Most helpful critical review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Too long and repetitive, needs better editing
on 5 November 2014
It's difficult to give this a really negative review as it covers the ITIL foundation syllabus and is clearly written by people who know and are passionate about ITIL and service management in general.
The writing itself is pretty terrible though. It's always going to be a dry subject, but I feel there was a desire to make this a chunky book at any cost. The same concepts are repeated, and often things that don't really fit are written under headings that are obviously lifted directly from the syllabus, for example covering the purpose, objectives and scope of various processes. The syllabus content is there, but often repeated over the 3 sections and with lots of irrelevant fluff added to each one.
The proof reading and editing are sorely lacking also. I realised as I was making my own notes that you can pull out the concise message of each part quite easily, and a good editor could have guided the writers, who are clearly not professional authors, into doing this in the entire book to make it far easier to read. It is well written in the way that a business document can be well written, but this is a book and should be as engaging and straightforward as possible within the limits of the dry subject matter.
The other major editing problem was the ordering which is slightly confusing in places. Luckily a bit of exposure to any IT department will give enough of a vague idea of ITIL acronyms and concepts that it's possible to understand the book, but so much is referenced before it is defined that it could easily be confusing.
I think in general the biggest problem is the long length, and this could be because the ITIL foundation is one of the most easily attainable IT certifications; a few days of formal training or reading a single book is preparation for the exam, compared with months of study and hands-on work for virtually any entry-level technical certification. It's a valuable certification, but this book's repetitive nature and detailed approach makes it harder to achieve than necessary and should be far more concise. I feel the authors were possibly self-concious of producing a pamphlet-sized book of under 100 pages that would let somebody pass the test and went for 300 pages of unedited fluff instead.
I haven't read any other ITIL foundation self-teaching books, but I'd say I would probably recommend anybody else took a punt on any other book with good reviews rather than trying this one, as it's just too badly written despite the acceptable content.