Agile service management is applying the agile mindset to IT service management. But what does this mean exactly? To answer this question, you first need to know what agile is.
Agile is a mindset. It’s a set of values that helps organizations be more flexible. Agile was introduced in software development, as a solution to the long, heavily documented development processes that made it hard to quickly release new functionalities.
In 2001, the software branch introduces the Agile Manifesto for Software Development. The manifesto comprises 4 values:
Over the past few years, agile has been getting more traction in other fields, such as Sales and Marketing. People started to find a way to take the agile core values away from just software development and made them applicable for all types of organizations. This resulted in several versions of the Agile manifesto, the most popular of which is Modern Agile.
Now you know what Agile is, the next question arises: How do you translate it to IT service management? This is actually quite simple. You only need one adjustment in the second value of the Agile Manifesto:
The idea is that you keep to these principles when designing and delivering services. How you do this exactly, depends on the organization you’re in.
How does Agile Service Management work in practice? Some examples of how an IT-department can work more agile:
ITIL is still the most widely used framework for IT-organizations. How do these Agile principles relate to the ITIL framework? Is it possible to combine Agile Service Management and ITIL?
Well, yes. Agile and ITIL are not mutually exclusive. Agile is a philosophy, a set of guidelines that helps you make decisions in your everyday work, but they don’t tell you how to complete specific tasks. ITIL is a framework, a collection of procedures that describe how to do your work.
While ITIL does have a reputation for being rigid, the idea behind ITIL has always been that you apply the best practices to the way your organization works. This means you could implement ITIL Incident Management in an agile way.
Scrum is the most widely adopted framework to implement an agile way of working. Just like the Agile Manifesto, the Scrum framework was first created for software development, and is now also used in other fields as well.
Scrum works with small, self-managing, multidisciplinary teams of 3 to 9 people. A Scrum team delivers a new or improved product within one ‘sprint’, a period of 1 to 4 weeks. At the end of the sprint, the team shows the product to the stakeholders, and, when necessary, uses the feedback to make improvements in the next sprint. The goal of short sprints and regular feedback is to make sure you can quickly respond to customer feedback and changing circumstances.
Want to learn more? Read about Agile Service Management on our blog.