The future of IT service management lies in agility – ITIL 4 and Atlas Practical Guide


ITIL 4 is the beginning of a new paradigm shift for the IT team. It guides the team to build an overall reference framework for business and customer value, and encourages the adoption of more adaptive methods according to the needs and working methods of the team. ITIL 4 guidelines encourage collaboration, simplicity and feedback.

In the guide (if you are interested in [Atlassian express] official account can download the full text), Atlassian and AXELOS (ITIL Foundation initiator) work together to help you quickly open ITIL 4 agile journey. According to the principles of ITIL 4, you will learn how to build an efficient service team through performance, culture and practice. Atlassian found that these practice areas have the greatest impact on changing the way it teams work. Along the way, you’ll also learn suggestions for introducing agile and Devops best practices into ITSM.

Atlassian ITSM solution

The future of IT service management lies in agility - ITIL 4 and Atlas Practical Guide

Atlassian provides technical personnel with the most critical collaborative workflow agile project planning, event management and response, and service management and support, helping modern IT organizations plan, build, deliver, and ensure full-time services. Our products cover all industries and serve more than 119000 customers of all types and sizes.

The future of IT service management lies in agility - ITIL 4 and Atlas Practical Guide

In an open environment, all teams have the potential to make amazing achievements. “Open work” is the core of our values, integrated into the DNA of our products, we reflect the connotation of open work through practice. Based on our experience in working with high-performance teams, combined with our own research and findings on the implementation of open working style in our organization, we have produced the atlas team playbook. The manual provides detailed steps to track the health of the team, as well as subversive new ways of working.

Our ITSM implementation method has the basic functions of out of the box, integrating all kinds of first-class application ecosystems; our solutions abandon complex and rigid traditional workflow tools, focus on ease of use, collaboration and knowledge sharing, help it teams improve efficiency, maintain flexibility and focus on providing value.

A holistic approach to performance, culture and Practice

The future of IT service management lies in agility - ITIL 4 and Atlas Practical Guide

1. Focus on the right performance strategy

With the growth of it teams, they are faced with more and more work – requests, defects, events, etc., and fall into the passive cycle of unplanned work.To change from cost center to value center, we need to consider performance strategy. High performance team can reduce the workload, speed up the workflow, so as to focus on more important work

High performance strategy can make the organization always surpass the competitors in the whole business cycle, during the industry shock and when the leadership changes. We should focus on the actions that the whole organization needs to take to promote value creation.

ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4, 5.1.12, strategic management

ITIL 4 introducesService value chainIt means that any activity – everyone from a single developer to the whole enterprise – can create valuable products and services for customers.

The future of IT service management lies in agility - ITIL 4 and Atlas Practical Guide

ITIL? Foundation: ITIL 4? ITIL Service Value Chain

2. Release the full potential of the team with the help of culture

The task of changing organizational culture is arduous and not overnight. However, every small progress will become a force to change the way the team works. Use ITIL 4 ﹣ guidelines as a starting point to define your core values. in fact,There are many similarities between the ITIL 4 guidelines and the Agile Manifesto. So by adopting the principles of “focus on value,” “collaboration and drive visibility,” “holistic thinking and work style,” you’ve taken a step towards building a more agile culture

3. Adopt flexible practice to change behavior

Many IT teams explain previous versions of ITIL in an over standard way, which brings heavy and tedious burden to the whole IT organization. Over standard interpretation produces a large number of complex software modules and isolated functional teams, each process has a module and team, such as event management, change management, problem management and so on. Recognizing this, ITIL 4 has changed from a step-by-step process to a “practice” integrating “culture, business objectives and stakeholders”. There are 34 kinds of practice, which can be roughly divided into general management practice, service management practice and technology management practice.

Based on the experience of " atlassian " building software and working with thousands of effective teams, we find that the best performing " it " teams tend to use the following practices:

  • Continuous improvement with retrospective meeting
  • Agile project management to accelerate project delivery
  • Knowledge management, enhance team culture
  • Customer oriented service desk and request management
  • Adaptive event management
  • Automation and collaboration help simplify change control
  • Deployment management of continuous delivery
  • Integrated software development and operations team

Management practice

The future of IT service management lies in agility - ITIL 4 and Atlas Practical Guide

1. Use retrospective meeting to improve continuously

Continuous improvement is not only part of lean, but also part of agile (retrospective), Devops (continuous experimentation, learning and mastery) and other frameworks. Continuous improvement is one of the key elements of ITIL SVS. Together with the guiding principles, it provides a solid platform for successful service management.

ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4, 4.6.2, continuous improvement and guidelines

When you embark on the agile journey, start with continuous improvement, evaluate the current situation and determine the next development direction.We suggest two continuous improvement measures: improvement kata and retrospective meeting. The combination of the two can help the team achieve greater goals iteratively, reflect on the past and find ways to improve.

2. Agile project management to speed up project delivery

Successful project management is important because the organization must balance requirements in order to:

  • Maintain current business operations efficiently
  • Only by changing business operation can we make changes, survive and remain competitive in the market
  • Continuous improvement of products and services

ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4, 5.1.8, project management

As the market competition becomes more and more fierce, the competition is speed. Excellent performance enterprises can deliver products and services faster and manage work and resource flow more effectively. Although it teams used to use fixed, sequential waterfall processes in the past, now many teams are turning to agile project management. According to the project management association, nearly three-quarters (71%) of organizations use agile methods. Instead of releasing a single version with high risk, these teams put value at the core and break down the work into smaller increments and iterations. Teams can respond to changing and ongoing needs based on feedback and testing.

3. Knowledge management to enhance team culture

Knowledge management aims to ensure that stakeholders obtain the right information in the right format, at the right level and at the right time according to their access levels and relevant policies.

This requires the process of knowledge acquisition, including the development, capture and acquisition of unstructured knowledge, whether formal or informal tacit knowledge.

ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4, 5.1.4, knowledge management

Knowledge is one of the most valuable assets of IT organizations. Open knowledge sharing helps teams to unify their opinions, promote collaboration, and make better and faster decisions. Now, with the development of workplace technology, knowledge exists in more and more different places – e-mail, work orders and the minds of team members. Bringing the team’s knowledge together into a repository is a great start, but tools alone are often not enough. Knowledge will be more powerful when it is open and shared, when it is no longer held by individuals but by communities.

serviceManagement practice

The future of IT service management lies in agility - ITIL 4 and Atlas Practical Guide

1. Customer oriented service desk and request management

With the improvement of automation and the gradual elimination of technical debt, the focus of service desk is to provide support for “people and business”, not just focus on technical issues.

The service desk is more and more used to arrange, explain and coordinate various affairs, not just to repair the interruption. The service desk has become an important part of the service organization.

ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4, 5.2.14, service desk

As the window of IT organization, service desk is an important intersection between users and services. This is where users ask for help, questions are answered, and expectations are managed.Shift to lean and agile ways of working,Move leftTo solve problems as close to customers as possible.With friendly self-service portals such as JIRA service desk, customers can ask for help and get answers quickly. The answer of knowledge base is intelligently displayed in the portal, and requests are transferred before the backlog of tasks flowing to the support team, so as to move towards “zero level support”. For support staff, easy access to the knowledge base can shorten work execution time and improve the customer experience.

2. Adaptive event management

Effective event management usually requires a high degree of collaboration within and between teams. These teams may include help desk, technical support, application support and suppliers. Collaboration can promote information sharing and learning, and solve events more effectively.

ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4, 5.2.5, event management

There are many forms of service interruption: from slow network access to the interruption of key business services, events directly affect customers. Major events affecting safety and compliance may lead to regulatory or legal proceedings. As services become more complex and events inevitably occur, how the team responds is just as important as what it does. Atlassian found that high performance it teams use a collaborative and proactive approach to plan, respond to and learn from events.

The atlas event management manual contains a complete practice of event response, which can be used as a reference.

3. Automation and teamwork simplify change control

Change control must balance the need to make beneficial changes, provide additional value, and protect customers and users from the adverse effects of changes… In efficient organizations, delegating change approval authority is a common practice, which can make peer review the best predictor of high performance.

ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4, 5.2.4, change control

In most organizations, change control usually involves a complex process, which takes several days. For example, the change Advisory Board (CAB) approval process is often complex and time-consuming, which slows down the whole process. Many effective teams are gradually abandoning this approach or using it only for the most risky changes. ITIL 4 encourages delegation of change authority to business stakeholders or peers. Work with relevant stakeholders in steering committee or weekly meetings to integrate change control into the normal workflow rather than leaving it to a separate Committee.

Technology management practice

The future of IT service management lies in agility - ITIL 4 and Atlas Practical Guide

1. Deployment management of continuous delivery

The purpose of deployment management practices is to move new or changed hardware, software, documents, processes, or any other components to a real-time environment. In addition, it may involve deploying components in other environments for testing or simulation.

ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4, 5.3.1, deployment management

In order to better balance high stability and faster service delivery, ITIL 4 introduces a new technology management practice: deployment management. Deployment management is an important bridge between change management and release management. Three practices are necessary to provide services that are suitable for use and goals. Change control helps to coordinate technical changes and maintain production capacity and stability. Release management focuses on when and how to provide users with new or updated components. Deployment management is a technical tool to study how to move new or changed service components from one environment to another.

2. Integrate software development and operation team

Software applications, whether developed in-house or by partners or suppliers, play a crucial role in delivering customer value in technology-based business services. Therefore, software development and management is the key practice of every modern IT organization, which can ensure the applicability of applications.

ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4, 5.3.3, software development and management

In the past, Devops was established based on the collaborative culture among different teams. However, even if it is not completely transformed to Devops, we can also change our way of thinking towards better collaboration, closer integration and sharing of risks and responsibilities. It will gradually form higher trust, faster software version and problem solution, and better management of unplanned work within the organization.

Role transformation of it team

The future of IT service management lies in agility - ITIL 4 and Atlas Practical Guide

As an IT professional, your role is evolving from supporting the business to differentiating business value. You bring change and technological innovation, improve competitive advantage.

With the latest “ITIL 4” update, the industry is moving towards a more integrated and holistic approach to management. We believe that the following steps are critical to this transformation:

  • Focus on results, not outputs.Ensure that the work value stream is not just growing, but actively streamlining the work value stream and minimizing unnecessary tasks, from “doing the right thing” to “doing the right thing”.
  • Prioritize culture and practice over tools and processes.Establish an open collaborative culture, and create an organization that can adapt to changes quickly and has more flexibility. Create adaptive practices rather than strict processes to guide the team to take the right actions and deliver value faster.
  • Adopt new ways of working, such as agile and DevOpsYou can simply integrate best practices into existing work processes, such as open team culture, continuous improvement, and value streams, based on team needs. Alternatively, you can decide to rethink the traditional ITSM process, such as incorporating peer review into change control or applying continuous delivery.

It’s time for it teams to start adopting a more agile ITSM approach, focusing on collaboration, ease of use, and value creation. At atlassian, we’ve helped software teams change the way they work, and we can also help your IT team do that. Learn more about atlas IT solutions and Atlas team playbook and start the ITIL 4 agile journey.

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