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 Round Table
22 December 2007 | ITSM
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ITIL V3 Exclusive Roundtable
Nearly six months have passed since the launch of ITIL v3 the ITSM Holy Grail. Sharon Taylor asks how businesses are analyzing the new concepts, practices and guidance in this exclusive ITSM roundtable..

  Sharon Taylor
  Majid Iqbal
  Ken Turbitt
  Colin Rudd
  Shirley Lacy
  Paul Gostick
  Michel Nieves
  David Butcher

After much anticipation, ITIL v3 core practice lifecycle publications have hit the streets. Within two weeks of their launch, 50,000 hard copies were sold. This leads one to believe that many organisations are now reading and analyzing the v3 concepts, practices and guidance.

Anyone who reads the ITSM trade publications, websites and blogs, will know there are polarized views about v3 and its value to the consumer. Along with the launch of the publications, the first of the v3 qualifications - Foundations for IT Service Management - was launched by the OGC’s accreditor, the APM Group.  Again, polarized views on the certification abound with many eager to offer their ‘expert opinions’.  The skeptical view is that v3 will soon have competition in the market. The optimists retort “then why haven’t we seen this happen in the thirty years ITIL has been around?” Accusations from some are that v3 is largely theoretical and not proven best practice.  In an industry obviously in a state of forward momentum, (or so many claim) how does thought leadership evolve theory into mainstream practice, if not by taking the first steps?There are many viewpoints to ponder here and there is no doubt that as the ITSM industry matures, there are organizations who have a history of experience with ITIL, those who are just discovering it and those who will over the coming years. How then does a maturing practice framework reach out to a broad base audience such as this and provide meaningful and useful guidance for the novice and seasoned veterans alike?So why are we seeing such variety in opinion? Some suggest it is a typical reluctance by the industry to embrace change and the maturing of the industry.  Others claim that this is just what has been needed for some time now. Are the wide ranging views just a reflection of the diversity of maturity within the industry itself? 

Here are some questions for the experts to ponder... 

The release of v3 has created much attention, praise and controversy in the industry.  Is it v3 that is a catalyst to polarized views or is it arriving at a time the industry itself is in a transformation?

Ken Turbitt: One of the reasons ITIL was revised was because it was quite out of date and out of touch with what was happening within the market. The public consultations proved that. So the release was definitely required and many of the new elements within v3 are simply documenting, as a best practice, what was happening in the marketplace. The fact it’s documented and released means there is more excitement and momentum in moving ITSM forward, which many large enterprises were attempting to do anyway. Some of the added value in Service Strategy and Service Design enables the whole market to take stock and review things from a Business perspective, something that was badly needed. This will drive v3, ITSM, and the market, forward in its thinking and delivery. The industry by its very nature is always in transformation, this guidance will now help clarify many aspects.

David Butcher: It’s both, which makes it really exciting. ITILv3 arrives at a time when the industry is transforming, as pressures mount to drive improved service delivery, transparent globalization, cost reduction and increasing collaboration with an array of global partners. ITILv3 provides a common context and language in which to operate in this dynamic environment. Experienced professionals and ITIL-mature companies will recognize many aspects from v2. However, the holistic view of good practices across the entire service lifecycle is an exciting development which supports the dynamic nature of our business. To the less experienced the lifecycle approach is far more straightforward than the list of processes that v2 provided us with.

Colin Rudd: The IT industry has, since its inception, been one of the most volatile, and will probably always continue to be so. It is because of this that management processes and practices have had to develop and evolve to cater for this rapid rate of technological change. Therefore ITIL also needs to develop and evolve to keep up to date with modern practices. As with all things new there is always a resistance to change. New concepts and ideas will always have their advocates and critics. However, ITIL v3 was developed based on the “best practice” as currently used by many of the leading IT service provider organizations and therefore is an amalgamation of all of the best Service Management methods in use. There are now many different views on what is best within Service Management and with all things you can never please all of the people all of the time. However, many Service Management experts from around the world were involved in the development of new ITIL v3 books over an extensive period of time. Hopefully, the current books reflect that wealth of experience and knowledge, but only time will tell.

Majid Iqbal: Praise is welcome. There is criticism and there is controversy. Criticism is good when it is fair, reasonable, and sincere. Much of it is. Given the challenges we faced I’m surprised we did not do worse. The controversy is fueled by commercial interests in ITIL-related publications, training, exams, and certifications. Some have been unhappy with the v3 project from the start because of perceived risks to their ITIL v2-related investments. Some did not want any change while others wanted to be the agents of change so they could influence outcomes in a particular way. In their public rebuke of selected parts of v3, some have not been forthright about this enormous conflict of interest. What we also have is an echo chamber effect the sound engineers of Pink Floyd would bend a knee to. Denouncements get picked up and repeated over and over again in the same social network, with amplification and distortion, in a hyper-linked echo chamber. Step out of this echo chamber and there is relative peace and quiet, and, perhaps even a bit of nonchalance. The challenges or opportunities faced by organizations are not diminished by attention, praise, or controversy.

Michael Nieves: IT in a business context is indeed in a state of transformation. The customer’s role has taken on a significance beyond the ability of many organizations. Customer demands stem not just from deficiencies in existing services but the customer’s own search for better business models. Organizations respond primarily by commoditizing or automating their processes and services. Efficiency is improved but at a cost to service effectiveness. In other words, customers desire better value but IT organizations are conditioned to respond with low cost structures. This is called the mass-production model; institutionalize and push products and services regardless of the customer’s true purpose. Many organizations still adhere to mass-production principles, pouring concrete on operating models based on operational effectiveness.  This drives down per unit costs but hinders the IT organization in finding new and evolving strategies for fulfilling customer outcomes. In a world of outsourcing and offshoring, this is a sure-fire way to extinction. v3 offers an alternative model. It begins with the philosophy that every IT leader must carefully examine the realities of his or her business. It places customer purpose at the centre of all dialogue; compelling IT to engage at the level of customer outcomes. Simply delivering services to specifications is insufficient. Organizational structures, process, technologies and measurement systems must be locked on to customer outcomes rather than specifications.  Leading practitioners have praised this shift with a welcome sigh of relief. There are, of course, some who have found these ideas jarring. Some have even entirely missed the point, frequently quoting Frederick Winslow Taylor and his mass-production principles while rejecting the ideas as unproven practices. Leaving aside the irony of the Taylor quotes, nothing could be further from the truth. Every practice has been proven in leading organizations, notably those who have adopted Lean Service, Systems Thinking, Build-to-Order or Sense-and-Respond models.

Paul Gostick: Technological innovation has driven many changes in business models. Consequently, ITIL needed a refresh because it was out of step with practices that have developed in the market to  support such changes. However, I believe that there is some skepticism due to previous experiences with ITIL v2:  a high level of intellectual interest, followed by a lot of frustration and stalled projects. The big question:  Why did this occur, and why is ITIL v3 any better-equipped to enable a higher success rate? That said, it has done much to bring together the disparate disciplines and to incorporate an overall view of IT security and planning.

Shirley Lacy: The industry is constantly transforming as new technologies drive changes in business models and speed up business operations. For example, the Internet has had a dramatic effect on the way customers interact with suppliers. IT service management will continually evolve as the business models, supply models and technologies change. Being able to change rapidly has become a business imperative for many organizations to remain competitive and profitable. In many respects ITIL v3 reflects the practices that some organizations have already adopted to address these challenges. In some areas we have documented ‘history’ in ITIL v3. The ITIL v3 guidance will help different types of service providers (e.g. Internal Service Providers, Shared Services Units, External Service Providers) to adopt a common terminology across a wider scope of ITSM activities that are more relevant to today’s world.

Many experts claim ITSM should be viewed as a formally recognized profession in the industry and that until v3, the officially recognized qualifications did not provide this. What impact do you think v3 qualifications will have on furthering the acceptance of ITSM as a recognized profession?

David Butcher:  The advanced diploma and its focus on applying and analyzing the knowledge from the new ITILv3 areas is welcome, but more importantly, the advent of the higher diploma should blend the theoretical with the practical as a project-based element is introduced to demonstrate the application of the knowledge learned – therefore we move away from a qualification which can be gained but never needs to be applied.  Individuals and organizations should have a long term commitment to ITILv3, coupling the qualifications with experience in a single journey to deliver customer benefits. This is in line with the way membership of professional bodies, and associated qualifications, are already used in BT’s professional communities – aligning the demands of the business with career paths, training needs, qualifications and opportunities to grow and develop with real experience.In addition, the modularization of the new qualifications allows individuals to focus on key areas, and therefore more readily deliver benefits to their customers. For example, the Continual Service Improvement element supports the implementation of improvement plans across the entire service lifecycle to help focus on the areas in most need.The qualification structure, and its move towards being more readily applied, moves ITSM towards a recognized profession. In my opinion, further coupling with more established qualifications – such as chartered engineering, NVQs, university degrees etc – is still required.

Majid Iqbal: ITSM is closer today to formal recognition as a profession than ever before and ITIL v3 will take it closer. It took many years for software engineering to mature as a discipline with its own body of practical knowledge supported by sound theory and principles. Today it has a community of practice with certain qualifications for entry. Software engineering is also an active field of research and education at universities worldwide, which is a factor distinguishing a profession from a vocation. 
The ITIL v3 qualification scheme is based on an updated body of knowledge no longer limited to the processes of managing IT applications, infrastructure, and operations. Grafted into ITIL v3 is knowledge from the fields of strategy, finance, marketing, design, engineering, and organization management. This solidifies the case for recognition for ITSM credentials in the hyper competitive ecosystem of business. One of the core design objectives for the v3 qualification scheme is professional development. The well-regarded Bloom’s Taxonomy is being used to ensure that syllabi and exams better correspond to various types and levels of competencies that make up organizations. I’m confident that the v3 qualifications will change the way ITSM professionals are regarded by the rest of the business community. It is not just what is being examined but also how.

Colin Rudd: The IT industry as a whole has always struggled to gain real recognition as a profession and the IT Service Management Industry even more so.  However, the IT Service Management profession is now starting to really emerge as a profession in its own right. The formalization of the ITIL v2 qualification scheme and the extension of the number of qualifications within the scheme helped this process of growth. The establishment of the Institute of IT Service Management has also contributed tremendously to this emergence since its formation in 2002. The Institute developed relationships with Universities and now Several Universities offer degrees and post graduate qualifications in Service Management. Undoubtedly with the further development and extension of the qualification scheme based on v3 this will significantly increase the stature of the Service Management profession on a global basis.

Ken Turbitt: My understanding of the new v3 diploma was to give the qualification more weighting in the market. Yes there is a need for Service Management, be it IT or Business to be recognized as an important profession with appropriate qualifications. This is as vital to any business as Finance, Marketing or Sales, and so needs to be taken seriously with the new generation being able to study this in Colleges and Universities. ITIL v3 is a great place to start, or indeed be incorporated into, a syllabus. Recently I heard that Carnegie Mellon are doing just that, and some time ago I was approached by the University of Dallas, which was looking into creating such a syllabus at the time, based on IITL v2. The need is there, the demand will quickly follow I’m sure, we’ve already seen the huge demand with the ITIL qualifications. For now we have v3 and when the qualification schemes finally get underway, we’ll see more attention coming from the traditional education houses.

Paul Gostick: ITSM is certainly a collection of core competencies required for effective IT management, but does it really qualify as a standalone “profession”? Perhaps it does.  If so, v3 must go beyond the mechanics of ITSM and also encompass the results achieved by ITSM.  In other words, businesses are measured on profits, loss, margins, and other quantifiable metrics that enable comparison of one company’s effectiveness to its peers.  ITSM should focus on similar key indicators to enable us to objectively benchmark one IT organization against another.

Shirley Lacy: ITSM is already viewed as a formally recognized profession in the UK. Many people take ITIL qualifications as part of their continual professional development and to open up new career opportunities. Many organizations see that gaining ITSM qualifications enables its IT workforce to become more business and service focused. Many ITSM roles are well recognized in Europe. For example, a professionally qualified ITSM Change Manager is a well-recognized job in many organizations. The rapid take up of ITIL qualifications over the last 10 years has enabled this. The expanded ITIL v3 qualification scheme comes at a time when there is clear understanding of the importance of professionalism in ITSM by individuals and service provider organizations.  

What advice would you give to current ITIL users and those thinking about adopting ITIL about how to determine if v3 is something they need to consider in their organizations?

Shirley Lacy:  ITIL v3 builds upon ITIL v2 and many of the processes have been tuned and improved. New processes have been added such as service portfolio management and knowledge management. To take advantage of these updates it is important that organizations consider ITIL v3. Organizations that face major business and / or technology change find it beneficial to introduce the service lifecycle approach and practices in ITIL v3 sooner rather than later. Although a phased take on of a new version is often the best approach, many staff and other stakeholders will start to take qualifications in ITIL v3. Leaving the ITIL v3 too long may cause issues with an ITIL implementation, as different stakeholders will have a different understanding of the ITIL practices. 

Michael Nieves: At some point in an organization’s service management journey, they will ask important questions but find they are not addressed in v2. For example, questions related to Org Design, changing customer priorities, service portfolios, integration with the business, and so on. When this happens, ITIL v3 should be their next stop.

Paul Gostick: First and foremost it would be unwise to view this as a “one or the other” choice, and don’t view it as a major or heavyweight upgrade to move to v3. ITIL v3 is about how IT delivers business services and will help IT gain a much need business focus. In many cases, the changes are terminology shifts and not philosophical ones, however, new functionality covering service strategy and service design has been added.  Review the v3 processes, and determine whether there is business value for you to migrate a given process to v3. If you adopt the view of, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” you can focus on areas where you are experiencing subpar performance and start your migration with those areas. For example, if v2’s Release Management process is working well for you, stick with it; if it’s not working, then consider implementing v3’s Release Management process.

Colin Rudd: There are two key phrases that are relevant to all organizations and their use of ITIL, whether it be the use of version 2 or 3. They are: “evolution not revolution”, “adopt and adapt”.These two key phrases are just as relevant to the use of new version of ITIL, v3 as they were to the earlier versions of ITIL. If we take the first phrase, in essence it means that every organization has probably already got a lot of good practices and processes in operation. The use of ITIL is not all about throwing out what you’ve got and replacing it with ITIL. It is about reviewing where you are now and building on the strengths and successes that you have already established within your organization and reducing or removing the weaknesses and failures. With regard to the second phrase, all organizations should adopt ITIL as a framework of best practice to develop their Service Management practices and processes. However, not all of the guidance in ITIL will be appropriate for all organizations, so it is a matter of adapting it to fit the unique requirements of each individual organization. So each organization should review ITIL v3 and its relevance to them, review where they are now and where they want to be in the future. They should then develop a plan that moves them forward to achieve their objective, ensuring at all times they are aligned with business needs and priorities.

Ken Turbitt: v3 is all about services and the lifecycle approach to them. Every IT function delivers a service to its customers and therefore must be interested in reviewing and improving them if they want to remain the supplier. Since v3 was released I’ve presented on its content around the world and met many clients and prospects at conferences and in individual meetings. I’ve heard many say that they are not moving to, or looking at, v3 until they have more maturity in their v2 implementations. Which is fine. However when chatting further I discover many are already implementing or have implemented some of the new areas documented in V3. Things like Request Fulfillment, Access Management, and elements of a CMS. One large outsourcing organization in South Africa that I met with told me v3 was for later, yet continued to tell me how they had just re-structured their IT organization to have a Strategy Group, a Design Group, a Change and Implementation Group, and an Operations Group. All very sensible for an outsourcing organization. When I highlighted they had just followed the lifecycle approach of v3 they became interested in checking it out. So, my advice? Review where you are and see what v3 says about what you have before you leave it on the shelf. Dip into Strategy and Design to understand what it is you’re trying to achieve, sometimes we need to sit back and take stock. Initially cheat if you can, hear from experts what’s in the books and decide for yourself. You have to believe in v3 to adopt it.

David Butcher: How applicable the various elements of ITILv3 are will depend primarily on your organization - size, maturity, priorities - and the demands and nature of your customers. ITILv3 puts much more emphasis on the entire service lifecycle, and so involves people from areas outside the traditional home of IT Operations - people from business strategy, IT development, systems testing etc. At BT we have established a senior forum with the objective of understanding ITILv3 and determining the benefits and priorities of the five core books. Some elements are easier to implement, and deliver, benefits more immediately, especially where the operating model is well known and already service centric. By bringing these elements forward we are able to quickly demonstrate value - something that will support a case to senior execs for further commitment to ITILv3.For those new to ITIL, I would recommend engaging an outside body to assist in a review to understand the opportunities and potential customer benefits.

Majid Iqbal: Consider the following scenario. “Organization X is insulated from changes in the business and regulatory environments. There are no new challenges or opportunities it faces. Its customers do not have alternatives to services it offers. Nor can they expect from it higher levels of performance. Costs are never a constraint. Competitors are lagging behind in terms of knowledge and intellectual property. There is neither depreciation nor loss in the organization’s own knowledge assets.” The closer your organization is to this extreme scenario, the less likely the need to consider ITIL v3. It is a sliding scale of indifference. There is no litmus test.  We have a tendency of to treat everything as if it were a piece of software. We talk about implementations, versions, and upgrades as if ITIL is a piece of software or equipment. It simply codified knowledge for building and improving capabilities for creating value in the form of services. v3 subsumes v2. You do not need to implement v2 first and then v3. With all its shortcomings v3 is much better than v2. It is service-oriented, customer-centric, and business-minded. It challenges attitudes, mind-sets and knowledge barriers that have held back many from realizing their full potential. It expects IT organizations to think and act like the businesses they support. There is no debate on which version of CMMI or COBIT. So why is there one on ITIL v2 versus v3? The answer is lurking in plain sight.

What guidance would you offer to organizations that fall into the following three categories about implementing ITIL v3:
1. Those who have implemented some ITIL processes and are struggling with maturing those?
2. Those who are comfortable with their current implementations of ITIL and are seeking to mature their practices?
3. Those who are just starting out with an ITIL implementation?


Colin Rudd: A lot of the information within the answer to the previous question is also relevant to this question. The two key phrases still apply:

 “evolution not revolution”

 “adopt and adapt”

The use of ITIL is not all about throwing out what you’ve got and replacing it with ITIL.   It is about reviewing where you are now and building on the strengths and successes that you have already established within your organization and reducing or removing the weaknesses and failures. With regard to the second phrase, don’t just implement everything within ITIL, but ensure that what you do implement is appropriate and effective for your organization, business and culture. Therefore every organization should follow a structured approach to the implementation or improvement of ITIL and ask themselves the following questions:

• What’s our vision and objectives?
• Where are we now?
• Where do we want to be?
• How do we get where we want to be?
• How do we know when we have got there?
• How do we ensure continual improvement of our processes continues?

All organizations, no matter how good they are, must recognize that they can always get better.  So establishing this formal, structured approach to continual improvement will mean that it will become embedded within the culture of the organization. This, together with obtaining the commitment of the business and senior management to the improvement process, is the hardest thing to achieve for organizations just starting out the implementation of Service Management processes based on ITIL.

Majid Iqbal: First, you can only go so far with processes like Incident, Problem, Change and Configuration, which, if you really think about it, largely protect or maintain value rather than creating it. After a point there are diminishing returns. Second, the maturity of a process depends on the stability of other functions and processes that may be missing. ITIL v3 increases the potential of these “v2 processes” first by improving them and then by placing them in a well-defined business context of value-creation. It also provides them with missing elements in the form of new functions and processes. Organizations comfortable with their current implementations of ITIL are well positioned with new knowledge in v3. Concepts like Service Catalogue have been enhanced and coupled with Demand Management and Portfolio Management. There is sharpened focus on value-creation, opportunity and risk with methodology such as Option Space, Kano Model, and Scenario Planning. Concepts including utility, warranty, service level packages, and catalogues of business outcomes require a certain level of maturity in organizations. The mind-shift from v2 to v3 is comparable to the move from procedural languages to object-oriented programming. Those who are starting out are better off using ISO 20000 (instead of ITIL v2) to stage their implementation of v3.

David Butcher: Often organizations fail to mature processes because they see the implementation as the end state - it’s not, it’s just the beginning. Processes need owners, managers and sponsors to monitor and drive continuous improvement. Galvanizing efforts around a standard - e.g. ISO20000, where demonstrating continual improvement is a must - helps to focus and sustain efforts. That’s one of the reasons why customers are now increasingly demanding ISO20000 certification from their service providers.In order to move ITIL processes to the next level, and embed a continual improvement culture, it’s essential for an organization to establish internal capabilities, e.g. by creating a central ITIL process team and audit function. In parallel an organization needs to learn from the wider industry through seminars, itSMF, special interest groups etc.  Only by growing an internal capability and leveraging the experiences of others can an organization mature their practices beyond training courses and ITIL publications.You can’t, and shouldn’t do it alone. ITILv3 goes further than other versions in terms of providing guidance for adoption, but there is no substitute for experience. Try to avoid piecemeal consultancy and instead find a company who will partner for the duration of your journey, and combine this with experienced hires. There is no ITIL quick fix.

Ken Turbitt: For this group, I’d say top and tail! Delve into the Strategy book to then review their own strategy, goals and objectives and once re-aligned with that of the business, dip into the Continual Service Improvement book for guidance on how to review their “immature” processes and move them forward. The individual ones highlighted by that exercise can then be looked into within the remaining books for design or re-design, transition and operations. To mature any process needs a continual improvement program, so perhaps check out Cmmi or Six Sigma as further aids to move their maturity forward, relevant to their organization’s needs under its constraints.My first thought here would be “avoid complacency”, something all too easy in our field, once we’ve delivered a successful project. For this group I would advise exactly the same as the previous.This would be my favourite group, as they will be the ones who will “see the point” quickly. They will want to start off in the order of the books, and decide their strategy, ensuring it’s in line with that of the business, understand some of the new concepts in the market, like BSM, and therefore be better informed to plan their implementation of ITIL. Once they have this clean aligned strategy, they can move on into the design phase and review the Design book’s guidance, and so on throughout the lifecycle. Perhaps I’d recommend once they get past the Strategy stage, they may like to assess the greatest pain areas of where the greatest value to the business will be achieved and focus on that practice or process to design it, then transition it and move into operations, involving each stakeholder on the way. Any more advice here, and I’d be repeating the content of the books!

Shirley Lacy: About  implementing ITIL v3: these organization’s can take the opportunity to review their processes in light of the ITIL v3 practices. They will have developed a greater understanding of many of the processes that they have implemented and will understand many of the benefits that could be achieved from adopting the ITIL v3 practices. Adopting ITIL v3 can also help to re-mobilize and energize staff to make new improvements. ITIL v3 offers better concepts and practices to manage services across the supply chain and it supports different service delivery models. These organisations can reconsider their strategy and move to another level in their service delivery. Many service providers now have external requirements, e.g. legislation or contractual requirements for achieving standards such as ISO/IEC 20000 and ITIL v3 provides excellent support for this. The need for “quick-wins” versus medium to longer-term benefits usually influences the decision on ‘where to start’. Many organisations will still begin by implementing incident management and problem management. An organization that is facing a major change may find it beneficial to introduce the change and configuration management processes and use the service lifecycle practices in ITIL v3 early in their implementation.

Paul Gostick: Implement strong controls and metrics to drive Cultural improvements and enforce process discipline. The chances are, sloppiness, inconsistency, lack of coordination, and lack of enforcement of rules/policy are at the heart of your struggles.  Consider the practices outlined in the ITPI’s Visible Ops Handbook.Examine the weak areas in your current processes and practices, and consult authoritative resources for help on improving them. Consider the guidance outlined in the ITPI’s Visible Ops Handbook.Start with the basics and build toward a framework for continuous improvement.  You can shorten your learning curve by reading. Consider the practices outlined in the ITPI’s Visible Ops Handbook – the playbook modeled after the practices of high-performing IT shops.

The release of v3 offers a broader range of practice for ITSM than past versions of ITIL.  Should the ITIL consumer expect to see changes to ITSM tools?

David Butcher: There isn’t a need for a radical change in ITSM tools for ITILv3, although greater integration is required across tools to reduce manual hand-offs and manage the entire service lifecycle.  Leading on from ITILv3, ITSM tools have to address the increasing demands from our customers for more self-service; the automation of functions such as Change and Configuration Management to support automated deployment of hardware and software; and more self-healing of applications and infrastructure issues. The current ITSM tools are good at copying manual processes but haven’t yet recognized the service automation revolution on the near horizon.

Shirley Lacy: There should be no immediate necessity for service providers to change ITSM tools. Many vendors have already implemented some great features and already support concepts that are in ITIL v3. Over time vendors will provide options that support new concepts in ITIL v3 as this will add value for their customers. One example of better support would be improved capability to integrate several different physical CMDBs that could span several organizations. 

Paul Gostick: There may be changes to workflow tools, but tools alone are not going to save the day. The key is a unified set of controls and metrics, and holding people to a clear set of standards. This will elicit the cultural change required to improve ITSM effectiveness. Cultural change and process discipline can succeed with rudimentary tools, but the best tools in the world will not compensate for lack of discipline and operational consistency. As a wise friend of mine always says, “Tools alone are not the answer – a fool with a tool is still a fool.” 

Ken Turbitt: Yes and no! As mentioned many times v3 has been catching up with the market, so many of the tools are already out there in place and being used today. The changes will come anyway as all applications get enhancements based on research and customer feedback, part of the research will include reviewing what v3 says and if necessary making modification, but in many cases it’s not necessary. On the other hand, some new areas have been added into v3, many within the ITSM market have not been mature, yet in other sectors they are and so v3 has gathered from these sectors, e.g. engineering, production etc. So the tools are there, but not with an IT focus. These may see changes, or vendors, entering the market for the first time to cater for v3, in which case new releases and upgrades will be seen and should be seen. If the consumers demand it, the suppliers will fulfil that demand, and sometimes the vendors create the demand through addressing best practices, like ITIL.

Colin Rudd: Even the earliest versions of ITIL had a tremendous impact on the development of management tools. This theme has continued and ITIL version 3 will undoubtedly continue this by also having a major impact on the rapidly expanding IT Service Management tool industry. ITIL, even in its earlier versions, covered a broad spectrum of processes and practices. This spectrum has now been increased with the release of v3, which has adopted a more integrated approach based around the service lifecycle. The majority of existing IT Service Management tools are used almost completely within the “Operations” and “Transition” stages of the lifecycle. v3 will extend the requirement for tools to operate earlier within the lifecycle by supporting the “Strategy” and “Design” stages also. ITIL v3 has also adopted a more integrated approach to tools by developing the concept of an integrated Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS). This SKMS consolidates all of the information from all practices, process and stages into one integrated set of information, which can be used by all areas to make better and more informed decisions.

Majid Iqbal: Yes if the vendors are able to respond with suitable solutions to support some of the new and revised areas of ITIL. Assuming it is all done properly, and there is guidance on service automation and instrumentation in the Service Strategy book, I see this as a plus for both customers and vendors of ITSM tools. In today’s complex and dynamic business environments, certain activities such as monitoring, optimization, pattern recognition, scheduling and routing require cognitive and computing power that is beyond the capacity of human agents. Knowledge management, for example, would neither be efficient nor effective without suitable tools for capturing, classifying, validating and sharing knowledge across functions and processes. Existing solutions for CMDB and Service Catalogue need to be reviewed from the perspective of managing knowledge, capacity, demand, and costs. Service Portfolio Management and Financial Management are two vastly expanded areas. There is a lot more design, modelling, and simulation in ITIL for decision-making, planning and execution across the Service Lifecycle. So you will see new and improved solutions for constructing and testing service models before deployment, managing multi-modal interactions with users including self-service, automated diagnosis and recovery, event management, and service analytics. 

There have been suggestions that ITSM based solutions should move to a fully Open Source standard. Would you consider this to be in the best interests of the ITSM consumer?

Paul Gostick: Open Source components (such as data formats, exchange standards, etc.) can go a long way toward benefiting many enterprises, and increasing the interoperability between providers. However, the usefulness/value of any ITSM solution must be based on its contribution to business results and effectiveness. Just as it would be irresponsible to damn all commercial software for the reason that it is commercial, it would be irresponsible to praise all open source ITSM solutions merely because they are Open Source.

Majid Iqbal:  So far, open standards in other fields have proven to benefit both customers and vendors. I expect the same in the ITSM arena. In principle it will lead to the availability of innovative tools for ITSM. As I have indicated earlier, I strongly encourage innovation in this area. Besides, standardization and automation will help the maturity and growth of the ITSM industry. Another benefit of open standards would be communication and coordination across service providers and vendors in complex sourcing arrangements and contracts. Other than that, I do not have any specific position on this issue quite frankly because I have not spent enough time thinking about it. At the same time I haven’t come across any coherent and compelling message with respect to the vision, goals and objectives for open standards on ITSM tools. Perhaps I need to be further educated. I am aware of efforts to define open standards on the CMDB and the Service Catalogue. They should be encouraged because those two are critical elements of any service management implementation.  

Colin Rudd: This has been a question that has been around since the early development of management tools and systems. Undoubtedly the development of fully Open Source standards would be of considerable interest and benefit to the IT Service Management market place and particularly the consumer. The next few years will see greater integration between IT service provider organization’s Service Management processes, and the solutions and processes of their suppliers and partners. This has already started with the electronic exchange of Incidents, Problems, Changes, and other Service Management constructs. The Desk Top Management Task Force (DMTF) consisting of representatives from many of the leading management tools and systems vendors are producing guidelines and standards to achieve this integration of different vendor solutions. This hopefully is the first step down the path to development of Open Source standards in this area, but there is still a long way to go.

Michael Nieves:  This is a very important question worthy of a careful response. Open Source is an important idea for many reasons. but it is not a cure-all. Even James Surowiecki, in Wisdom of the Crowds, carefully notes that for mass collaboration to truly work, certain conditions must exist. Otherwise it becomes mob rules. Wikipedia, for example, is often called out as a shining example for ITIL to follow - usually by those that never went through the legendary revision wars. The editors of Wikipedia have likely destroyed more knowledge than all the book burners of history. All performed, of course, in the name of notability. We’ve come to learn that Wikipedia, while useful for casual and well-established information, cannot be trusted for contentious topics where there’s a difference of opinion about the facts. For example, news, history or politics.ITSM falls into this category. Many of its common practices are subjective; it is easy to assert logical inconsistencies. And it happens all the time. All it takes is the endorsement of the mob.  History vehemently warns of this problem. Take the example of Trofim Denisovich Lysenko who, in 1928, claimed to have “solved the problem of fertilizing the fields without fertilizers and minerals.” He invented a fertilization method, which never underwent scrutiny or rigorous testing. He claimed, however, that his treated seeds passed on their characteristics to the next generation. This represented a resurgence of Lamarckian thinking. Lamarckian ideas propose that individual efforts during the lifetime of an organism are the main mechanisms driving species to adaptation; they acquire adaptive changes and pass them on to offspring. The rest of the world, however, had moved on to Mendelian genetics; supplanting the idea of inheritance of acquired traits. Lysenko’s methods became the darling of the Soviet media. He “proved” his procedures increased crop yields by using questionnaires, thereby avoiding any rigorous tests. By 1937, Lysenko’s theories dominated Russian biology. The results were famines that killed millions, and purges that sent hundreds of dissenting Soviet scientists to the gulags or the firing squads. The Russians banned genetics as “bourgeois pseudoscience” in 1948. There was never any basis for Lysenko’s ideas, yet he controlled Soviet research for thirty years. Lysenkoism finally ended in the 1960s, but Russian biology still has not entirely recovered. Accordingly, any move to Open Source must be done very carefully; with great mindfulness of the lessons of history.

Shirley Lacy: Some ITSM vendors already support Open Source standards for part of their offerings and for an integration framework. Easier integration of ITSM solutions is definitely in the best interests of the consumer. Consumers often want to take on an ITSM  solution in stages. Open Source standards at the entry level will help the adoption of ITSM. As these organizations mature, their Service Management needs will become greater. These organisations will look to vendors that can add significant support at the right cost to improve the management of an end-to-end service. For example, the measurement of availability as experienced by a range of end users and an ITSM solution that contains an integrated CMDB across the service lifecycle and supply chain.

Ken Turbitt: Yes. Recently a paper was released from the major vendors around the standards for Federation to aid the CMDB implementations interfacing with various data collection and monitoring tools. This helps the vendors, the consumers and the market, so can only be a good thing in the long term. The only issue is how far will the vendors go in collaboration? They still want and need their USP and IP, so a balance has to be found. Without the vendors the ITSM solutions would be very manual today! Also remember ITIL itself is not quite as Open Source as say Cobit, which is created by the community, for the community, and available for free. Open Source is not just for software.

David Butcher: Open source has worked well in other areas of IT, so greater open source involvement is welcome as long as it doesn’t inhibit the future development of ITSM tools – especially given the challenges I touched on previously. Some ITSM vendors have a wealth of experience, so any open source effort would have a lot of catching up to do. Perhaps we should start by having an open standard for ITSM interfaces. This would enable open source projects and established vendors to compliment each other, allowing businesses to leverage existing investments at the same time as using new solutions for some of the challenges around Web 2.0, service automation and virtualization.

During ITIL’s history, the vendor sector of the ITSM industry has played a somewhat indirect role in providing expertise that supports the concepts and practices of ITIL. Now that ITIL is widely adopted in a global marketplace should the vendor community play more of a direct role in the development of ITIL practices? If so, how would you suggest this should happen?

Colin Rudd: The role of the vendor sector within the development of ITIL has  changed significantly since the earliest version of ITIL was developed in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. The vendors had little input to the development of the material within ITIL version 1 which was initially created largely by individuals working within the UK government’s Central Computers and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA). The guidance in version 1 was principally produced for UK government, but rapidly became accepted and used in the private sector as well. Vendor organizations had more involvement and input into the development of both versions 2 and 3 of ITIL which were completed by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) the now current owners of ITIL. It is important that all of the different “stakeholders” are involved in the development of ITIL, with no particular area dominating. Extreme care was taken during the development of ITIL v3 to include and consult with all of these “stakeholder” groups to ensure that all of the differing views were considered. This contributes to and greatly enhances the quality of the material produced. This process should continue with all future developments of ITIL.

David Butcher: ITIL is respected partly because it isn’t aligned to a tools vendor or solution. Most established ITSM tools vendors have consulting divisions with deep ITIL knowledge, as this knowledge is essential to get maximum value from any toolset. Whereas previously ITIL processes could still deliver value with a high percentage of manual effort, we are now entering a period when the tools are essential to enabling the benefits. For this reason I believe vendors need to play an increasing role in helping to shape ITIL to both address and exploit new technologies.

Ken Turbitt: Yes they should. The vendors actually have quite a unique position, in that they also represent the needs of the consumers. They have many clients in different sectors with differing levels of maturity and requirements. The vendors collate all this and use it in their large budgeted R&D units to create what the industry is asking for and often with the innovation to take things further. The vendors often need to interpret what is said within ITIL to enable them to automate it in a way consumers will be able to utilize in the “real-world”, and in a standard repeatable manner. V3 was catching up with the market, this often being driven by consumers demanding vendors create solutions to solve business problems. With all this goodwill and knowledge it would be foolish not to take into account the vendors’ wisdom in moving Service Management forward. After all, it was one major vendor that brought BSM to the marketplace, and now it’s seen as a best practice in its own right. The ITIL community should tap into this. How can it do done? Not sure, but some formal process needs to be set up and managed and be seen as independent to protect the vendors and the consumers alike. itSMF is very vendor-funded and ITIL, whilst owned by the Crown, is also heavily vendor-funded in its marketing and so perhaps neither are the correct forums for this. It appears that APMG and the TSO are intending to manage this to some extent within the new ITIL complementary portfolio, however unless it has an open and transparent publicly-elected body to manage it, my view is it would fail, both consumers and vendors would be suspicious of the process and management. Perhaps an independent consultancy organization could facilitate, provided the process was open and publicized.

Majid Iqbal: Yes they should. Some of the most knowledgeable people I know in the ITSM world work for vendors, small and large. Besides, vendors are able to contribute resources for the development of the ITIL community in a way that other organizations, including the OGC, simply cannot. Some vendors have overplayed their hand in trying to influence agendas and outcomes. Others have been too aggressive with their sales pitch. The resulting bias and cynicism is understandable. However, we must be careful not to go too far with that. Conflicts of interests need to be managed so vendors can be more directly involved in development of ITIL. Vendors contribute to the diversity of experience, interests, and resources that ensures that the ITSM community will grow and mature through various economic conditions and across geographical boundaries. They provide stability on those fronts because of their long-term commercial interests in ITSM and ITIL. There are benefits from the industry research and analysis they conduct and support. The ITSM community really lags behind in research and development, intellectual discourse, and debate that can energize growth and maturity. At conferences, it would also be nice to see vendors contribute the time of their subject matter experts at least as much as their marketing staff.

Shirley Lacy: The vendor community has made a significant contribution to the adoption of ITIL over the years. It is important to encourage this whilst maintaining vendor independence. I would like to see vendors contributing to the development of the complementary guidance, especially in the form of case studies and innovative ITSM ideas and approaches. Vendors also need to have a significant role in the development of Open Source standards.

Paul Gostick: Expertise, thought leadership, and refinement of current practices are all required to advance the state of the art in IT practices. If those qualities are present in the vendor community, then it is certainly appropriate for those vendors to play a direct role in the development of ITIL practices. Appropriate peer review of those practices should be implemented to compensate for vendor “railroading” self-serving changes in standards.

What emerging ITSM industry trends do you see and does v3 support them?

Paul Gostick: There is a  lot of focus at the moment around the concept of configuration management databases (CMDBs) and this seems to have been caused by it being one of the last elements adopted by some of the more mature ITIL ‘ shops ’.

Shirley Lacy: ITIL v3 supports many of the emerging industry trends such as globalization, different service provider models, service oriented architectures and the convergence of business processes, virtualization and service management. ITIL v3 recognizes the changing dynamics of organizations, and their need to continually adapt. Many organizations are facing major business transformation supported by new IT services. The service lifecycle approach supports these programmes by ensuring projects deliver well-designed service solutions that can be effectively and smoothly transitioned into service operations.

Colin Rudd:  Some of the key emerging trends within the IT Service Management industry are:
• Governance: the increases in demand for corporate governance have placed greater demands on IT Service Management for improved control and accountability
• Complexity: IT systems, technology, sourcing and relationships are becoming ever more complex, placing greater demand for more effective management systems
• Business value: businesses are becoming even more dependent upon IT services and demanding demonstrably better value from their IT services and systems
• Agility: the rate of change is increasing all the time and the business requires even shorter “time to market”.  All of this creates increased demand for IT to provide both stability and agility
• Business alignment: increasingly businesses require IT to be more aware of aligned to their requirements and needs
• Integration: with all of the above demands IT needs to become more effective and efficient with “joined up”, integrated and automated management practices and processes

As well as being some of the key trends within the industry these were some of the key principles behind the development of ITIL version 3. So ITIL is inherently aligned with the demands being placed upon today’s IT service provider organisations.

Michael Nieves: One of the key Service Management ideas of the past few years, and adopted by v3, is the mandate to understand what the customer is trying to achieve. Focus on facilitating the customer’s desired outcomes as opposed to customer requirements, customer satisfaction or even customer delight.This shift in perspective sets into motion a virtuous cycle benefiting both customer and IT provider. On the other hand, without an understanding of customer outcomes, any discussion about customer requirements or customer value would be futile. It is not sufficient to deliver to a set specification; a provider should establish how the customer genuinely needs its services.

Ken Turbitt: For this one I’ll cheat! Looking at the Gartner Hype Cycle for IT Operations Management, issued in June 2007, many of the up-and-coming products are indeed catered for in v3. Things like IT Service Catalogue, IT Service Portfolio Management, IT Workload Automation, Application Management, IT Service Dependency mapping. All of these are on the way up the Hype Cycle and with many vendors releasing products to cater for them, are now covered in v3. Obviously v3 could not cover everything, hence the need for the complimentary portfolio, but things like Run-book automation and application transaction profiling are entering the market and not really covered in v3. However overall, bearing in mind it took 3 years to revise, they have covered most of the trends. Perhaps more guidance on some elements like virtualization would have helped. So, opportunity for the complementary elements.

David Butcher: We see pressures from many areas, demanding more from the traditional ITSM model - management of virtualized environments, self-service and automation need light, tightly-integrated processes. Such things as automated management of exceptions are already putting pressure on the ITIL framework to streamline and merge processes.  Within BT, convergence is driving the delivery of increasingly complex services. For example, new offerings to home users have combined services from mobile, landline, broadband and television; and at the enterprise level many of our customers demand services that seamlessly combine network and infrastructure capabilities.  The always present pressures of time-to-market, forces processes to execute more quickly, hand-offs to be smoother, and services viewed and managed end-to-end. The emergence of Web2.0 is shifting the focus towards customers who can use our services and capabilities to create their own. We don’t necessarily know how their services work or who is consuming them.  Given these challenges, comprehensive knowledge of our service designs and operating environment is paramount. ITILv3 supports this with such things as its emphasis on service strategy, the rigorous design of all elements of a service, E2E service lifecycle management, and change management and continual improvement of all aspects of the lifecycle and supporting processes.

Majid Iqbal: IT organizations will face greater pressure to behave like just another part of the business. This means more responsibility, greater expectations, and far less tolerance of failure. ITIL v3 provides guidance on setting up and operating IT organizations like an internal business unit. There is guidance on strategy, marketing, finance and operations. There is guidance in v3 on how to define and develop internal markets, strategic assets and a portfolio of services. The v3 requirement on defining services in terms of business outcomes, customer assets, and utility models prepares IT organizations for the trend towards the commoditization of IT services. Business models and strategies have become more dynamic and demanding on IT in terms of the complexity and uncertainty in the business environment. There are more ways in which customers interact and participate in a value-network through a variety of sourcing arrangements and contracts. This requires greater visibility and control over costs and risks, which in turn requires improved management of knowledge and other assets. New v3 guidance on how to manage assets, components, configurations, costs, designs, and operational activities will be useful to promote faster but less risky implementation of new and changed services.

In the past, ITIL has enjoyed  an operationally focused audience. v3 introduces practice areas of strategy and design into the core guidance. Is it important for operational areas of an organization like the Service Desk and Network Operations to understand strategy and design? Why or why not?

Paul Gostick: Today business is dependent on IT for competitive advantage and in my opinion the two are inseparable. IT does not stand in isolation but is there to provide the technology platform and business services to deliver that competitive advantage and business success. It is therefore implicit that IT management must understand the business strategy to ensure that they can deliver and operate an IT infrastructure that meets the business’ needs. Whilst it would be inappropriate for everyone to be involved in strategic analysis, everyone should understand how they contribute to the overall success of the business.

Majid Iqbal: Today’s CIO is increasingly expected to advise and participate at the Board level. However, the higher expectations of the Chief Executive and the Board cannot be met when the rank and file cannot understand the tone at the top. The entire IT organization will not be dragged into strategic analysis, planning and positioning. However, managers and staff at all levels should be required to think at higher levels of abstraction to understand the larger context in which they operate. This allows them to not only more effectively contribute towards goals and objectives, but also to identify opportunities and risks that are not visible to senior management. There needs to be visualization of cause-and-effect relationships linking operations with strategy and everything in between. How else can we expect continual improvement and innovation from the bottom-up? Just think of innovation in other sectors such as manufacturing systems, distribution and logistics. There are many instances where interesting patterns in action have emerged from operations. This has allowed organizations to codify those patterns, reuse and develop them further to become the basis for what is called emergent strategy. This will happen when operations staff have a systemic view of the business and the capacity for abstract thought.

Ken Turbitt: Yes. No man is an island, and so all areas of IT need to understand what they are doing, and why they are doing it. How the business will be impacted for good or bad, and start thinking less about the bits and bytes and more about the impact on and value to the business. If everyone in IT knows the strategy, and designs, changes and enhances their services based on those goals and objectives, the business will benefit in many ways. This can only be good for all concerned.

David Butcher :  ITIL has broken out of the operations area, and is increasingly visible at senior exec level, forcing all aspects of a service’s strategy to be known to those who are accountable for delivering it.   IT service strategy cannot be separated from an organization’s business strategy, which defines it’s future shape and operation, and has IT needs for tomorrow that must be built today. The Service Strategies module helps the IT organization to think in terms of business strategy, and helps business strategists to think of the IT dimension of strategy.  Understanding the design is essential for the smooth running of services – keeping performance and availability within agreed levels.  Understanding  the design and placing strict control around its change management  allows operations groups to  accurately assess the impact of future changes, more easily spot problem trends, and communicate efficiently to those effected by incidents at the same time as resolving them more quickly.  Given the differentiation of the design and operate functions in ITILv3, which has its parallel in the new BT organization, the availability of designs, and the awareness of service strategy are essential as a service passes through its lifecycle, often with various global groups contributing their expertise.

Colin Rudd: If IT Service Management is to deliver true benefit and value to an organization, all of the constituent processes must form a single integrated set of processes or management system. It is extremely important that operational areas such as the Service Desk and Network Operations are involved in all stages of the lifecycle as part of that integrated management system. All too often services and solutions are designed without any thought of how the system is going to be measured, managed, supported and improved. This often requires much unnecessary subsequent “rework” activity to overcome these avoidable limitations. Also, many of the Service Management processes have essential elements distributed within all stages of the lifecycle. It is essential that if the processes are to work effectively there is continuity and consistency within all the elements of each process and that elements are “joined up” to provide end-to-end operation of each process throughout the lifecycle, without allowing “silos” to develop in any one stage. 

Michael Nieves: It is not really necessary for operational areas of the organization to become experts in strategy or design. It is necessary, however, for someone in the IT organization to understand service strategy and design. The operational audience has made great strides in advancing to service-oriented operations. But they cannot do it alone. The rest of the organization must also think and act in service-oriented terms.  Some do so operationally, others through strategy and design.

Shirley Lacy: The Service Desk and Network Operations know about their ways of working. It is important they contribute to the development of the service strategy and to the service design and the service management system to ensure their operational needs for new and changed services are addressed. This needs to be planned early rather than reactively just before a release into production. Early involvement helps to ensure that their operational needs are considered and implemented cost effectively. The service transition will also be far smoother.

Many organizations look for “quick wins” when implementing ITIL. What quick wins would you suggest are possible for those implementing v3?

David Butcher: The type of quick win depends on the needs of the organization and customer, largely based on the on the maturity of an organization and its willingness to change.  Before you can identify quick-wins you need to understand your customer and the types of services they demand. Align your service strategy and understand your ability to deliver it by baselining your capabilities - People, Process and tools - then determine and prioritize the quick-wins. Documenting your services and their configuration should be high on the list of any organization’s quick-wins, although even here you need to understand what’s going to be the most cost effective way of contributing to improved customer service. But quick-wins alone won’t generate the momentum you need to transform an organization, so start with senior engagement and buy-in, and ensure this includes stakeholders from across all aspects of the service lifecycle.

Shirley Lacy: Many organizations will still begin by implementing incident management but they should also look at self-service options,  request fulfillment and event management together with problem management. Organizations can achieve ‘quick wins’ in the change management process by adopting different change models to optimize the approval and administrative activities. Implementing basic control of the service assets and verifying configuration baselines before and after a change will reduce failed and unauthorized change. This can deliver significant reductions in incidents caused by change. An organization that is facing a major change through projects can gain benefits by adopting the service lifecycle practices in ITIL v3 as all new projects start. This will help to ensure that all aspects of a new service are considered, costed and the associated risks managed. 

Paul Gostick: Start with the basics and build toward a framework for continuous improvement. You can shorten your learning curve by reading. Consider the practices outlined in the IT Process Institute’s (ITPI) Visible Ops Handbook – the playbook modeled after the practices of high-performing IT organisations.

Michael Nieves: Seeking easy and “quick wins” is understandable but care must be taken. Practice shows that quick or obvious wins often have long term effects – not all good. This is not a show-stopper as long as these effects are understood and managed. Take Incident Management (IM), for example. IM is often positioned as a “quick win” because it typically demonstrates early and visible benefits. But if an organization stops there, neglecting Problem Management for instance, those quick returns are often given back. Further complicating matters is the fact that no two organizations are identical; they are intrinsically different. There really are no universal “quick wins.” Instead, I would suggest organizations begin with an ITIL-based assessment or diagnostic. In other words, seek a “quick win” in the form of a detailed roadmap generated within their org-specific context. Organisational leaders are better guided to appropriate and sustainable “quick wins.” 

Colin Rudd: Using the guidance within ITIL there are many opportunities to gain “quick wins” within a Service Management implementation. However, care should be exercised to ensure the path taken to deliver any “quick wins” is a path consistent with the long term goals and objectives of the overall implementation project or programme.  “Quick wins” are important for any implementation project to demonstrate early benefits and returns on investment, and stimulate management commitment and further investment. Some of the quick wins that have delivered significant benefit to organizations include:

• Reduction in the overall cost of software from improved software asset management
• Increased availability and performance of services, through improved monitoring, measurement and management
• Better relationships and improved satisfaction with customers and use of IT services
• Cost savings and improved performance from suppliers and contracts
• Increased success rate with regard to changes and projects

These are just some of the benefits that have all demonstrated increased business value from IT service provider organisations.

Majid Iqbal: If an organisation has already implemented processes such as Incident, Problem, Change, Configuration and Release then a “quick win” in terms of v3 would be logically cluster, integrate and define them as discrete capabilities. This will allow these processes to be better leveraged as process assets across services, customers and portfolios. Resource allocation and knowledge sharing would improve. It would be easier to justify investments and measure returns.
Another “quick win” is less obvious at first. Systematically define services in terms of business outcomes they support; customer assets they interact with; their structure in terms of deployable assets and configurations; and their dynamics in terms of coordination, control and execution. Parsing a service definition should make it immediately clear exactly how, and in what context, value is being created for customers. This will bring immediate dividends across the Service Lifecycle because such service definitions can be readily decomposed into a coordinated set of capabilities, resources, plans and activities. There will be improved visibility and control over everything from costs, impacts, and performance to conflicts, constraints and opportunities for consolidation or reuse. A third “quick win” would be to implement tools that help analyze events, patterns and trends across the various functions and processes. Why? ITIL v3 also offers a conceptual framework  which you can use to uncover not only hidden costs and risks, but also new opportunities for creating value.

Ken Turbitt: The IT Process Institute created a valuable book named Visible Ops, and its four-phased approach to ITIL. This still applies with v2; Phase 1 is Stabilize the patient. Once we have the services we deliver under control, we can then start seriously to implement ITIL v3 for the benefit of the business. The same “quick wins” will be available with v3 as they were with v2, focus on the areas causing most pain to the business and address them. If that is Incident and Problem Management, or Change, Release and Deployment Management, start there. It would also be helpful to work on the service catalogue and Request Fulfillment too. RF will take away a lot of the “noise” from the Incident Management process and tasks, ensuring the resources are focused on restoring service. The Service Catalogue will become your foundation to understand what you deliver, and how, which will make the transformation to v3 and BSM much easier.  The most obvious though is education and ensuring all that is done within IT is done with the business value in mind. There should be no such thing as IT Services, it should be Business Services supported by IT. 


John Ward Email to a colleague | Add to MY ITP

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