ITIL 4 – An update for all ITIL Practitioners

ITIL 4 was announced by Peter Hepworth of AXELOS at the itSMF USA Fusion 2017 conference.

As per AXELOS, this update is community and industry-led, working with 150+ industry experts, content writers, reviewers, and contributors from the IT industry. There are also 2,000+ members in the ITIL Development Group. This has steered the development of ITIL 4 and continues to do so.

The ITIL 4 Foundation is going to be released on February 11, 2019 and the first exam can be taken on February 28, 2019.

The certification scheme has been revamped and is as below:

ITIL 4 brings ITIL up-to-date by re-shaping many established ITSM Practices in the wider context of Customer Experience, Value Streams and Digital Transformation, while also enhancing the existing framework to better compliment with Lean, Agile, and DevOps.

ITIL 4 is now more holistic and outlines 4 dimensions of Service Management:

Organization and People

Information and Technology

Partners and Suppliers

Value Streams and Processes

These go very well with the DevOps, Lean, and Agile concepts to deliver the value faster and with more resilience. Providing value has always been the objective of ITIL and it has now become even more important. With the modern approach, there is also a need to make changes to the process to enable better service to customers in new environments like Cloud Computing, AI, and Big Data because it affects the value stream, the management of Suppliers/Vendors, and the use of new technologies like AI even on the daily management in terms of AI-based Monitoring tools and Chatbot to name a few.

ITIL 4 shows the complete value stream throughout the organization to work as one team comprising of everyone involved from requesting a change to deployment and maintaining it till its sunset using Agile, Lean, and DevOps concepts. Contrary to the myth that Agile and DevOps is for Development side and not for Infrastructure, Operations, etc., ITIL 4 shows how the whole organization needs to work together and how everyone contributes towards meeting the business objectives.

ITIL 4 also talks about how to use automation in a lot of its activities for better value delivery. ITIL looks at how to be Agile even in the adoption of the framework as there is a shift from project-based scenarios to product-based scenarios. The ITIL 4 Foundation manual takes us through the journey by using a hypothetical organization called Axle Car Hire. The new way is to bring the cadence, which is absent in the current project-based deliveries and hence Service Management also has to look at this single item flow.

Continual improvement is also an important aspect of Agile and DevOps and in ITIL 4, this area is also revamped to suit the requirements of Agile, Lean, and DevOps.

ITIL 4 includes 34 management practices categorized into the following:

14 General Management Practices

17 Service Management Practices

3 Technical Management Practices

These practices help in high-velocity service delivery. This is where we see all the processes that we have seen in earlier ITIL with a change to adapt to Agile, Lean and DevOps concepts.

After going through the publication and undergoing the train-the-trainer session and the exam, I feel excited about this course. This is a course for all Information Technology practitioners working in both, development and operations because everything needs to come together for delivery.

I also feel that there is a lot more pressure on us as trainers because all ITIL 4 trainers need to have enough knowledge of Agile, Lean, and DevOps to do justice to this program. Otherwise, the students will not get any value out of it.