ITIL 4 - Processes and Practices
ITIL 4 has introduced this new concept of ‘Practice’… all 34 of them. Does that mean that we have to change our existing processes into practices? No, unless we want to.
Firstly what is a ‘Practice?’
You can think of a ‘Practice’ in just the same way as you would consider a dental practice, a law practice or a medical practice. If the ‘Practice’ is working well then it’s the best way to achieve the outcomes that we desire. A Practice is made up of people process and technology.
Is it a new concept? No, I was working as a Problem Manager in a Problem Management Practice at a major UK bank nearly 20 years ago. Maybe we were ahead of the curve.
Processes are fundamental to ‘Practices’, but so is the technology that automates our optimised process, and so are the various people who have the correct skills and capabilities to ensure the processes achieve the best outputs and allows our customers to achieve their best business outcomes.
Back to the Dental Practice example.
The people: The dentist, dental nurse, hygienist, receptionist and other stakeholders like the NHS and other regulatory bodies.
The technology: Specialised lighting, drills, x-ray and anaesthesia equipment and associated software to manage our dental records.
The processes and procedures: Appointments booking, filling and tooth extraction procedures, emergency procedures etc. learned at dental school.
The outcomes: Nice healthy teeth and gums for the patients, and advice on how to keep those teeth and gums healthy.
Now consider what you already have in place in your organisation, your Service Desk practice, Change Control practice… Isn’t there more than just the processes? Although personally I’d argue that process is what holds it all together…