Why does managing IT Service Management from a lifecycle perspective matter? To answer this question lets look at industry behavior related to ITIL® adoption around ITIL v3.
ITIL v3 Improvement – The Service Lifecycle
In the industry at the time before and during ITIL v3 publication there were consistent conversations related to the theme, “No more IT projects, only business projects.” The ITIL service lifecycle helped organizations address this challenge with the service lifecycle approach.
Adoption of ITIL for business value was one of the key problems to be solved with the lifecycle approach. Every organization delivers and/or supports a service and/or product. So, they have a practice of service management. Services have beginnings, changes, and endings – a lifecycle. Understanding the complete lifecycle chain helps organizations become more efficient and effective in managing services for value. Organizations today use the ITIL guidance from the following perspectives:
- Operational efficiency only…
- Solve operational issues without knowing direct business value
- Similar to ITIL v2 approach: improve incident management
- Adopt all ITIL processes or specific ones
- May improve processes, but not receive any business value
- May do more than business needs and affect business capability total cost of ownership
- IT strategy for operational efficiency
- Solve business issues by addressing underpinning service capabilities and resources which include process, people, technology, etc
- Better service orientation
- Complete lifecycle perspective of service value chain
- Better management of total cost of ownership and return on investment
There are two key themes in ITIL v3 – “The practice of Service Management” and “Managing IT Services (ITSM).” The lifecycle helps connect service management business outcomes with managing IT service management (ITSM). The strategy book primarily focused on the practice, while the design, transition, and operation books are focused on managing IT related to the practice. The continual service improvement book supports both.
ITIL v3 did a number of things to improve on ITIL v2 and support a service lifecycle framework for ITSM, addressing how ITSM supports service management from end to end. Here is a list of some of the enhancements:
- Defined the lifecycle framework in five core books: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, Continual Service Improvement
- Increased the scope of the framework
- Repositioned ITIL v2 processes across lifecycle, instead of just in service support and service delivery. Service support and service delivery concepts still matter
- Added new process areas to help with managing capabilities, operational efficiency, and overall service improvement
- Added new functions and roles to represent organizations better
- Added and improved perspectives, goals, objectives, critical success factors, and key performance indicators
- Better overall examples, clarifications, and definitions
Managing ITSM from a lifecycle perspective helps remove silo’d behavior with IT projects for better organization and business value. This includes better experience and engagements with customers. Strategic intent for usage of IT capabilities and resources is better managed.