Module 3 - The ITIL® practices
Tell me more about continual improvement



- In any size and shape of a services org, we know that as successful as our products and services are today, the business keeps moving on and their needs keep changing around the products and services. And in ITIL 4, by substituting the continual improvement practice, we'll often see how the business is changing, in terms of their needs and therefore their value expectations around service. And as our products and services start to become less relevant, where gaps occur almost between the change needs and our existing products and services, the continual improvement practice will identify the opportunity to improve in a very focused way, in a very business-prioritized way no less, go and drive the appropriate service change that will ultimately give rise to the right value of the change needs where the business is now in terms of the change needs rather than the previous needs around those products and services. Have you got an example, Paul?


- Yeah, so if we take an example from a personal level, if you think about your mobile phone or your cell phone, when you first got it you probably used it to be able to make phone calls, or to be able to send text messages. And then, the new services came out and you started to download music and store them, and we got rid of iPods and stuff because everybody was listening to music on their phone or downloading podcasts. And now we've got to the point where actually people aren't downloading and storing very much anymore. They are simply streaming because the services have improved so we have better connectivity, we have greater capacity of our actual phones themselves to receive and configure the data. So we actually can able to stream music, we're able to stream podcasts, we're able to stream stuff. So we've gone from a simple finding a phone, making a phone call, sending a text message, to an entertainment system to now actually, a streaming device that's connected and interconnected to the Internet on a fairly permanent basis. So we've gone from that continual improvement, that start point and continually improved. Now we've continually gone through continual improvement from a consumer's perspective. But also the service provider continues to innovate, continues to drive our service provision by coming up with new or clever ideas that might attract the consumer to buy more services.


- That's right, I mean, that's just one example that Paul's talked about but in any business, any organization, there'll often be a whole host of opportunities to improve. Not just existing services but like Paul said to actually innovate through new services. And one of the core thinking points of continual improvement practice is that don't we just see these opportunities to improve but we properly track them, we properly quantify them, often through the use of things like continual improvement registers, and then in a very focused way, go and commit resources to those improvement opportunities that will ultimately deliver the most business value back to the organization, and that really is gonna be a lot of continual improvement practice demonstrating success back to the organization.

About the Author

Martin is a professionally qualified and experienced IT Professional with over 25 years of experience in the IT industry. He has held a number of senior roles and has experience of large-scale IT Service Management implementation programs both in public and private sectors. He has over 15 years of experience working for QA as both a Senior principal lecturer/consultant and as Head of Service Management Product Development. Martin has delivered training to a wide variety of audiences, both UK and internationally, to consistently high levels of customer satisfaction.

His main role at QA is acting as a Head of Service Management Product Development to enable QA to deliver high quality, interactive training in the following areas:

  • Delivering a wide range of public ITIL, SIAM, and BRM courses
  • Delivering onsite ITIL and SIAM courses
  • Developing high-quality QA authored Service Management courses and courseware across all delivery mechanisms including classroom, e-learning, and virtual
  • Working with Industry partners to develop new curricula and courses – Recent examples include ITIL Practitioner and the BCS EXIN SIAM Foundation qualifications