The scope of the continual improvement practice includes the development of improvement-related methods and techniques and the propagation of a continual improvement culture across the organization in alignment with the organization’s overall strategy. Different types of improvements may require consideration for different improvement methods. For example, some improvement initiatives may be best implemented as a multi-phase project, while others may be more appropriate as a single quick effort.
The continual improvement model, a component of ITIL SVS, can be applied to any type of improvement, from high-level organizational changes to individual services and configuration items. When assessing the current state, there are many techniques that can be used, such as a strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat (SWOT) analysis, balanced scorecard reviews, internal and external assessments, and audits, or a combination of a number of techniques.
Approaches to continual improvement can be found in many methods and techniques. Lean methods provide perspectives on the elimination of waste. Agile methods focus on making improvements incrementally. DevOps methods look at working holistically and ensuring improvements are not only designed well but applied effectively.
Although there are a number of methods available, it is a good idea to select a few key methods that are appropriate to the types of improvements the organization considers and to promote those methods. In this way, teams can have a shared understanding of how to work together on improvements and a greater amount of change can be made at a quicker rate. However, the organization should also try new approaches or encourage innovation. Those in the organization with skills in alternative methods should be encouraged to apply them when it makes sense, and if this effort is successful, older methods can be retired in favor of new ones.
About the author
As an IT Service Management trainer, consultant and line manager with over 25 years of experience in IT, Marcel has performed strategic and tactical assignments in a wide variety of areas. For the ITIL 4 update, Marcel has been part of the ITIL 4 Lead Architect Team and Review Team at AXELOS. Through his association with AXELOS, Marcel comprehends the background, the architecture, and the underlying reasons of the ITIL 4 update.