The skeptic reviews ITIL V3 and mostly likes it. So do I. But we both have issues with them.
It's key to remember that when we have issues it's because we are engaged and interested, not dismissive. No book(s) can cover the wide range of IT practices that underpin our society today and make everyone happy.
I found the books light on practical examples. One particular disappointment for me was the Service Catalogue example in Service Design. It is trivial, banal. Sure there are going to be “value added" examples on the internet and all sorts of complementary content, but we may end up wishing the books were not so theoretical. If you are going to put samples in, make them robust ones.
While we are on the topic of Service Catalogue, I wrote recently about how it is the pivot to the whole wheel of ITIL (to borrow a metaphor current in v3). Service Design gets stuck into the subject, fixing a huge hole in v2, but it is curiously coy about one essential aspect of the Catalogue: as a selling tool.
It uses dry terms such as “the customer view”. It acknowledges there are business and technical versions of the Catalogue, but the business version is not treated as what it is: a brochure. If IT is to operate as a business and meet business on its own terms, marketing is an essential activity that does not feature in these books except for Service Strategy which addresses it head on. Or maybe I haven’t found it yet.
As I've written before, the customer view is the most important view of the catalogue. The definition of offerings that map to customer requirements drives everything. Or to put it in restaurant terms: the menu is driven by the market and customers want and the kind of restaurant we want to be. The menu is not driven by what's in the fridge right now and the left-overs from last year.