So ITIL has been tweaked. The 2011 edition has been released and contains a number of small to medium ish changes which add up to (hopefully) improved clarity and reduced contradiction.
I’ve actually just ordered the new set of books (at £255 from Amazon – thanks ITIL, thanks very much…) so this post looks at the summary material available from the official ITIL site. I’ll expand on each point once I’ve had chance to review the publications.
1. Standardised structure to improve readability and clarity.
The old ITIL books had some notable differences between them, possibly a product of inconsistent editing across the multiple authors. Grammar and syntax was lacking in places.
2. Lifecycle interfaces and inputs/outputs
A new appendix for lifecycle level inputs and outputs has been added – which is useful if like a lot of organisations you’re implementing in almost reverse order – service operations first, then transition then design. This is useful to allow you to ‘black box’ the preceding lifecycle stage to reduce re-work later on. For example, if you’re implementing Service Transition, it’s useful to know what Service Design would be giving you so you can build the Service Transition processes to cater for this, even if you don’t have time yet to put proper Service Design into place.
3. The ‘Product Manager’ has been removed
This was a role which only half made sense. From my own perspective, a Product Manager was the senior technical person who owned a particular product or application (such as MS Exchange or eg. a bespoke HR application) but really this is just a technical service owner.
4. Cloud computing
‘Some coverage’ has been added to cater for cloud computing, with, presumably, Software as a Service as well as Infrastructure, Platform and Desktop as a Service too. I’m not sure how much value this will add – whether it’s going to be useful or if it’s just a nod to a changing landscape. Watch this space (and check out my other blog www.ratedcloud.com)
5. Service Catalogue
Updated clarity of transition points and a new status to ‘make policy setting easier’. To be honest, I was fairly happy with the concept of having a pipeline, a ‘live’ catalogue and a ‘retired’ catalogue, but I’ll wait and see. This probably ties in with the next point….
6. The concept of a ‘change proposal’.
This, for me, was one of the biggest gaps in the original v3 and v2 models (well, one of the biggest gaps which seemed to be constrained by having enough definition around the area without actually allowing for it). As I described in a previous post, people don’t just want one high level type of change. Most organisations have a technical type RFC and then a less technical Business Change Request. In fact, RFC and BCR are the two most common acronyms I’ve come across in about 8 different places I’ve worked as a change & release manager. I’m hoping that ‘change proposal’ is akin to a BCR and allows for the woolier type of change request (eg. “I want to accept PayPal” as opposed to “I want to open firewall CORP_PIX_001 to allow connections to http://www.paypal.com”)
7. Release & Deployment management now has a process diagram.
The interactions between Transition Planning and Support, R&D Mgmt, Change Management have always seemed a bit counter-intuitive to me. The addition of a process flow showing how it all fits together should aid understanding.
I’ll post again on each of these points when I’ve read through the official books.