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SRE Is the Most Innovative Approach to ITSM Since ITIL

Originally published on DevOps.com, written by Jayne Groll, CEO of DevOps Institute

For over a decade, ITIL has been the leading ITSM framework adopted by enterprises across the globe. So, what is driving a rapidly increasing interest in Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) as a service management alternative?

In its own words, Google refers to SRE as its approach to service management: “The SRE team is responsible for the availability, latency, performance, efficiency, change management, monitoring, emergency response and capacity planning.”

In traditional ITSM terms, the role of the SRE is responsible for service level, change, availability, event, incident, problem, capacity, performance, infrastructure and platform management. While the operational practice areas may be similar, there are significant differences in how the practices are approached.
ITIL4 Framework Compared to SRE

Released in 2019, the newest update to ITIL4 remains a complex governance model with four dimensions, seven g…
Recent posts

Up YOUR Game – Becoming a Certified Process Design Engineer Required!

I find that there are many people that do not understand WHAT a Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE) really is (be sure to scroll down on the page and then download the free whitepaper for surprising details). The CPDE role is likely much broader and deeper than you might think!
Time and Money?! Yes, but not at the expense of quality and stability! 
The role of a Certified Process Design Engineer is a critical skill set for all IT service providers. There are many frameworks and standards that define practices and methods for achieving success; ITIL 4, Agile, Lean, DevOps, COBIT, ISO, and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) are only a few. My point is that while each describes processes and controls (what to do), they don’t provide clear, step-by-step methods and techniques for designing, reengineering and improving processes (how to do it). 
A Certified Process Design Engineer equips managers and staff at all levels to lead the organization to do the “right” things but also leads…

ITIL 4 – Decoupling Deployment from Release Management Practice

ITIL 4 is an evolution of ITIL V3. Before we start talking about specific processes or practices, it is important to stress that the focus has shifted. ITIL 4 gives us a fresh perspective to service management and emphasizes the customer user experience, the approach to the overall service value system, the service value chain and value streams, and much more. 
Download the What is ITIL 4 document from the ITSM Academy Resource Center and be sure to read past the first few pages for more information on the new perspective that drives modern service management. The emphasis is on value from the customer user experience and integrated holistic approach. That does not mean that the processes are going away. Today we refer to a process as a "practice". Practices are broader in scope than processes and include all 4 dimensions/resources including the process. Two processes or “practices” that have been decoupled in ITIL 4 are the Deployment Management practice and the Relea…

ITIL 4 – Mapping the Customer Journey

All service providers are in the business of customer and user experience. It is not enough to compete on products and services, how services are delivered is as important as what is delivered.

The customer journey is the complete end-to-end experience customers have with one or more service providers and/or their products through the touchpoints and service interactions with those providers. In order to focus on the outcomes and on the customer/user experience, service providers are seeking to master the art of mapping their customer journey. Doing so allows them to maximize stakeholder value through co-creation of value throughout the entire value chain.

The customer journey begins by understanding the overall macro-level of steps or groups of activities that generate the need for interaction between the customer and the service provider. These activities begin at “Explore” and end with “Realize” where the value is actually being consumed by the end-users.
The Band of Visibility

Shifting Sands - Minimum Viable – What is it Really?

For high performing IT providers, the sands are shifting. If you are getting certified in ITIL 4, DevOps, or Agile Service Management you hear that we have to “Think BIG and ACT small!”. Minimum Viable Products and Minimum Viable Processes (MVP) are on the move. Historically, IT organizations delivered products and processes into production with huge batch runs or the big bang approach. This method is fraught with issues, escalations, and constant firefighting. These large releases are tightly managed, governed from the highest levels, and require participation from all parts of the organization. The days of large batch runs that take months to create and war rooms staffed 24×7 for weeks before and after the release, have given way to small incremental deployments.

In comes Minimum Viable Products/Processes: 
High performing organizations know that deployments that deliver value to the consumer fast are required. The idea is not to stage, stage, stage until you have a huge batch big …

ITIL 4 Service Value System and DevOps

The Service Value System (SVS) and Service Value Chain as indicated in ITIL 4 Best Practices give you the big picture macro view that should be the start of every DevOps Pipeline. Without it, you could get swept into the undercurrent and potentially focus too much effort or misdirect resources towards the technical and automation aspects of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). 

Components of the SVS include: The ITIL4 Guiding Principles, Governance, The Service Value Chain, Practices, and Continual Improvement.

A Service Value Chain andValue Stream Mapping (VSM) exercise provides all stakeholders with a high-level view of the end-to-end steps required for your DevOps Pipeline. Applying the concept of “Systems Thinking” to the overall CI/CD Pipeline is critical but without including the information/data and flow of work we truly miss the mark. This is where Lean principles and VSM are helpful. 
Notice in the above image from our Value Stream Mapping Facilitation cours…

Experience Level Agreements (XLAs) – Tick Tock!

It is a new day! The world of IT has changed from solely provisioning technology and services to actually being integral in the fulfillment of all business operations. It is time for staff and leaders to learn, get certified, evolve and most importantly to move forward with XLAs. As the climate of business operation changes it makes sense (or should make sense) that the way we measure and fulfill the provisioning of services must evolve to meet new challenges. This does not mean that SLAs are gone and XLAs are taking over. They can co-exist!
Traditional Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are sometimes rigid and can be restrictive in a world where the ability to shift and change with dynamic business needs are prevalent. Many of you can relate to those organizations that are meeting and exceeding SLAs only to find Customer Satisfaction (C-Sat) Scores are tanking. Internally the staff celebrate while the organization loses market share!

There is still a place for SLAs in the world and t…