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Businesses prefer using frameworks as these are pre-defined best practices and processes that are readily available to be implemented. Frameworks provide a direction and act as a guide to perform IT operations or service management according to industry standards. What works best for your organization cannot be decided by the framework. The most important questions for your business are:
Do you really need a framework at this point?
Who determines what is best for your organization?
How do you decide which framework or process to implement first?
Before implementing a framework, IT and management need to brainstorm the above questions and then decide the next steps. Most companies do not understand the fundamentals of these frameworks and blindly follow the best practices irrespective of their environment. Therefore, let us understand the different types of frameworks, how they complement each other and their benefits for your organization.
Before getting into the details of every framework, these are not alternatives to each other. Frameworks or practices can be combined based on needs. Modern Service Management demands businesses to adopt more than one framework to provide a competitive edge. However, these methodologies have their own benefits and reasons to implement. Let us dive deep into some of the popular frameworks available for ITSM today and how businesses can approach implementing these frameworks.
“Doing more with less”, “Need for speed” are often heard by IT agents. Traditional frameworks focus on process adherence and standard operating procedures. However, delays in development, customer dissatisfactions were increasing. To address these concerns, the agile software development manifesto was introduced.
“Fast-changing technology demands faster service delivery”
Scrum methodology is followed in agile software development for faster release items with the help of sprints. Sprint planning ensures faster release and speed to market. Following the scrum framework in ITIL service lifecycle ensures “just enough” controls and only necessary processes are followed for smooth operations. Agile supports continuous delivery by combining development and QA hand in hand. Agility means the ability to adapt and deliver faster.
Objectives : Speed to market; “Just enough” controls
Company size : Small & medium businesses
Industry : Predominantly IT & IT services
Advantages : Focus on customer satisfaction over faster resolution
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DevOps philosophy complements other frameworks or practices such as agile, lean, ITIL. It is defined as an integral approach to software development & delivery that aims at integrating development and operations. DevOps is considered as a super framework that connects other existing frameworks or philosophies.
DevOps integrates software testing, QA with development to achieve better communication and collaboration among product management, software development, and deployment teams
DevOps eliminates silos
Focuses on Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD)
Aligns with lean principles such as managing Work In Progress (WIP), work in batches and
being agile to have a quicker turnaround time
DevOps brings in cultural transformation
Objectives : Collaboration & automation
Industry : Small & Medium businesses
Advantages : Integration of teams such as dev, QA.
DevOps cannot operate alone. DevOps philosophy is integrated with other frameworks that are available such as Agile, ITIL, Lean etc. Collaboration is the main aspect of DevOps which builds smaller agile teams to create synergy. DevOps insists on process automation, unlike conventional methodologies.
ITIL was developed as an initiative by the UK Cabinet Office and is presently owned by Axelos, a public/private joint venture. The ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) has become the effective standard in IT Service Management. ITIL helps organizations to deliver quality-driven and cost-effective service. The framework was developed in the 1980s and the most recent update to version 3 was published in 2011. IT Infrastructure Library, ITIL is a set of best practices for an effective IT Service management, ITSM is followed across companies of all sizes. It helps individuals and organizations to realize business growth and transformation.
The core elements of ITIL framework will remain the same. There won’t be any new concept or major changes introduced within the framework. Therefore, the familiarity of framework still remains.
The update will provide a more practical perspective to the entire ITIL processes. ITIL will be complemented by modern practices such as Agile, Lean and DevOps. This adds more flexibility to the work structure.
The new update simplifies the integration capabilities of ITIL functions with other processes/frameworks. Data flow across organization becomes seamless.
The update will focus more on implementing automation, which reduces repetitive tasks and inefficiencies.
All current ITIL certifications, which are handed out to qualified ITSM professionals, will remain valid even after the update throughout the IT service management industry.
Objectives : Process-oriented & better tracking Company size : Medium & large businesses Industry : All Industries Advantages : Process alignment, Easy to implement
ITSM will no longer be served with a single best practice. VeriSM is a new approach to creating a flexible approach to service management based on the organization’s goals. VeriSM describes how an organization can define its service management principles, and then use a combination of management practices to deliver value. VeriSM allows for a custom approach to implement service management along with other frameworks. VeriSM model is called management mesh. This allows companies to adapt their practices and approaches based on product or customer requirements.
Objectives : Contemporary service management
Company size : All Sizes
Industry : All Industries
Advantages : Integrated frameworks; flexible
Traditional frameworks are so rigid for any business to adopt. Therefore, mix and match the best practices that are suitable for your organization. The success recipe is to find the right mix and implement only those that are essential. It is very well agreed to not align with just a single process. Business priorities have changed and they include faster time to market, real customer value. Let us discuss how all these frameworks can contribute to these changing demands.
Frameworks used by companies largely depend on the organizational maturity i.e. low maturity and high maturity.
ITIL is still the favorite but used largely among low maturity organizations.
Agile methodology is being used highly among high maturity organizations.
KCS framework has higher adoption and businesses have the plan to adopt in the
According to HDI survey, 38 % of organizations use a combination of two or more frameworks to support IT. ITIL may not be sufficient to meet increasing customer demands. Businesses need to react faster to remain competitive and agility is crucial to achieving this. Let us discuss some drivers of this behavior.
Technological disruptions, changing consumer expectations have increased the demand-supply gap. This increases the pressure on management to innovate and be on top of the game. When the gap increases, traditional frameworks may not be enough. Adoption of Agile and DevOps becomes inevitable in order to accelerate time to market and time to value.
Digital transformation involves a lot of changes including cultural, behavioral changes. Collaboration and knowledge sharing is key to this exercise. ITIL Change Management process includes a pre-defined process flow to minimize risk and impact. The current state is maintained and testing ensures everything is under control. Following the ITIL Change Management process is crucial here and DevOps promotes collaboration.
Automation capabilities such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) eliminate routine tasks and reduce waste. Lean principles insist on identifying bottlenecks and eliminating waste. Resource optimization is one of the primary objectives of lean methodologies and therefore, businesses adopt more than one methodology to realize real business value.
Integrated service management recommends combining several frameworks and methodologies to improve velocity. Service is the baseline across the entire value chain. Cost, speed, and quality are three attributes of service. Different frameworks contribute to achieving these metrics. Agile software development delivers speed, Lean thinking results in cost optimization and ITIL & DevOps provides service quality.
Speed - Agile
Cost - Lean
Quality - ITIL +DevOps
Businesses are likely to implement more than one framework depending on their needs. Ensure all frameworks are aligned with your organization’s vision and business model. The above model describes the convergence of different frameworks, philosophies, and models. DevOps span across service design and service transition stages of the ITIL service lifecycle. Continuous Delivery is a DevOps practice that includes Continuous Integration and Deployment.
ITIL Change Management process is used for evaluation and planning
The actual development follows the Agile methodology to execute and release faster. Lean Kanban method is a visual representation that is used to understand Work in Progress (WIP). ITIL Release Management along with Agile software development helps deliver projects on time.
Embrace DevOps philosophy to collaborate between Development and Operations effectively.
Post implementation support is handled by ITIL incident and Problem Management to solve any escalations.
Start with “as-is” analysis - Assess the current state and frameworks implemented. Understand the organizational maturity and the challenges faced by customers.
Conduct a gap analysis to understand customers’ requirements and services delivered. Understand the business vision and validate with the service model.
Get the basics right about different frameworks and implement the right mix of frameworks to address the current challenges.
Implement more than one framework whenever necessary. Monitor the results and compare performance improvements.
Revisit implemented frameworks and improve based on results and latest updates.
Do not let frameworks and best practices confuse your system rather adapt only necessary tools. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in Service Management implementation and therefore, embrace frameworks that make sense for your organization and team. It is important to understand the purpose of all these practices before jumping to conclusions. Therefore, frameworks are guidelines and provide a clear direction to your IT roadmap when implemented diligently. Integrated approach improves end to end IT value chain of businesses. Automation, collaboration, agility are key priorities that would provide real business and customer value.
ITIL along with other frameworks would definitely make a better ITSM conglomerate.
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