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ITIL® vs Agile: Which One To Choose

Organizations that are successful focus on delivering quality products, keeping their customers engaged and optimizing processes to maximize output. In this digital transformation world, organizations that have adopted Agile and frameworks like ITIL will succeed; as modern frameworks are all about adaptability, quick delivery and customer focus. These frameworks have their own unique set of processes and help teams address complex problems through adaptation and value creation. In this blog, we look into the two most popular frameworks used by IT companies, ITIL and Agile and what wins in the battle between ITIL vs Agile.What Is ITIL? ITIL is the most popular ITSM framework adopted by organizations across sectors --Forbes Insight ITIL stands for (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and is a framework followed by IT companies to improve business processes, sustain growth and ensure progress. ITIL defines a set of detailed processes and practices that ensures that organizations are able to use IT as a medium for transformation, growth, business change and value delivery.  The latest versions of ITIL have helped organizations become nimbler and respond to changing market conditions by becoming more adaptable, flexible and open to digital transformations.  ITIL has been adopted by thousands of organizations worldwide, including NASA, Microsoft and HSBC--Axelos ITIL 4 is an adaptable framework for managing services. Through our best practice modules, ITIL 4 helps to optimize digital technologies to co-create value with consumers, drive business strategy, and embrace digital transformation—Axelos The ITIL framework consists of five stages with 26 process areas. The five service lifecycle stages include:  Service Strategy Service Design Service Transition Service Operation Continual Service Improvement The guiding principles of ITIL are: Focus on the value delivered  Design for user experience  Start where you are  Work holistically toward the product or service development  Progress iteratively  Observe directly  Be transparent  Collaborate with the stakeholders  Keep it simple Advantages of ITIL Brings about better synergy between IT and business Increased customer satisfaction through improved service delivery More transparency and visibility of IT costs and assets Better management of risks and failure caused due to business disruption Supports constant business evolution and change by offering more stable service environmentsWhat Is Agile?Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment—Agile Alliance Agile is not just an IT implementation framework or strategy but a culture shift and a mind-set. Any organization that wants to undergo an Agile transformation has to transform not just processes but also people and its inherent culture.  Agile is built around four values and twelve principles  The four values of Agile are: Individuals and interactions over Processes and tools Working software over Comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation Responding to change over Following a plan The twelve principles of agile are: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. Working software is the primary measure of progress. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.Almost three-quarters (71%) of organizations report using Agile approaches sometimes, often, or always--Project Management Institute  Agile encompasses many methodologies that are built around the Agile values and principles. Some of the commonly used methodologies include: Scrum Extreme Programming Crystal Kanban  Advantages of Agile Allows product development to happen over several short iterations Ensures rapid delivery of working software Reduces documentation Implements a regular feedback mechanism Helps incorporate testing into development to ensure bult-in quality Provides relative estimates which are flexible  Ensures a high degree of transparency Promotes customer satisfaction   Helps create motivated teams Helps manage budgets ITIL vs Agile: The differenceITILAgileITIL has a fixed set of practices and processes which IT businesses should embrace to deliver consistent valueAgile is more flexible and is a change in the entire cultural fabric of the organization to deliver quick value and keep customers happyIt is an IT framework that focuses on processes rather than practices.It helps improve ITSM processes to ensure better service delivery and client satisfactionIt comprises of methodologies that define practices and principles that help in ensuring faster release of working products through better co-ordination between development team and end usersTries to fix the processes an organization should follow to deliver consistent value repeatedlyIs more flexible and allows teams and organizations to question and break existing rules in pursuit of delivering valueAdheres to strict rules of documentation and SLAsDocumentation is secondary and emphasis should be on delivering value incrementallyFollows a sequential framework and processesIs incremental and iterative and creates a minimum viable productCan we have both ITIL and Agile in a systemOne is rigid while one is more flexible. One focuses on leveraging past experiences while one focuses on getting processes that are right for the current situation.There are many differences between two frameworks but the best of both can be taken and applied to modern IT systems.While they may fundamentally differ in ideology, there are also many commonalities between the two, such as the idea of delivering working software and ensuring a focus on value both of which help to deliver high quality products to the customer. The two also focus on keeping processes simple and responding to change in order to implement changing customer requirements and delivering highest quality to the customer. ITIL systems can adopt the principles of Agile that make it suitable to environments that are fast paced and help IT and DevOps teams adapt rapidly to change and deliver high value.Is ITIL Still Relevant in an Agile World? While earlier versions of ITIL focused on being sequential, plan-oriented and focused more on delivering first and then maintaining, these are no longer the hallmarks of modern systems. Modern enterprises require better managed services that can align to customer goals, in other words ITIL was becoming outdated in an increasingly agile world where test at the end approach was longer relevant. Agile’s incremental and iterative approach helps to have a more dynamic relation between IT and operations and works in the fast paced, continuously evolving business world.The latest version of ITIL takes this into account and helps businesses adapt and adopt the digital age. It helps organizations to more seamlessly adapt to changing technology, simplify operations and create greater efficiency.ITIL vs Agile: Which framework is Better for Your DevOps Career?For many years, ITIL helped legacy systems thrive by offering a dependable management system that helped increase efficiency, reduce risks and deliver value to customers. But with the advent of Agile, modern systems realised that what they needed to stay afloat in the current market scenario is the ability to adapt and be flexible to changing market conditions. Many experts are of the view that agile is the perfect backbone to enabling a DevOps transformation ensuring high performance and frequent release working software to production.ITIL, on the other hand, ensures an overall growth of the company and offers strategies for future growth and business evolution. Applying ITIL to DevOps can speed up new releases, reduces risks related to projects, optimize processes and enhance customer satisfaction.Both Agile and ITIL are associated with several credentials that are well recognized in IT circles. Opting for Agile or ITIL depends on where you are working currently and the type of framework your organization supports. Both support growth and innovation and offer services to improve operations and work better. Pursue the certifications associated with these frameworks and turbocharge your career.   Conclusion The debate of ITIL vs agile and which is better for modern systems is an age old one. While Agile supports rapid innovation and focuses on adaptability and flexibility the newer versions of ITIL also prepare organizations for digital transformation. Each team should evaluate what works best for them and choose the framework accordingly.
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ITIL® vs Agile: Which One To Choose

Susan May
Blog
22nd Sep, 2021
ITIL® vs Agile: Which One To Choose

Organizations that are successful focus on delivering quality products, keeping their customers engaged and optimizing processes to maximize output. In this digital transformation world, organizations that have adopted Agile and frameworks like ITIL will succeed; as modern frameworks are all about adaptability, quick delivery and customer focus. These frameworks have their own unique set of processes and help teams address complex problems through adaptation and value creation. In this blog, we look into the two most popular frameworks used by IT companies, ITIL and Agile and what wins in the battle between ITIL vs Agile.

What Is ITIL? 

ITIL is the most popular ITSM framework adopted by organizations across sectors --Forbes Insight 

ITIL stands for (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and is a framework followed by IT companies to improve business processes, sustain growth and ensure progress. ITIL defines a set of detailed processes and practices that ensures that organizations are able to use IT as a medium for transformation, growth, business change and value delivery.  

The latest versions of ITIL have helped organizations become nimbler and respond to changing market conditions by becoming more adaptable, flexible and open to digital transformations.  

ITIL has been adopted by thousands of organizations worldwide, including NASA, Microsoft and HSBC--Axelos 

ITIL 4 is an adaptable framework for managing services. Through our best practice modules, ITIL 4 helps to optimize digital technologies to co-create value with consumers, drive business strategy, and embrace digital transformationAxelos 

The ITIL framework consists of five stages with 26 process areas. 

The five service lifecycle stages include:  

  1. Service Strategy 
  2. Service Design 
  3. Service Transition 
  4. Service Operation 
  5. Continual Service Improvement 

The guiding principles of ITIL are: 

  • Focus on the value delivered  
  • Design for user experience  
  • Start where you are  
  • Work holistically toward the product or service development  
  • Progress iteratively  
  • Observe directly  
  • Be transparent  
  • Collaborate with the stakeholders  
  • Keep it simple 

Advantages of ITIL 

  • Brings about better synergy between IT and business 
  • Increased customer satisfaction through improved service delivery 
  • More transparency and visibility of IT costs and assets 
  • Better management of risks and failure caused due to business disruption 
  • Supports constant business evolution and change by offering more stable service environments

What Is Agile?

Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment—Agile Alliance 

Agile is not just an IT implementation framework or strategy but a culture shift and a mind-set. Any organization that wants to undergo an Agile transformation has to transform not just processes but also people and its inherent culture.  

Agile is built around four values and twelve principles  

The four values of Agile are: 

  1. Individuals and interactions over Processes and tools 
  2. Working software over Comprehensive documentation 
  3. Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation 
  4. Responding to change over Following a plan 

The twelve principles of agile are: 

  1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. 
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage. 
  3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. 
  4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. 
  5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. 
  6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. 
  7. Working software is the primary measure of progress. 
  8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. 
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. 
  10. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential. 
  11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. 
  12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Almost three-quarters (71%) of organizations report using Agile approaches sometimes, often, or always--Project Management Institute  

Agile encompasses many methodologies that are built around the Agile values and principles. Some of the commonly used methodologies include: 

  • Scrum 
  • Extreme Programming 
  • Crystal 
  • Kanban  

Advantages of Agile 

  • Allows product development to happen over several short iterations 
  • Ensures rapid delivery of working software 
  • Reduces documentation 
  • Implements a regular feedback mechanism 
  • Helps incorporate testing into development to ensure bult-in quality 
  • Provides relative estimates which are flexible  
  • Ensures a high degree of transparency 
  • Promotes customer satisfaction   
  • Helps create motivated teams 
  • Helps manage budgets 

ITIL vs Agile: The difference

ITILAgile
ITIL has a fixed set of practices and processes which IT businesses should embrace to deliver consistent valueAgile is more flexible and is a change in the entire cultural fabric of the organization to deliver quick value and keep customers happy
It is an IT framework that focuses on processes rather than practices.

It helps improve ITSM processes to ensure better service delivery and client satisfaction
It comprises of methodologies that define practices and principles that help in ensuring faster release of working products through better co-ordination between development team and end users
Tries to fix the processes an organization should follow to deliver consistent value repeatedlyIs more flexible and allows teams and organizations to question and break existing rules in pursuit of delivering value
Adheres to strict rules of documentation and SLAsDocumentation is secondary and emphasis should be on delivering value incrementally
Follows a sequential framework and processesIs incremental and iterative and creates a minimum viable product

Can we have both ITIL and Agile in a system

One is rigid while one is more flexible. One focuses on leveraging past experiences while one focuses on getting processes that are right for the current situation.

There are many differences between two frameworks but the best of both can be taken and applied to modern IT systems.


While they may fundamentally differ in ideology, there are also many commonalities between the two, such as the idea of delivering working software and ensuring a focus on value both of which help to deliver high quality products to the customer. The two also focus on keeping processes simple and responding to change in order to implement changing customer requirements and delivering highest quality to the customer. 

ITIL systems can adopt the principles of Agile that make it suitable to environments that are fast paced and help IT and DevOps teams adapt rapidly to change and deliver high value.

Is ITIL Still Relevant in an Agile World? 

While earlier versions of ITIL focused on being sequential, plan-oriented and focused more on delivering first and then maintaining, these are no longer the hallmarks of modern systems. Modern enterprises require better managed services that can align to customer goals, in other words ITIL was becoming outdated in an increasingly agile world where test at the end approach was longer relevant. Agile’s incremental and iterative approach helps to have a more dynamic relation between IT and operations and works in the fast paced, continuously evolving business world.

The latest version of ITIL takes this into account and helps businesses adapt and adopt the digital age. It helps organizations to more seamlessly adapt to changing technology, simplify operations and create greater efficiency.

ITIL vs Agile: Which framework is Better for Your DevOps Career?

For many years, ITIL helped legacy systems thrive by offering a dependable management system that helped increase efficiency, reduce risks and deliver value to customers. But with the advent of Agile, modern systems realised that what they needed to stay afloat in the current market scenario is the ability to adapt and be flexible to changing market conditions. Many experts are of the view that agile is the perfect backbone to enabling a DevOps transformation ensuring high performance and frequent release working software to production.

ITIL, on the other hand, ensures an overall growth of the company and offers strategies for future growth and business evolution. Applying ITIL to DevOps can speed up new releases, reduces risks related to projects, optimize processes and enhance customer satisfaction.

Both Agile and ITIL are associated with several credentials that are well recognized in IT circles. 

Opting for Agile or ITIL depends on where you are working currently and the type of framework your organization supports. Both support growth and innovation and offer services to improve operations and work better. Pursue the certifications associated with these frameworks and turbocharge your career.   

Conclusion 

The debate of ITIL vs agile and which is better for modern systems is an age old one. While Agile supports rapid innovation and focuses on adaptability and flexibility the newer versions of ITIL also prepare organizations for digital transformation. Each team should evaluate what works best for them and choose the framework accordingly.

Susan

Susan May

Writer, Developer, Explorer

Susan is a gamer, internet scholar and an entrepreneur, specialising in Big Data, Hadoop, Web Development and many other technologies. She is the author of several articles published on Zeolearn and KnowledgeHut blogs. She has gained a lot of experience by working as a freelancer and is now working as a trainer. As a developer, she has spoken at various international tech conferences around the globe about Big Data.


Website : https://www.zeolearn.com

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