One of the key ideas of the new ITIL 4 approach is to create value together. Creating value in collaboration with both your suppliers/vendors and customers. The key is to have the “chain of development and delivery” as strong as possible. In the old days, we generally expected the Supplier/Vendor to be the Solution Provider because they were the experts. They would simply extract the end-user requirements for their client and develop the solution to meet the stated requirements.
I remember a specific client situation where the project has gone wrong in a bad way. Both the vendor and the client lost a lot of money because the client thought the vendor was going to be the ‘solution provider’ and the vendor thought it was a ‘joint-development’ contract. Needless to say, everything went wrong and I’ve personally never seen so many arguments around whether a change was a formal “change request” or not.
In the co-creation of value, the strongest point in the development chain is also the weakest link in that same chain. ITIL is usually reliable in telling the IT professional WHAT they need to do but is not that explicit in HOW to do it. This is where a strong and proven problem-solving collaboration approach could help the IT professional significantly in HOW to execute certain ITIL framework activities. A structured, repeatable common problem-solving processes would support the following aspects of ITIL 4:
Working together to co-create value
When service providers and service consumers are involved in creating value, they need to conduct a thorough Stakeholder Analysis to ensure that all the service relationships are correctly identified. This is not only important to be able to solve complicated incidents and problems, but also to do a complete risk analysis related to for example changes to prepare and implement. With Problem-solving for ITIL, we provide a template with a methodical process in how to identify these relationships.
There are not too many ways that are better than managing relationships inputs via collaboration tools. The Problem-solving for ITIL tools and templates with worked questions provide an ideal setting in which to collaborate. The Problem-solving for ITIL tools allows core issues to be resolved, causes to be identified, new solutions to be generated and how best to deal with potential risks.
Strengthening the ITIL Guiding Principles
Problem-solving for ITIL approaches allows the various relationships to assess the situation as it presents itself at that moment. This approach helps identify the stakeholders who they need to collaborate with to ensure they have the best available data. The templates with the worked questions ensure they cover all the bases to promote holistic thinking. They use the same templates to collaborate face-to-face and virtually if they must. The visibility provided by the template data capture helps with data quality through iterative feedback provided by the appropriate relationship.
Providing the “backbone” for ITIL Practices
The primary focus of the Problem-solving for ITIL thinking processes is to provide a continuous improvement component to Incident and Problem Management as well as Change Control. The tools and templates provide a basis for gathering and recording the relevant data pertaining to the incident situation and helping the appropriate teams to reach consensus regarding restoration and cause removal actions.
Imagine putting a team together to create value in the ITIL eco-system and they have proven templates with worked questions that could serve as useful tools to execute their task successfully. Not only that but also the ability to use the same tools and templates to identify and collectively work with other relationships in such a way that they deliver value first time every time.
About the author
As an IT Service Management trainer, consultant and line manager with over twenty-five years of experience in IT, I have performed strategic and tactical assignments in a wide variety of areas. My experience includes project and program management, product management, requirements analysis and training delivery related to the IT Service Management international best practice, in both the private and public sectors on a global scale. Recently participated as a Lead Architect team member and author in the development of ITIL 4 Foundation and an author for the ITIL 4 Strategist module Direct, Plan and Improve.