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.
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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.
Tedder Consulting is offering DevOps Foundation and ITIL4 Foundation classes next month! Click here to learn more.Share
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:
- 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.
February 18, 2019 – Doug Tedder, principal consultant of Tedder Consulting, was a panelist on ITSM Zone’s “ITSMCrowd”.
The webinar can be viewed here.
ITIL® is a Registered Trademark of AXELOS Limited.
January 28, 2019: Doug Tedder, Principal Consultant of Tedder Consulting, has earned the new ITIL4 Foundation Certificate.
Tedder was part of a global group of 360 testers who participated in the beta testing of the new ITIL 4 Foundation exam.
November 9, 2018: Doug Tedder, principal consultant of Tedder Consulting, participated in the ITIL4® beta session, conducted by AXELOS in Chicago on November 8 – 9.
AXELOS is conducting a series of beta sessions to get feedback on the latest version of ITIL®, as well as feedback on the associated certification exam. Doug is one of only 360 people invited to participate in these global sessions.
“I was pleased with what I saw in the latest update of ITIL”, said Tedder. “It addresses some long-standing challenges and misconceptions about ITIL, as well as positions ITIL for the future.”
According to AXELOS, the first release of ITIL4, the Foundation level, will be launched in Q1, 2019. Tedder Consulting is completing the necessary training and credentialing to be among the first to offer certification training for ITIL4.
ITIL® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited.