Adopt ITIL® 4 practices to transform your IT and align it with your business goals
Last updated on October 21, 2021
ITIL® 4 Foundation is nearly a year old, and the second wave of Managing Professional guidance, books, and training modules are now being rolled out. These deliver various elements of practical learning and knowledge to support professionals so they can achieve success and deliver end-to-end value for their organizations.
The concept of a “value stream” is now central to ITIL, helping practitioners see all practices, tools, and ways of working. This highlights the integrated nature of practices and processes as being part of a value stream that meets a specific business or customer goal, and not simply individual siloed activities. A value stream to resolve an incident may involve a number of practices and processes—knowledge base articles, service levels, changes, problems, configurations, as well as management disciplines.
This webinar will focus on the practical application of ITIL 4 using value streams, and the various areas of professionalism that are now included as part of the ITIL 4 portfolio. This includes:
- Organizational structures
- Culture and teamwork
- Customer orientation
- Employee well-being
- Stakeholder management
- Communication skills
- Commercial awareness
- Market knowledge
Many of these areas have been used and understood as valuable for some time; these are now explicit in ITIL 4 as key elements of success.
What's inside the video
- About Barclay Rae
- ITIL 4 overview
- ITIL 4 key benefits
- ITIL 4 qualification scheme
- 7 practical ITIL 4 tips
- Use the guiding principles
- Engage with your users/customers
- Map your services - build value streams
- Review and rebuild your service model
- Review continuity
- Think "end-to-end" across the organisation
- Identify and automate blockers
- ITIL 4 - Tips summary
- Questions and Answers
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Ashwin: Hi attendees, good noon! Thank you for signing up for this webinar and welcome to this webinar. Before I start, I hope all of you are joining us in this webinar from the safety of your homes. Please stay indoors, stay safe, and stay healthy.
My name is Ashwin and I work with ManageEngine, the sponsor of this webinar. Welcome once again to this webinar, "practical ITIL 4 tips for service professionals" by Barclay Rae. I think Barclay is a person who needs no introduction in the ITSM community with over 25 years, if I'm not wrong, 25 years of experience in the ITSM area and being co-author in the new upcoming ITIL 4. I think Barclay is the best person to talk about ITIL 4 and to deliver us more insights on ITIL 4.
So thank you, Barclay, for taking your time and to share your insights and share practical tips on ITIL 4 for all of us. Now, as every other attendee in this webinar, I'm really eager to learn a lot on ITIL 4 from you. So, before I let Barclay take over, let me just take a quick few minutes to introduce who we are, who ManageEngine is.
So for people who are not aware, ManageEngine is the enterprise IT management division of Zoho corp, and ManageEngine makes about a dozen applications in the IT management spectrum of application. So we start with Active Directory management tools, unified endpoint monitoring tools, network monitoring, application monitoring, IT service management software, enterprise password management tools, business intelligence software, and a lot of other software in the IT management spectrum. If you need to know more about our products or offerings and a lot more about our company, ManageEngine, please visit our website manageengine.com.
ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus
And ManageEngine's flagship product is our IT service management application called ServiceDesk Plus. And ServiceDesk Plus is a complete ITSM suite with all your recommended processes starting with incident management, problem change, service catalog, asset management, CMDB, built-in reporting, and all that.
And one major benefit that ServiceDesk Plus has been a part of ManageEngine's portfolio is that we have a lot of native integrations with the other IT management applications from ManageEngine to integrate with endpoint management solutions for ManageEngine. We integrate with enterprise password management tools from ManageEngine. Same with network monitoring, application monitoring and so on. Again, if you want to read more about ServiceDesk Plus, please visit our website servicedeskplus.com.
And without any further ado, let me just pass it on to Barclay Rae to start the webinar on ITIL 4. Just give me a couple of minutes while I transfer the control of the webinar to Barclay, and then we should get started on that.
7 practical ITIL 4 tips for service professionals
Thank you very much, Ashwin. Hello, everybody. Can you hear me okay? That should be us over now with my screen. Thank you for the introduction. I'm very delighted to be speaking to you all today. It is a very strange time we live in, challenging time, dangerous time. And I think, as mentioned, I'm assuming that most of you are tuning in from home or certainly in some place where you're safe.
What I'm going to talk through in the next sort of 30, 40 minutes is just to give you a flavor of a number of aspects of ITIL 4. And ITIL 4 has been a major redesign, redefinition, rework of what we've known and loved in ITIL for many years. That's taking place over the last few years. The foundation book was launched just over a year ago. And we now have the next series of books published, the managing professional books and the associated training courses. So we're really into the kind of second wave of it.
For those of you who maybe don't know much about ITIL 4 or want to know a little bit more of what it really means, I'm going to try and bridge both of those by giving you a little bit of insight into the managing professional content, as well as the main aspects of ITIL 4. And doing that in a way that really gives you some practical guidance. So it really does mean what we've seen there, seven practical ITIL 4 tips that you can start and take away and start working on today, tomorrow, whenever you have the opportunity. So thank you to ManageEngine for organizing, sponsoring this, and it's also in conjunction with itSMF UK.
About Barclay Rae
So, that's a little bit about me, I'm not going to dwell on that, but I have been involved in the industry in a number of different ways with itSMF, with AXELOS, with ITIL, with SDI, the Service Desk Institute, and a number of other organizations and brands, working mostly though, really, as a consultant since 1994, so it's 25 years plus that I've been out there doing this kind of work with lots of different types of organizations and lots of different challenges.
And in the ITIL 4 world, I was on the architect team on the foundation book. And I have been the lead editor on the one of the second string books, the Create, Deliver, Support book. I'll come on to that in a second.
And this is what I'll be covering a little bit about, what ITIL 4 is in the program, where we are with the training, etc. And then the main part will be the seven practical tips. Now you can also submit questions online through the GoToWebinar interface, and we'll be taking questions at the end and we'll have time just to squeeze in a few of those, so look forward to that. So let's press the start button and go.
And before we go too far, I think it's important. This is one of the things that's been a big challenge that we've really been trying to fix with ITIL 4, which is the idea that you go on a training course, or you read a book, or you buy a tool, all these things that are all great, they all do work, they're all valuable for you. But you have to use them in context. And I think that's probably the biggest challenge that we've had over the last few years with the way ITIL was seen and the way it has been used and the way it has been thought of in the industry. It's a long time actually, a number of years since the last big version of ITIL.
And in the intervening time we've had Agile and DevOps and Lean, and all those things coming along, going, "Oh, we don't need to do these things." So strict play, "We need to do things more quickly. We need to be more clever. And we need to do things in a different way." And that's all right. I totally agree with all that.
What it's done, though, is it's driven a little bit of a wedge between what people think of as IT service management, and then obviously, things like DevOps. And actually, the two things work very well together.
So we've recognized that and I think what we've tried to build in ITIL 4 is a consolidated, collaborated approach that does include elements of Agile, it does include elements of DevOps, and Lean and many, many other ways of doing things. And I will mention the books a little bit later, but, you know, there's a lot of forward thinking and we've always thought about best practice as being, "This is what organizations have done to be successful." And that's absolutely right.
We've also gone a little bit further this time with ITIL 4 and said, "Look, let's look forward. Let's look at the future, let's actually think about what we need to be doing in the new world." Not forgetting all the good stuff that we've done over the years, but going forward as well.
But really, you know, every framework, it can be used and is useful, but none of them really provide you with every answer. You have to adapt them yourselves. You have to think about the context that you're working in. And that's probably the biggest takeaway, I would say, in terms of change for how we think about what's an ITIL 4 and how we want people to use it, is to say, it's not going to give you line by line, every answer to what you do, but it's going to give you the way of thinking and the way of working, and all the tools that you need then to be able to adapt what is in the best practice standards to your organization.
So it's very much a toolbox rather than a Swiss Army knife where you pull out something that works in every situation. You have to think about how you would adapt. Adopt and adapt is what we always said about ITIL. And in this version, we've really applied that and we've given you some guidance as to how to do that, as much as anything else.
ITIL 4 overview
Very quickly, and this isn't a training course, the ITIL Foundation training course, you know, has a number of components. I think it's much improved as a foundation course because it covers a number of areas, but it also, from the point of view of what you are tested on, it's just the core stuff and I think that's a better way of getting introduced.
Service - definition:
But just very briefly, you know, we've slightly changed the definition a service. Services, they're co-creation of value. So it takes two to tango, you might have a fantastic service infrastructure. But it's only...the value only comes when it's being used. And I think recognizing that is a key element that it's the consumption of a service as much as the setup and infrastructure of a service that works towards its value.
We have the guiding principles, which is something that we introduced in a book called ITIL Practitioner, which was a kind of interim between ITIL 3 and ITIL 4. And that really is the core and I will be starting with that. We'll go into some...a little bit more detail around about that. That to me is the thing that you can use now. You can use that today, tomorrow, or start using and applying that to what you've already got.
We have the concept of four dimensions, little icon on the left there, which is simply whenever you're doing any work, are you thinking about those four areas, not just one, you're not just thinking about technology, but you're also thinking about organizations, people, partners, suppliers, value streams and processes, and so on.
We then have the system's view, on the right-hand side, the service value chain, which is the main areas, the main component areas, for doing bits of work. And we very definitely try to avoid doing this in a linear way. We're trying to make people see the fact that actually this is something that you apply in different situations.
Service value streams:
So then the value streams are different types of work that pass through it. So incidents, changes, projects, requests, all those different things work differently through the value chain. So you can think about it like a real network which doesn't add any value unless it's actually being used by the trains going through it. And there are a number of different types of trains that run through it. Those are the main kind of areas in ITIL 4.
The 34 practices:
The other thing is what we're calling practices now. It's a wider definition than process. We're saying incident management isn't just a process, it's also people, capabilities, skills, tools, inputs, outputs, all those things, a much wider definition. And so many of them that we've evolved them over the years, and we know they work and they deliver value.
We've separated them a little bit from the overall content and physically, that happens as well, the content that describes all those in detail has been separated out from the books. And that means it can be more dynamically changed and updated and so on. But it also makes the point that if you...you know, you don't just look at the model and go, "Well, that's where that process fits in and that's where I fit in."
The fact is that for the vast majority of organizations and situations, those processes, those practices, those situations will change. And they don't fit into just one or a single box there, they can be used in different situations. And the whole concept of the value stream is actually that we combine them for different situations.
Incident management very often involves a number of different other practices. When you actually work through the value stream of an incident coming in and being checked, looking at knowledge, looking at inventory, updating the SLA, there's tracking on that. It may then go to problem or change. We may try knowledge management.
Again, there's a number of things that will happen just in the process of the practice site, as well as work instructions and so on. And so we have to think about the end-to-end, the value stream rather than just thinking about, "Well, we have an incident management team," or, "We have a problem management team," and so on. So that's a very, very quick, very, very high-level overview of what's an ITIL 4, and I would encourage you to go and look. And I'll explain more about the book just in a second.
ITIL 4 key benefits
Inclusive and integrating across IT:
I think, some key benefits that are there, I think it's elevate...we've kept all the good stuff that we know that works from ITIL over the years. We're really trying to elevate the main areas so that it is much more inclusive and integrating across IT. It's not just for operations and support. It's for projects, DevOps, development, whatever you want to call, as well.
Value stream - end-to-end - guidance:
There is this concept of end-to-end gate, and so we are really looking at delivery in the round, not just the bit that gets chucked over the fence or the bit that gets done quickly in development, but how those work together.
I'm really pleased that the guidance is much broader now. We are looking at things like people, employee satisfaction, how we manage culture, new thinking and approach. So as I was saying earlier, this is much more forward thinking maybe than it has been previously. It does provide a very flexible value-driven approach. So it's got to be interpreted. It's got to be thought of as, "How we apply this," not, "We apply this the way it's written in the books."
Provides a flexible value-driven approach:
And you know, anybody listening to this, that's got to be your biggest takeaway. ITIL will not tell you exactly how to do things. It will set the context, it will give you the tools and the guidance, how to apply different practices, different processes, different ways of working. You know, the one thing that we really wanted to get away from was people saying, "ITIL says we have to do it this way." ITIL has never said that. But just to reconfirm that, we're saying, it's got to be how we apply it in context, flexible value-driven approach, not just, "Here's what the books say, and we must follow it that way."
Aligns Service Management with Lean, Agile, DevOps and Product Management:
And we are aligning much more closely for service management with all, you know, the Lean, Agile, DevOps, Product Management, all those kind of ways of working, and we've used some careful taxonomies to make sure that it does align and it does appeal to a wider group of people.
Simpler, more targeted training approach:
And I think, overall, the training approach is much more targeted and it's much clearer and simpler, it's doesn't have thousands of different modules and points and so on. That's very straightforward. So there's a number of really positive forward-thinking benefits.
ITIL 4 qualification scheme
The program, and just very quickly, and this is just to clarify how this works now, along the bottom, there's ITIL Foundation, ITIL 4 Foundation, and there are two main streams. There's the Managing Professional Stream, which really is for, I suppose, more practitioner types, and on the right-hand side, Strategic Leader for those who aspire or are in management and need to understand enough about how service management works. We also have created on the left-hand side the Managing Professional, which is if you like the bridge from ITIL 3, for those that were ITIL expert or had a certain number of points.
There are four main books in Managing Professional, and the "Direct, Plan & Improve" book is shared across the Strategic Leader. But to do become a Managing Professional, you need to achieve those four.
- 1. Create, Deliver & Support
- 2. Drive Stakeholder Value
- 3. High Velocity, and
- 4. Direct, Plan & Improve
And the 34 ITIL Practices down the bottom, which are actually not directly part of...they are part of every single program and they are referred to in all the books, but that is, if you like a separate piece of content now. And that's a lot of good stuff that has been updated, not massively changed. You know, incident management is what it is and it works, we know how to make it work. And that has been developed. But that information is available separately rather than it being only found in one of the books.
Where we actually are with this. Pretty much everything is available now. Just a year ago, we only had the actual Foundation book. The Managing Professional was the next thing that became available in sort of autumn of last year, which brings together elements of all four of the Managing Professional books.
So you can apply for that if you're an ITIL expert, or you have at least 17 points in the old version 3 scheme. But all four of those books are now available. And the one that we're awaiting is the "Digital & IT Strategy," which is actually going to be really valuable from a business perspective because they actually will be...a lot of the language of that will be applicable to business people so that they can understand the challenges of IT, the challenges of service management without it being too technical or overly detailed, to keep them out.
The 34 Practices, they are not all complete, but most of them are there now. I don't have the up-to-date number but I believe it's only a small number of those that are now not available through the MyITIL portal through AXELOS.
So that's where we are. We're actually much further on now. This time last year, we had just introduced ITIL 4 through the Foundation and the main concepts, we're now much further on.
And these are the books that are available through the official channels and so on. And I will use a reference to each one in the sort of tips to say where you might find more information about these as we go.
7 practical ITIL 4 tips
So that's the kind of background introduction, and I really want to come on now to sort of seven tips for you. You know, regardless of where you are, you may actually have been through the foundation or one or more of the books, or you may just be looking at this. What I just want to do is try and bring out, without going into too much detail about the actual content, but just bring out some key areas that we can actually start to apply and think of when we are approaching how we manage service management.
1. Use the guiding principles
So the first one and probably the most useful one, I think, right now, even if you've not done anything, is to start to use the guiding principles. This is where we're saying, this is how you adopt and adapt. This is how you need to approach the way that you deliver service management in a kind of universal way. So you could have spent a lot of time and effort building up ITIL version 3 processes and so on.
Simply apply the way that you deliver these through the guiding principles and you'll get a lot more value and you'll get a lot more flexibility coming through the organization.
Now, this is mostly available in the ITIL Foundation, but also it's through all of the books, all four of the books. There's significant reference to it, particularly "Direct, Plan & Improve," but it's there in all the books. The ITIL 4 Foundation book will give you the guidance on that.
Guiding principles - ITIL 4
These are the guiding principles. Very, very simple and straightforward. But you can apply these to the way that you work. And it will give you more transparency, it'll give you more focus, it'll give you more business focus, all those kind of things, and allow your people to work more flexibly, allow them to be more or less constrained by, "This is what the process says. This is what ITIL says," and so on.
Start where you are
And very simply, you know, that's what these things mean. You use work that's over...you know, don't just think that ITIL is about a vacuum that we have to start at the beginning every time, we have to look at what we've currently got.
Focus on value
Focus on value, what is it we're actually doing and delivering? And what does it mean to our customers? Not just technology, but what they use it for. And think of end-to-end, E-to-E services as the way that is delivered to them.
Progress iteratively with feedback
Progress iteratively with feedback. You know, that's this whole thing about working in a much more Agile, DevOps type way with feedback loops, do things in small chunks, work in small teams, listen, present earlier rather than waiting and doing a kind of waterfall thing. Involve stakeholders. Listen to what people are saying. So that's not just customer feedback, but staff feedback, and business owner feedback, different teams in your organization.
Think + work holistically
Thinking or working holistically looking at the whole value chain. So seeing the bigger picture. If you're part of a team that's delivering second-level support, you need to understand what the first-level support guys do and what the people that...so that's the kind of upstream from you. And then downstream, you might escalate to third-level teams. Are you doing that in a way that is joined up and actually meets the requirements overall of the business customers that you're supporting?
Collaborate and promote visibility
Collaboration and visibility. So again, using things like, you know, making work visible using kanban getting out in the open, getting things exposed so that more people are aware and can see it. If I pass an incident to a second-level guy, only he or she and I know about it, whereas actually, if we have a much more open and transparent way of managing things, there's probably more chance it will get fixed more quickly because other people can contribute. And particularly for problem management that's really useful. But the whole thing about working together is absolutely essential idea. The whole idea of how we manage and govern what we're doing to make sure that it is delivered as an end-to-end product rather than just a lot of different components is essential.
Keep it simple
Keeping it simple. We've never said that ITIL processes need to be vast documents and huge, you know...and apart from anything else, it's just not practical because people don't read them, they don't have time to. So usually I want a two-page document for process is actually more effective because more people will have a chance of reading it.
Keep your SLA simple, keep your work instructions simple. It's a simple fact that the clearer they are, the more focused they are on the actual outcome that is required, the more chance they will be read and used and actually be effective, rather than trying to produce beautiful documents that nobody ever actually reads.
Optimise and automate
And then the final one is optimize and automate, which is really, you know, we should be looking at this all the time. It's kind of continual improvement, but continual improvement with technology. So we can automate so many things that we do now. We need to make sure that they are ready for automation. There's no point...you know, if your configuration management or your knowledge articles aren't up to date or accurate, there's no point automating around them, because that will just provide automated chaos.
So you have to think about what will be ready for automation. But we should be trying to do that as much as possible and freeing ourselves of the day-to-day drudgery and the tasks that keep repeating and the ones that are probably not terribly much fun to deliver. Well, actually, we can just get rid of them and actually concentrate on things that are going to deliver more value.
2. Engage with your users/customers
So that's the first one really is just use those...I mean, you could actually walk away now and just start to apply that. There's more information on that available all over the place because everybody now sticks the guiding principles up on their wall. But a few other things just to kind of follow on from this that you can start to really do and that ideally you would have been doing before.
Engaging with your customers. Understanding the value that is being delivered to them. So doing things like journey mapping, identifying touch points, and walking through the experience of them actually using your services.
You'll find stuff on this and create deliver and support and drive stakeholder value in particular about how you build up a journey map, how you start to map things out from the customers experience rather than simply from the IT's experience.
Touchpoints, if you're not familiar, these are the points where values are co-created or lost. So whenever your service people engages with one of your users, when one of your users actually uses your portal. Those are the points where actually things will go well or badly and you need to make sure that you have got the right things in place to make that work properly.
3. Map your services - build value streams
Once you've done that, then you can start to map out what your services are. Traditionally, we would have been talking about this as a service catalog view of what our services are. That doesn't need to disappear. But it's important that it's based upon an external experience view and also understanding what the various process steps are in the value stream behind it.
So I mean, I would still suggest to people if you've been starting to do service catalog, continue with that, but think about it as joined up. You know, include processes in your catalog elements, in your definition of services, it uses these processes.
How do they join up? What are the trigger points? What are the activities that are carried out and by whom to fulfill those value streams and services?
And again, you'll find that in CDS (create deliver support), and stakeholder value. Stakeholder value is very much about how we interact. It's kind of business relationship point of view, customer relationship, and how we make sure that those were recording and reporting and monitoring the right things.
CDS is a more generic view of what an IT service management professional should know, both in terms of skills, knowledge, etc., but also how to build and manage a value stream in their operation.
4. Review and rebuild your service model
We kind of move on then to thinking about what is our service model? What are the various practices that we need to use? That's where we need to think about the four dimensions. Are we including all the relevant parts? There's lots of different things, different ways of thinking about this. "High Velocity IT" has got content about operating model canvas, things like that, where we think about how do we map out all the different elements of what we do? How do we build that in a way that is useful to us? What do we do with that? Who wins it? How do we gather the information? And so on.
But thinking about the bigger picture, again, the four dimensions, and how we will manage that from the point of view of governance. So "Direct, Plan & Improve," will help you on that.
5. Review continuity
This is an interesting one, particularly for the current time review, continuity. And I think this is a really useful thing to do. But we always talk about business continuity and disaster recovery and planning and all those kind of things, particularly around technology, how we recover and manage systems. And at the moment, it's all about how we can be operational in a different structure. So we've got everybody working from home, that has its challenges. Do we have enough licenses? Do we have enough bandwidth? Do we have enough capability? Do people understand how to use technology in a remote setting?
I think the other thing is social continuity. And I think this is one that's coming to the fore with the current situation. What are people's levels of satisfaction, levels of morale, mental health? How do we define the ethics of what we do and how we engage with each other? What sort of culture do we have in our organization?
I think it's certainly in "Create, Deliver & Support." There's a number of sections about managing employee satisfaction and understanding what it is to build different types of teams and different types of organizational structure and so on. And looking at that whole how do we apply from the "Direct, Plan & Improve" sense. That's one thing, I think. You know, we're doing this at the moment where we are implementing business continuity in a number of different ways. I think it's important that we also just think about the social cohesion of what we're doing.
There's a number of different human skills that we use. And we need to be very focused on what value we get from those different things. What is it about us that's different from what a robot can do? And we need to make sure that we are
focusing on that, I think. We've tried to call a lot of that in ITIL 4 by saying it's not just about processes. It's not just about a few operational tasks. It's about
how we are as people.
6. Think "end-to-end" across the organisation
End-to-end across the organization. How do we work together? How do we compare in terms of how we work together? There's a lot in CDS about shift left, but also how do we make this work? What governance is required? So "Direct, Plan & Improve" really will tell you a lot about that. But thinking about simply, as a practical tip, how do we ensure that if we have a value stream, if we have a service that we're delivering, that all the components are in place, and that people will do the right thing to make it work? And it's not just based on a, we've got a structure of first, second, third-level teams and they are technically competent at different levels. No, it's about making sure that we deliver the right things at the right time, in line with what our customers need.
So that's really important, and I think the thinking that's gone into a lot of those areas in ITIL 4 is quite advanced and there's a lot in high velocity as well about different ways of thinking, different ways of managing in different situations, even chaos management and so on. There's a lot of different new ways of thinking that have gone into what's in the output.
7. Identify and automate blockers
And then finally, thinking about the blockers. We've got tools, we've got lots of different automation opportunities with things like RPA, robotic process automation, that can help. We put quite a large section in CDS, which just identified all the different levels of tools and types of tools that are available now that you can use in service management. And you know, they vary from things like IT service management systems, you know, ManageEngine talk about. But also to robotics, analytics, a number of different types of tools that we should be using as professionals, as practitioners. So things like shift left, which is moving work to the best possible place, the most efficient place and the most useful place, again, are mentioned quite extensively in CDS. And there's lots of stuff new thinking in "High Velocity IT."
Automation, Robots, AI
And just finally around about that whole automation thing, we need to make sure that we are understanding that we are people using technology to help people. And I guess the focus for our careers going forward is to make sure that we are doing the things that we are best at and that we can do rather than just stuff that could be done by robots. So what are the key things that we actually deliver as part of our work that robots can't do. And that's where our success and our value will be in future.
ITIL 4 - Tips summary
So those are the kind of summary points, the guiding principles, engaging with customers, map out your services and value streams, look at your model, think about not just business and IT but social continuity, get the organization working together, think about the governance and the whole aspect of automation. There's a lot there. It's not just something you can do in an afternoon. You can certainly start to use the guiding principles right away.
And I hope that you can explore those in more detail as we go. But that's probably the content from my point of view.
Questions and Answers
I don't know if there's any questions that have come through at all. Ashwin, are there any questions out there?
Ashwin: Yes, Barclay. So we have at least half a dozen questions coming in. Are you able to see the questions on the Questions tab in your GoToWebinar control panel?
Barclay: I can only see one actually. I'm not quite sure whether... That's working. "Why did ITIL move away from the five stages of service life cycle?" I will answer that one. Why did ITIL move away from the five stages of service cycle? Because that's not really how organizations work anymore. And what ITIL 3 was trying to do was absolutely, you know, valuable and trying to do the right thing, which was to try and work more in the development lifecycle way of doing things. But it became very complex and also it wasn't really engaged with by enough of the development world. And as I mentioned earlier, there was a lot of segmentation, people was looking for this box and that box and where we actually fit in.
So the individual areas of content within the previous five books, there is still a huge amount of value in that at the micro level, but not at the macro level. And ITIL 4 Foundation really was trying to reset that, for all the reasons I've said, to make it more flexible, to make it more human, to make it more business ready, and I guess more agile. And we couldn't really continue with that model. So what I'm saying is that the content is very much still useful. But it's the context that's changed
"ITIL 4 intermediate modules like DPI, CDS." What about them? "Is there a place to find syllabus?" If you go to the AXELOS' website, all the books and the...and if you have a training provider, they will all be able to provide you with the syllabi for all of these. The books cover a much wider range of content than what's actually in the training courses. The training courses, I think, are better in the sense that they are not trying to cram too much in, as they may have been in the past. And so I think students will go away with a much more balanced and useful set of skills and knowledge when they take those various courses.
Ashwin: Do you want me to read out a couple of questions?
Barclay: Yes, please, because, for some reason, I can only see one line at the time of the questions. So I'm just scrolling.
Ashwin: Okay, I think you'd can click on the question and they open up below. But there are a few questions coming in about the certifications. I think that's already answered. And there is one question, " As the value is subjective and perceptional, how could you ensure effective co-creation to meet the client's expectation on overall success?"
Ashwin: So, "As the value is subjective and perceptional, how could you ensure effective co-creation to meet the client's expectation on overall success?"
Barclay: So that's really at the core of what I've been saying for the last 45 minutes is that the only way that you can do that is by engaging with your customers to understand what their requirements are, what their definition of value is, what's important to them. So we might think it's the availability of our applications and networks or, you know, the fact that we've got a high speed link between two offices or whatever it is. Whereas they might say, "Well, no, on a Tuesday afternoon, we have this particular thing that we do, and it's important to us." And so I don't care what you do around that as long as we've got the availability of these services at that time, that's the most important thing. And so you then prioritize accordingly.
And for years I've seen many, many organizations becoming obsessed with numerical availability stats rather than service based ones. So, "Oh, yes, we have 99.6 availability." Which is completely useless if the key function that's required, happens to fall in the 0.04. So engaging and building that...you know, so the stuff that's in "Drive, Stakeholder Value" that says, "This is how we engage." You know, we're not going to talk about SLAs, we're not going to talk about systems. We're going to talk about business and what people need and what the experience should be like, rather than, you know, this is what any particular framework says. I hope I've made that clear over the course of the webinar.
Ashwin: Yes, thank you, Barclay. And then there is a series of questions where people want to know how they align the principles of our concepts of Agile with ITIL v4.
Barclay: Well, I hope that will be self-explanatory because the...if you actually look at the guiding principles, they are, you know...there's a lot that can be related together in there that are in the Agile Manifesto that are used as part of the, you know, DevOps ways of working and so on. We're not saying this has become, you know, an Agile or DevOps standard framework, but it is intended to be compatible in as many ways as possible.
So the concepts of product management are what we have been working on from the start, the way that we engage, the way that we prioritize, that we empower people, we make work visible, all those things. You know, if you look at those side by side with what we've got, an ITIL building on the existing knowledge, the experience and practice that we've got in all the operational practices, then it's very compelling because they do work very closely together. And I have experience of working and talking with a number of people who've realized that and actually are delighted because they confuse the two things together.
Ashwin: Okay. And I think this addresses the trend of questions. Here are just a couple of questions. And there's one question where the person says, "We are a very little team of eight technicians and we don't use change or problem management. We only work on incidents or service requests. Do you think this is problematic?"
Barclay: Problematic? Well, I mean, if you only work on incidents, then you could become very good at incident management. So you keep fixing, you know, keep fixing stuff. The way that you will get improvement, you know, in real value in development is by implementing problem management and starting to look at trends and starting to understand why things are happening and doing something about it, and taking a wide view. You know, I've seen many organizations where they've looked into problem management purely as a technical discipline, whereas actually, you know, the cause or the reasons for things not working properly, maybe, you know, financial constraints, they may be risk aversion, they may be politics, they may be per process. There's a whole number of things external that need to be taken into account. So if you take a good holistic view of problem management that you'll improve, you'll solve... You know, the idea of incident management is not just to get good at incident management, but it should then be supported by problem management to reduce things continually happening.
So, you know, I suppose it depends what the organization does. But it may be that just fixing things is sufficient. I've not found many of those over the years. Actually, taking a quality approach and looking at problem is vital.
And of course, change...you know, if we don't manage change, then we have more incidents and problems, we have more chaos, we have more uncontrolled and unplanned issues and impact. So having a simple change management process is really effective. It's probably the biggest area of contention in terms of how we sit with DevOps. And that's been a challenge for a number of years as to the DevOps community thinks of ITIL as being about, you know, a gatekeeper of change management. We don't let anything through.
In the early days, there was good reason for that, because, you know, we were being asked to support chaos that was not being properly tested and so on. But a sensible view says, of course we need to discuss change, of course we need to plan, and the idea of the CAB, which again, has been misconstrued a little bit, is just to do that, is just to take a sensible view and say, "We discussed the big things. Do we need to do anything about it, yes or no?" Standard changes should be processed automatically. So they'll get value from it. Absolutely.
Ashwin: And there is one more question. "How would you handle a management team that wants to move forward, however, keeps living in the past, like creating huge documentation on processes, procedures, and policies?"
Barclay: That's a very good question. How do you deal with a team that has been working in a certain way and thinks of documentation process, etc., it must be substantial in form. It's one thing when people started writing SLAs, it's almost like they thought that they had to produce legal documents, which is nonsense. I think the best way to do that is to get some young people in and get them to show, you know, and ask them to rate some reports and see what can be done simply and easily with, you know, some of the tools that are available. If you have a group of people who are a little bit stuck in the way of working, they need to see what can be done. They need to actually realize that the value is not in producing tons and tons of documentation. The value is in ensuring that the practices and processes that they refer to are actually used.
So it's a kind of a governance issue. I think you can set some standards, you can see no document should be more than X number of pages. If you can't express yourself clearly on two sides of A4, then don't bother. And so on. You know, there's a number of things that can be done. It is probably the biggest cultural challenge at the moment, though, is how do those two worlds collide and how they can actually be integrated? And again, that's what we've been trying to do with ITIL 4.
ITIL 4 really is aimed, I suppose there are two different communities that it's aimed at. There's the traditional IT service management community who have, you know, been brought up on ITIL as it was, and see the value of that, and probably have been very challenged by DevOps and Agile. And at the same time, you got a lot of marketing out there saying, if you don't change, you'll die, or your career's over, which isn't helpful. So I think the first thing is that we're trying to take people on a bit of a journey with ITIL 4 and say, "Look, you need to change, you need to modernize, you need to get faster, you need to do things more simply and more transparently. Here's ITIL 4's way of doing that." That's the first group of people.
And the second group people are the people who are in the...if you're like those other communities and saying, "Look, actually, you need to work with those guys, you can't...you know, you don't just build stuff, you have to run it as well." And we've got a wealth of experience and knowledge in how to run stuff. So, you know, actually we've got something there that brings those things together. And that's really, I think, probably the overriding value vital for, it's about bringing different parts of the industry together.
Ashwin: So one interesting question that I would want to hear the answer from you, Barclay. So, ITIL traditionally sits within the IT department. So, okay, I'll read the question over again. "From a holistic point of view, ITIL traditionally sits within the IT department. Does this mean ITIL awareness should be organization-wide?"
Barclay: Well, of course, I mean, I'm sure many people out there listening have been aware or involved in various projects or initiatives over the years where aspects of ITIL and service management have been applied beyond the IT department. I think it's really important that we do recognize that, if you like...what we do is provide a business capability through technology, but it is part of...you know, we're part of the organizations that we work for. We're not separate from them, we're part of their infrastructure. And you know, nowadays probably, if not the, but one of the most essential aspects of any organization.
So, the whole concept of enterprise service management, as it's being called, which is that we extend a lot of the practices and processes well beyond the IT department is already reasonably well established. And I suppose the challenge there really...ITIL is a brand. In the early days it used to refer to, you know, IT infrastructure library. It hasn't been that for 12, 15 years, I can't remember exactly when it was. It's a brand like IBM or anything else.
People still see it as IT and that's been a challenge for a long time. We still have to deal with that. But the way it works is simply something that can be applied in a number of different situations, you know, how we process work, how we manage communications, how we manage change, how we know what we've got, how we plan for the future, how we, you know, plan for contingency, how we report, how we identify if we've met the targets that we were aiming to reach. All those things are universal.
So, I suppose it's part of the ongoing development and rollout and success of this will be the extent to which that can be adopted. But I mean, I think we all know that it is that all is already well in place and happening across many organizations.
Ashwin: And I guess we're almost done with the questions, Barclay. Most of the questions were from around these areas. And one more thing that I noticed is many people were interested in knowing about the certification course of ITIL 4 and information around that. If you can just take a few minutes, if possible, to explain that and then we can wrap this session from there."
Barclay: Okay, so ITIL training is available through many, many hundreds of training organizations worldwide, which is managed through technical people. They are responsible for certifying those organizations and certifying their training courses, etc. So, you will get both classroom and online virtual training courses in a number of different hundreds of different situations, languages and so on.
AXELOS is the company that owns ITIL and writes ITIL and also prints too. And so, they are, if you like, the content owners and providers. So, the books and the training courses are produced by AXELOS. But any decent-size training organization will be able to provide ITIL training.
And as I say, at the moment, there are two levels of it. There is the Foundation level, which is a two-and-a-half-day course, and which no...only tests on the key aspects or the key practices, incident problem, change, service desk, and so on. Although you're introduced also to the big ideas that I've spoken about, the value chain, the value streams, the guiding principles, the dimensions, and so on. Then you've got the Managing Professional level, which is the sort of step up from that, where there are four different elements.
Will you be making these slides available? Because I'm happy if they are available for those that have attended because I've spelled out the different courses and where they reflect the content.
Ashwin: Yes, Barclay. So we will be sharing the recording of this webinar to all the registrants and the attendees in a couple of days. So yes, they will have access to this material.
Barclay: So the other thing is if people do have questions, you know, I'm very happy to take...you know, if people email me or contact me through LinkedIn or Twitter, that's absolutely fine, with any questions on these. But the axelos.com website contains, you know, a lot of detail of information about the various books, the various training courses, and what's available and who should do what. I think you'll also find that most good training providers will provide sort of one-day overviews, whether that be virtual or real time. I mean, I've done loads of them over the years, to be honest, but just to give people a sense of what's involved, what is service management, how does it work, and what do we need to do to make it effective.
As well as you know still lots of the...some of the ITIL version 3 courses are still available. I think most of them are, but you know, if you want to do something really specific like problem management or there's lots of different aspects of it once you drill down into the lower level details. So there's a whole variety of that still available. There's a period where both version 3 and version 4 training is available. But ideally, anybody starting out really should start with the ITIL Foundation, ITIL version 4 Foundation because that will point them in the right direction, particularly for the future.
Ashwin: Yeah, thank you, Barclay. If you can just spell out your email ID for the attendees just in case there are more questions.
Barclay: It's was on the previous... Have I still got the control or...?
Ashwin: Yes, yes, you still do have the control.
Barclay: For some reason... Okay, there's all the contact information. So @barclayrae, Twitter, or you can email me email@example.com. And itSMF UK also provide a number of guides and publications, information about service management and ITIL.
Ashwin: Thank you, Barclay. And I guess it's time to close this session. So attendees, as you see here, you can reach out to Barclay through all these channels. Or if you have any questions relevant to ManageEngine or ServiceDesk Plus, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, the email ID that you are now seeing on the screen.
So you can reach out to Barclay for any further questions, or to ManageEngine and email@example.com. Thank you all for taking your time and joining this webinar, and particularly thank you, Barclay, for taking your time and sharing all these insights on ITIL 4 and answering all the questions from our attendees. Thank you, Barclay.
Barclay: My pleasure. Thank you very much.
Ashwin: Yes. And let's sign off. Stay safe. Stay indoors and stay healthy, folks. Thank you and see you.