information-technology-infrastructure-library

Information Technology Infrastructure Library

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a framework that was designed to standardize the IT services in a business, whether that be selection, planning, delivery, maintenance, or the overall lifecycle.

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework that describes the best practices for the delivery of IT services.

The history of ITILs

The first ITIL was developed in the 1980s by the Government of the United Kingdom’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA).

When data centers decentralized and then adopted architectures that were more geographically diverse, process and deployment discrepancies caused substandard or inconsistent IT services within organizations.

In response to this problem, the CCTA reimagined IT and understood the importance of establishing consistent practices across the entire IT service lifecycle.

The first version of its ITIL – dubbed the Government Information Technology Infrastructure Management methodology – was printed for distribution in 1989 as a series of 31 books.

Version 2 was released in 2000 where each publication was streamlined by grouping various aspects of IT management.

Microsoft also utilized ITIL around this time to develop its Microsoft Operations Framework. 

Subsequent updates to the ITIL have occurred in 2007, 2011, and 2019. 

Contents of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library 

When ITIL V4 was released in 2019, it was similar to its predecessors with a core focus on process automation, service management improvement, and the integration of IT departments into the broader company. 

But it also made room for modern technology, tools, and software that enable organizations to be more agile and flexible.

To that end, V4 accommodates philosophies such as Agile, DevOps, and Lean and has shifted the core focus from IT Service Management (ITSM) to one of general service management

Key stages of the ITIL

Within the ITIL are five key stages which collectively describe 26 processes. Let’s take a brief look at these stages and a non-exhaustive list of processes below:

  1. Service Strategy – how to design, develop, and implement ITSM. Processes include Strategy Management for IT Services, Service Portfolio Management, and Financial Management for IT Services.
  2. Service Design – how to design services and processes. Example processes include Service Catalogue Management, Availability Management, and Supplier Management.
  3. Service Transition – how to handle a new or changed service and ensure all service management processes balance. Processes include Transition Planning and Support, Change Management, and Service Asset and Configuration Management.
  4. Service Operation – guidance on how to deliver and run services smoothly and reliably. Processes include Access Management, Service Request Fulfillment, and Incident Management.
  5. Continual Service Improvement (CSI) – the fifth key stage clarifies how IT services can be realigned as the needs of the business change. CSI is itself comprised of seven steps that detail how data should be measured, gathered, processed, and analyzed.

ITIL V4 guiding principles

Based on the ITIL Practitioner Exam, the latest version of the ITIL also defines seven guiding principles that cover aspects such as change management, measurement and metrics, and communication. 

Many of these principles are influenced by ideas born in other disciplines such as manufacturing and software development.

The seven principles include:

  1. Start where you are.
  2. Focus on value.
  3. Collaborate and promote visibility.
  4. Keep it simple and practical.
  5. Optimize and automate.
  6. Progress iteratively with feedback, and
  7. Think and work holistically.

Key takeaways:

  • The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework that describes the best practices for the delivery of IT services. 
  • The ITIL has undergone several updates over the years to reflect advances in tech, tools, software, and various business practices and philosophies.
  • Within the ITIL are five key stages which collectively describe 26 processes. The five stages are Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement.

Related Business Frameworks

AIOps

aiops
AIOps is the application of artificial intelligence to IT operations. It has become particularly useful for modern IT management in hybridized, distributed, and dynamic environments. AIOps has become a key operational component of modern digital-based organizations, built around software and algorithms.

Agile Methodology

agile-methodology
Agile started as a lightweight development method compared to heavyweight software development, which is the core paradigm of the previous decades of software development. By 2001 the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was born as a set of principles that defined the new paradigm for software development as a continuous iteration. This would also influence the way of doing business.

Agile Project Management

agile-project-management
Agile project management (APM) is a strategy that breaks large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. In the APM methodology, each project is completed in small sections – often referred to as iterations. Each iteration is completed according to its project life cycle, beginning with the initial design and progressing to testing and then quality assurance.

Agile Modeling

agile-modeling
Agile Modeling (AM) is a methodology for modeling and documenting software-based systems. Agile Modeling is critical to the rapid and continuous delivery of software. It is a collection of values, principles, and practices that guide effective, lightweight software modeling.

Agile Business Analysis

agile-business-analysis
Agile Business Analysis (AgileBA) is certification in the form of guidance and training for business analysts seeking to work in agile environments. To support this shift, AgileBA also helps the business analyst relate Agile projects to a wider organizational mission or strategy. To ensure that analysts have the necessary skills and expertise, AgileBA certification was developed.

Business Model Innovation

business-model-innovation
Business model innovation is about increasing the success of an organization with existing products and technologies by crafting a compelling value proposition able to propel a new business model to scale up customers and create a lasting competitive advantage. And it all starts by mastering the key customers.

Continuous Innovation

continuous-innovation
That is a process that requires a continuous feedback loop to develop a valuable product and build a viable business model. Continuous innovation is a mindset where products and services are designed and delivered to tune them around the customers’ problem and not the technical solution of its founders.

Design Sprint

design-sprint
A design sprint is a proven five-day process where critical business questions are answered through speedy design and prototyping, focusing on the end-user. A design sprint starts with a weekly challenge that should finish with a prototype, test at the end, and therefore a lesson learned to be iterated.

Design Thinking

design-thinking
Tim Brown, Executive Chair of IDEO, defined design thinking as “a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” Therefore, desirability, feasibility, and viability are balanced to solve critical problems.

DevOps

devops-engineering
DevOps refers to a series of practices performed to perform automated software development processes. It is a conjugation of the term “development” and “operations” to emphasize how functions integrate across IT teams. DevOps strategies promote seamless building, testing, and deployment of products. It aims to bridge a gap between development and operations teams to streamline the development altogether.

Dual Track Agile

dual-track-agile
Product discovery is a critical part of agile methodologies, as its aim is to ensure that products customers love are built. Product discovery involves learning through a raft of methods, including design thinking, lean start-up, and A/B testing to name a few. Dual Track Agile is an agile methodology containing two separate tracks: the “discovery” track and the “delivery” track.

Feature-Driven Development

feature-driven-development
Feature-Driven Development is a pragmatic software process that is client and architecture-centric. Feature-Driven Development (FDD) is an agile software development model that organizes workflow according to which features need to be developed next.

eXtreme Programming

extreme-programming
eXtreme Programming was developed in the late 1990s by Ken Beck, Ron Jeffries, and Ward Cunningham. During this time, the trio was working on the Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System (C3) to help manage the company payroll system. eXtreme Programming (XP) is a software development methodology. It is designed to improve software quality and the ability of software to adapt to changing customer needs.

Lean vs. Agile

lean-methodology-vs-agile
The Agile methodology has been primarily thought of for software development (and other business disciplines have also adopted it). Lean thinking is a process improvement technique where teams prioritize the value streams to improve it continuously. Both methodologies look at the customer as the key driver to improvement and waste reduction. Both methodologies look at improvement as something continuous.

Lean Startup

startup-company
A startup company is a high-tech business that tries to build a scalable business model in tech-driven industries. A startup company usually follows a lean methodology, where continuous innovation, driven by built-in viral loops is the rule. Thus, driving growth and building network effects as a consequence of this strategy.

Kanban

kanban
Kanban is a lean manufacturing framework first developed by Toyota in the late 1940s. The Kanban framework is a means of visualizing work as it moves through identifying potential bottlenecks. It does that through a process called just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing to optimize engineering processes, speed up manufacturing products, and improve the go-to-market strategy.

Rapid Application Development

rapid-application-development
RAD was first introduced by author and consultant James Martin in 1991. Martin recognized and then took advantage of the endless malleability of software in designing development models. Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a methodology focusing on delivering rapidly through continuous feedback and frequent iterations.

Scaled Agile

scaled-agile-lean-development
Scaled Agile Lean Development (ScALeD) helps businesses discover a balanced approach to agile transition and scaling questions. The ScALed approach helps businesses successfully respond to change. Inspired by a combination of lean and agile values, ScALed is practitioner-based and can be completed through various agile frameworks and practices.

Spotify Model

spotify-model
The Spotify Model is an autonomous approach to scaling agile, focusing on culture communication, accountability, and quality. The Spotify model was first recognized in 2012 after Henrik Kniberg, and Anders Ivarsson released a white paper detailing how streaming company Spotify approached agility. Therefore, the Spotify model represents an evolution of agile.

Test-Driven Development

test-driven-development
As the name suggests, TDD is a test-driven technique for delivering high-quality software rapidly and sustainably. It is an iterative approach based on the idea that a failing test should be written before any code for a feature or function is written. Test-Driven Development (TDD) is an approach to software development that relies on very short development cycles.

Timeboxing

timeboxing
Timeboxing is a simple yet powerful time-management technique for improving productivity. Timeboxing describes the process of proactively scheduling a block of time to spend on a task in the future. It was first described by author James Martin in a book about agile software development.

Scrum

what-is-scrum
Scrum is a methodology co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland for effective team collaboration on complex products. Scrum was primarily thought for software development projects to deliver new software capability every 2-4 weeks. It is a sub-group of agile also used in project management to improve startups’ productivity.

Scrum Anti-Patterns

scrum-anti-patterns
Scrum anti-patterns describe any attractive, easy-to-implement solution that ultimately makes a problem worse. Therefore, these are the practice not to follow to prevent issues from emerging. Some classic examples of scrum anti-patterns comprise absent product owners, pre-assigned tickets (making individuals work in isolation), and discounting retrospectives (where review meetings are not useful to really make improvements).

Scrum At Scale

scrum-at-scale
Scrum at Scale (Scrum@Scale) is a framework that Scrum teams use to address complex problems and deliver high-value products. Scrum at Scale was created through a joint venture between the Scrum Alliance and Scrum Inc. The joint venture was overseen by Jeff Sutherland, a co-creator of Scrum and one of the principal authors of the Agile Manifesto.
Scroll to Top
FourWeekMBA