* Important - ITIL Refresh Statement

Urgent - for immediate release - an update statement on the future of ITIL from the UK's Office of Government Commerce (OCG) - the home of ITIL.

Today, Dr. ITIL has learnt of the OGC's intended plans to re-fresh and make ITIL more available to every IT Service Organization, as quoted from their website:-

"ITIL® Refresh Statement.

The approach over the next 18 months:- The OGC and its partners in the IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL) will work together to improve the content of the publications and qualifications.

Our overwhelming driver for the refresh is to improve the usefulness and applicability of ITIL in support of business need, and to clarify the link between employment of the best practices and business benefits.

After thorough collation and correlation of findings that emerged from the various threads of the recent global consultation exercise, OGC has been scoping and planning the refresh on the basis of the mandate that emerged.

We have a plan and a way forward. We intend the process to be open, honest and fair, and seek to get the widest possible involvement and commitment from all stakeholders in the global ITIL Community.

New publications structure

Core.

The new set of publications is to be split into 4 tranches. The first tranche will be largely web-based products that will support authors of the main books. This tranche includes process maps and core ITIL definitions.

The second tranche is the new set of core books, following a lifecycle model from design to retirement through 5 books:-

-Service design
-Service introduction
-Service support
-Service delivery
-Service improvement

The third and fourth tranches address specific support for the qualification scheme by introducing study aids for the Foundation and other examinations, and finally, there will be a new strategic introduction book for managers, and a brochure for the board.

Scoping of each book is being derived from a mapping of existing ITIL content, plus new material to address new requirements.

Complementary.

Core volumes will be supported by complementary titles. The core, which we hope will be slimmer than it is now, should consist of the real core concepts and generic best practices, which don't change rapidly (and thus it will be easier to update next time). One key finding was that the existing guidance "ain't broke" (as in the American expression “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”), so we won't be throwing much existing content away, just remapping to a new, more business-oriented framework.

Complementary publications should address application of the generic core guidance in particular market or technological contexts. One such title that is planned is a revision of the Early ITIL title “ITIL in small IT units”, a consistent seller still, although it has not been updated for years. This is being revised now against the current guidance, and will be updated to reflect any changes that affect it as the guidance is refreshed.

Translations.


There will be a translation strategy, with a strong push to ensure only a short delay before the new UK English ITIL is available in other key languages. Getting the core definitions right, in English, is a key requisite for effective translation, as is also the avoidance of idiom, which actually is quite difficult when writing in English. We will also put in place a mechanism for enthusiast translations into other languages not otherwise planned.

In OGC terms such publications would be complementary, although we would retain Crown IPR on the content to avoid retranslation back to English. We will also be aware of localisation issues in various English-speaking countries.

Qualifications.

We want very much to make the refreshed ITIL a comprehensive and cohesive package. The Examination Institutes (EIs) will be closely involved in identifying work packages and keeping training course content, exams and the guidance in step, once the guidance has caught up with the training and exams, which because they are continually reviewed, are currently in advance of the published guidance. No existing ITIL qualifications will be invalidated by the changes to ITIL, because core principles are not changing.

Any qualification changes will be clearly explained when announced. The majority of ITIL examinations taken are at the Foundation level, and it is this material that will change the least.

International standards.

As British Standard 15000 on IT Service Management, which is aligned to ITIL, is being adopted as an international standard, ISO/IEC 20000, future maintenance and development will be by an international working group. OGC and itSMFI will work with this and other standards bodies to maintain alignment between ISO/IEC 20000 and ITIL as both further develop, including vocabulary, functions and processes.

Internet.

As well as the paper publications and the qualifications, OGC intends to work with partners to provide a unified package of web-based support offerings for ITIL users, both existing and aspiring. Examples of web material includes the process models and ITIL definitions, but might also include other support material like discussion papers, role definitions, case studies as well as examples of ITIL forms and meeting agendas for meetings specified in ITIL, (such as the Change Advisory Board).

Process.

OGC is keen to secure the people with the best expertise, experience and communications ability to write the content of the refreshed ITIL. Diverging from past practice, we will not look for authors for entire books. What we will do is to announce a work package with a fixed scope, which will map onto a book or part of a book, but that scope will have been carefully constructed after wide consultation.

We will then invite authors to express interest in work packages in pairs. They can regard that as a balanced authoring approach or an author/moderator relationship. The intention is to build in early QA. In considering author pair submissions, selection criteria will of course include relevant expertise, but we will also expect a range of complementary experience across the pair.

Each interested author pair will have to provide resum├ęs and a brief proposal. The successful pair will then go on to propose a detailed plan of the material sought, accompanied by some of the chapters fleshed out in pretty close to final form. This work will be paid for.

There will be a break clause at this point. If their material is deemed suitable by the Editorial Board and an ITIL Advisory Group, then the authors will be invited to complete the assignment, again paid. Otherwise, we will help put the content right so they can continue, or if this is not possible, another author pair will be selected to repeat the detailed proposal.

At the end, we will have material to support the scope, but OGC, with support, will retain editorial control, and work the material into final form. This is thought necessary to assure consistency in content and in depth of treatment throughout the library, these being criticisms of the existing ITIL.

GovernanceWork until the end of the financial year (end of March 2005) will be managed as a project by Tony Betts, OGC, supported by Aidan Lawes, itSMFI, who will chair the Project Board. The Board will also comprise representatives from ISEB, EXIN and TSO.

ISO international work on IT Service Management will also be represented. The Editorial Board will include a Chief Architect, Sharon Taylor, OGC and a Chief Editor, Jim Clinch, OGC, co-opting resources from ITIL partners and the ITIL community as appropriate. In addition, there will be an ITIL Advisory Group (IAG), not to do detailed final QA, but to comment on and help us improve the approach and processes, the content of the work packages, and the author proposals and submissions. The IAG will also sign off the draft books as suitable for formal QA.

The 30 or so members of the IAG will be sought, by invitation, to provide a good cross section of stakeholders in the ITIL community and it is intended that they will be supported by interactive web facilities, as it will be impossible to hold many useful face-to-face meetings with a global group such as this.

By the end of March 2006, the project will have delivered the first tranche, described above, and begun the process of creating the second tranche products, the core, lifecycle based process guides. OGC will be measuring progress at key points, at the end of October, and again at the end of January 2006, to ensure the project is on track.


A further project will run from April 2006 to conclude the production of the deliverables. Final sign off of products will be through itSMFI International publications Executive subcommittee (IPESC) after an international QA.

By keeping the process open, advertising work packages, and having a lively forum for the IAG, we hope to capture the best talent, catch problems and errors early, and additionally, feel we have everyone signed up to the final content because there will have been wider than ever opportunities to contribute and comment."

The full unedited article appears here...

Do you have any thoughts or comments on the above OGC statement? Do you agree with the way forward? Tell us what you think... Post a comment...