At the UK itSMF conference this month, somebody asked me “What do you think the ITSM community are looking forward to next from ITIL?” As I tried to answer this question I realized that we don’t really have an ITSM community with a shared set of objectives.
We have many different people with different goals and objectives, and we all want different things from ITIL. Over the last few years I have seen an increasing divergence between two distinct groups of ITIL users and I think it will become increasingly difficult for the ITIL we currently have to satisfy both groups.
We all want different things from ITIL
One group includes training organizations, exam institutes, tool vendors, and organizations that have made investments in developing ITIL related solutions. These organizations are looking for stability, so that they can realize some value from the large investments they have made in ITIL related products, services and solutions. There was a major release of ITIL in 2007 and a smaller release in 2011, and they really need time now to consolidate their work and extract value from it.
The second group includes organizations that are creating and adopting new ways of working to create increased value for themselves and their customers. Some of these are using DevOps and Agile to deliver very rapid rates of change for their customers, some are using complex multi-supplier relationships to create value, and some are adopting BYOD to increase productivity of their users. These people and organizations are looking for ITIL to release new material to support them, and tell me that although the underlying concepts in the core ITIL publications still apply to them, they need significant and frequent updates to provide guidance that is suitable for these rapidly changing environments.
We cannot support all needs with a single set of publications
I think that ITIL needs to support both of these groups, as well as all the other shades of opinion in between, but I don’t think we can support such disparate needs with a single set of best practice publications. The solution I propose is to create a new set of “ITIL Fast Track” publications. Let’s keep the core ITIL 2011 publications unchanged for a few years, so that organisations that need stability can extract value from their investments, but let’s also create new ITIL publications to support those on the leading edge. These ITIL Fast Track publications could be based on leading edge practices and what’s happening in the industry now, rather than on tried and tested best practices. They would not be intended for exams, but to provide guidance on how to apply great service management practice in a way that works with the latest practices from other sources.
We could produce ITIL Fast Track Service Strategy with ideas from COBIT5 and recent work on supplier integration and management, ITIL Fast Track Service Transition and Service Design with ideas from DevOps and Agile, ITIL Fast Track Service Operation with guidance on how to use Rob England’s Standard and Case
A chance to create new ‘best practice’
The really good thing about this solution is that in a few years’ time some of the material in the ITIL Fast Track publications would have been tried and tested by sufficient organizations that it would become best practice, and could be merged into the ITIL core in a future update.
So what do you think? Would you be interested in reading ITIL Fast Track publications, or do you just want to stick with the ITIL core?
(A Russian translation of this article is available on the itSMF Russia website here: http://www.itsmforum.ru/news/all_interest/2012_12_13)
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