So I was watching the movie Zombieland recently (you know, with the guy that played Mark Zuckerberg in some Facebook knock-off movie that I refuse to see) and a few scenes from the movie felt very familiar to me, and not in a good way. Some time ago at work, we went through an upgrade for a service and things did not go very well. To best sum-up what happened, there was no #winning when it came to #planning. So after a quasi-major disaster, what took place? A post implementation review, of course! This is where some familiarity comes into play with Zombieland and ITIL.
Jesse Eisenberg’s character, Columbus, is a neurotic Jew (which is great since I’m also a neurotic Jew from Columbus) that basically has come up with a set of rules for staying alive; something like Dawn of the Dead meets Woody Allen. After every encounter he survives, Columbus evaluates the situation and adds to his list of rules in order to prevent being in a similar dire situation. Sound familiar? I don’t know about you, but I’ve sat through a few post-implementation reviews that seem very similar to near-death encounters. By always following the list of rules, mistakes are not repeated and the zombies have one less human meal for lunch.
Unfortunately, the post implementation review from the previously mentioned debacle repeated mistakes that were talked about in other post implementation reviews. Without fail, someone in the meeting stated “At least we’re having a review so we don’t repeat the same mistakes.” From this statement my mind immediately came to an interesting thought. What if we were to apply our post implementation review practices to the movie Zombieland? I think, to my organization’s dismay, that we’d find several happy and fat zombies and very little remaining staff in the I.T. department.
I don’t really intend to kvetch, gripe, criticise or complain about how mistakes are repeated, but the fact of the matter is if our lives really did depend on the PIR, we may be a bit more cognizant of learning from past mistakes, and the movie Zombieland shows a very simple plan for post implementation reviews:
- Find what went wrong
- Add a rule to prevent items from step #2 from happening again
- Follow the rules
So is this an official PIR that could compete with ITIL? Of course it is! After all, if it worked in the movies, why shouldn’t it work in real life? So maybe there are a few steps lacking compared to the post implementation review outlined in ITIL. Keep in mind; you don’t have to follow every single ITIL step to benefit from the principles.
As a final and closing thought, I really would like to add one of my favourite Einstein quotes: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.