ITIL4 and the digital economy. A perfect team! (Part 3/3: Velocity)
Feb 24, 2021
In this blogpost, the last concept to remain valid in the digital economy is added. So what do you need more when your organization is connected (blog 1) and there is a focus (blog 2) to deliver value? ITIL adds an ultimate layer, which makes sure you stay relevant, always. It is called ‘Velocity’. This stands for speed and direction of motion. I call it purposeful movement. Based on what is explained in the previous blogs, I consider ‘direction’ covered. A connected organization that has the right focus is in my opinion synced to move in the right direction. So what remains, is ‘speed’. How can you be sure that you are moving at the correct speed? What is ‘the correct speed’ anyway? To be able to cope with that ever-changing target, that happy customer, you need to throttle the speed gauge to deliver and support as needed. Crucial question here: ‘Is your focused and connected organization ready to shift gears?
The internal speed I’m sure some of you think: ‘we drive with automatic gears in our cars’. That is a luxury, which does not exist (yet) for organization management. It requires manual labor to shift that gearbox. It requires the involved organizational resources to be tuned as the journey goes. The guidance ITIL provided to support this, first emerged in 2007, with the release of ITIL v3. It is called ‘Continual Service Improvement’ or CSI in short. The essence of CSI is to be able to adapt when changes are imposed by external factors, allowing to ‘do things better’, or expressed internally, allowing to ‘do better things’. Getting rid of blockers, keep the wheels of service going in the changing environment. In 2019, CSI got an overhaul when ITIL4 presented Continual Improvement or CI in short. Because of the digital economy, were change is the business. To cope with that faster need for speed, agile behavior introduced a shorter create/deliver/support cycle. CI became an organization wide mantra. It is everybody’s business to be into ‘CI’, in search for that best version in that moment.
The human factor To make sure that understanding is permeated throughout the connected organization, there is one organizational resource that needs the most attention: ‘Employees’. Their willingness to be part of that collective need for CI must be coached (explicitly not using the word managed here). It is amazing how many bright ideas never result in operational improvements because there is no supportive platform to take it further. ITIL now promotes the importance of tapping into this valuable resource, not only because of the skills and competence they possess (that’s why they are hired), but to tap into the creativity which emerges when employees are connected and understand the coherence in which they play a role. And, just maybe, that will provide the organization the automatic gear shifting… So that’s it? Not really. There is one last element that will shape your speed.
The market speed There is your answer to the correct speed. The moment your organizational delivery and support speed can keep up with the need of the digital economy whilst maintaining organizational connection and focus, you enter the realm where your digital transformation is a state of being, not a wishful dream. So where does that leave little me with the ambition to build that ultimate glass marble track? I got the best results when friends came along. New ideas to try out were plenty. So were the failures as the glass marbles went ballistic. Crashing is always fun to watch. As kids we have that prerogative, right? Followed by trying alternatives to keep the glass marbles on track, and getting the ultimate speed. What did little me learn: ‘Making things is more fun when you are not alone.’ Except for mum… (Sorry mum)
Principal ITSM Consultant
CTG Belgium Principal ITSM Consultant, Eddy Peters, is a Service Management expert with plus 25 years experience in various IT positions, from support functions to consultancy and from commercial support to managerial positions.