YaSM and ITIL® 4

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Translating ITIL® 4 into specific service management processes is difficult for many organizations: The latest edition of the popular ITIL framework describes principles and practices and includes a huge amount of guidance, but ITIL 4 also says we should use common sense and keep things 'simple and practical'. That sounds like a bit of a conundrum!

In this video Stefan Kempter presents a pragmatic approach to defining the service management processes for your organization: The YaSM model describes exemplary processes for managing service and provides a complete set of process and document templates.

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Video transcription

ITIL® 4, the latest edition of the popular service management framework, has now been released. ITIL® 4 describes principles and practices and includes a huge amount of guidance, yet it also says we should use common sense and keep things "simple and practical". That sounds like a bit of a conundrum, especially as many organizations find it difficult to translate the ideas behind ITIL® into specific processes.

But we have found a good solution, based on several years of feedback on the ITIL® guidelines: The YaSM model describes exemplary processes and provides a complete set of process and document templates, so you don't have to start from nothing as you define the service management processes of your organization.

I'll tell you more about the YaSM processes shortly, but first let's recap, very briefly, what kind of guidance we find in ITIL® 4.

ITIL 4 guidance

As the authors of ITIL® 4 say, the framework ITIL® 4 consists of two key components: The four dimensions model, and the ITIL® service value system (or 'SVS').

The first component, the four dimensions model, describes four dimensions that should be considered to ensure a holistic approach to service management:

  • People
  • Information and technology
  • Partners and suppliers
  • Value streams and processes.

The second component of ITIL®, the service value system, includes several elements:

  • Guiding principles
  • Governance
  • Service value chain (SVC)
  • Practices, and
  • Continual improvement.

I'm afraid we cannot go into the details of all of these elements in this short video. The point I'd like to get across is that ITIL® contains various types of guidance and content, such as

  • Concepts and principles
  • Service management activities
  • Information objects
  • Tools and technologies
  • etc.

Processes for ITIL 4

Now, how can you bring this guidance to life?

Ultimately, you'll need to translate the ITIL® guidance into processes that work for your organization. This is much easier if you can use pre-defined processes and don't have to start from nothing!

That's why we have created the YaSM process model. YaSM follows the ITIL® guidance and includes a complete set of process and document templates that you can adapt as required.

But what's the best approach to designing ITIL®-aligned processes?

ITIL® 4 says organizations are free to define tailor-made processes, and I think if organizations are to adopt flexible operating models and keep things simple and practical, they need to avoid complexity and adopt a somewhat lean and streamlined set of processes that is not too difficult to understand.

Benchmark for YaSM: ISO 20000

And the processes should preferably be in line with an industry standard. That's why the benchmark for the YaSM processes is ISO 20000, the international standard for service management. YaSM is thus 100% compatible with ISO 20000 (ISO/IEC 20000:2018) and it's a very good choice for organizations that want to get certified against this standard.

Service management process model for ITIL 4

And here's what the YaSM process model looks like:

These processes will certainly look familiar to you if you know any edition of ITIL®, or other service management frameworks.

Example # 1: Incident management in ITIL and YaSM

And now, after these somewhat theoretical deliberations, let's look at some practical examples.

The YaSM model describes a set of processes, and for every process, we provide detailed templates. With these templates, it's not too difficult to understand how service management is supposed to work, and to define tailor-made processes for your organization.

The first example is incident management, one of the service management practices. ITIL® 4 describes the time-tested approach to incident management and discusses the key aspects to be considered when dealing with service incidents. In the YaSM model, we have translated this guidance into the incident resolution process, where we find the typical high-level activities such as

  • Resolve major incidents
  • Resolve incidents in 1st level support, and
  • Resolve incidents in 2nd level support.

For each of these sub-processes, the YaSM model contains an additional level of detail in the form of a swim lane diagram. This one, for example, describes the activities to be performed in 1st level support:

  • After an initial analysis,
  • they should search the knowledge base,
  • match the incident to a problem if possible
  • ... and so on ...

This is classical incident management as we know it from ITIL®, ISO 20000 and virtually all other service management frameworks.

Example # 2: Continual improvement in ITIL and YaSM

My second example is continual improvement. In ITIL® 4, we find continual improvement

  • as an element in the service value system,
  • a service value chain activity,
  • and also a practice.

The guidance includes

  • the continual improvement model, describing a structured approach to identifying and implementing improvements,
  • a list of essential inputs and outputs, and
  • the key activities of continual improvement.

Again, we have translated the advice provided in ITIL® into a set of specific processes, such as the service improvement process. If we zoom in a bit, you can see that improving a service in YaSM is quite straightforward: It involves

  • performing service reviews,
  • defining service improvements,
  • starting up service improvement initiatives,
  • as well as implementing and
  • monitoring service improvements.

In this process, the service improvement plan is an essential document or database where we keep track of all service improvements. Again, we have an additional level of detail for each sub-process in the form of a swim lane diagram, such as this one, describing the recommended steps for performing service reviews:

  • Prepare for the service review,
  • Review the service quality reports,
  • Identify trends in service level achievement,
  • ... and so on ...

I hope you will agree that this is not too difficult to understand and is the perfect base for introducing an improvement process in your organization. With these two examples I wanted to show you how we translated the ITIL® guidance into process templates that you can use as a starting point for defining the processes of your organization.

Progressive practices in ITIL and YaSM: Agile, Lean, DevOps

Now, this session wouldn't be complete without a brief discussion of the "progressive practices" such as Agile, Lean und DevOps, that are hot topics at many organizations. ITIL® does not say you have to do DevOps or Agile. But many organizations will find the DevOps and Agile approach useful, especially if they offer services that heavily depend on software.

Agile and DevOps are not processes, but values, principles and techniques. They usually go hand in hand with the use of modern technologies such as

  • cloud services,
  • software containerization and
  • automated testing.

Agile and DevOps are not suitable for everyone, which is why we keep the YaSM processes generic and don't use specific Agile and DevOps language. But it's not hard to see how these principles can be applied to the YaSM processes.

For example, YaSM includes processes for

  • designing,
  • implementing and
  • operating services.

In these, we describe generic activities:

Organizations that follow the Agile and DevOps approach would

  • establish cross-functional teams to perform these tasks,
  • design and build their services in iterations or "sprints", and
  • use automated testing and deployment.

It's also conceivable that a lot of the action takes place in service improvement. This process can be perfect for enhancing services in small iterations, in response to constantly changing customer needs. These iterations would be managed in "backlogs", a key artefact in Agile methods like Scrum.

More about YaSM und ITIL 4

And that's it for today. I hope I was able to demonstrate that YaSM, with its streamlined and clear-cut processes, and ITIL® are a good fit. Of course, we cannot cover everything here in this short video, but you can read a detailed comparison between YaSM and ITIL® 4 in the YaSM Service Management Wiki.

If you would like to learn more about YaSM and the YaSM Process Map, please visit yasm.com. There you can also find our complete contact information if you want to get in touch with us.

Thanks for watching, and take care!


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