ITIL® v3 One Year On

John Griffiths (itSMF Trainer of the Year 2007)A view from inside the training room

John Griffiths, Client Manager at Fox IT and itSMF Trainer of the Year 2007, looks at ITIL v3 one year on, and considers what has changed.

Everything has changed but nothing has changed. That is the mixed message coming from the classroom.

The ITIL refresh has generated a lot of differing views about the new look library. In the main, most people agree that it is an improvement, more accurately reflecting the way businesses and IT work in the modern world. There is also a consensus that the ’ideal world’ of ITIL has been repositioned closer to the ’real world’ into which people have to implement what they have learned from the classroom.

Version 3 has given managers and practitioners of Service Management a lot more to consider. In these relatively early days of version 3 it has helped to clarify some of the anomalies of previous versions while at the same time given more things that need to be considered.

Service Strategy

Service Strategy contains virtually all new material and is the cause of much diverse debate. It has been variously described as a load of mumbo jumbo theory through to an insightful and useful tool for helping to integrate the business and IT. It also introduces for the first time in the classroom a lot of material that a large number of people feel has no relevance to them. They think they have no influence or control over the strategy of either the business or IT and therefore they will never really engage in the strategy either in the workplace or the classroom. Strategy does however take on more relevance for these individuals when they realise that the other stages of the lifecycle are all about the execution of that strategy. Another defining point is the message that the strategy asks the question ’Why do we want to do something?’ before considering the question ’How do we do it?’ A long and sorry trail of projects or process implementations have failed to meet their goals by the simple failure to follow the sequence of how those two questions are asked. The Service Strategy book is likely to be a ’slow burn’ where the value and relevance of it will take a little while to embed itself into the ITIL fraternity.

“majority of version 3 training has still to be released”

Although the theme of this article is ITIL one year on, the vast majority of version 3 training has still to be released into the market. When that happens we will get a clearer view of how organisations position themselves with regard to training their staff. There has been evidence of organisations who are currently in the early days of ITIL adoption, agonising over whether they should adopt version 2 or 3. In reality it is virtually a non-issue. Any organisation taking on ITIL right now would begin with the fundamentals, all of which are incorporated in both versions. It should be viewed as a pick and mix selection of working with the next appropriate process irrespective of which version it originates from. A key point that seems to have been overlooked is that most of the ’new’ processes of version 3 were around previously, they simply were not in the ’core set’ of Service Support and Service Delivery which many people view as the sum of ITIL, overlooking publications such as Application Management or ICT Infrastructure Management.

Staff Training

A key element of implementation is training staff to be able to adapt to the new processes. It is in this area that organisations will be presented with an array of options compared to earlier training programmes. It is going to be interesting to see which routes individuals take on their journey to the ITIL Expert level. No doubt different routes will be adopted by both individuals and organisations based on their specific plans and objectives. Once they have arrived at the base camp by successfully completing the foundation course, the view up the mountain shows the summit to be somewhat higher than it used to be. There are also more paths which can be followed and the trick will be working out which path best fits an individuals aspiration and capabilities. For some people, one or two more steps into a lifecycle or capability course may be sufficient, while others will doggedly march on up to the summit, gaining credits along the way. Maybe in another year’s time we will start to see how those paths are both defined and used. When that happens we will get a better understanding of just how much thing really have changed.

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1 Response to “ITIL® v3 One Year On”


  1. 1 Kurt Richardson July 31, 2008 at 12:17 am

    My skepticism on v.3 lifted in the last few weeks. Many months were spent convincing our CIO to fund an ITIL v.2 program without much luck. His response could best be described as polite indifference until we built utility maps for a pair of our mission-critical services. Viola, on came the lights. That material alone made it worth sloshing through the strategy book.


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