey. A process helps people to align their collaboration and work at getting better at repeatable tasks. Processes are also good to be run from a checklist so that people don’t forget things, especially when they rarely or never do a specific task.
ITIL is the McDonalds process concept for governance of infrastructure and solutions. ITIL isn’t the process used by creative advertising agency that is looking for best and maximal business value. Software Development is more complex and isn’t a software factory that has a universal solution.
What software development organization need is a reflective improvement framework, with a wide range of tools to choose from. Some tools and practices are designed to help a larger group to collaborate whereas others just focus on quality aspects. There is no universal solutions for complex work, McDonalds approach might work for handling infrastructure and teens in a kitchen but handling complex change in a high tech work where nothing stays long enough to be normal isn’t a solutions.