What To Expect From ITIL 4

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It’s been 8 years since the last update to ITIL®1 and it’s safe to say that the industry is interested in this newest iteration.

Last month, ITIL 4 Foundation was officially rolled out. This is the first phase of ITIL 4 and as its title hints, this sets the foundation for ITIL 4. Tedder Consulting’s principal consultant, Doug Tedder, was one of 360 ITIL instructors invited to the “Train the Trainer” beta testing of the new ITIL 4 Foundation exam.

Now newly ITIL 4 Foundation-certified, Doug Tedder has been able to provide a glimpse at what to expect from ITIL 4.

A New Focus On Value Co-creation

One of the most important updates in ITIL 4 is the emphasis on how value is co-created between the provider and the customer.  This represents a significant change of thinking from previous versions of ITIL that placed the responsibility for value creation primarily on the service provider.

ITIL 4 recognizes that value is co-created only through active collaboration between providers and consumers.  Other organizations, such as suppliers, are also part of the delivery and support of services and contribute to value co-creation.  The key message is that providers should not work in isolation, but collaborate with all stakeholders to define what might be of value.

The Service Value System

To help practitioners understand how to co-create value, ITIL 4 introduces the ITIL service value system (SVS). This system illustrates how all parts of an organization work together to create value through IT-enabled services.

At the core of the SVS is the service value chain.  The service value chain provides a flexible operating model for the development, delivery, and improvement of products and services.  There are six key activities within the service value chain:

  1. Plan: This creates a structure to ensure a shared understanding of what the organization is trying to achieve.
  2. Improve: This helps to ensure the continual improvement of services and practices.
  3. Engage: This activity provides engagement with stakeholders. This takes requirements and transforms them into design requirements.
  4. Design and transition: This takes requirements from “Engage” and provides specifications for “Obtain/Build.” It also delivers new services that meet stakeholder expectations.
  5. Obtain/build: This creates service components that meet all specifications and ensures that are available when and where they are needed.
  6. Deliver and support: This activity makes sure that the services are delivered and supported throughout its lifecycle.

Each of these activities utilizes ITIL practices to transform inputs into outputs. These activities and practices can then be used to define value streams to perform certain tasks or respond to specific scenarios.

The flexibility of the service value system allows for integrating other approaches to service delivery, including DevOps. This is especially important in today’s digital world as the service value chain is adaptable to shifting requirements.

Four Dimensions of Service Management

One of ITIL 4’s goal is to ensure an organization takes a holistic approach to service management. ITIL 4 introduces the four dimensions of service management to help make this happen. The four dimensions are:

  • Organization and people – The culture, structure, and capacity of an organization, as well as people’s skills and competencies.
  • Information and technology – The information and knowledge necessary for the management of services and the technologies needed.
  • Partners and suppliers – Includes the organization’s relationships with other organizations involved in the delivery, support, and improvement of services.
  • Value streams and processes – How the parts of the organization work in an integrated and coordinated way to enable value creation through products and services.

You can think of the four dimensions kind of like tension metrics.   A change in one or more dimensions has an impact – good or bad – to the other dimensions. Each dimension of the four dimensions should be considered for every product or service, as well as the SVS itself, to ensure that all aspects of service management are being appropriately addressed.  

Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles were first introduced with ITIL Practitioner, and now with ITIL 4, they are now a core component of ITIL.  This is practical guidance that can be used in any organization, regardless of industry, management structure, or goals and objectives.  The guiding principles represent the core message of ITIL, and support good decision-making and continual improvement.

Here are the guiding principles of ITIL 4:

1. Focus on value. Everything IT does must create value for stakeholders.

2. Start where you are. There is no reason to build something new if you can build upon something in place. Ignore the “Shiny Object Syndrome” of building something from scratch and consider what current services or process already exist.

3. Progress iteratively with feedback. Use feedback throughout the process to stay focused and on task.

4. Collaborate and promote visibility.ITIL 4 wants to end silos and promote collaboration. Information should be shared across departments as much as possible.

5. Think and work holistically. The organization must see the big picture, not just a piece of a puzzle. Just like you can no longer work in silos, you can no longer just focus on fixing one part of the conveyor belt.

6. Keep it simple and practical. Avoid adding unnecessary steps to complicate the process. Stay focused on creating value and avoid anything that does contribute to value.

7. Optimize and automate. The key is to optimize before you automate. Ensure your processes are as simple and effective as possible before searching for ways to automate.

A Holistic Approach Overall

In a nutshell, ITIL 4 provides an evolved view of business and value and what it means to contribute to value. It facilitates integration of concepts from other frameworks including Lean IT, Agile and DevOps. It focuses on adaptability and flexibility so that the right practices can be applied to an organization’s specific situations to ensure the most valuable outcomes.

Register for ITIL 4 Foundation Training

Tedder Consulting offers a special 3-day ITIL 4 Foundation Training course, which includes a study guide, ITIL 4 Foundation volume, and exam fees. In addition to training and the exam, attendees will be able to participate in an entire day of discussing the pragmatic application of ITIL concepts in real-world experiences. All students will not only understand the concepts but how to apply them to each unique situation at their organization. You won’t find this at any other ITIL 4 training!

Early bird pricing is available until March 18, 2019. Register for ITIL 4 Foundation with Tedder Consulting here.

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  1. ITIL is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited.

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