Structure in Threes: Taxonomy Research for IT Service Design methodology
October 1, 2013 Leave a comment
This morning I’ve started doing a deep dive on IT related and other standards and practices. The end goal is to create a coverage map to ensure these concerns are integral rather than a bolt-on later for IT Service Design. On the table so far are ITIL, COBIT 5, TIPA, SOX, CMMI, ISO 9000, ISO 20000, ISO 15505, ISO 27000, and ISO 22301. My conference table is covered with earmarked books and papers. Will likely turn all of material into a reference database –back to my favorite mapping tool MS Access. The interesting issue I see with most coverage maps I plan to avoid is most are keyword based rather than diving deep into the semantics; this results in either an inference of overlap where there really is not or miss overlap or strong interdependencies due to mismatched taxonomies.
I had this problem initially when I was reengineering Strategy and Market Planning processes. The two domains overlapped and under-lapped a great deal. Each used different terms that meant the same thing; similar terms meant something different in each context; or had similar meaning but at a different level of abstraction. In the end I had to do a deep dive on all of the concepts as the taxonomy mapping provided by others was not sufficient for creating a catalog of methods to apply to the process. Consider identifying an item as a power plant. At a high level this works, but without further detail selecting and applying this item may not work: An Item is labeled a power plant. However, further characterization using it in a vehicle may not work. A diesel engine in a gasoline fueled car. Application would require modifications to other components in the system.
Governance as Process
One of the interesting insights from my COBIT 5 deep dive which I was pleased to see; the standard generalizes governance as a process. This falls in line with the General Systems Theory (Cybernetics) perspective that Stafford Beer developed for organizations. In which you have components that perform processes to accomplish work, components that perform processes to sense and monitor, and components that perform processes to adapted or adjust the first process based upon measures received and evaluated from the second process.
Using that simplified taxonomy an intermediate level deep dive may be possible for all of these standards and practices.