Friday, February 22, 2008

ITIL Version 3, A Revolution?

Excellent whitepaper on ITIL V3 authored by Quint Wellington Redwood Sr. Consultant, Georges A.P. Kemmerling. Georges adeptly describes several of the most interesting contrasts between ITIL V2 and V3.

The article is excerpted below:

I n t r o d u c t i o n
In May 2007 the
Office of Government Commerce (OGC) released the new version of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®). At the same time the APMG Group took over custodianship(certifying professionals and accrediting training organisations) from the Exam Institute (EXIN)and the Information Systems Examinations Board (ISEB) and the certification scheme changed completely.

Now, in January 2008, after delivering the first ITIL v3 Foundation trainings and after studying the materials, it is time to make up the balance.After 6 months we are beginning to get a better idea of this new version. Although the material probably constitutes a revolution in thinking, the question is whether it will revolutionize the market. In this white paper we will take a look at what is new, what is exiting, what is disappointing and how we can use this new version to our advantage?

In ITIL v2 the Service Management core components (Service Support and Service Delivery)focused on 11 best practice processes, including Security Management. ITIL v3 however adopts the perspective that managing processes is not the purpose of IT Service Management, but managing IT services through their lifecycle is. The familiar v2 processes are still there, but they now support the lifecycle phases; Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continuous Service Improvement. The old Support and Delivery grouping of service management processes (or core processes) is now obsolete. The familiar v2 service management processes contribute to the phases of the service life cycle.

The main body of the v2 processes is spread over the 4 core books; Strategy, Design, Transition and Service Operation. For example: Incident Management is in the Service Operation book, Change management is in the Service Transition book, Service Level Management is in the Service Design book and Financial management is in the Service Strategy book.

What is exciting?
The things that we appreciate in the new version are the service lifecycle concept, a better focus on Business-IT alignment, the Continual Service Improvement, and the introduction of IT Strategy and portfolio management.

What is disappointing?
For a project that started-out under the title of the ‘ITIL refresh project’, ITIL v3 has clearly gonebeyond its intended scope. How that happened is not clear. The selection of authors was done by tender and contributors had to base their offer on the scope in the tender. A downside of the tender was that bidders had to accept the chosen approach or else they couldn’t bid. This inadvertently caused a selection process that segmented the market; those who disagreed didn’t bid or weren’t selected. As a result you can see today that there are some major players who advocate ITIL v3 and there are some who want to develop their own open source version and link it to ISO 20.000. It is a pity to see the market so divided.

Qualification scheme
In the new qualification scheme the Foundation certificate is still the entry point to all higher qualifications but, as argued above, it is no longer a qualification for all IT personnel. In the old scheme after the Foundations test there was a choice between the Practitioner track, which was for professionals involved in managing or executing process activities and a Service Manager track for professionals involved in organizing all the service management processes. These two tracks provided different levels of training for different groups of professionals. They were means to a different end.

In general, with ITIL v3, our thinking has become more mature and our frameworks more elaborate, but also less accessible to people and organisations from less mature regions in Asia Major, Asia-Minor, South-America, Africa and Eastern Europe. And what about the IT organisations in the European market where ITIL v3 was developed? Will they be able to catchup?

How many of our IT organisations really serve businesses where IT is business-critical and costs are not the only thing to watch? Does it apply to governmental organizations, schools,hospitals? Time will tell!

About the author
Georges A.P. Kemmerling MBA is a senior consultant at Quint Wellington Redwood. He has been a management consultant since 1997. In the past ten years he has been involved in implementing ‘Best Practices’ such as ITIL, PRINCE2 and ISPL at customer organisations across Europe. He develops and delivers trainings and games. He also advises on management of change issues and coaches IT managers. In recent years he has written articles about market alignment of IT services and about management of change cases. In 1999 he took the initiative to cooperate with EXIN and itSMF to publish the ITIL introduction book ‘IT Service Management, an introduction’ which is now available in seven languages.

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