CategoryNatural Science

Mainly history of science stuff that’s influenced Lumiere: Copernicus, quantum mechanics, Priestley and phlogiston, etc.

Why IT Service Must Leave Taylorism Behind

These days, much of the internet chatter generated by the IT service community is on the subject of change. It is unclear whether this is due to the sector looking over its shoulder and seeing the eager face of digital approaching, scythe in hand. Perhaps the industry has had a genuine epiphany and has realised that the old style of IT service isn’t cutting the mustard with the users (customers).

Regardless of the reasons why, there is undeniably much ado about this topic and phrases such as transformation, renaissance and even metamorphosis trip easily from the pages of numerous blogs. Without doubt, this is a very refreshing development after years of what felt like shouting in the wilderness with a few others (for example, Aale Roos). It might be a bit early for breaking out the Veuve Cliquot as there are still huge swathes of ITSM functionaries out there who avert their eyes from anything that threatens the orthodoxy that they have become comfortable with over these last thirty years.

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Post-ITSM and Paradigm Shift

Paradigm shift is a term that can be misapplied.

Some use it to describe new methodologies; that is, new ways of doing things.

In fact, the term is closely associated with Thomas Kuhn’s 1970 classic The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions. In his book, Professor Kuhn examined some of the major scientific upheavals of centuries gone by: the change from Ptolemaic to Copernican astronomy, the shift from the phlogiston theory of combustion to the discovery of the element oxygen, and the revolution that caused Newtonian physics to be replaced by Einstein’s theories of relativity.

In each of these instances, although the practical ramifications of the scientific change may have been minimal, the change to the theoretical underpinnings was enormous. For example, the practical application of astronomy in Ptolemy’s time was to help farmers predict seasons, rainfall and that sort of thing through observation of celestial objects. That didn’t change a great deal once the Copernican system was adopted, except that by employing the new tables, the predictions were more accurate. However, the theoretical predicates behind the later theories were entirely different. The same was true about the shifts following the change in understandings regarding the the role of oxygen in combustion and Einsteinan physics.

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