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ITIL® – Complementary International Standards

Itil answersThe diagram at the bottom of this page shows how ITIL® spans organizational controls, processes, and individual activities or tasks more than other complementary strategies.

Effects of ITIL

In part, this is because ITIL is centered on improving effectiveness and efficiency by taking a holistic approach. Let’s look at these complementary strategies and their differences from ISO.

ISO 20000

ISO 20000 was originally developed to reflect best practice guidance’s contained within the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework. It equally supports other IT Service Management frameworks and approaches including Microsoft Operations Framework and components of ISACA’s COBIT framework.  It is comprised of two parts: a specification for IT Service Management and a code of practice for service management.

Differences:  ISO 20000 only recognizes the management of financial assets. According to ITIL, an asset is defined as “any Resource or Capability. Assets of a Service Provider include anything that could contribute to the delivery of a Service. Assets can be one of the following types: Management, Organization, Process, Knowledge, People, Information, Applications, Infrastructure, and Financial Capital.”  ISO 20000 does not recognize Configuration Management System (CMS) or Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS) and does not certify anything beyond Configuration Management Database (CMDB).  An organization can obtain ISO 20000 certification without recognizing or implementing the ITIL concept of Known Error, which is usually considered essential to ITIL. (Source: Wikipedia)

Six Sigma

Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes.   It uses a set of quality management methods including statistical methods and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization (“Black Belts,” “Green Belts,” etc.) who are experts in these methods. Six Sigma is a fact-based, data-driven philosophy of quality improvement that values defect prevention over defect detection. In simple terms, Six Sigma quality performance means no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities.  Six Sigma drives customer satisfaction and bottom-line results by reducing variation and waste, thereby promoting a competitive advantage.  It applies anywhere variation and waste exist. Six Sigma emphasizes the importance of bottom-up identification of inefficient processes.

Differences:  Six Sigma methodology includes process re-engineering, metrics, and roles and responsibilities. It addresses organizational change management and is predominately operational procedure based.  Six Sigma does not directly address IT organizational or business strategy needs.

Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT)

Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT) is a set of best practices (framework) for information technology (IT) management created by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the IT Governance Institute (ITGI) in 1996.  COBIT provides managers, auditors, and IT users with a set of generally accepted measures, indicators, processes, and best practices to assist them in maximizing the benefits derived through the use of information technology and developing appropriate IT governance and control in a company.

Differences:  COBIT is predominately concerned with delivery of standard processes and the audit and control of those procedures. It does not address strategic alignment with the business or the development or transition of IT services.  In other words, COBIT addresses the high-level control framework but not the details on how IT should deliver service.

PMI (Project Management Institute)

PMI (Project Management Institute) is the world’s leading organization for the project management profession. They serve practitioners and organizations with standards that describe good practices, credentials that verify knowledge and experience, and resources for professional development, networking and community.

Differences:  PMI presents best practices for identifying, developing and managing strategic projects for the business and develops risk management and other procedures.  It does not identify specific IT processes or activities like use and management of the CMDB, specific change control needs, or dealing with IT service agreements.

MOF (Microsoft Operations Framework)

MOF (Microsoft Operations Framework) divides IT Service Management tasks into quadrants, defines roles and responsibilities, and has MS branded solution accelerators.  It uses three phases (Plan, Deliver, and Operate) and a Manage Layer.  Microsoft used an ITIL baseline to build the MOF v4 framework.

Differences:  MOF was developed using ITIL as a baseline; concepts are relayed in terms of MS applications and capabilities.

ITIL provides an overall mechanism to understand, document, and strategically assist business in the selection processes and services which are best suited to improve the overall business. It uses an underlying set of best practices to control, measure, and audit the resulting IT services and to prepare for business challenges to come.




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