While ITIL has traditionally helped to standardize the selection, planning, delivery and maintenance of IT services, to improve efficiency and achieve predictable service delivery; Agile has been an iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project.
DevOps is a bridge between the two and promotes collaboration between Development and Operations Teams to deploy code to production faster in an automated & repeatable way. In “The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win.” Gene Kim, gives a very interesting perspective on the principles underpinning Devops, named as “The Three Ways”. The “Three Ways” describe the values and philosophies that frame the processes, procedures, practices of DevOps.
In my perspective, it is in the guiding principles in which we see a lot of affinity of ITIL 4 with Devops and Agile. In terms of principles, ITIL 4 prescribes 7 Guiding principles while the Agile Manifesto prescribes 12. There is a great overlap between Devops – 3 ways, ITIL 4 Guiding principles and the Agile Manifesto. They are represented by the table as shown.
The “Keep it simple” principle in ITIL 4 maps very closely with “Simplicity -the art of maximizing the amount of work not done-‐-‐is essential” in the Agile Manifesto. The 7th ITIL principle “Optimize and automate” maps closely with the Agile principle of “Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility”.
In conclusion; one can think of ITIL 4 evolving from an orderly (maybe bureaucratic?) system based on processes to a system geared to facing the real-time challenges for speedy implementation of services.