20 December, 2007

ITIL V3, Enterprise Architecture and Project Portfolio Management, where do I start?

Recently I have attended the ITIL V2 to V3 bridge course and took the examination. It is clear that one day is not enough and a day and a half would have been convenient. IIL V3 is supposed to be an evolution and not a revolution… Pretty sure that a day and a half would have frightened some IT decision makers… and the decision was from trainers to only offer that single day.

As I was prepared for the course (I did some reading before), this was not a real issue...

This being said, after a few days I was wondering how companies would present ITIL V3 to the IT Management team, to a CIO, and obviously the business! The introduction of the Service life cycle is a new concept which requires the buy-in and the sponsorship maybe beyond the IT department! Service Strategy has to be sold, and demonstrates a real value, but this not the point.

Let’s imagine you are in a mature IT department where IT Governance is your daily culture. You may have different IT Governance pillars and among them:

  • IT Service Management

  • Project Portfolio Management

  • Enterprise Architecture

Usually, different teams take care of these initiatives and unfortunately they do not always work together.

The Project Portfolio Management team (PPM) collect business demands and requirements, classify, categorize them, and on an annual basis, do some sort of planning after a budgetary exercise with the business. The PPM team may collaborate with the Enterprise Architecture team to better understand the impact of new demands on the company’s architectures. They may also interact with the IT Service Management for Capacity Management and Service Level Management to better assess these demands.

The Enterprise Architecture (EA) team who already has documented a baseline architecture, define a target architecture (or transition architecture) based on the business drivers, business strategy and with a gap analysis, identify new opportunities, new projects. These new initiatives may afterwards be included in the list of projects and be processed by the PPM team.

With V3, the situation becomes more complex as we have a new way of starting projects! The view is based on the creation of new services which are then included in the Service pipeline and Service Portfolio. In the past, with V2, operational people only had a reactive position. With V3, Service Strategy considers the business view and proposes ITSM as a way to launch new projects!

Isn’t this confusing? Do you think that companies which already have implemented PPM and eventually EA would change the way they classify and launch new projects? Would you go to your CIO and tell him….”...now with V3… we should start with a Service Strategy and consider PPM and EA, either in parallel or afterwards”?. No way! Would you go to your business partners and claim that V3 is a new way of creating new projects and services? Maybe not…

Below I have tried in a diagram to describe various scenarios related to how companies may approach the three domains:

  • The PPM view considers new projects with PPM has the core methodology to address business needs. It refers first to Enterprise Architecture and then IT Service Management.

  • The EA view consider PPM first and finally ITSM.

  • The ITSM view (in fact V3) consider first PPM (Service Strategy) and then EA (Service Design)

It is clear that none of these approaches can be considered as better than the other one. All frameworks include bits and pieces of the others. I may imagine that V3 will make the choice event more difficult and mature IT department will have to evaluate where Service Strategy and Design fits in their IT Governance framework…or consider V3 has being the more innovative and change the company’s culture.


Raymond Lee said...

Hi Thorns,

Raymond here from malaysia, recently just read abt the new ver of ITIL V3. I plan to go for the study as it is also a requirement for all of company staff as well.

As i work in a Global Service Organisation ,our company focus very much in ITIL,ITSM .

Is there any good site/article for me to pursuit ?

Which version of ITIL will it be a s good start for me ?

Serge Thorn said...

Hi Raymond!
There are plenty of good web site on ITIL. Among them, my favorites would be:


The blog of Troy Dumoulin.

The IT Skeptic: http://www.itskeptic.org/

The ITSM portal: http://en.itsmportal.net/en/news

and obviously the itSMF websites.

Regarding the version...I personally would start with V2 nd do the bridge instead of directly going into V3.. V3 in 3 days would be a rush...

Kind regards


Raymond Lee said...

Hi Serge,

Thank for your information, i will kick start it asap i finish my new year celebration..:)

Do you mind i put a link from my blog into your blog so that all my friend/colleage interest to pursuit it can go further on your side for more information ?

I personally will start on writting abt ITIL inside my blog for my easi references.

Maybe go for the fundamental exam first.

Are you an ITIL practiser?


Serge Thorn said...

Hi raymond,
no problem for blogroll...

Best Regards


Mehrdad F said...

Hi Serge,
Very interesting article, we were struggling the same issue within our practice group (I'm an EA in NZ) on how to address these changes within our reference framework and how to convince customers about correlations.
Nonetheless, my very concern is ITIL is very popular amongst IT departments and unlike EA, it is cheaper to adapt and adopt. So the question here would be are we facing a new challenge justifying the need for an EA for clients? this might not be the case today as ITIL is very immature in strategy tier but in the mid-term - lets say next couple of yeas - either EA should find a good place for this new perspective or we will see the hard to sell EA will be even less popular.

Raymond Lee said...

Hi Thorns,

I trying to read out document which available on the net.

IS there any other document online which allow people like us to study and understand it before we going for the exam.

I try to find book in Malaysia abt ITIL but it is not well popular in malaysia.

Anonymous said...

Hi Raymond,

Do you need articles to read on ITSM/ITIL.?



Anonymous said...


I really appreciate and admire your applied thinking on this topic in particular. A couple of comments from someone who has been beat-up for 10 years, transforming reactive-based, hero-driven IT cultures into more effective technology service management focused and business process efficiency driven organizations.

If you could get your head around the idea that the PMO is primarily focused on application orineted projects in today's IT cultures, while Ent. Architecture is primarily focused on infrastructure/systems management efficiency requirements. ITIL V3 Service Strategy and Service Design are recomended good practice around integrating the 2, with the primary focus being the development of an integrated service (Hardware software, strategic, tactical and operational management requirements included) based on a business need (e.g. enhanced competitive position.)

This view requires seasoned technical folks to screw their heads on a bit differently, like seeing these 3 governance activities as parts of the same business management practice that needs to be mastered; developing highly competitive business processes (with optimized process automation technology included).

The last line of your blog entry is where you hit the jackpot.


Serge Thorn said...

There is only one disagreement with your post :-). "while Ent. Architecture is primarily focused on infrastructure/systems management efficiency requirements." Absolutely not...Enterprise Architecture is all about the Enterprise and focus as much on the Business than IT. Thanks.

Monty said...

I appreciate the labor you have put in developing this blog. Nice and informative.