ITIL 4 – recognizing a range of best methods

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Rafal StanczakHaving a background in Agile-focused learning, certification and roles for more than 12 years, I previously had less interest in ITIL®.

So, you might wonder why I’m now certified in ITIL 4.

I’d had some ITIL training and learning at university and there were elements I liked: the workflow of ITIL processes such as release, problem and knowledge management and the RACI Matrix.

But, many other people around me working with Agile methods saw ITIL as an “opposite” approach to what they were doing.

Why ITIL 4?

I think it’s important to follow the market, which is what brought me to ITIL 4; a certification now operating with a clear recognition of other methods and incorporating best practices from a variety of frameworks.

Switching from processes to practices in ITIL 4 is, I believe, a significant change as well as the importance it places on recognizing and responding to organization culture and a rapidly changing world.

It addresses the key challenge facing organizations of closing the gap between “the business” and “IT” because without collaboration between these functions it’s very difficult to co-create value.

From my viewpoint as a Scrum Master and Agile project manager, this latest evolution in the ITIL framework takes a more iterative and incremental approach to complex projects in organizations. It has adopted an Agile way of thinking and the ability to create new ideas, tasks and prototypes – and allows IT people to act more effectively in response to business requirements.

ITIL 4 provides guidance on building teams, having responsible people, planning the work iteratively and reviewing the results – something that supports, for example, a DevOps approach to bringing developers and testers closer to operations.

It fosters the importance of continuous process improvement which can lead to increasing quality, higher efficiency and happier people following the motto: Work smarter, not harder.

Supporting the organization

I think ITIL 4 has completely changed its value proposition for Agile/DevOps practitioners as well as supporting Lean thinking and user experience. And, as an open framework, it allows professionals to choose what they use from the guidance.

For organizations supported by service management and development, it’s crucial to get the best results for the customer, based on a combination of software and service. Therefore, ITIL 4 is a holistic approach covering software developers building new products along with the service desk and service managers who care about the customer experience, feedback and user satisfaction.

In my case, I’ll be using ITIL 4 to establish a backlog where everyone working with the service desk will be able to suggest iterations and process improvements; it’s an opportunity to hear different points of view, strengthen the continuous improvement programme and create even more ideas.

And by collecting and responding to customer feedback on a regular basis, the aim is to improve the perception among clients about the service levels they can expect.

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