September 25, 2019: Doug Tedder, Principal Consultant of Tedder Consulting, has earned the new ITIL4 Managing Professional Transition certificate.
The ITIL4 Managing Professional Transition (MPT) certificate is available to those who either hold an ITIL v3 Expert certificate or have earned 17 credits in the ITIL v3 certification scheme. The MPT provides a way for those candidates to become certified under the ITIL 4 certification scheme.
By earning this certification, Tedder can now lead MPT training to help other ITIL v3 Experts and credit holders achieve this ITIL 4 certification.
There’s a brand new rising star in the Service Management world.
She’s tech-savvy, has fantastic people skills and is extraordinarily productive.
Her name is Alexa. But I hate to break it to you- I don’t think she’s going to be as revolutionary as everyone says.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m not talking about a “real” person. I’m referring to Alexa, Amazon’s much-loved voice assistant. While Alexa has been in the consumer market for years, she’s now making the move into service management. There have been many signs that Alexa is about to become the hot new tool in service management.
Amazon has already outlined Alexa for enterprise and business solutions
ServiceNow is showing partners how to build and integrate Alexa Skills with the ServiceNow platform
FreshService is already outlining ways Alexa can assist ITSM
There’s no question that AI, machine learning and digital assistants, including Alexa, will play a role in the future of service management. I’m not here to argue that. However, I will argue that we shouldn’t be focusing on the technology but the environment where the technology will play a role. If you put Alexa in the right environment, she can thrive (and so can your organization) but if you implement Alexa with the hope that she’ll make the environment a better one, then you’re going to have useless technology on your hands and you’ll still have a long line of tickets, frustrated users and stressed out service desk technicians.
So let’s discuss how you can put Alexa (or any voice assistant) in the right environment.
What Role Will Alexa Play?
Let me start by saying that the idea of AI in ITSM is a fantastic concept. Natural language processing (NLP) can make it easier for users to find the content they need to fix their problems. Machine learning looks at data, identifies patterns or conditions, and develops new actions in response. Virtual assistants combine the two to automate tasks for technicians, providing faster solutions for end users. This allows service desk technicians to have more time and energy to focus on bigger, more complex issues.
It’s exciting to think we can live in a world that could nearly eliminate the need for manual opening, closing, and management of support tickets. It’s thrilling to someday see a sales rep saying “Alexa, open a support ticket for a broken printer,” and then Alexa quickly assigns the ticket in the correct way to the correct person. And in the not far off future, Alexa may be able to provide context for possible solutions for more complex problems using past cases, making it even easier for technicians to troubleshoot. Just imagine how remarkable that would be!
And while all of this is exciting, there’s something to remember: Alexa doesn’t come “out of the box” with this capability. She’ll never replace the humans who currently work on the service desk because she can’t gain any knowledge or accomplish any process without guidance from them.
Who is The Future Star of SM?
Like any new service desk technician, Alexa won’t be ready or able to do any of those things without the proper training, frameworks and an accurate and relevant knowledge base. She’s not the rising star of Service Management. In fact, the star of Service Management is something you already have: the foundations provided by your service management implementation.
I know what you’re thinking. Knowledge management, frameworks, and communication aren’t as exciting as AI. Who wants to pay attention to that when you can say “Alexa, tell me how many tickets are open”?
But, Alexa won’t know how many tickets are open unless she can access that information. She can’t access that data if it is not set up for her. Simply put, without the foundations of Service Management. AI won’t work in your organization. You must have proper frameworks, the right data, and inter-department communication in order to enable Alexa (or any voice assistant) to work properly.
If you’re not sure if your foundations can be put to the AI test, check on these three things.
1. Knowledge Management
AI can’t work well without good data. You need to document, gather, record and store all your knowledge into an easy-to-read knowledge base. According to Gartner, “Through 2020, 99% of AI initiatives will fail due to a lack of established knowledge management foundation.”
It takes time to optimize a knowledge base system that is all-encompassing and easy-to-access. You already have a great knowledge base: it’s your team. Use this as an opportunity to engage your team and begin preparing them for AI. No one understands what needs to be in a knowledge base quite like the people who field tickets and solve issues every day.
2. Create flexible frameworks
There’s no space for rigid approaches to the use of frameworks. Flexibility is key to success with AI. Are your frameworks and methodologies capable of adjusting to keep up with evolving projects and services? Luckily, in recent years there have been updates to traditional ITSM frameworks, such as ITIL® that allow for such flexibility. There have also been new approaches introduced, such as VeriSM™, which allows for flexibility in delivering service management. If you haven’t updated your approach to using frameworks or offered your team the opportunity to achieve new certifications in these frameworks, now is the time to do so!
3. Extend Service Management outside of IT
The success of Alexa and other voice assistants doesn’t just depend on IT. It depends on an organization of self-service, shared processes and communication. Alexa won’t have the capability to change her process depending on the context who is requesting support – unless the entire enterprise works together to manage data, share information and create effective processes that work for everyone.
Enterprise Service Management is now gaining steam. As more of these technologies are introduced, I predict ESM will become more and more commonplace. Innovative leaders are jumping on the bandwagon now and you should too.
I am just as excited about the possibilities that Alexa and other digital assistants can bring to service management as everyone else. I share these thoughts because I want a world where AI plays a major role in delivering good service management. That’s why I want every IT leader to know and master these foundational pieces for AI enablement. Because they will pave the way for massive success with Alexa or any other voice assistant or AI technology that comes your way.Share
That’s the question that Jeff Ton, SVP of Product Development and Strategic Alliances, asked Doug Tedder, Principal of Tedder Consulting to begin Episode 22 of InterVision’s “Status Go” podcast.
During the 33 minute podcast, Jeff and Doug discuss ITIL and IT Service Management (ITSM) in an age of digital transformation and agile: What modern ITSM looks like, how to succeed, what might be going wrong with your implementation and even how it can work with an agile environment. Doug stressed, “Modern service management is about doing what is right for your organization. You have to find the right balance between responsiveness and stability.”
Share If you live or work in Indianapolis, then you know that May is all about the Indy 500.
Known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indy 500 features 33 of the top racecar drivers racing for 200 laps to complete 500 miles at the fastest time.
It’s a fun event for everyone to witness. But for CIOs and IT leaders, it can also be a learning lesson in speed, agility, and teamwork.
How do race cars racing in a loop at speeds over 200 mph relate to IT organizations? While on the surface, it seems as though IT organizations and the Indy 500 have nothing in common. But, there are actually quite a few similarities between winning the Indy 500 and leading a highly efficient IT organization.
For most drivers, winning the Indy 500 will come down to the pit crew. The pit crew is a team of mechanics who work on the racecars during the “pit stops” of a race. Pit crews perform the work of refueling, changing tires, or any mechanical adjustments needed during the race.
The pit crew is a lot like the IT organization of a business. They might not be the face of the race team, but they do the heavy lifting that helps the driver win the race. Much like the IT team who implements and manages the technology that keeps businesses growing, winning customers, and enabling value.
Let’s look at some of the hallmarks of a great pit crew and how that compares to a great IT team.
A Great Pit Crew Will:
1. Work together to accomplish their goals
Everyone has a defined role on a pit team, and there is no room for a single superstar. No matter how fast one person is at completing their job, the driver can’t leave the pit until everyone has done their job. As Derrell Edwards, a jackman for NASCAR’s No. 27 Richard Childress Racing crew once said, “Pit crewing is like a symphony. Everything has to be in sync for it to sound good.”
A great IT organization must also put the goals of the business above any individual needs or preferences. They must abandon any silo mentality they may have and focus on the success of the team – the business – ahead of the success of individuals.
2. Have defined roles and processes
Speed is essential in a great pit crew, however, it’s just as essential for everyone to stay out of everyone else’s way. Imagine the pit crew member who is in charge of changing the tire somehow cutting off the one in charge of refueling. It would be pure chaos. Fantastic pit crews are a little like a ballet. Every member has their own timing and their own movements and they must understand how that timing and movement work around one another to create a masterpiece. They’re expected to perform their roles perfectly without getting in the way of anyone else who is doing their role.
Great IT organizations also have well-defined roles and clear processes. Everyone understands who is doing what, when, and how it contributes to the overall goals of the company. Members of excellent IT organizations also have a clear understanding of how every role works together in a process. As a result, everyone is empowered to complete their part of the process to the best of their ability.
3. Identify bottlenecks and weaknesses
Racing at the Indy 500 level isn’t about driving as fast as you can. It’s about eliminating as many mistakes as possible to shave off as many seconds as possible. Minor mistakes or bottlenecks can ruin races and pit crews are trained to continually identify and eliminate any bottlenecks.
IT organizations also have to be continually identifying areas for improvement and creating solutions that won’t slow down business growth. When IT organizations prioritize identifying and eliminating bottlenecks, no matter how small, they are able to optimize their speed and success in the long run.
4. They play by the rules
In elite racing, every pit stop is recorded and 8 officials review this footage to determine that everything was performed correctly and within race regulations. If the pit crew’s timing is even one second too early, their driver could be penalized. Pit crews are trained to understand the specific regulations that are in place and learn how to excel within those parameters.
Likewise, excellent IT organizations understand they must work inside business policies. To a certain degree, they must play “office politics”, as well as adhere to procedures that exist outside of the IT organization. They must do this in order to garner support from the other parts of the organization as well as the C-suite. If IT doesn’t understand or follow the rules of the business, they could be penalized by being excluded from strategy discussions or business projects.
5. They use data to drive decisions and create processes so they can stay consistent
This last point is something that many casual racing fans don’t understand about pit crews. It’s also an area where many IT organizations struggle.
In the heat of the race, pit crews don’t have the luxury of being able to figure out what actions to take when something goes wrong. In a sport where there are millions of “worst-case” scenarios, they must plan ahead and create processes for everything. Race crews are constantly monitoring everything about their cars, their drivers and race conditions. They have data on everything and they prepare their pit crews accordingly for various scenarios so that if for whatever reason, an unexpected pit stop occurs, the pit crew doesn’t have to stop to think about what needs to be done. They simply follow the protocol that’s already been set.
Smart IT organizations also use data to drive decisions and leverage defined processes. By doing this, these IT organizations are able to address problems quickly and efficiently, with minimum impact to the business.
How can you apply lessons of a great pit crew?
It’s important to note that no matter how fast race cars become or what technological advancements occur in the sport, winning races will still heavily rely on the success of a pit crew.
The same can be said for IT and the business. Technology will advance and more tools and trends will be introduced to the business. But much of the success of an IT organization will remain on these core tenants as exemplified by pit crews: the ability to work as a team, having well-defined roles, continual improvement, and leveraging data-driven, consistent processes.
This is why good ITSM still matters – and will always matter – for your business.
1.Map value streams
Understand who and what drives value within your business. Map how IT contributes to that value. Remember, each member of the pit crew understands how they contribute to winning a race. Your IT team should also feel the same way!
2. Identify services and define the service portfolio
Mapping value streams will allow you to start to identify services that enable the business to meet its goals. Define your services and include the cost of ownership, needed resources, and the business value of what IT accomplishes. This will help you understand the business of the business and how IT contributes so you can play within the defined rules of the organization.
3. Review current processes
Look for waste in your processes, such as bottlenecks or delays. Eliminate or improve any parts of processes that contribute to these delays. Also, review where a lack of defined processes is holding you back. Identify issues where ownership or roles were unclear and address why that situation occurred.
There is no single “race day” for IT teams, but IT has to always be race-ready. Take the steps now to start getting race-ready. Follow the lead of great pit teams and soon, you’ll be seeing the results of that effort as your business zooms ahead of the competition!Share
I recently polled my Twitter community on whether or not they are interested in receiving their ITIL4 Foundation certification. I was surprised to learn that the majority either did not have immediate plans or did not plan on ITIL4 Foundation certification at all.
I can understand the hesitancy of rushing into getting a certification. Some IT pros believe that certifications do not bring any benefits to an organization or to an individual and that they simply are a waste of resources. And since ITIL 4 is relatively untested, who can say whether or not it will have an impact on the way we work?
So, I wanted to address what one can immediately do after earning their ITIL 4 Foundation certification.I also wanted to discuss what CIOs and IT leaders can do to maximize the return on their investment on certification and guarantee that they’ll see results from their team after ITIL 4 certification.
If you are one of the excited early adopters of ITIL 4, congratulations! Passing your foundation certification is a huge accomplishment! But before you shove your ITIL4 Foundation book into a drawer, let’s discuss what you can do once you return to your organization newly certified.
The first action you will want to take is having a de-brief with key stakeholders on what you’ve learned in your certification and how it applies to your business. ITIL4 provides a holistic approach to applying practices and processes across the business. In order to properly do that, you must achieve buy-in from every stakeholder.
Luckily, ITIL 4 will offer you insights on how you can speak the “business language” and obtain buy-in from everyone else in the organization. Applying the ITIL 4 Service Value System concept will help align the organization’s capabilities with business needs is one of your first steps for successfully utilizing your new-found knowledge.
After you’ve communicated how ITIL 4 can work to strengthen the business and the bottom line, it’s time to start applying ITIL 4’s practices to elevate the delivery of products and services. One of the biggest benefits of ITIL 4 is that it emphasizes value co-creation by leveraging systems thinking. How can systems thinking be applied within your organization?How can you drive value co-creation by leveraging systems thinking? You don’t have to wait to start leveraging this kind of thinking.
ITIL 4 also emphasizes what is known as “guiding principles”, a collection of overarching guidance that can apply to any situation within any organization.One of the guiding principles of ITIL 4 is to start where you are. Use this opportunity to evaluate where you can deliver value in current products and services and how you can streamline existing processes for speedier delivery.
You will be able to adjust as you go, continually improving as you experiment, and optimize what works within your organization.But in order to make the most of your certification, it’s best to start adopting these guiding principles immediately.
For CIOs and IT Leaders
Many of you reading this may not pursue your certification but you want to learn how to protect your investment and ensure your team is elevated by their ITIL 4 Foundation certifications.
One of the first steps you should take as an IT leader is to consider your long-term goals because ITIL 4 is the perfect way to future proof your ITSM practices. I know that many CIOs don’t have the luxury of being able to look too far into the future as they would like.But imagine where you’d like the IT organization to be in 6 months, 1 year or 3 years.
Where do you want your IT organization to be in these timeframes? What capabilities do you need to develop in order to reach those goals? The application of ITIL 4 guiding principles, the Service Value System, and practices can reduce development times, ensure higher-quality products, streamline processes, increase collaboration and improve value co-creation.
Present these long-term goals with your team now while ITIL 4 learnings are still fresh in their minds. Ask them how their learnings can be implemented so that you can achieve these goals. Remember that ITIL 4 is a holistic approach that can be used to break down silo mentality. Engaging your team at this level will empower them to practice that holistic approach to solving problems and delivering solutions. If they see an open playing field where everyone is encouraged to apply their knowledge and skills, they will be encouraged to do the same inside and outside of IT.
The second action you can take to ensure a return on your training investment is to engage your peers in the C-Suite and across the business in your team’s new learnings and practices.
ITIL 4 prepares your team to understand how IT can contribute to business value co-creation. As the IT leader, you must be the champion of this within other areas of the organization. You can work with other departments to break down silos and incorporate ITIL 4 learnings across the organization. This will demonstrate to the C-suite and other leaders what your team has learned and the value of the training investment.It will also show how ITIL 4 can benefit them and the role you need them to play in the process. Remember, you want to include them in this work, not direct them in this work. Make it an inclusive, holistic approach in which everyone can be involved.
As an added benefit, you will be giving your team an opportunity to take on leadership roles within the company. Since they are the ITIL 4 “experts” in your organization, they’ll be well positioned to champion these changes with you. This will not only benefit the entire organization, but it is an excellent way to help grow your team members as leaders and practitioners.
In another blog, I’ve touched on how ITIL 4 can open the door for Enterprise Service Management. Since your team has the proper training, you will be able to effectively expand service management concepts beyond IT and into the rest of the organization in a way that works for you.
How can Tedder Consulting Help?
At Tedder Consulting, our ITIL 4 Foundation class provides our students with an additional day of training on the practical applications of ITIL 4, providing a stronger foundation for them to take their learnings and apply it to your organization. We offer private classes where your entire team can receive their ITIL 4 Foundation certificate and we can begin to identify how these practices will improve your organization.
A prevalent approach to Enterprise Service Management (ESM) today is to extend the use of the IT Service Management (ITSM) tool to other areas of an organization outside of IT.Some organizations also try to apply their existing ITSM concepts, like managing requests or service interruptions, to those other areas.
This approach is essentially dropping the “IT” from ITSM and adding an “E”. Sorry, that doesn’t make it “ESM”.While good ITSM practices can be adapted for use across the enterprise, ESM has to be more than just arbitrarily imposing ITSM across an organization.
What is ESM?
ESM is the application of service management principles and technologies beyond just IT and across an organization. ESM applies service management principles to other areas of an organization to improve performance, measurability, effectiveness, responsiveness, and efficiency.
Does this sound familiar to you? Well, it should if you’ve been around this blog before! ESM mirrors what good ITSM practices accomplish, except on a larger scale.
ESM is much more than applying IT processes and principles outside of IT. It’s a holistic way of including and blending individual departmental approaches into common and shared processes, systems and technology across the organization.It requires organizational change just as much as a technological change. It requires strong leadership, clearly articulated vision and business goals, and clear communication and collaboration between departments.
ESM is all about how to best enable and support the value streams of an organization.ESM must take an enterprise, not IT, perspective regarding how to best facilitate the delivery of end-to-end value through an organization.ESM is not about trying to fit organizational capabilities and work products into predefined IT(SM) processes, but rather ensuring the most effective approach for leveraging all of the capabilities of an organization.
With ESM, the organization develops a holistic approach to integrating, connecting and working together to leverage technology by creating processes, systems and workflows that benefit the company, the employee, and the customer.
Why is ESM important?
The best business value is created when all parts of the business are contributing and collaborating to deliver value in the most effective and efficient way. In the digital age, organizations must be able to quickly shift and react to changes in market spaces is critical for business success. It won’t be enough that IT makes a change to an application or the marketing department launches a new campaign. The enterprise must be able to shift or pivot as needed – when needed.
This is why good ESM is so important.
Provides business decision support – Good ESM provides transparency into how work is done within the organization.Decisions become data-driven, based on objectives measures captured as part of enterprise value streams.
Enables organizational agility – Well defined, interdepartmental value streams and workflows enable organizational agility because there is clarity and shared understanding regarding those value streams and workflows.This helps leaders understand where to pivot if needed. Good ESM results in improved cohesiveness and collaboration within the organization and aligns activities toward shared organizational goals, not on departmental objectives.
Improves organizational understanding of the business – Individual departments not only understand their workflows and processes, but also how information, work, and value flow across the organization.There is a greater awareness of the interdependencies between the various departments within the organization.
Enables an enhanced customer experience – Good ESM removes the internal friction that gets in the way of a good customer experience.
How ITIL4 can open the door for ESM?
ITIL® 4 introduced in February 2019, is the latest evolution of the popular ITSM framework.Among the new or revised concepts within ITIL4 are two nuggets than can help open the door for ESM – the Service Value System (SVS) and the Four Dimensions Model.
The Service Value System
The SVS “represents how the various components and activities of the organization work together to facilitate value creation through IT-enabled services”.The SVS starts with an input of either “demand” or “opportunity” and ends with value.A “demand” represents the need for something to happen, whether it’s a product or a service.An “opportunity” represents a potential for value-add or improvement for the organization.“Value” is the perceived benefits that will or should result from acting upon the demand or opportunity.
Applying the SVS concept to ESM, an enterprise value stream similarly begins with a demand – an order from a customer, on-boarding of a new employee – or an opportunity – a new product line.To realize value from either of these scenarios requires the actions of multiple parts of the organization.No single part of the organization alone can by itself deliver the value required from that demand or opportunity.Good ESM recognizes and facilitates those actions across the enterprise.
Drilling into the SVS a bit more, there are three key components that I think can be directly applied to ESM:
Guiding Principles – Overarching recommendations that guide an organization in all circumstances.
Governance – Ensures that the policies of the organization are defined and carried out; keeps all parts of the organization pointed in the same direction.
Continual Improvement – Activities that ensure that the organization is proactively improving; that the organization collectively and individually is anticipating and responding to changing conditions, both within the organization and the marketplace, to meet the needs of the customer, the organization, and the employee.
The Four Dimensions Model
The Four Dimensions Model describes factors that have influence on the delivery of value. The Four Dimensions are:
Organizations and People – In addition to the “org chart”, this dimension looks at culture, skills, competencies, and capacity of the organization.
Information and Technology – Technologies and the appropriate use and protection of information are crucial enablers for today’s enterprises.
Partners and Suppliers – Every organization and every product and service delivered by an organization, has reliance on partners and suppliers.
Value Streams and Processes – The enablement and delivery of value depends on effective and efficient workstreams, controls, and procedures.
I look at the Four Dimensions Model as a tension matrix – any change in any one dimension will have an effect – good or bad – on the other dimensions.The Four Dimensions Model encourages a holistic look at how an organization facilitates value for all stakeholders of an organization.
Applying the Four Dimensions to ESM adoption, without the proper training and development of skill sets, the organization cannot successfully exploit information and technology nor realize value stream effectiveness. Just extending ITSM tools into the enterprise ignores organizational cultural and competency aspects, does not address enterprise value streams, or recognizes the partnerships (both within and external to the organization) that make enterprises work.
The key takeaway
I’ve long thought that a good ITSM implementation is key for success in the digital economy.And that service management also must move outside of IT.With new concepts like the SVS and the Four Dimensions Model, ITIL4 seems to be thinking the same thing.
ITIL4 can open the door for ESM – and that’s a good thing.
There’s a battle afoot within many IT organizations.
In one corner is the “up-and-comer” DevOps, with its promise to be responsive and deliver technology-based solutions with velocity, while making positive changes to the culture of an IT organization.
And in the other corner, the wily veteran ITIL® , featuring its time-tested advice for supporting and delivering technology-based solutions. Over its 30 years of existence, ITIL – done well – has been shown to work. ITIL has often been referred to as the “de-facto” standard for IT Service Management.
Within many organizations, the battle is real.
Will it be ITIL?
Or will it be DevOps knocking ITIL off of its throne?
And how will ITIL4 impact the battle?
ITIL vs. DevOps
ITIL has long been a popular methodology for the delivery and support of services based on the use of technology. ITIL has gone through a number of iterations since first appearing in the 1980s, with the most recent iteration published in 2011.
Meanwhile, around 2009, a grassroots movement started that eventually became known as DevOps. DevOps emerged as a better way for IT development and IT operations teams to work together.
Many organizations took note of the movement and began adopting DevOps. DevOps was seen as a way to become more responsive to business needs and improve the velocity of solution delivery. DevOps was embraced as a way to exploit emerging technologies and capabilities – things that ITIL books didn’t discuss.
In the meantime, ITIL guidance, other than publication of ITIL Practitioner in 2016, stood in place for nearly eight years.
My perspective of ITIL adoption
I’ve always thought of ITIL as a collection of good “common sense” for ensuring that the use of technology results in business value. Yes, ITIL books were a bit wordy and dryly written, but they contained good knowledge and wisdom. With good planning and execution, the concepts and guidance described within ITIL just plain work.
But the use of ITIL has not been without its challenges.
Some have perceived ITIL as being bureaucratic and “waterfall-ish”. I would agree that parts of the guidance seemed more suited to waterfall development (e.g. Release and Deployment), but perhaps that reflected the era. Where I’ve seen bureaucracy, it was due to how ITIL was adopted – and not because of was advised. That’s because many of the companies that adopted ITIL over-engineered processes, focused on “control” and not “enablement”.
Many ITIL adoptions were aimed only at IT operations. This approach essentially put a fence around an organization’s IT infrastructure. ITIL concepts were then forced onto other parts of IT. ITIL adoption was treated as an “IT thing”, expecting others within an organization to simply comply.
It’s these types of experiences that are frequently referenced by ITIL detractors. To them, “ITIL” is a four-letter word. In my experience, many (most?) of those people either a) never took the time to experiment, learn, and improve their ITIL-based ITSM implementations or b) really don’t know what they’re talking about.
Having said that, I will agree that aspects of the ITIL framework have become a bit dated. While the concepts remain fundamentally sound, guidance for leveraging or incorporating new and emerging technologies, methods, and capabilities are sorely missing from ITIL.
My perspective of DevOps adoption
I like DevOps. I like the fresh perspectives on how to deliver value while leveraging emerging technology. I like the idea of smaller increments of work delivered more quickly. The overarching concept of CALMS – culture, automation, lean, measurement, and sharing – is a great approach to ensure that these critical aspects are both top of mind for the IT organization and considered with each product produced by IT. DevOps has been embraced by many organizations as a way to be more responsive to ever-changing business needs.
DevOps addresses an area of ITIL that always has been underdeveloped, or (as some would say) ignored – application development. While there were books about application management, ITIL has not offered much about application development.
But like ITIL, DevOps adoption has also seen its challenges.
Because of some of the hype that surrounds DevOps, many companies expect to immediately jump to tens and hundreds of deployments per day. The fact that leading companies in this space invested years of effort to get to that level of velocity is often overlooked. Some organizations expect to just throw technology at the issue, rather than develop the workflows (processes) needed to enable that velocity.
Many DevOps adoptions appear to be very “development” focused, rather than viewing IT holistically. Terms and concepts like “DevSecOps” and “BizDevOps” have emerged to underscore the need to take a holistic and inclusive approach to software development.
Some have taken a technology-centric approach to DevOps adoption. While I don’t hear of this as often now, many envisioned DevOps as a way to circumvent necessary controls or to eliminate the IT operations organization. There are also some that view DevOps as just “automation”, or an excuse to reinvent good working practices if for no other reason than “they can”.
ITIL4 is being introduced this month (February 2019) with the publication of the Foundation volume, with more in-depth guidance to follow. ITIL4 represents an evolution in, not a replacement of, ITIL guidance. ITIL4 Foundations delivers some interesting new concepts, such as the Service Value System and the Four Dimensions model. ITIL4 also revisits some previous concepts, such as the Guiding Principles that were introduced in Practitioner.
What makes ITIL4 different than previous versions of ITIL?
Here are a few of the differences:
Emphasizes practices over processes – Too many look at ITIL as a collection of processes. With the introduction of practices, ITIL4 has de-emphasized processes in favor of value streams and practices.
Promotes systems thinking – Lifecycle approach described in ITILv3 sometimes had unfortunate effect of promoting silo thinking within IT (even though ITIL guidance clearly discussed the interdependencies between lifecycle phases).
Acknowledges that there are other models and approaches – ITIL4 puts in writing that it embraces new ways of working, such as Lean, Agile, and DevOps.
Who will win the battle?
How will ITIL4 impact the battle for the hearts and minds of IT organizations? Is ITIL4 “too late”? Only time will tell. But DevOps and ITIL4 have much in common. Both want to make the best use of people and technology to deliver value and meet the needs of the business. Both promote continual improvement and effective measurement. Both advise that in order to deliver value that first IT must understand what is valued by the organization.
Most IT organizations will need some of either and a lot of both to have success. Both have weaknesses and strengths. The fact is that no single approach or framework will be able to accommodate all possible situations.
The key to success is that the modern IT professional must understand the business of the business, then decide how best to leverage frameworks, models, approaches, and standards to deliver the outcomes and value needed by the business. Perhaps this is where ITIL4 will have an impact.
Share 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.
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:
Plan: This creates a structure to ensure a shared understanding of what the organization is trying to achieve.
Improve: This helps to ensure the continual improvement of services and practices.
Engage: This activity provides engagement with stakeholders. This takes requirements and transforms them into design requirements.
Design and transition: This takes requirements from “Engage” and provides specifications for “Obtain/Build.” It also delivers new services that meet stakeholder expectations.
Obtain/build: This creates service components that meet all specifications and ensures that are available when and where they are needed.
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.
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.