The trigger for changing service management in Australia has been the shift in the latest version of ITIL®.
ITIL 4’s focus on recognized value and digital strategy now enables us to show business that it needs IT on the board to make the best strategic decisions. This is not IT waiting to be told what to do but acting as instigators for driving and meeting business objectives.
It’s also about removing barriers to career advancement, so IT professionals are not treated solely as operations people but as key stakeholders.
While organizations are only just waking up to this, it’s down to people like me to show them how service management is a critical activity to the success of the business.
ITIL 4 – focusing on the right type of value
My family background is in hospitality and my father once told me that, when working as a waiter in a restaurant, you must be delivering value by enhancing your customers’ experience.
It doesn’t matter what problems are happening in the kitchen – when you come out to greet and take customers’ orders, you’re still smiling.
This is what I see in ITIL 4: it’s a focus on value but, also, perceived value. I tell my teams that in IT we do many things we think add value, but customers don’t always see it that way.
As a comparison, when buying a coffee, if the barista uses my name and remembers my usual order, that’s value. But, if they add a chocolate biscuit but don’t ask me if I like chocolate, I don’t recognize that as value.
Now, in the ITIL 4 framework, I see perceived value everywhere: progressing iteratively with feedback to understand what the customer sees as value.
Becoming an ITIL 4 Managing Professional and Strategic Leader
Achieving the ITIL 4 Managing Professional level has given me knowledge of approaches for dealing with a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environment, working at speed and with different stakeholders.
However, obtaining the ITIL 4 Strategic Leader designation is more about reaching another echelon in organizations. If you really want to be effective in service management, it goes beyond just managing operations to representing IT at the leadership level.
Today, I’m having different types of conversations with business leaders. For example, presenting ideas to the CIO about how the organization needs to improve; building on organizational strategy and talented people to ensure everyone is “singing the same tune”.
ITIL 4 and service management in Australia
Within IT there are many different frameworks and there’s only so much time for individuals to learn new things.
For this reason, it makes sense to bring people from different disciplines – and using various methods and frameworks – together with a common purpose; sharing the knowledge, learnings and different approaches we all have.
The idea of having different flavours of activity is very much part of ITIL 4 – now adding a taste of Lean, Agile and DevOps to the mix.