Text Box: IT Experience.  Practical Solutions.

Text Box: DITY™ Newsletter






Vol.  2.12, MAR. 21, 2006

Hank Marquis, 2006, CTO



By Hank Marquis

The next version of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) is to ship in September of this year, and there are some major changes ahead for the ITIL and those who use it.


Physically, ITIL will have three components: Core, Complementary, and Web, but the biggest change is focus — which is on achieving and sustaining Business/IT Alignment (BITA), showing value, and delivering return on investment.


New topics include understanding business catalysts and how they produce IT strategies; how you should respond to specific business drivers like compliance and regulation, and how to interoperate with other standards.


ITIL v3 has a new “hub-and-spoke” design with a descriptive core framework as the hub, and prescriptive solutions as spokes.  Perhaps most useful are new implementation templates based on industry, firm size and business model.   


Following I describe the new ITIL, what it means to you, why you should care and how to benefit from it.


The goal of the new ITIL is a business aligned and easy implementation that you can customize to your situation.

ITIL v3 uses a hub-and-spoke model with the fundamental Service Support and Service Delivery components as the hub and specific markets and industries in complementary components as the spokes. There are three parts to the new ITIL:

  1. The “Core” has 5 books covering the lifecycle of IT services from business need to service optimization, and subsumes virtually the entirety of the current Service Support and Service Delivery content.
  2. The “Complementary” components include specific content targeted toward particular situations, industries, and environments.
  3. The “Web” component provides a dynamic resource for commonly needed and topical materials like process maps, definitions, templates, business cases, and case studies.

ITIL v3 will also provide significant new resources to help you “Do IT Yourself” – yes, the OGC and itSMF are making our way of thinking the new normal! Examples here include case studies, templates, examples of how to build a service catalog, how to perform self-assessments, etc.

Reasons for ITIL v3
The drivers for the refresh and creation of ITIL v3 is the worldwide ITIL community. The refresh committee solicited and reviewed 530 written responses and over 6000 comments – representing 80% of the countries with an itSMF chapter. This version of ITIL is truly representative of industry.

As taken from the ITIL refresh publication, the top changes requested are:

  1. Provide consistent structure and navigation throughout the entire library.
  2. Preserve the key concepts of Service Support and Service Delivery. Expand and improve upon the basic concepts.
  3. Include best practices that extend deeper into service management concepts and reflect ITIL’s relevance to business in a more tangible way; and show how ITIL and can be built into business processes and cycles.
  4. Provide guidance on the softer issues of organizational structures, cultural issues, and an understanding of the interfaces to other best practices that help support effective ITIL practices in the workplace.
  5. Provide a knowledge management strategy to support the service management needs of business and IT environments today and tomorrow. A relatively stable core could form the base framework, and it would complemented by focused and topical material in the form of case studies, templates, subject matter expert white papers, implementation packages, and business cases, keeping ITIL practices current over time by sharing the wealth of community experience.
  6. Demonstrate and articulate value, benefits, and ROI to establish the value proposition for ITIL.
  7. Reflect the reality of today’s business, operational, procurement and technical environments including the use of ITIL in multi-sourced IT environments.

Other goals include improving the usefulness and applicability of ITIL by addressing the changing needs of users as the technology base and business requirements continue to evolve, and making ITIL easier to apply and improve its applicability to small organizations.

The Core Components
The Core is a new set of 5 books that follow a lifecycle model from design to retirement. The Core is to include the key concepts and generic best practices that do not change rapidly. Much of the Service Support and Service Delivery remains, but is split out among the 5 books of the Core in a more cyclic and business oriented framework. The working titles are:

  • Service Strategies – hub of the core; understand and translate business into IT strategy; catalysts etc; what are the best practices for my industry, etc.
  • Service Design – models to consider, outsourcing, in sourcing, co sourcing etc. Cyclical
  • Service Introduction – how to create a transition strategy from design and put it into the live environment change, release, service models; checklist design into production; similar to software development lifecycle
  • Service Operation – services in the live environment; day-to-day management, react to failures, metrics of quality, reactive elements and processes.
  • Service Improvement – once deployed into live environment, we need to look into the rearview mirror and see if there are opportunities to improve; how can we improve.

The Complimentary Components
Complementary publications address application of the generic core guidance in particular market or technological contexts. The Complimentary components will change as required, perhaps annually, quarterly, even monthly for some.

A recent example is the ITIL book "ITIL in small IT units", which will continue into ITIL v3. Other key additions relate to implementation guidelines by firm size of industry. The Complementary component contains particular guidance by marketing segment. You can choose based on governance (e.g. COBIT), methodology (e.g., Six Sigma), a particular technology, business model and even by business driver (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley .

The Web or Internet Components
The Web component is a dynamic on-line resource that can change as often as required – just like a company website.

Content in this component provides web-based support for existing and aspiring ITIL users. Examples of materials includes a glossary, process maps, ITIL definitions and will include discussion papers, role definitions, case studies as well as examples of ITIL forms and meeting agendas for meetings specified in ITIL such as the Change Advisory Board.

The existing ITIL certifications (Foundation, Practitioner, and Service Manager) will continue to remain valid, relevant, and valuable. In fact, from a content perspective, the Foundation certification will remain virtually identical.

While the content, concepts, and workflow remain the same, the certification programs must change. The Core expands from 2 books to 5, this requires a change in training programs.

As is often the case when a certification changes it will take a while for the certification bodies to catch up. The plan is for new certifications to arrive 6 to 12 months after the delivery of ITIL v3.  From a practical perspective, this means within the next 12-18 months.

As is also often the case when major changes occur to a certification, as recently evidenced by the recent fiasco around a new project management certification, now is a very good time to get everyone certified.  Current ITIL v2 certifications remain valid; new material obviously requires new certifications, so starting now and getting some ITIL “under the belt” before the change is a wise move.

The existing ITIL (v2) underpins the ISO 20000 and 20001 standards for organizational certification, and the new ITIL (v3) will provide the same support.

The New ITIL
The changes make ITIL easier to implement in every way; selling ROI, business alignment, managing people, performing assessments and more.  ITIL v3 is grown up and reflects and supports today’s dynamic ‘Do IT Yourself’ environments.

If you have been putting off ITIL, now is the time to begin. The prescriptive enhancements and alignment with business drivers that ITIL v3 contains will only accelerate adoption. In combination with ISO 20000 and ISO 20001, ITIL v3 is going to fully blossom into the “new normal.”  [See ‘Get Ready for ISO 20000 Certification’ DITY Vol. 2 #3 for more on ISO 20000 and what it means.] 

Finally, your investment in learning how to "Do IT Yourself" has positioned you ideally for ITIL v3!


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Entire Contents © 2006 itSM Solutions LLC.  All Rights Reserved.