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Agile and ITIL 4

By November 19, 2021No Comments

Agile and ITIL – Agility has convinced CIOs over time and enforced their principles and methods to change the way they work fundamentally.

Companies have thus been able to deliver their projects more quickly while avoiding the tunnel effect conferred by more traditional methods. Nevertheless, remaining focused as much as possible on the needs and expectations of customers.
Production activities also remain firmly anchored to the ITSM (IT Service Management) standard, bringing together best practices in information system management, which has become a reference work for CIOs for several decades.

The agile principles and ITIL seem in the first place to conflict with the values that they promote. However, these two standards share common values that we should put in synergy to get the most out of the importance of these two standards. Version 4 of ITIL, published in February 2019, goes in this direction by adopting the best practices of ITSM to agile operating methods.

What are the convergences between Agile and ITIL?

What is the big news in ITIL 4, and how is it adapting to new agile practices? Lighting in this article.

Some reminders about Agile and ITIL

ITIL® (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a set of books identifying best practices in managing information systems. Born in the 1980s, this repository has established itself within CIOs as the benchmark for IT Service Management (ITSM). Thanks to a clearly defined and controlled process approach to” improve the quality of information systems and user assistance.

At the same time, agile methods have transformed how IT projects are carried out to allow more excellent responsiveness and a reduction in time-to-market.

Agile often represents the promise of a more fluid business and offers a profound transformation in how we work. We can do this by making all the project stakeholders as responsible as possible. As a result, companies hope to deliver their tasks more quickly.

Principles that all seem to oppose
Historically, Agile and ITIL methods are good practices applied to IT production and IT development, respectively.

Indeed, ITIL provides a frame of reference through well-defined and well-documented processes. But ITIL does not impose a particular way of performing tasks. Agility is, above all, a set of practices and working methods, the principles of which help reactivity and flexibility. 4 great principles drive it:

  • Individuals and their interactions rather than processes and tools
  • Operational software more than comprehensive documentation
  • Collaboration with customers more than contractual negotiations
  • Adapting to change rather than following a plan.

At first glance, these four principles seem to be in contradiction with ITIL, whose foundations are based on detailed processes and cumbersome documentation (several hundred pages):

  • ITIL describes in detail the processes that allow a robust quality of service.
  • Documentation is very extensive. For example, ITIL books consist of several hundred pages.
  • Entering into contractual agreements and respecting service level agreements (SLA) is one of ITIL’s foundations.
  • Some processes can be inflexible.

Agile and ITIL methods have thus long been considered in silos, one ensuring the development of IT projects and the other production and IT operations activities. However, this duality is no longer necessary today, as the two movements have come together in recent years, primarily through DevOps. Furthermore, the move to the agility scale (“Agile @ Scale”) has also reinforced this proximity. This is because of setting up an agile organization in all CIO entities and even other company functions.

samir faraj

Experienced, motivated, and results-oriented Managing Business Consultant with more than +16 years of proven achievements in information technology and Business Management.Certified ITIL 2011 EXPERT, ITIL 4 ® MANAGING PROFESSIONAL, ITIL EXPERT. Certified TOGAF 9.1, COBIT 5 FOUNDATION, CLOUD COMPUTING, ISO9001, ISO27001, EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

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