Why do companies implement frameworks?

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.

Different Types of Frameworks

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.

Agile

“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”

Agile Manifesto Agile ITSM
Individuals and interactions over
processes and tools
People over process and technology
Working software over
comprehensive documentation
Restoration of services as quick as possible and providing a workaround
Customer collaboration over
contract negotiation
Focus on customer satisfaction over faster resolution
Responding to change over
following a plan
Focus on customer satisfaction over faster resolution

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

DevOps

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.

Objectives : Collaboration & automation

Company size : Small & medium businesses

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.

Process Thinking (ITIL) System thinking (DevOps)
Process driven Data-driven
Manual process Automation
Individual effort Collaboration
Generates Reports Create a feedback loop and improve based on feedback
Manual testing and deployment Automated deployment and testing
Waterfall SDLC model Smaller sprints of code
Highly structured Less structured but highly collaborative
Use cases Solution
Customer demands have increased. They expect a faster release, modern UI and the traditional SDLC waterfall model cannot keep pace. Businesses have to control customer churn DevOps builds smaller agile teams to speed up the release and align development operations with customer requirements
Knowledge silos create delays and inconsistency among Development and QA teams DevOps philosophy is focused on collaboration. Continuous testing and deployment ensures that development and testing teams are closely-aligned
A high volume of bugs in customer production environment Customer demands have increased. They expect a faster release, modern UI and the traditional SDLC waterfall model cannot keep pace. Businesses have to control customer churn
ITIL 4 Update

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.

What is expected out of ITIL 4 update?

Objectives : Process-oriented & better tracking Company size : Medium & large businesses Industry : All Industries Advantages : Process alignment, Easy to implement

VeriSM

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.

VeriSM means:

Objectives : Contemporary service management

Company size : All Sizes

Industry : All Industries

Advantages : Integrated frameworks; flexible

Integrated Approach

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.

Source: HDI

Why is Traditional ITIL Not Enough Anymore?

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.

Demand-Supply Problem

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

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.

Modern Technologies

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.

The Way Forward

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

Convergence of Frameworks

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.

Implementation Approach

Conclusion

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.

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