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The Visible Ops Handbook: Starting ITIL in 4 Practical Steps

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  466 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
THE CORE OF VISIBLE OPS Visible Ops is a methodology designed to jumpstart implementation of controls and process improvement in IT organizations needing to increase service levels, security, and auditability while managing costs. Visible Ops is comprised of four prescriptive and self-fueling steps that take an organization from any starting point to a continually improvin ...more
Kindle Edition, 112 pages
Published June 15th 2005 by IT Process Institute, Inc. (first published 2004)
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Robert Postill
When i got this book I was pretty nonplussed. However now I've finished it I can tell you it's worth a dozen larger books of the same ilk. It's four step process is simply laid out, clear and well thought. It's the very off-putting size of this book that also makes it great, the authors haven't belaboured each step and their quotes section is pretty fascinating.

If I'm going to criticise there are two things to point out. The first is that some of the practices haven't lasted so well. So there's
TK Keanini
Great book if you are having to get started with ITIL. I personally know both Kevin Behr and Gene Kim and they do great work. The book is small, well organized, and very useful.
Juan Pablo Aguilar
Overall summary for IT incident management starters. Very easy to follow and understand in order to enter the reign of ITIL v3 later.
Ajitabh Pandey
ITIL is a "collection of best practices codified in seven books by the Office of Government Commerce in the U.K."

Visible Ops is a collection of best practices organized into four incremental steps.

Phase 1 - The primary goal is stabilizing the current infrastructure. In order to do this first the identification of the most critical IT systems is to be performed, followed by restricting the change access to these systems and ensuring that each change to these systems is viewed as potentially most
Sebastian Gebski
Jul 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Very brief (& very dry) walkthrough for anyone who'd like to tidy up his operations the ITIL way. Clearly authors have aimed to make it a true essence, almost like a check-list of activities to perform & conditions to validate, but it's not without an impact on overall "readability".

Another thing I don't like (or don't even understand) is that authors mention (several times) that the content of this book is based stricly on their vast professional experience - I honestly believe them, bu
Jorė Astrauskaitė
Honestly, all these IT methodologies and certifications seems to be a huge scam to me. I'm not sure if anyone else benefits from them besides organisations that are busy with publishing new editions and preparing new examinations. And I thought creative industries are pro-bullshiters. Nope.

This handbook is a ray of sunshine - concentrated, sharp, really easy to understand and full of real time examples. I had no clue before what's the buzz with constantly crashing servers and after reading this
Roger K.
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a classic in the field for a good reason. It is brief, to the point, and focused on action in a way that makes sense to IT leaders that don't normally read books about process leadership.

A key reason this book works is because it is laser-focused on taking actions that reduce pain now and provide a foundation for later work. It provides reasons for maturing processes focused on value that will make sense to all stakeholders.

My only issue with the book is that it is a bit expensive
Oct 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book made me remember what used to make me excited about my job. Even though it is primarily directed at IT professionals, the lessons in this book can be applied to other organizations.

Here's what I took away from this book:

-Normalize your terminology (so that stakeholders have a shared understanding about the topic at hand)
-Communicate (about everything, all the time)
-Aim for transparency
-Be consistent
-Be proactive and preventative so that you don't spend all your time reacting to unplann
Alexis Medina
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is short, well summarized, easy readable(without all the paraphernalia of most ITIL books). The book have a lot of information about running a well-organized IT department. Most of the advices in the book are those we already know, but -sometimes- we are unable to see from the inside of an IT department.

I'll recommend this book to anyone who works as a IT management, starting with ITIL, or looking for a guideline to ITIL.

I work as a IT manager of a medium-size company, so this books gav
Pete Olds
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have long been a believer that books are to be shared. I spent a lot on this book with a weird format and less than 100 pages, and since I have done that, I have struggled to keep my hands on it.

In an organisation that is trying had to follow the ITIL framework, most of my colleagues are familiar with the principles, and applying them in practice. This book presents a simple way for those people to see real results quickly, and clarified things in a simple way for non ITIL trained people.

Chris Westin
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technology
A lot shorter than trying to read a shelf-load of ITIL books if you want to get the gist of what that's all about. My one concern is that practitioners will take it too literally wrt creating Change Authorization Boards and such, which may make things move too slowly in the web world. Continuous deployment appears to be the future, and we simply need the mechanisms involved to be able to automate the steps outlined here so that we gain tracability, reviewability, and undo-ability for changes.
I wish all IT organizations followed a few more of the steps in here--have strong change management, have a library of standard builds, put your top people into release management, have a problem management group distinct from incident management that reviews changes as step one of problem resolution, don't allow developers to have access to change production systems. This book is short, succinct, and to the point with simple, actionable steps to produce immediate gains.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: professional
This book should be read by anyone who manages a server in a professional environment. This book lists some steps at achieving better control of the servers and software related to them and reduce firefighting.

The book is short. Appendixes often repeated what was said in main portion of the book. I wish they had a more comprehensive list of software that is related to each step.
Greg Damiani
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever been "in the weeds"? Do you work everyday with layers of management, conflicting priorities, death march deadlines, and eating lunch at your desk? Start by reading this book. Then get your manager to read this book.
A compelling methodology for implementing IT best practices. I would give it five stars, but it is a somewhat bloated. I also recommend reading my full-book summary posted at
A very good introduction to beginning the process of creating a governance framework for your I.T. department. Good solid step for the most part. Short, sweet, to the point (a little dry) but worth the read.
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want a good book to get your IT Ops group back in line, this is the book. It's affordable (for the groups that don't have a budget for training material) and its a good primer to help you lead your group back to sanity!
Ivan Dimitrov
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read. Clear ideas and presents steps on how to acheive them. Must read for every IT service, not just Ops. I'll be implementing this in my organization
Great book but dated in th cloud/mobile era.
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boss made me read this. Perhaps a good time to update the résumé :)
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent technical guide
Jaakko Kourula
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Handbook on how to implement ITIL and fixing IT services.
Nicholas Moryl
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super dry, but gets the core things right about how to fix a poorly-functioning engineering team (especially ops/infrastructure eng, but applicable to all).
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ops
Conciso y evidentemente util. Un poco obsoleto en algunos aspectos y demasiado radical.
Matthew Brown
This really is a Handbook. There are so many details that you have to get a copy to keep near by once you start implementing the ideas in the book.
Rob Roy
Aug 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Clear direction on implementing IT Service Management
Mohamed Elsweesy
rated it really liked it
Jul 31, 2014
Cassie B
rated it liked it
Oct 19, 2015
Joe Riesberg
rated it did not like it
Dec 21, 2015
Reagen Ward
rated it really liked it
Feb 06, 2018
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“ To err is human. To really screw up requires the root password."—UNKNOWN” 0 likes
“Often, there may be a culture of a hidden reward system that encourages heroics and a "cowboy culture". For instance, one person may work throughout the night for an entire weekend fighting a fire and get rewarded as the hero who saved the day. What is overlooked is that if one person can save the entire boat, one person can probably sink it, too.” 0 likes
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