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How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service".

I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize:

SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle.

ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business and also follows a lifecycle approach.   The lifecycle stages in ITIL are Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition and Service Operation with ongoing Continual Service Improvement throughout. ITIL describes processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists which are not organization-specific, but can be applied by an organization for establishing integration with the organization's strategy, delivering value, and maintaining a minimum level of competency. It allows the organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement and measure. It is used to demonstrate compliance and to measure improvement.

In Summary:
Both are required.  When ITIL best practices are not integrated into the SDLC (and vice versa) the development tends to become silo'd.  Developers focus on innovation and speed while operational functions focus on stability and governance.  This results in an us vs them environment. Without the integration of both, organizations are likely to experience bottlenecks, resources not being available when development needs them and incorrect data being collected (metrics are to show that "I did my job"... "It is there fault").  Other symptoms of these silos include inconsistent environments, manual build and deployment processes, poor quality and testing practices, lack of communication and understanding between IT silos, frequent outages and failing SLAs.  All of these issues require IT resources to spend significant time and money.

DevOps initiatives are working towards correcting these silos and breaking down walls throughout the delivery cycle and value stream. DevOps is the progression of the SDLC.  If ITIL (processes and activities) are not integrated early in the lifecycle the developers will continue to hit a brick wall that results in frustrated staff, high cost and little value to the business.

You might want to learn more about "Agile Service Management".   If your organization is utilizing Agile methods for software development then and Agile approach to ITIL/ITSM will help to ensure that your teams, processes, activities and business outcomes are in alignment.  Yes... I am suggesting an Agile approach to both SDLC and ITIL and also integrating them.  There is really only one "Value Stream".


For more information:  www.itsmacademy.com/agile    

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