Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of principles designed to maximize the value of your IT department by aligning IT services with business strategy. Whereas IT Service Management (ITSM) determines delivery of IT services, ITIL outlines how to implement ITSM.

Many Agile organizations also use ITIL to improve their IT operations and maximize productivity across departments. They actually work in similar ways, in that ITIL and Agile are methodologies whereas ITSM and Scrum are frameworks used to implement those methodologies. Continue reading to learn more about how ITIL and Agile complement and enhance each other.

ITIL Guiding Principles: A Quick Overview

The ITIL framework is built on a set of guiding principles that have evolved over time. There have been several different versions of ITIL over the years. The latest version, ITIL 4, has been adapted to better accommodate Agile principles, since organizations often use both methodologies.

The guiding principles of ITIL 4 are outlined below.

  • Focus on value: Ensure that IT activities add value to the organization.
  • Start where you are: Assess your current state and build upon existing processes.
  • Progress iteratively with feedback: Implement changes in small, manageable increments, with a constant feedback loop to refine and enhance processes over time.
  • Collaborate and promote visibility: Strive for open communication and collaboration.
  • Think and work holistically: Think about how tasks impact key business objectives.
  • Keep it simple and practical: Find straightforward solutions over complex ones.
  • Optimize and automate: Identify ways to optimize and automate repetitive tasks.

These ITIL guiding principles overlap with many key Agile principles. For example, Agile also values collaboration, iteration, collaboration, communication, and steady improvement.

How ITIL & Agile Work Together

Whereas Agile can be used throughout your organization, ITIL more specifically relates to your IT department and how it delivers IT services to employees and other internal stakeholders.

Project managers may be more well-versed in Agile and Scrum in their day-to-day, whereas ITIL helps ensure that teams throughout your organization have access to the right technological tools and the latest versions of helpful software to perform their jobs more effectively.

In other words, Agile and Scrum help ensure that projects stay on track, whereas ITIL and ITSM help ensure your internal teams have the right resources to complete those projects.

Why Agile Organizations Use ITIL

Agile organizations are capable of quickly adapting to change and always working to improve how they do business. ITIL is like a more specialized form of Agile for your IT department. It is what guides your ITSM processes to ensure that everyone has access to the right tools and technology to do their jobs. It also helps ensure that software stays updated and secure.

Popular ITIL & Agile Management Software

Jira from Atlassian is a popular tool that organizations use to help manage how their teams use ITIL and Agile methodologies. Jira Service Management directly supports ITSM. Meanwhile, Confluence allows your internal teams to document best practices and procedures.

Learning to use these tools together can help your team better utilize ITSM and Agile.

Improve the Way You Use ITIL & Agile

Continuous improvement is a guiding principle of both ITIL and Agile. At Mumo Systems, we help teams migrate to or re-evaluate how they use Atlassian tools to meet their business objectives across methodologies. We can help support your Atlassian migration or provide more specialized services, such as ITSM consulting, based on the specific needs and goals of your organization.

Contact us to learn more about how your teams can better use ITIL and Agile.

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