One of the core elements in ITIL is Continual Service Improvement. There is a whole book devoted to it. What I find interesting is that this core element is set apart, next to the other processes and functions of ITIL. When ITIL 2007 was introduced, then known as ITIL v3, I was portfoliomanager Service Management for Getronics PinkRoccade (formely Pink Elephant). To incoperate the ideas of the update into our own materials and concepts we studied ITIL v3 well. We wrote a summary and published this as ‘De Kleine ITIL v3’ (The little ITIL v3). And besides this publication we’ve created a poster showing the connection between version 3 and the past version 2. We struggled with Continual Service Improvement. In a way it was the most important addition to ITIL v2. Continual Service Improvement was kind of missing in the previous versions. It was not as explicit as it became in the current versions of ITIL. And at the same time it was kind of strange to see Continual Service Improvment so disconnected from the rest. In the presentations of ITIL v3 the order of the books was Strategy in the heart, surrounded by Design, Transition and Operations in order and with CSI at the outside. Almost as if CSI is an afterthought. In the poster we’ve changed this to make CSI more prominent as a management layer over the other processes.
Then and now it makes more sense to have CSI integrated as a management layer into the other processes and functions. Improving services and improving service design and delivery is a management task. That seems to me what managers ought to do. To me implementing a service management framework as ITIL or when you start using ideas from the DevOps approach should start with the introduction of some kind of management system. And this management system should be based on the ideas of continual improvement or CSI. When the management system is in place, you can start improving the way the processes are working and how services are delivered. When improving processes and services, using best practices from ITIL, DevOps, IAM or ISAM or even COBIT will make more sense.