Another ITIL version 3 book has been published

The book is entitled "The Official Introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle" and is written by Sharon Taylor, chief architect of ITIL version 3.

This is an excerpt from the presentation of the book:

"This official introduction is your gateway to ITIL. It explains the basic concept of IT Service Management and the place of ITIL, introducing the new lifecycle model, which puts into context all the familiar ITIL processes from the earlier books. This title introduces ITSM and ITIL, explains why the service lifecycle approach is best practice in today's ITSM, and makes a persuasive case for change.

After showing high level process models, it takes the reader through the main principles that govern the new version: lifecycle stages, governance and decision making, then the principles behind design and deployment, and operation and optimisation."

The book can be purchased here.

Regards, David :-)


3 or 5 stages in the Service Lifecycle?

The question arose at work the other day. I'll present my thoughts on the subject below.

The lifecycle perspective is really not entirelly new. Two ITIL version 2 books, Application Management and ICT Infrastructure Management, definatly had the lifecycle perspective although it was not applied to the service but to the application and the infrastructural components. What is new in version 3 is that it is applied to the IT Service. All 5 ITIL version 3 core books fit nicely in the new Service Lifecycle concept (see image).

Having said that does not mean I think there are necesarilly 5 stages in the Service Lifecycle. On the contrary. I would like to point out that the books should not be seen each as one of five stages.

It is clear when reading the books that Service Strategy (SS) is NOT a stage while Service Design (SD), Service Transition (ST) and Service Operation (SO) are. That is also clearly stated in the ITIL Glossary (v3.1.24). The glossary uses the term "stage" on SD, ST and SO. Here is a quote from the 3rd edition of the ITIL Refresh News on the subject:

"It [Service Strategy] also helps them make the business case for investments in the Lifecycle phases of Service Design, Service Transition, and Service Operation, and in the ongoing activity of Continual Service Improvement"

If not 5, then how many stages are there? Can we then state that there are 3 stages i the Service Lifecycle? Maybe not. The glossary state that Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is a stage in the lifecycle. I think this is not so strange considering that CSI is essential for the improvement of the service. Another aspect is that CSI is iterative in itself (PDCA, remember?) even if the SD, ST and SO should happen to be completely "linear". Something that has influenced the IT industry in general and the development of IT systems (and services) in particular is the iterative approach. The iterative approach is definitely in ITIL version 3 although I think it is not being used consistently in all aspects of the framework. One thing that the iterative approach does is that it weaves together SD, ST, SO and CSI. Improvement is done until the service is retired.

The difference between SS and the other books would be that SS preceeds the others and is answering the "Why?" more than the "How?". If we apply this on the Service Lifecycle it means that SS is the "base" for the others. Of course one could argue that the decision to "give life" to a service should be seen as part of that services lifecycle, but to me that is to much of a phylosophycal argument.

So the answer to the question as I see it is "No". Neither 3 or 5 but 4. 4 (SD, ST, SO and CSI) highly integrated iterative stages of a lifecycle that is the realisation of a strategy (SS).

What do you think?

I will return with more on version 3 and what I see as important, interesting or confusing in coming posts. Stay tuned.

Regards, David :-)


ITIL version 3 glossary available for download

The OGC ITIL glossary for version 3 has been made available for public download at the OGC site after you've accepted the terms of use. The glossary has been used during the writing of the version 3 books and to my knowledge it was one of the first things that the authors agreed on. It has been both trimmed and extended and it contains references to the books in the version 3 suite. I think it will be of great value in helping us all to use the same definitions and acronyms in the ITIL community.

Regards, David :-)

Have you ordered the ITIL v3 books yet?

I haven't seen any info on the web about the pricing and the different ways to acquire the ITIL v3 documentation and want to share my findings in the subject. Two days have passed since the books became "orderable" and this is what I've found out.

First I must say that all 5 books in the ITIL v3 suite are extensively integrated and therefore I talk about the whole suite in this post. The different processes in version 3 are placed in the different books after careful consideration, I'm sure. At the same time, since Change Management for example is placed in the Service Transition book, but is still very central in the day-to-day operation of a service management team, it is not enough to buy the Service Operation book to get a view of the day-to-day processes of ITSM. For many people this will probably feel like having to buy more than needed. To me it feels like the right way to go. I think we've had a situation with the version 2 library that is unfortunate focusing a bit to much on the Service Delivery (SD) and Service Support (SS) books. Thus creating a view that those are all you need to read in the library. There are also organisations grouping their competences very much after the grouping in the library creating an unnecessary distance between for example Application Management and some of the processes in the SS book (e.g. Change Management). So, back to the v3 suite. Let's start with an overview of the material available.

There are 3 different channels or formats as you all probably know;

- Hard copy (£299+shipping)
- Downloadable PDF (£351.33)
- Online 1-year subscription (£311.38)

The prices are taken from TSO webshop at http://www.best-management-practice.com/

I placed my order today and thought that you could be interested in some findings about the ITIL v3 documentation. One thing that surprised me not being a TSO customer before is the way they are pricing the 1-year online subscription. The price shown above for the subscription gives you access to the suite for 1 year and nothing more. The value of the promised updates with for example complementary guidelines, case studies etc. is really hard to assess today. We cannot even be sure there will be any mayor updates for the next 12 months. Enhanced functionality that will be in the online version:
• an interactive process map with links through to the title(s) you have in your portfolio
• enhanced search results covering the core library

To pay £300 for the hard copy that will be on my desk, in my bag and in my library for years is to me a much better value for money than having online access to the same material for 12 months paying some extra pounds. The information I've been given about the costs of renewals of the subscription makes it even worse. I was told by the TSO customer service that the pricing of renewals of their other online products was about the same as the 1-year subscriptions and that ITIL v3 would probably be priced in the same way. In MHO this means that the material online must be developed considerably and that a lot of material must be added online every year to make this a good deal for a single user.

Having said that I must point out an aspect of the online subscription that makes it a really good deal and that is the multi user version. TSO is offering a concurrent user version of the online subscription. The product is priced individually as it is obvius that an order for 1000 concurrent users is priced differently than an order for 5 concurrent. The same disadvantages that apply to the single user version are still there and the cost of keeping the product is still that of a new product per year.

The concurrent user option offers greatest access to the guidance and is based on the number of users accessing the content at the same time. For example, if your company has 500 employees but only expects 10 to access the guidance simultaneously, a licence for 10 concurrent users would be appropriate. This is the best option for corporate access.

Regards, David :-)


What is life about?

Is it about working with ITIL? Is it about being an IT-consultant with challenging assignments? Is it about running from morning 'till dusk, taking care of children or trying to clear the never ending to do-lists that come with having a house of your own? Is it perhaps like the song from the mid-eighties performed by Opus (can't help it but the song "Live is life" popped up in my head all of a sudden...) that it's about being "Live" at a concert.

This is of course both a personal and also an epic question but it's a question I think we formulate way to seldom. Why not take the opportunity while you're reading this blog to pause and think about what life is all about - for you.

Calm, this blog is not going anywhere. Are you?

Maybe that is an excellent entry-point. Getting to know what life is all about is definitely related to us going somewhere and us having a goal. Do you have a goal?

To be honest I often both behave and feel like that is not the case. Quite strange considering I am and we all are "moving on" - knowingly or not - to somewhere. I come to think about a great book or a couple of books by M Scott Peck (1936-2005), "The road less traveled" that came in the late seventies and is a best-seller and "Further on the road less travelled" published some fifteen years later. They discuss this journey of self-discovery, relationships, problem-solving and spiritual growth. I think we all are on this journey whether we believe it or not. If you think you're not moving I respect that, of course. Personally I'm convinced I'm moving and that I'm better of being aware of that. I hope you know you're walking and I just encourage you to walk further. The goal is again both personal and universal, and maybe material for another post, but it's definitely exciting to walk. And sometimes hard. I love the first line in the first book mentioned above as it begins "Life is difficult" and the second book adds "Life is complicated". In doing so they point out dimensions of the walk that we try not to admit. In admitting their existence our walk becomes more coloured and our pain and struggles are somehow more understandable.

So, after writing lots of words and promoting a couple of books that are definitely not part of ITIL v3, what is the conclusion? Is there an answer to the question "What is life about?"? I think a good answer (at least for me) is "About walking - each step more and more aware of the goal". I have a looooooong walk ahead...with both philosophical posts and more ITIL stuff.

Good night, David :-)

Thank you IT-skeptic!

The IT-skeptic has given me a lot of hits after selecting part of one of my posts about Configuration Management/CMDB as "Quote of the month". Thanks! I really like your site (see my links) and I am honoured :-)

Thank you all who have followed the link. I hope you find more of interest while you're here. This also encourages me to start writing more often after a long period of abscence. I will try to post more insights and keep you coming back here with more on ITIL. If I am quoted again by an IT-guru is unsure, but I'm sure I will continue to write on this topic.

Special thanks to the one who commented and shared his/her experience in such a humorous way. Please feel free to share more, before your brain is all smashed ;-)

For all of you waiting for posts on something other than ITIL the time has come. See my next post.

Regards, David :-)


Some views on Configuration Management/CMDB

I think there is a need of a more strategic and tactical view on Configuration Management, just as I tried to explain in my recent post on Change Management. First I have to say that my main discipline in ITIL/ITSM is perhaps Configuration Management. Maybe it's because of that experience that I often describe Configuration Management as being "the ditch in which 'the ITIL automobile' comes to a stop". The ITIL books are somewhat sparse with information on how to get the process of Configuration Management to work, not to speak of the realisation of the CMDB. This leaves us all searching for "silver bullets" or perhaps a "breakdown lorry" to stay with the allegory mentioned earlier.

There are really a lot to say in this matter and I will get back on the subject. For now I sum it all up like this: there is an apparent need of several (new) "views on Configuration Management" and different "levels" in our CMDBs. If we don't take this into consideration there is a risk of ending up in the "ditch" with our ITIL initiatives...

As usual a little research shows I'm not the first nor the most talented that has recognised this and I therefore leave you with some great links on the subject:

The IT Skeptic (sometimes called the ITIL Skeptic) is really a great blog with lots on the subject - www.itskeptic.org
Charles T Betz is an Enterprise architect that I enjoy reading. He has a lot of thoughts on the subject that I find interesting - http://erp4it.typepad.com/erp4it/2007/02/configuration_d.html
Some resources on the University of Minnesota Service Management site with a White-paper on CMDB - http://www.cce.umn.edu/professionalcertification/itil/resources.html

Feel free to comment. I'd love if you have an opposite opinion, David :-)


A new certification is always nice!

I now have received my ITIL Practitioner Release and Control (IPRC) certificate. Since I did the course a year ago I've not had the time to complete the certification and do the test. I finally found that time a couple of weeks ago and have now gotten the result.

It feels real good to get a concrete acknowledgement and the pin is really nice in demonstrating this ;-).

Best regards and happy Easter to ya all!

David :-)


The difference between a change and a change...

I understand if this sounds a bit like philosophy and not ITIL or even like a poor sentence, but I think you'll see the point if you read the entire post.

The Change Management process is one of the fundamental pieces of Service Management and of ITIL. What I want to point out is how this process is often managed with an operational view and how that can conflict with the whole customer-oriented view of ITIL. An RFC for instance is often initiated by a customer wanting to change for example a service on a high level. This kind of change requires a project which further down the process line makes a change to the CIs in the production environment. What I want to point out here as a risk in this chain of thinking is that the change is different both in character and in content on the tactical or strategic business level compared to the operational level.

The businesses perspective on the change in this example is much more complex and must be secured at the appropriate level (see picture with Change in the classical three layer pyramid). If the parties involved in this change have not agreed on and realized that this "business change" is impossible to get in place if Change Management and RFCs is delimited to an operational view. If that is the case the (often) technical change must "push the change up to a business level" which I think is wrong.

What I think is needed is a more holistic view on changes. The ITIL literature is in my opinion both a bit vague on the strategic/tactical support and a bit too focused on the operational parts of a change. To secure a better handling of changes initiated by customers the provider must "meet" the customer and stop accepting RFCs that are "thrown over the wall" or to keep the pyramid view, "down to the operational level".

If the service provider invests (with the customers money as is always the case, right?) in a better cooperation in the creation, interpretation and "breakdown" of RFCs with the customer it is my strong belief that Change Management would benefit. Maybe it is needed to point out that RFCs initiated from the operational level have similar requirements although inverted. The technical changes must be of value for and in alignment with the business, right?

"Business reorganisation" and "the adaptive business" are really strong drivers in todays businesses and change is business critical. To serve these businesses well it is my humble opinion that we have to adopt a more tactical and perhaps even a strategic view on Change Management.

What is your view on this? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on the subject!

Regards, David :-)


Details on the ITIL version 3 launch

At last the release party we all have been waiting for is here! The itSMF invites everyone to celebrate the launch of ITIL version 3. The place is Vinopolis, a conference centre a couple of blocks from the London Bridge, and the date is now set to June the 5th. For £295 (itSMF members) and £395 (non members) you get a whole day with the Refresh team, the authors and of course Sharon Taylor. Although I guess the presentations will be similar to the ones given on several itSMF conferences during the last couple of months it is of course an "historic event". To get your name on one of the tickets to this event you should go to the new website that has been set up for the launch: http://www.itilv3launch.com/ (see image above). Proud sponsors are IBM and OGC's partners TSO and APM Group. A cool event that I'll not attend, unfortunately..

So, now the launch is really close and it feels like the best practices that were published as GITIMM/ITIL for the first time more than 20 years ago are getting a great Refresh. Thanks to all of you out there that have been working for almost 3 years with this. Can't wait to get my hands on the books...

Best regards, David :-)


Where can I find information on version 3?

I would like to thank Damra for her comment were she asked (in Swedish) where she could find more information on ITIL version 3 and how she could keep updated. I'll try to answer those question and thus also adding to the information on this blog about ITIL version 3.

The OGC has an entire site packed with information at http://best-management-practice.com/ and a lot on ITIL version 3. There are also (as always) lots of (to many to list..) official and non official sources, websites, blogs and newsletters and (unfortunately) you have to pretty much read it all to get a good view of the ITIL Refresh. Perhaps the most "efficient" way to keep yourself informed is to subscribe to the official newsletter of the Refresh at http://www.best-management-practice.com/ITILRefreshRegister.

Having read a lot of the material mentioned I will try to meet your wish Damra and give an insight in version 3 on this blog. A remark is needed though: The format of this blog, with short and not so dense posts, is not unintentional. I have very little time to write and even if I had the time I prefer this more "light" format. To summarize: I will try to keep you briefly informed of version 3, but if you want to be really informed you'll have to read dozens of sources like every other passionate ITIL fan do...

Best regards, David :-)


Service Life-cycle perspective - the most significant change in ITIL version 3

Hi again,

What is the most significant change in ITIL version 3?

Copyright OGC/TSO

Undoubtedly the single greatest change to ITIL in the new version is the life-cycle perspective. ITIL has evolved from a function-based library containing more than 40 books in version 1, via a process-oriented library with some indications of the necessity of the life-cycle perspective (read Application Management) in version 2 to a complete life-cycle oriented view of services in version 3.
Another result of the ITIL Refresh is that a far better integration between the different books is coming into place. I think that this is very important for ITIL to remain a tool of choice for all the professionals out there that have read the existing books over and over again and found some inconsistencies between them and already see ITIL as an integrated library.

Regards, David :-)


More on version 3 to come...

I have promised more on ITIL version 3 and although I know I'm not an authority on the subject I'd like to share my findings. Most of the material I will present originates from official newsletters, itSMF conferenses I've attended and different blogs and websites.

So, do not expect a lot of unique information on version 3 but feel confident that it is accurate and that it is a good compilation.

Regards, David :-)


Spring, and therefore soon summer, is here!

For some people this up north on the globe the winter is a favorite. To me there are only spring and summer. I love the Swedish summer nights and you can see an example on the picture to the right.

Another thing I really like is what I ave seen this far of the ITIL version 3. More on that subject this coming week. On Tuesday the 20th I will talk at a breakfast meeting about the coming version. After that presentation I will post some of the presented material and of course some comments.
Finally I would like to thank my oldest brother for stopping by my blog to leave a comment. That comment is historical being the first comment ever to one of my blogs :-) My brother BA has been encouraging me to write for years so I guess I'm being the first to know about and to comment my blog is great. Thanks BA! I'll keep an eye on your blog too.

Regards, David :-)

Where's the time to blog gone?

On the other hand, everyone has got his 24 hours, right? Thinking of what persons like Mother Theresa or Florence Nightingale accomplished on their time makes me exit this subject immediately...

I think I just go out and continue this philosophy session in the beautiful spring sunshine. And to really combine theory and practise I'll wash my old car for the first time this year.

Bye for a while, David :-)


A conference is always inspiring!

I just came back from the annual itSMF conference here in Sweden. Two days packed with info about the upcoming version 3 of ITIL direct from the authors and socializing with lots of friends from the community. Very nice! It was really inspiring!

The changes made to ITIL in version 3 feel like long awaited upgrades and the authors had no problem convincing the audience (us) that the life-cycle perspective is great and that it adds a lot to the processes.

Copyright OGC/TSO

After having heard several presentations about version 3 I feel the greatest improvement lies in the new Service Strategy book (you can see the cover on the picture above). The need for us ITSM people to not only have a strategy for our process implementations, but for our services, is emphasized in that new book. At the conference one of the authors of the book, Majid Iqbal from Carnegie Mellon University held an acclaimed lecture on different ideas, models and tools to use to secure better alignment between your services and the business goals. He also talked about the need for ROI calculations on services and promised a lot of material on that subject in the new book. I think that this area and this type of questions will be very important to adress as a consultant working with IT service management. The customers expect ROI calculations more and more often and we're asked to motivate with economical terms our different decisions regarding the services.

The conclusion is that IT Service Management is taking some steps towards IT Governance and IT Management. I personally think that this is both exciting and in the long run needed in an increasingly automated world of IT operations where the production part is offshored.

I will get back with thoughts on the rest of the 5 core books in the coming weeks. The official release date is 30th of May and the books will go public on June 2nd in London.

Regards, David :)


There's no return...

...the stone is set in motion. My blog is now a reality and I've added some links and information. It's all somehow incognito still, but I plan to launch my communications plan soon... ;-)

//David :-)

Davids blog is launched!

The first post is always historical:-) What should I write in such a special post? Perhaps a short presentation of the purpose of this blog and of who I am?

The reason I created this blog can be summarized like this:

If you don't blog nowadays it could be questioned if you really exist!
- This is frightening for a somehow shy conservative person like myself, but not far from the truth.

Where should I create a meeting place for friends, colleagues and others to say Hi, connect and share opinions and experiences?
- I have a scattered family, lots of friends I don't have time to meet in person and several matters I love to discuss with almost anyone who bothers to.

I've been trying to focus and steer my professional career (I've been an IT-consultant for 10 year) towards a more narrow but yet very interesting field of expertise.
- IT Service Management and ITIL. To blog is to sort of "come out of the closet" regarding my focus on this areas (ITSM and ITIL). At the same time it will be a way of showing dedication to my own decision to develop in these skills.

I haven't read the ABC of blogging but I think this is becoming a quite long post, don't you think?

Regards, David :-)

Copyright disclamer:

"The OGC logo® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce." "ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark, and a Registered Community Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce, and is Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office." "IT Infrastructure Library® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency which is now part of the Office of Government Commerce."