An international team of architects (lead architect team) with a diverse background and extensive practical experience took part in the creation of ITIL 4. In particular, a team of experts (160+) and enthusiasts (2000+) was involved, and of course the AXELOS team accompanied and helped all the way.
ITIL 4 is the work result of several thousand people!
Basing on ITIL v4 PDF
version ebook, let us reveal the holistic approach to product and service management and dive deep into ITIL v4 practices. It identifies four dimensions that are critical to creating value for stakeholders, including customers.
Four dimensions of value creation
1. Organizations and people
The corporate culture should support the goals of the organization, as well as the appropriate level of human resources and competence.
2. Information and technology
In Service Value Stream, this refers to the information, knowledge, and technology that is needed to manage services.
3. Partners and suppliers
Suppliers and partners who are involved in the development, deployment, delivery, support and continuous improvement of services and their relationship with the organization.
4. Value streams and processes
How the processes work and how well the parts of the organization are coordinated.
For example: The practice of incident management includes its description structured around these 4 dimensions.
In order to effectively manage incidents, it is necessary:
- 1. Build a work flow (process). (4) value streams and processes
- 2. Determine what competencies are needed, how the organizational structure is arranged, how we ensure communication between participants. (1) organizations and people
- 3. Understand what information goes through this practice, where we get it from, what it consists of, how it is structured, what information objects we use, where and how we store information. It is also important for us to understand how to automate incident management activities: from application accounting systems to artificial intelligence that "treats" these incidents. (2) information and technology
- 4. Determine how we interact with partners and suppliers to resolve incidents, how we make seamless integration, how we exchange information, which competencies are brought out. (3) partners and suppliers
And so all 34 practices are considered.
Keep it simple and practical
The principle of using the minimum number of steps to achieve a goal is considered obvious, but it is often forgotten. If an action, process, service, or indicator does not give a useful result and does not add value, abandon them.
Example. The car rental application collects a lot of data, including information about the time it takes the user to fill out each form in the application to book a car. The study showed that this data is of little use, and the real value is the data on how long the entire booking process took.
As a result, developers, by removing the function of collecting optional data, simplify the application interface and increase the speed of its operation.
In the process of creating or optimizing an IT service, it is better to start with the simplest possible model, and then gradually add new elements, actions or indicators - if they are really necessary.
It also happens in another way: the new process is perceived by employees as an extra waste of time. However, this new stage is important on a corporate scale and indirectly affects the value of the service. Therefore, employees should have a holistic view of the work of the organization. Let individual teams or groups know how their work is influenced by others and how they themselves influence others.
Keep a balance between competing goals - the goals of management and the goals of performers. Let’s say the management wants to collect an array of data in order to make a strategic decision. Analysts believe that this process can be simplified, and the solution itself requires less information. And here you need to find a middle ground: get rid of everything that does not affect the final value.
Think and work holistically
A holistic approach to management is an understanding that the various activities of an organization are aimed at creating value.
No service or element used to provide a service is separate. To follow this approach and ensure consistently high results, try to perceive any process as part of the value chain and comprehensively consider the processes, resources and practices associated with it.
Three tips for applying a holistic approach
Be able to distinguish between complex and simple projects. Methods and rules that work in a simple system do not always work in a complex one, the components of which often change. The cooperation of stakeholders will help to solve problems holistically and without undue delay
Rely on knowledge in each area. This will help to determine what is really important, which relationships between the elements of the project affect the results. This way you can anticipate customer needs, set new standards and achieve a holistic approach.
If possible, automate the processes. Automation not only helps to facilitate work, but also makes the company’s processes transparent. It is a tool for integrated, holistic management.
Collaborate and promote visibility
Cooperation of departments is better than isolation. Here it is appropriate to recall an important condition of digital transformation — the need to get rid of the "silo" or "bunker" approach, when some department works as if in a vacuum: focused only on its tasks and unaware of the company’s values. This is often not the fault of the department, because its processes and interaction with other departments are limited.
Another component of the principle is transparency. The processes and results of the work should be visible and understandable to all participants. The more people know about what is happening in the project and why, the easier it will be to connect and help. When, for example, only a small group of employees know about the planned change, rumors and speculation appear. Silencing leads to the fact that the rest of the team resists, also behind the scenes.
Decide on the circle of stakeholders within the company. These can be developers, external and internal suppliers, analysts, CRM managers — all those who are somehow involved in creating the values of the organization.
Some participants may need to be involved in the project more deeply. Others may act as reviewers, consultants, or approvers. So, in software development, advanced companies involve several teams in cooperation at once: developers, testers, product owners, customers, users.
Optimize and automate
Automation tools and technologies help to perform repetitive, routine tasks, attracting people to solve complex solutions. However, automation should not be allowed for the sake of automation: sometimes human participation is necessary to assess the key stages of an automated process as a whole.
Before automating, processes need to be optimized - within reasonable limits, taking into account financial, technical and other limitations. ITIL
, Lean, DevOps
, Kanban and other practices are suitable for optimization.
An example of automation in IT is the use of the methodology of continuous integration and code delivery (CI/CD), when each change to the code is automatically tested at each stage of the build. But automation also implies a more traditional approach — for example, reducing the amount of paperwork in the service center through the introduction of biometric collection of customer personal data.
In addition to knowing the ITIL guidelines, it is important to understand that they are interrelated. For example, if a company strives to progress in an iterative approach and improves feedback, it should be done holistically so that each iteration implies achieving a specific result. The same is true with feedback: it is the key to cooperation, which allows you to improve the service, make it more convenient for the client and, as a result, increase its value.
When making any decisions, companies should be guided by a focus on value and other principles suitable for a specific scenario. The ITIL 4 guidelines are not commandments, but recommendations that can be adopted and adapted for themselves: in the end, they are all based on expediency and common sense.