Between 2000 and 2005, ITIL Version 2 was adopted worldwide and many organizations reaped the reward. However, as the adopting organizations matured, they found the disciplines and methodologies of Version 2 were lacking. A different approach was needed in order to take their organizations to the next level of IT management maturity.

    One of the biggest problems with ITIL Version 2 was that the individual services had no overarching discipline that ensured coordination of process improvement. This sometimes resulted in chaos due to incompatibilities between processes at different maturity levels. What’s more, modern IT services were becoming intertwined with business processes, meaning that individual IT technical discipline improvement was insufficient to meet organizations’ needs. A lifecycle approach to IT services was needed.

    Another significant gap in ITIL Version 2 was its technology-focused methodology. ITIL Version 2 used terminology unfamiliar to businesspersons, causing frequent miscommunication and misunderstandings. Business unit participation was optional in ITIL Version 2, even as new technologies were becoming more and more accessible to end users. With the advent of new cloud-based services and pervasive mobile computing devices, closer coordination is needed between IT and the business unit in order to ensure the efficient use of organizational resources.

    ITIL Version 3, released seven years after Version 2 in 2007, is the culmination of the changes to overcome shortcomings in Version 2. Under Version 3, business unit participation is no longer optional; it is required for success.

    ITIL Version 3 architects saw that a project management approach to service management was needed. They determined that IT needed to use a business approach, using the same market research practices, the same business value statements and the same business effectiveness measures as their counterparts elsewhere in the organization. To accomplish this, the architects incorporated a proven Plan-Build-Run (PBR) model approach.

    Originally developed for the mainframe computing platforms of the 1980s, PBR proved quite effective in managing large-scale application development. The ITIL architects improved upon Plan-Build-Run, adding a strategic planning process to the front end and wrapping it with a continuous service improvement process similar to Six Sigma. Doing so, they determined, would ensure the processes and best practices would remain fresh and relevant, keeping all the component parts current and optimally supporting the business needs.

    ITIL Version 3 Diagram

    ITIL Version 3 has a core set of best practices and processes:

    • Service Strategy — strategic planning, governance and policy

    • Service Design — the “Plan” component of Plan-Build-Run

    • Service Transition — the “Build” component of Plan-Build-Run

    • Service Operation, — the “Run” component of Plan-Build-Run

    • Continuous Service Improvement — coordinated review and refresh on a schedule basis

    The new strategic planning process leverages a discipline commonly known as Enterprise Architecture (EA) discipline, providing a framework for a technology lifecycle and complementing the service lifecycle. Technology components and processes traverse the lifecycle from initial research and business benefit definition, through proof of concept, implementation and finally decommissioning of aged products that no longer provide substantial value to the organization. This approach is especially attractive since services and technologies are interdependent and change in both areas is accelerating at ever increasing rates.

    TeamQuest software and ITIL v3

    The TeamQuest IT Service Optimization software suite provides strong support for ITIL Version 3 processes.

    TeamQuest Surveyor can provide high-level IT and business service analytics to the Financial Management and Demand Management disciplines, key information the Service Strategy process needs to make informed decisions.

    The Service Design process requires a wide range of reporting, analysis, and predictive tools to successfully execute the Capacity Management, Service Level Management, Availability Management, and IT Continuity Management disciplines; tools TeamQuest specializes in.

    Configuration Management, Service Validation and Testing, and Evaluation are key disciplines within Service Transition that ensure the quality of new and enhanced applications and services. TeamQuest reporting and analysis tools can assist staff in validating that all changes are performing at expected levels and using computing capacity judiciously, all before the changes are introduced into active customer-facing environments.

    TeamQuest reporting and analysis tools are designed to provide meaningful information to Incident Management, Problem Management, IT Operations Management, Event Management, and Monitoring and Control. Automated predictive analysis tools can alert operations staff before problems occur. When problems do occur, drill down capabilities in the analysis tools help technical staff quickly identify causes, permitting quicker restoration of business-critical applications. A wide range of historical data stored in the TeamQuest CMIS can be analyzed to identify chronic operational problems and once identified, corrective actions scheduled so services can be restored to expected levels.

    Continuous Service Improvement needs a wide range of reporting of operational information to determine how existing services are performing and identify any gaps or poor performers. TeamQuest Surveyor has very flexible and comprehensive automated reporting capabilities that will help make reviews in a timely manner with a minimum of effort.