A supposed to be big news that didn’t make the expected kind of ripples in the ITSM domain recently was regarding the joint venture of Cabinet office with Capita which will have the joint ownership of Best practice frameworks like PRINCE2 and ITIL®.

If you haven’t already, you can read the details of this joint venture here,  here:  and here.

A few other names were being used in speculations prior to the announcement – but the name Capita Inc as the joint venture partner seems to have come as a surprise to many in the domain.

Though I don’t have much first-hand exposure or understanding of the situation and development around that, here are a few observations (aided by opinions and discussions of various experts in the domain) :

  • The announcement focuses absolutely nothing on the objectives or impact on the best practices themselves or to the respective domains – but too much on financials, tax-payers money etc.  This could also be a reason why there have been less ripples in the industry than expected. Good or bad, it throws up unnecessary focus (or at least speculations) to ‘valuation’ of the best practice frameworks – and in turn to that of ITIL®. Stephen Mann in his Forrester blog  felt this was “possibly be the worst advertisement for ITIL® ever released”!
  • For some of us in the ITSM domain who has been constantly complaining or criticizing the way ITIL® was run so far – this could be the change that could bring the change in approach.  For the time being at least that is an optimistic possibility.
  • With the 51:49 stakes-split (in favour of Capita) shifts the governing control to Capita. Will the interest of Cabinet office get limited to just the commercial ROI from their 49% stakes – time will tell. As many in the industry has already commented on, the significant fact here is: the governing control of ITIL® is moving to a public entity to a private company. (In my view, this could actually turn out to be a good thing). (more…)
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Release management (the current Release & Deployment management in ITIL®) process is (as it should be) covering all releases those are deployed into the IT Service environment.

Traditionally in the IT domain, the ‘release’ term is more associated with software than hardware or any other assets. However in ITIL®’s approach to ITSM, the release always been ‘a collection of authorized changes’. These authorized changes can be software, hardware, their combination (service, servers, and infrastructure), configuration changes etc.

Having said this, though ITIL® principally goes with an all-encompassing definition of the word ‘Release’, the documentation of Release & Deployment Management often seem to slip into a (probably unintentional) bias towards Software.  Such an inconsistency can lead to some significant misinterpretation of the best-practice, and the focus of release management can get confined into software alone.

Let us look at how ITIL® (specifically referring to the 2011 edition)  introduces the Release and deployment management process:

The Scope of Release includes: ‘Physical assets such as servers, network, virtual assets, Applications and software, Trainings, Services including agreements and contracts’

However, the stated objectives of Release and Deployment contain statements like:

“…and that all release packages are stored in DML and recorded accurately in CMS”

“Deploy release packages from DML to live environment…”

DML is for software media components. So where are release packages containing Hardware stored?  In DML itself?  Such an interpretation unfortunately doesn’t fit with the definition and explanation of DML – where in, the references are only include Software and media components. (These references to DML are more prominent in 2011 edition, though was there for v3 as well).

Can Definitive Spares (DS) be the area where the Hardware components are controlled prior to deployment to the production environment?  One tends to think it could be. But that is no where referred.

Coming back to the central point of this post, to create a right interpretation of the scope of ‘Release’, it is important that the following one of the following points are taken care of – either in the ITIL® documentation, or by the practitioners during the interpretation of the same:

·         The Scope of Definitive Media Library (DML) should be extended to include ALL release packages. Unfortunately in such a case it will cease to be just a ‘Media Library’. Definitive Release Library (DLR) anyone?

OR

·         Keep the scope of DML as is; but set aside/define definitive storage areas for storing and controlling release packages that contain non-software and non-media components (such as hardware) and refer to them from the release management process- the same way DML is referred from release management.

Till this is taken care of effectively, release and deployment management process scope can get constrained to only Software – which would be unfortunate and ineffective.

Any thoughts/ different view points out there on these are welcome…

I thought good  practice schemes have a natural death – when newer, better practices comes to the foray, the older ones gracefully fade out.

I started my journey with ITIL in V2 and never cared to look at V1 as it was almost naturally taken over by V2. I am not sure (disclaimer) if there was a planned and executed end of V1 from the source – OGC or TSO

Yesterday the official press release from OGC announced the phased withdrawal plan for ITIL V2. Points worth a note are:

  • The decision is based on a survey of around 1300 people in the industry.
  • The Withdrawal will be complete on 30th June 2011  (Just wondering is it a mere coincidence that the ITIL V3 revision is also planned to complete just before that? May be I am reading too much into it)
  • But wait, that withdrawal is with respect to the Publications (books) – though it “may be” made available later on a ‘print-on-demand’ basis.
  • The certifications will be withdrawn earlier in phases:
  • V2 Foundation to cease 30 June 2010
  • V2 Manager to cease 31 August 2010
  • V2 Practitioner to cease 31 Dec 2010 
  • Foundation Bridge to cease 31 Dec 2010
  • After that only ‘re-sits’ will be allowed till 30th June 2011.

    There are still some unanswered questions:

    (more…)

    There is some heated debate going in many forums about some of the so-called “Progressive” or “ahead of the market” concepts in ITIL like CMDB which was in Version 2 as well as the much advanced version of it called “SKMS” in V3.

    While it is really a good thing for the industry to know better practices/methods/techniques which can enhance the ITSM, the main contention is that is it making ITIL digress or deviate from its intended purpose?

    ITIL, from the start is intended to be “Collection of Best practices for IT Service management”. Even ignoring the fact that the term is silently chaged into “Good practices” in many areas, ITIL is known to be that – across the globe.

    One of such debate where I contributed with my view is here: Link to itskeptic.org