Recently, I have been lucky enough to attend some excellent events in the IT service management (ITSM) space. I have noticed some reoccurring themes running through the presentations and networking discussions, which was affirmed by the talks I attended at Pink17.
There are currently many different methods and practices vying for the attention of the ITSM professional. It is sometimes hard to know where to turn. Should your service management team adopt agile methodologies, DevOps methods, or lean practices? Can they help you improve your communication and collaboration with other teams, allow for the quicker delivery of projects, or enhance ITSM’s position in the business?
How can we ensure you are working effectively with other teams?
It is has long been known that operations and development teams do not communicate as much as they should, which was one of reasons for the emergence of the DevOps movement. Sometimes the IT department is perceived as being separate from the rest of the organization, with little interest in the company objectives, plans and goals.
Effective communication is covered in depth in the ITIL® Practitioner Guidance. There is a chapter on how to choose the right form of communication for the occasion, plus three of the nine ITIL Practitioner guiding principles specifically focus on collaboration, working holistically within the organization, and transparency.
How can we keep up with increasing demand?
There is a growing expectation for IT teams to deliver high quality services at a faster and faster rate. This explains the popularity of DevOps and agile, which not only encourage collaboration but also allow for faster software releases through which the business can respond promptly to changing customer requirements.
ITIL Practitioner encourages an iterative approach, delivering smaller outputs at a faster rate. There is a focus on CSI (Continual Service Improvement) and the need to monitor work and work processes on a continuous basis to ensure they are aligned with the overall business goals, which is similar to the DevOps practices of experimentation, learning and feedback
DevOps on its own cannot function without the necessary structure and support to back it up, as Kaimar Karu explained in our recent guidance paper, and Troy DuMoulin stated at Pink17: “You can’t do DevOps without ITIL”. This was reiterated by Ritu Mahandru in his recent piece in IT Pro Portal; ignoring the bigger picture and blindly deploying code without considering what is best for the long term can cause difficulties within any digital transformation.
Ritu also states that “agile and DevOps practices are far more successful when they are used in unison”. ITIL Practitioner can be of benefit by helping to measure business impact, encouraging the removal of silos, and encouraging practitioners to get closer to their customers.
It is more important than ever for service management teams to deliver value. ITIL Practitioner helps teams to understand what their customers perceive as valuable by encouraging them to observe directly and to think carefully about what to measure and communicate.
How can we make sure that ITSM is seen as a valued stakeholder?
ITSM is not the shiny new thing anymore but the ITSM team still needs to have a significant presence within the business. Cathy Kirch (itSMF USA) stated at her Pink17 presentation, ITSM must “demand its seat at the table”. The need for a well-structured and functional service management team has not disappeared but, in some cases, the team is not seen to warrant the business prominence that it used to get. It is up to ITSM teams to demonstrate to the organization the value of the projects they are running, and to make use of effective marketing and branding to ensure their hard work does not go unnoticed.
So how can ITIL Practitioner help with this? Firstly ITIL Practitioner deals directly with the fundamentals of organizational change management. This means ITIL Practitioner can be a support attaining the buy-in for your projects. Secondly, measurements and metrics are fundamental to proving the success and relevance of your projects. ITIL Practitioner can help you work out what should be tracked and importantly, what shouldn’t be tracked. The guiding principles of Collaborate, Work Holistically and Focus on Value can help ensure your projects achieve visibility within the business.
See our 9 Guiding Principles and ITIL Practitioner sections for more information.
Read Clare's previous AXELOS blog post, How is ITIL® Practitioner relevant in a DevOps world? The 9 Guiding Principles and the Three Ways
Read related AXELOS blog posts
ITSM: rationalizing processes with tooling requirements
How to develop applications with ITIL®, DevOps and agile methods
ITIL® and DevOps - arch-enemies or complementary models?
Why problem management in an agile environment is key in 2017