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28 September 2009 | Dr Jenny Dugmore Blog
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Update on ISO/IEC 20000 Revisions
This week Jenny looks at the at the first revised draft of the revision to ISO/IEC 20000-2...

  Dr Jenny Dugmore

We are now less than two months away from the next ISO meeting and I’m beginning to think ahead in more detail.  The first draft of the revisions to ISO/IEC 20000-2 are due soon and will undoubtedly be discussed in detail during the meeting in November. 

Part 4 (the service management process reference model) is under ballot, but we made very encouraging progress in the last meeting.  I’m (very quietly) optimistic that the work on the service management process assessment model can re-start.  

With the process reference model and process assessment model we have decided to align them with Part 1. As Part 1 is a management system standard it is very different in style, approach and length.  Even the rules about how each type is written are different.   It’s far harder to keep them integrated but I am convinced it’s the better approach.  Based on surveys and feedback it really annoys many people in the service management community that there is not a close enough link between all the popular methods and frameworks. By keeping the 20000 series aligned we responding to our customers.

We also have Part 5 under ballot. It’s a three stage implementation plan for ISO/IEC 20000-1 and I expect the published version will support both the current version of Part 1 and the next version as well.  It should help answer many of the ‘how do you implement ISO/IEC 20000-1?’ questions.

WG 25 have now started the pilot telephone conference meetings for progressing the ISO/IEC 20000 series.  We are having a few teething problems with the technology (of course!). We also have yet to agree how the service will be paid for once we are past the initial free trial. How can we make it fair for all the members when we are using a mix of landlines (at international call rates), for a very small number of members a national phone line, and for most Skype. 

As an international group we have to be really careful to schedule meetings to make it equally easy (or equally hard) for all members to get involved, irrespective of what time zone they live in.  The timing is more of an issue than the technology.  We have considered various combinations of days of the week and times – some people prefer meetings in their normal working hours, some prefer only weekends, some can’t easily do weekends at all. 

Regrettably, for each meeting it will be the middle of the night for someone and they will have to take a turn to get up in the middle of the night or decide to miss that meeting.  In the none too distant future I am faced with the challenge of chairing a meeting at 01:00 hours and then the next week at 05:00 hours.  I’m not a morning person (by a very long way) so it will represent quite a challenge for me but hopefully the 01:00 meeting will just seem like late night and the 05:00 one will not be so bad that I am unable to chair the meeting.

The range of times zones is one of the drawbacks of a widespread membership. The only time zones where we don’t have members are the small islands in the Pacific Ocean - there would appear to be little interest in service management in Samoa, or if there is, they have not joined WG25. 

We have just done our first test of whether it is realistic to do comment resolution using telephone conferencing instead of a physical meeting.  We got through a set of comments on the next version of ISO/IEC 20000-1 in less time than I had expected.  We had selected some of the less contentious comments but it gave us the confidence to tackle something more challenging for the next meeting – a set of comments that are mainly about definitions. As anyone who has been involved in developing best practice knows all too well, definitions can cause more debate than almost anything else.  One of the reasons I prefer to avoid having special definitions at all.  ‘Normal’ English words as they are in a commonly used dictionary always seem so much simpler.

It will be an ‘interesting’ experience but I hope a successful one.  At the least it will be a very thorough test of what can be done by telephone conferencing across 22 nationalities.  

Any feedback and comments are always welcome!


1st October 2009

Hi Jenny

I would say that there is no such thing as Normal English. There are too many possible meanings. Clear definitions help us foreigners.

Please consider the definition of incident, it was changed from V2 to V3 and at least to me, the new definition seems accidental. The V3 SO book has a long and rambling and contradictory definition which has been just shortened in the glossary to the current form. In practice it redefines incident as a fault. This means that we go back in time to call handling and fault management, not a good idea. Also in plain English incident is not the same as fault as far as I understand it?

Worst case scenario would be that ITIL V3.2 will return to the old definition and ISO 20000 would use the accidental V3 Glossary text.

Best Regards
Aale Roos
Pohjoisviitta Oy


2nd October 2009

Hi Jenny

Thank you, that was a great summary of where we are at.

From my perspective the teleconferencing is working better than expected – although I had to miss the last meeting as no matter what the time, if you are at a campsite in the Australian bush and out of mobile range, you simply can’t join in

Claire Brereton


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