Why does managing IT service management (ITSM) from a lifecycle perspective matter? To answer this question let’s look at industry behavior related to ITIL® adoption starting with ITIL v2.
Also, to be clear or maybe not so clear ITIL is really just ITIL and has improved over the years to what it is today. At one time the acronym ITIL stood for IT Infrastructure Library, but today it is just an acronym to help us connect with the history of the practice and the framework. ITIL is more than just an IT library, so the interpretation of the acronym is not valid today. ITIL also really has no version numbers, but the IT community is acclimated to using versions. The current release of ITIL is ITIL 2011. This is also confusing to IT people, because they will ask “Is there a more current version, like ITIL 2017? Is ITIL outdated? Or is it not usefully anymore?” To this day I still sometimes use the term ITIL v3 2011 to give context. Although it’s gone through phases and name changes, ITIL continues to be extremely useful today.
ITIL v2 – Service Support and Service Delivery
The ITIL v2 Service Support book was published in 2000, with the other v2 books following. Service Support was a key industry perspective for ITSM. At this time the focus was on overall improvement of IT support and its customers/users. ITSM industry insights, such as the following, were normal:
- Discussions around call center, help desk, and service desk with single points of contact and deployment models of local, central, virtual, and follow-the-sun for improving the value and perspective of IT to the business were the focus.
- Understanding the customer experience for support was extremely important. Statements such as “If a customer has a bad experience with service/product support, no matter how good the service/product was the organization was in danger/risk of losing that customer” and “If the organization lost a customer it would take over three times the effort to get the customer to return”.
Many organizations and people did not care about the Service Delivery publication, as well as other publications. Individuals trying to obtain ITIL v2 Service Manager certifications cared because of the certification criteria around the core books. However, most did not. The Service Delivery and Service Support publications were considered the core books at the time.
- Service Support process area focus was on Incident Management, Problem Management, Configuration Management, Change Management, Release Management, and the Service Desk function.
- Service Delivery process area focused on Service Level Management, Financial Management for IT Services, Capacity Management, Availability Management, Security Management, and IT Service continuity management.
Individuals trying to obtain ITIL v2 Service Manager certifications cared about both service support and service delivery because of the certification criteria around the two core books. The publication that many should have started with was “The Business Perspective” or at least “Planning to Implement Service Management”. With these two key “complementary” books the ITIL authors and contributors were trying to get the attention on business value of service support and delivery efforts.
Tomorrow we’ll examine ITIL v3 and it’s contribution to Managing ITSM from a Lifecycle Perspective.