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ITSM Book Reviews

If you are interested in becoming an itSMF USA book reviewer, please visit our Volunteer page for further information.


This page covers reviews on current ITSM-related books in the context of practical resources to fulfill real-world business needs. Here you'll find authors you know as well as some you may be hearing about for the first time.

We launch this new section of our website in hopes that you will find these reviews valuable and insightful, and will be enticed to return for more as this section grows. Be sure to check back often for new reviews.

Ever considered becoming an author?

itSMF USA and ITGovernance are here to support your endeavors.

Did you know that itSMF USA has an arrangement with ITGovernance to support budding authors like you, ready to contribute to the global ITSM best practice body of knowledge?


You’ve got great experience.  Maybe you’ve presented at a LIG meeting or at FUSION, perhaps even written a whitepaper or presented regionally or nationally.  Now you’re ready to put all of that great knowledge and experience into a book while gaining exposure for yourself!


ITGovernance has already published several books in the Thought Leadership Series, authored by members of the USA chapter:


·        The Definitive Guide to IT Service Metrics, by Kurt McWhirter and Ted Gaughan

·        Ten Steps to ITSM Success, by Angelo Esposito and Timothy Rogers

·        It’s All About Relationships – What ITIL doesn’t tell you, by S. D. Van Hove, Ed.D. and Kathy Mills, MA/OD


If you are interested in finding out more about writing on your own book, please contact   We will take you through the process, help you fill out a proposal containing your plans (title, summary, target market, unique selling proposition, outline, timetable, proposed cost, etc.) and, if approved by ITG, will help you as you begin creating your very own book!



Ten Steps to ITSM Success – A Practitioner’s Guide to Enterprise IT Transformation

ISBN-13: 978-1-84928-308-3

Book reviewed by Angelica King


When I picked up this book I was in the middle of a significant ITSM refresh program associated with an infrastructure outsourcing project. Our organization has an established ITSM tool and set of processes. Despite the reality of having previous experience with Service Management projects and process deployments, I found this book informative and useful.


Ten Steps to ITSM Success was written to help IT Service Management professionals successfully design and deploy ITSM solutions. Esposito and Rogers outline ten clear steps to plan and implement an ITSM solution and establish the environment for sustainment. These steps help to ensure alignment to the business, clear definition of the target state, a solid design, and implementation plan. I appreciated the acknowledgement of organizational change and training activities as these are critical to effective deployments.


The chapter that I found most useful is Chapter 4: Establish an ITSM Steering Committee. The principles covered in this chapter are critical to effectively establishing an ITSM Steering Committee and they could be applied to establishing committees of other types. The charter and notice of decision templates could be useful in many committees. More importantly, these are concepts that I could immediately apply to my program.


As you read this book, pay attention to page 232 where the authors write “You’ve reached the end of this book. You’re fired-up and enthusiastic. When you go into your office on Monday, what’s the first thing to do after your morning coffee….” Start there in applying this learning.



The ITSM IronTriangle by Daniel McLean

ISBN-10: 1849283176

ISBN-13: 978-1849283175

Book review by Jennifer Nebeling 


The ITSM Iron Triangle is an excellent book for readers wanting the implement ITIL for the first time. The book is written in a story format that is easy to understand and walks through the process of setting up and establishing incident management, problem management, and change management as seen through the eyes of "Chris.”


This book is not an instructional guide on "how to”, but a look at the everyday challenges of trying to establish the main principles of Service Operation. The book starts with Chris being told by the CIO that his new assignment is to fix the issues arising from continual outages, and he is given 30 days to show progress towards that goal. The only previous ITIL training that he has had is the ITIL Foundation Course, and he has not had any real world experience in applying what he has learned.


Throughout the book at the end of every chapter, there are tips that would have helped in making the previous area of implementation easier. Each chapter walks through a different process in the initial implementation stage. It begins with the first outage and how to handle yourself under pressure. It then goes into choosing the portions of best practices that apply best to your situation and different ways to get buy in to your changes. Many times one of the greatest challenges to making changes in a company is people’s natural aversion to change. This book shows the ways that Chris handled these issues from Senior Management to each individual team that would was critical to the success of the new ITSM processes. Throughout the book Chris not only is able to create a working incident management process but also get buy-in from other stakeholders and implement problem and change management.


I would recommend this book to anyone looking to implement ITSM practices in their company for the first time and are not sure where to start. The book is very easy to read and is filled with useful information and tips.

Book reviewed by Jennifer Nebeling. Ms. Nebeling has been working in the ITSM field for four years with her main focus on incident management. She has been instrumental in showing the correlation between incident, problem and change management within her company.



ITIL and OrganizationChange by Pam Erskine

ISBN-10: 1849284229

ISBN-13: 978-1849284226

Book review by Rocky Middleton


The title of the book gives the reader a clear picture of its contents. I did not appreciate the real need for preparing for the Organizational Change part of implementing ITIL until I started focusing on Service Transition (ST) processes. I have many years of experience in implementing Service Operations processes and Continual Service Improvement but really only have experience with Change Management from ST. I took the Service Transition training class and exam in preparation of implementing ST processes for a customer and this gave me a greater appreciation for the amount of change this brings to the organization.


Pam Erskine does a wonderful job of explaining the human aspects of change but where the book really shines is in Chapter 6. The Planning discussion is right on target for the intended audience. The book is an excellent preparation guide for companies or consultants embarking on an ITIL journey. The theory is explained at a level that allows the reader to understand the change models while not overwhelming them or requiring expert level knowledge. The book provides good references to the change models so readers can investigate each in further detail. Since this book covers these change models at a high level anyone intending to use one of the models should research the chosen model in more depth. The references cited by Ms. Erskine provide a good starting point for this research. The Change Management Learning Center web site ( offers training and other tools that may also prove beneficial.


I have added "ITIL and Organizational Change” to my personal recommendations list for customers beginning an ITIL implementation.


Rocky Middleton is an accomplished professional with a proven track record designing and integrating new IT strategies and programs that produced solid results in both small and large corporations. Consistently delivered major projects on time and within budgetary constraints. Introduced innovative technology solutions and processes to improve efficiency, customer satisfaction and bottom-line results.


As a Sr. Manager of Service Delivery for AGSI, a management and technology consulting company, Rocky has helped clients transform, optimize, execute and outsource with absolute clarity. By leveraging Industry Standard and proprietary frameworks that align business need, financial discipline and technology efficiency, we deliver high-value solutions that are pragmatic yet help take organizations to performance levels they didn’t realize they could achieve.



Building an ITIL-based Service Management Department, by Malcolm Fry

ISBN: 9780113310968

Book review by Greg Sanker


The title 'Building an ITIL-based Service management Department' promises to be a helpful book for those engaged in building such a department. The opening chapter begins immediately with a summary of ancient Egyptian social structures, and makes a case that modern organizations bear a strong analogy. Not your ordinary ITIL book introduction, and the author sets an informal, to-the-point narrative tone for the book.


The author then presents a 9-step approach to morph an existing IT organization into one logically structured around the framework. His approach is very straightforward, and easy to follow. It's not the typical ITIL how-to approach, however. He introduces some unfamiliar terminology (ITIL Fundamental Tasks, Associated Fundamental Task Packs). These are described very briefly, and he proceeds to use them as proper terms on par with well-defined ITIL terms. Given this was an ITIL-logoed book, I was surprised to find new terminology, leaving me feeling a tad perplexed. A Google search yielded no meaningful help with these new terms.


Each chapter covers one step of the 9-step process. I have to admit that for chapters 1 through 7, I was confused if by "Service Management Department” the author meant Service Management Office, or a Service Management-structured IT department. I had concluded the author was describing a SMO, so when it became clear in Chapter 8 that he was restructuring the entire IT organization, I really started struggling. Again, being an ITIL-logoed publication, I was confused because ITIL guidance specifically discourages organizational alignment around ITIL processes.


The book would only be of help for those who have been tasked with reorganizing an entire IT organization, and as such, it would only be of interest to senior IT managers or consultants. This book would only confuse and frustrate those engaged in process implementation or improvement. It is not a book on building a Service Management Office.


I had to reread the book, and became increasing surprised at how out of step it seems to be with the core ITIL books. Readers new to ITIL, or inexperienced in ITIL implementation, would be better served with sticking to the core ITIL books, and how-to books that more closely follow the guidance. This book reminds me of times when I've been the next ITIL guy in an organization, and the previous ITIL guy appears to have given ITIL advice that's out of sync with the general ITIL community.