When a traditional IT organization evolves to achieve a higher velocity – delivering work more quickly and meeting the business demand for agility – it adopts new ways of working, such as DevOps.
This usually triggers organizational changes which might lead to multiple product teams operating without effective oversight control and coordination. Conversely, retained service management teams often operate in a more controllable, yet less flexible way. These may be the teams responsible for the legacy systems, infrastructure or management of third-party services.
Such a discrepancy in speed and management approaches is likely to cause issues with service quality, team collaboration and undermine the expected value from digital technology. Ultimately, the challenge is facilitating a way for DevOps and service management teams to collaborate rather than going in different directions.
The guidance in ITIL® 4 is now helping these discussions and providing the right language – which wasn’t there before – to do it. And what might surprise some people is the way even development teams are beginning to engage with ITIL 4.
Create, Deliver and Support – the IT/digital engine room
The ITIL 4 Create, Deliver and Support module (CDS) is focused on different ways of using service management and ITIL practices in different contexts.
The nuts and bolts for how to do service management are contained in CDS and are defined as a “practical and holistic approach to the creation/management of services: delivering innovative and reliable tech-enabled services to customers”. In other words, this is the ‘engine room’ of the IT and digital function.
But, most importantly, it helps to design, manage and improve end-to-end value streams, including those for development and delivery of new and changed products and services. The holistic value streams help to avoid over-focussing on only some parts of the product or service lifecycle. They enable the key guiding principles of ITIL: focus on value and think and work holistically.
Above all, the guidance is designed to support IT practitioners and leaders managing the operation of IT-enabled and digital products and services plus anyone responsible for delivery and assuring that services are delivered and supported according to agreed levels.
Putting people first
Buying new technology to solve your business problems is not, and has never been, a silver bullet.
Success is much more about communication skills and how people interact; having flexibility, perspective, looking at the whole picture and knowing how to join things together. These skills are highly relevant today but tend to be overlooked and underestimated.
Flexibility, I believe, comes from applying the ITIL guiding principles while perspective is about realizing you need to have knowledge beyond your current area of expertise; this involves collaboration with other teams through a toolkit of communication and engagement methods.
For the first time in ITIL, the importance of people, teams, culture and professionalism has a new level of attention. There are new ITIL practices focused on people (workforce and talent management, organizational change management, relationship management) and all Managing Professional publications address the people dimension of service management. These elements are integral to ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support (CDS) and are the starting point for the journey; so, don’t go any further until you accept that.
Among the essential skills and methods described in CDS, Shift Left and Swarming are especially useful for this. AXELOS has put together an infographic which explains the methods.
The CDS outcome
Organizations and professionals following the recommendations in the advanced ITIL 4 modules such as CDS will create a higher level of professionalism and a more integrated approach to product and service creation and delivery.
CDS is based on the best and emerging practices to help adopt a holistic, value-focused approach to service development and management and enable end-to-end value streams.
Also, the ITSM community will go on a journey to understanding Agile and DevOps ways of working and developing the ability to move more quickly into the new world of service management. CDS provides a broad spectrum of what they need to know and the tools to do it.
Want to find out more?
Visit AXELOS.com/essential-skills-for-the-digital-era-cds to find out more, including information about CDS, how you can find training or book and exam or purchase the Create, Deliver and Support publication.