In the IT world, the execution of, and the definition between, ITIL and ITSM (IT Service Management) has been greatly muddied. Those who support ITIL can sometimes become militant about its structure and compliance. Those who are opposed to its perceived rigor will push back on even the idea that their organization is an "ITIL shop." It turns out that both of these positions are incorrect. An organization does not implement ITIL. It implements IT Service Management using ITIL guidance with plenty of "room for self-optimization."
At Evergreen, we help our clients understand the purpose of the ITIL framework, define their Service Management offering and develop their approach to leveraging ITIL to optimize their IT services. Evergreen's experience, when discussing an ITIL approach to Service Management, has been helping our clients understand that ITIL is not an "out-of-the-box" solution, but a framework that provides guidance and good practice (not necessarily best practice) for how IT organizations should operate. Sharon Taylor, Chief Architect of ITIL Service Management Practices, explains ITIL:
"In 1997, Chinese manufacturers entered the motorcycle market with an unusual management strategy. Rather than preparing detailed models and drawings of subsystems, the country simply defined best practice structures and standards. The supplier community remained free to innovate and adapt components with these rough designs and broad parameters. The results were stunning – the Chinese motorcycle industry now accounts for half of all global production...
These results are emergent. They are outcomes of following low-level and practical guidance and gave rise to an industry that moves in a self-organizing coordination in a variety of conditions, instead of rigid frameworks preventing a graceful adoption under changing conditions, there remains room for self-optimization. This is the philosophy of ITIL: good practice structures with room for self-optimization." (ITIL: Service Strategy, Published by OGC 2007, Page X)
And what drives this self-optimization? An organization's market conditions and competitive landscape that become factors in their ITSM strategy.
Of course there are many other factors to consider, including the cost and benefit of any effort put forth by IT. Regardless, ITIL is a framework that is played out in any organization through its IT Service Management strategy and implementation that will result in best practice for that organization. This is where ITSM comes in. Each organization must decide and choose how they will apply ITIL framework into that organization's best practices. The evolution of ITIL did not come from a book but continues to evolve based on the best practices in the field.
Implementing Your ITSM Strategy
Evergreen has been successful helping our clients apply ITIL practices in those areas that will create real value to our customers. Evergreen methodologies focus on not only leveraging ITIL guidance but also best practices we have gleaned through working with many clients in a broad range of industries. These best practices have been built into Evergreen "Green Prints" that include policies, processes and roles that can be easily adopted and/or adapted (optimized) to any IT organization's ITSM strategy using Evergreen's Adopt and Adapt methodology.