Should ITIL die

ITIL 4 doesn't do the work for CIOs either

The concept of value streams in ITILITIL 4 (see also this article) is the biggest structural change in the ITIL framework and will replace the previous service lifecycle from ITIL V3. Organizations can develop agile-agile processes from a predefined set of building blocks, the so-called value creation activities. More than ever before, these are geared towards close cooperation with customers and are intended to increase efficiency during ongoing operations. Particular attention is paid to ensuring that added value is created jointly (co-creation). Everything about Agile on Everything about ITIL on

However, this new approach to flexible process design has a weakness: It is quite easy to take over existing processes of an organization and map them as an ITIL 4 value chain. However, if the transition to the new framework is not continued consistently, mapping and documenting the existing processes will only waste resources and will not make organizations more agile.

The ITIL 4 Foundation book does not yet contain any specific guidelines for agile value streams and practices such as change control and release management. So it is initially left to the process designers to develop a new, really agile way of working within the organization or to just map the existing processes one-to-one. The fact is: organizations can only benefit from the advantages of the more flexible value stream concept in ITIL 4 if the processes involved in introducing ITIL 4 are iterative and customer-oriented.

TIP: When it comes to modernization projects, CIOs should always keep in mind that agility only works as a holistic approach. You have to ensure that process designers not only use ITIL 4 as a formal template for existing processes, but also completely redefine their processes together with specialist and IT departments.

Don't manage agile processes with waterfall tools

The ITIL 4 Foundation book explains in detail the key factors for agile service management. This includes presenting work results as early as possible so that customer feedback can be implemented more quickly (improve). In this context, the visual representation of work progress according to Kanban is mentioned as an essential prerequisite for agile service processes.

Many ITSM tools for processing incidents and changes are designed according to the waterfall model. They are usually presented in tabular form and sorted according to priorities or target solution times. However, it is not immediately obvious which topic is in which process status and what needs to be done next. This makes working in teams more difficult, causes misunderstandings on the part of customers, creates additional need for discussion - and in the worst case can even jeopardize the success of the project.

Kanban views provide more transparency, promote cooperation between various stakeholders and make customer communication much easier. They guarantee a clear ranking of upcoming tasks, put topics with the same priority next to each other and create a good basis for agile teams through the resulting transparency. ITSM providers have recognized this and introduced Kanban views for incident management. Some tools even have visualization options for task management in the service desk and agile software development.

ITIL 4 basically creates a demand for tools that provide Kanban views for incident management, but also for change control, release management and service configuration management. The service management solutions should be adapted accordingly.

TIP: Managers should make sure that the tools used show project progress and weaknesses, improve teamwork and facilitate the rapid implementation of customer feedback. Only when this is consistently successful will service processes not only become ITIL 4 compatible, but actually more agile.