Routine is predictable. Predictable is boring. But put that predictability of a routine in environments where the right outcome is critical and routine becomes uber valuable.
One would want very high predictability in running their IT operations day in and day out. Yet predictability becomes more elusive as the organization, platform, or solution grows.
Lack of predictability costs money, unhappy customers, and regulatory issues.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library, or ITIL, comes in handy in reigning in that predictability.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of guidelines that allow IT projects to remain organized despite their growing scale and complexity.
ITIL describes organization and technology independent processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists that can be used to plan, implement, and manage IT services and assets.
ITIL versus Project Management
There are overlapping areas between the two. Yet they are starkly different. A project on one hand has a definite boundary, milestones, deliverables, and resources. A service has all that except it is an ongoing engagement.
ITIL versus Program Management
Program management can encompass diverse activities required to run a big engagement. Building a customized CRM for a Fortune 5 00's global operations may involve setting up IT development projects, data sourcing projects with vendors, cloud service management projects et cetera under one umbrella.
While program management remains more strategic, service management often tends to be more tactical and deals with day to day operations of commissioned programs.
Project Management is centered on a few core deliverables while additionally managing time, risk, resources et cetera. Service Management has multiple core deliverables in the form of change management, incident management, problem management et cetera.
An incident is defined as an issue or a bug in the expected behavior of a commissioned software. While bugs may be a result of a miss during the IT development phase or earlier, other issues like server failures, data corruption, nonavailability of data to process, or an expected processing workload et Cetera can cause the service to fail.
Categorize issues into different priorities ranging from very high to low
Define and track the occurrence of incidents Is responsible for ensuring incidents are fixed within expected timelines.
Measure the efficiency of fixing the incidents and improving it.
Performing root cause analysis on incidents so any reoccurrence can be avoided.
An incident recurring frequently is termed a Problem in ITIL. These cause resource drainage by keeping Operations occupied.
Problem Management aims to:
Identify problems from incidents.
Assess impact, coordinate their resolution with corresponding teams.
Is responsible for ensuring problems are resolved within expected timelines.
Any new release, or fix to the existing code base, servers, configurations et cetera is called a Change.
Change Management aims to:
Ensuring new changes won't disrupt service stability.
Implementing a change can be disruptive to normal business operations. Change Management shall ensure such disruptions are minimal, well planned, and agreed with all stakeholders.
Minimize unplanned changes.
Service Delivery Management.
While a full fledged ITIL implementation caters to various verticals, overseeing them is the service delivery management profile.
Responsible for overall service level agreements, key process indicators the service delivery manager ensures quality delivery and continued service.
Every process framework comes with overheads of training, manpower and compliance. If you're a small organization you may not benefit from a full fledged implementation of ITIL. Yet carefully selecting areas for implementation can benefit you.
If you're a large organization and looking to scale, then ITIL is definitely the way to go.
The costs of an early implementation will be far offset by savings from wasted efforts and lost customer confidence.
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