Question

What do you think about ITIL?

  • 11 August 2021
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Especially ITIL 4 and the changes re ITIL v3/2011. 

I’d love to know and maybe we can help each other with our ITIL-related issues.

Please share your thoughts as a response.

Thanks.


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There are parts of ITIL that can be useful but I consider it to be almost antithetical to highly agile (lower-case “a”) operations.

To me, ITIL feels antiquated, and geared towards organization wherein workers are not expected to assess root causes and deliver outcomes, but rather follow rigid checklists, runbooks and procedures.  This may make sense in some large organizations with deep silos, but it’s toxic to Agile (uppercase A) orgs, DevOps, and pretty much any org following Lean or minimum-viable-change principles.  I know that v4 is purported to find alignment with DevOps+Transformation - but case in point, v4 is 2019-2021 - or about a decade late to the DevOps party. 

I consider ITIL processes to be generally rigid, brittle and tedious.  I find tremendously more value in automated testing over approvals and change management, treating planning as a testable hypothesis with expectation of constant change and root-problem investigation (“what problem are you trying to solve?”) over runbooks.  

But with all that being said, like with any framework or philosophy, one should pick the parts that work for them, and skip the rest, and there are many useful bits inside ITIL.  Service Catalogs (especially automated self-service) are great, and for some orgs, ITIL will fit like a glove across the board.  One has to use the right tools for the problem.

This is an interesting case study though it honestly feels more like applying Lean than ITIL https://www.axelos.com/case-studies-and-white-papers/spotify-itil-case-study

My background: decade+ running agile IT operations orgs, 20+ doing IT, Ops/SM/Infra/everything

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