ITIL Intermediate: Release, control, validation – many happy releases

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The major reason I think ITIL® practitioners should be looking at the Intermediate module – Release, Control and Validation – is summarized in one word: DevOps.

DevOps has become the latest way to describe collaboration, agile, and leaner enterprise working but ITIL’s Release, Control and Validation (RCV) approach contains many of the procedural elements of DevOps’ continuous integration, continuous delivery and value streams.

So, for the ITIL professional, it’s important to understand where the touchpoints are.

Software development utilizing practices such as DevOps and Agile talks about release, control and versioning to understand what’s being released – all of which touch on ITIL’s Service Transition part of the service lifecycle, which is the core of RCV and addresses some crucial areas:

Going deeper with RCV

RCV describes a journey in which Release focuses on the infrastructure, software and associated documentation; Control is about which controls you need around the release and Validation is testing to ensure your release does the job intended.

Using this approach is the educated choice for planning, testing and implementing new services. Simply put, it works, delivers results and provides guidance on how to do releases in a way that DevOps and Agile don’t tell you.

Before unleashing a piece of software on the world, you need to understand what it’s doing; so ITIL v3 Intermediate modules provide important elements that are still relevant in our more automated world, such as evidence of controls to prove to auditors, having the right infrastructure, documentation, knowledge – these are still the building blocks to get the maximum benefit from IT.

Moreover, the way the IT world is progressing with modern product and platform teams means there needs to be greater understanding of the end-to-end journey: formerly, the end-to-end done by different functions in an organization, all doing their bit and often taking months.

Now, automation is happening within hours and minutes so people need to understand the whole journey, from writing software through to delivery. RCV covers a lot of the underlying process and best practice to support that journey.

Evaluating change and managing knowledge

The Agile world is all about short sprints and iteration; something that is now reflected in ITIL 4 with the Guiding Principle of progress iteratively with feedback.

Within this environment, evaluation is intrinsic. So, rather than building a monolithic application and releasing it with mixed results among customers, a constant feedback loop is vital. However, the feedback is only as useful as the action you decide to take.

Therefore, ITIL’s RCV module is absolutely key to understanding the role evaluation and knowledge management plays in achieving effective software releases in an organization.

And you are likely to encounter many of the concepts contained in RCV in a host of DevOps/Agile work, which makes this ITIL Intermediate course valid and valuable today.

Read the Release, Control and Validation Intermediate Capability Handbook to learn more about the content of this ITIL module.

Read more Blog Posts in our series covering the ITIL Intermediate modules

ITIL Intermediate v3: Service Design – enabling value creation

ITIL Intermediate – Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA)

ITIL Intermediate: a pathway to ITIL 4 – Continual Service Improvement

Read more AXELOS blogs by Barry Corless

Built on ITIL: ITIL – the tool that just keeps giving

More than meets the I: How ITIL makes a difference in Mergers and Acquisitions activity

Why problem management in an agile environment is key in 2017

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Using ITIL® Practitioner to solve challenges of ITSM

CX = BRM + SLM?


The content of ITIL v3 Intermediate modules is key for professionals working in ITSM today due to the essential knowledge they contain, creating increased understanding and the ability to handle immediate work challenges more effectively.

Also ITIL-certified practitioners wanting to gain accreditation in the new ITIL 4 guidance can get a helping hand from the existing v3 credit system. By obtaining 17 credits from any combination of the ITIL Intermediate modules or ITIL Practitioner you can take the new Transition Module to achieve ITIL 4 Managing Professional. More information about ITIL 4 Managing Professional will be released throughout the second half of 2019.

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Read the Release, Control and Validation Intermediate Capability Handbook to learn more about the content of the Intermediate module.

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