The Visible Ops Handbook: Starting ITIL in 4 Practical Steps

Visible Ops is the result of more than three years of studying high-performing IT operations and security organizations by the Information Technology Process Institute (ITPI). Visible Ops illustrates how interested organizations might replicate the processes of these high-performing organizations in just four steps. Each of these steps has the following characteristics:
– Definitive Projects – each step is a project, with a clearly defined objective and exit criteria.
– Ordered – each step is specifically designed to build upon the previous step.
– Catalytic – each step returns more resources to the organization than it consumed, thus fueling the next step.
– Sustaining – each step creates enough value to the organization that the processes developed remain in place, even if the initial driving forces behind its implementation disappear.
– Auditable – each step provides auditable evidence that preventive and detective controls are working and are effective.

The Four Visible Ops steps
1. Stabilize Patient, Modify First Response
Almost 80% of outages are self-inflicted. The first step is to control risky changes and reduce MTTR by addressing how changes are managed and how problems are resolved.

2. Catch and Release, Find Fragile Artifacts
Often, infrastructure exists that cannot be repeatedly replicated. In this step, we inventory assets, configurations and services, to identify those with the lowest change success rates, highest MTTR and highest business downtime costs.

3. Establish Repeatable Build Library
The highest return on investment is implementing effective release management processes. This step creates repeatable builds for the most critical assets and services, to make it “cheaper to rebuild than to repair.”

4. Enable Continuous Improvement
The previous steps have progressively built a closed-loop between the Release, Control and Resolution processes. This step implements metrics to allow continuous improvement of all of these process areas, to best ensure that business objectives are met.

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