februari 19, 2008

Training and examination in ASL

Just as (used to be) for ITIL or Prince2, EXIN provides an official foundation exam for ASL. There are two training providers in Europe which are accredited for offering a course in the English language which leads to this certificate. You can find their names on http://www.exin-exams.com/ . An English BiSL Foundation exam is provided as well.

februari 05, 2008

What does BiSL look like?

BiSL, Business Information Services Library, is (in contrast to ITIL and ASL) not meant for IT service providers but for the demand site, the business, who needs information provisioning. Just like ASL, BiSL is a process model / method / maturity model, but this model can be used to professionalize your business information management. This comprises defining which information (provisioning) is needed to support the business processes, defining the requirements, accepting new or changed information systems, preparing the organization for the use of the new information provisioning, supporting the end user organization, the management of these activities and the IT suppliers, and the strategic activities necessary to decide on the future of the information provisioning that is necessary to support your business processes and to define the way this all is organized.
If Business information management is not organized well, a business will never, ever get the information it needs effectively and efficiently.

What does ASL look like?

ASL (Application Services Library) is a process model / method / maturity model that can be used to professionalize your application management. Application management comprises the day to day management and control of applications, corrective and adaptive maintenance and renewal of applications, the management of these activities and the strategic activities necessary to decide on the future of your IT department and the applications that support your business processes.

ITIL ® V3 and ASL

ASL and ITIL are both models that can be used to improve your IT Service Management processes. In May 2007, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) released a new version of ITIL®. ITIL v3, brought together the former practices of ITIL and new industry practices in IT Service Management into a comprehensive service lifecycle. One of the changes in the new version of ITIL is the formalized practice of Application Management into the service lifecycle. Aspects of Application Management are to be found in all five volumes of the core guidance.
A comprehensive description of the relationship between ASL and ITIL v3 is recently published on the internet. The paper, called "ITIL V3 and ASL: Sound guidance for application management and application development", is written by Machteld Meijer, Mark Smalley and Sharon Taylor. Here a short overview.

There are both similarities and differences between ITIL and ASL. Both frameworks define and address the Applications domain and provide the reader with an insight into how the frameworks can best be applied.

The new version of ITIL views the IT Service Management domain by primarily describing the phases of the service lifecycle. Within this perspective it uses processes that detail parts of one or more phases. Alongside processes, descriptions of organizational functions and activities are also used to provide guidance. ASL is primarily a process model, focusing on Application Management and the maintenance part of Application Development but with clear interfaces to the adjoining IT management domains Business Information Management and Infrastructure Management.

Much of the content of ITIL is very generic, with detailed descriptions of the principles and more attention to subjects that are relevant to the application domain. This changes the perception of the previous versions that ITIL was primarily meant for Infrastructure Management to a perception that it is intended to support all IT services.

ASL and ITIL use the terms Application Management and Application Development in different ways: ASL positions Maintenance (including enhancement and renovation) within the scope of Application Management and defines Application Development as the function that produces new applications, not releases of existing applications. ASL sees advantages in clustering Operational management of applications with Application Maintenance while ITIL prefers to separate them and cluster Application Maintenance with development of new applications.

Mapping of the relative value of ASL and ITIL to the ITIL Application Management Lifecycle shows similarities and areas of added value in both models.

ITIL has added value for the phases Requirements (some) and Operate (much). ASL has added value for the Build phase (much). Both models have similar value for the phases Design, Deploy and Optimize. although in detail they both add some value to each other.

The demarcation between customer (the business) and supplier of IT services is more explicitly drawn in ASL than in ITIL. This gives a different perspective, which can be of added value in a professional relationship. Other points of interest in ASL are the specific Application Management/Maintenance processes and examples, the limited scope (primarily Application Management/Maintenance) and the fact that the language used appeals more to people in the Applications domain than the generic ITIL approach.
ITIL describes processes and activities that are common to both models (such as Availability Management, Capacity Management, Requirements Engineering and Data & Information Management) in more detail than ASL. Both models address strategic aspects: ITIL addresses the generic service strategy for the IT servive provider while ASL focuses on the application strategy, using process descriptions. ITIL describes 1-3 processes for this area (the ITIL books are not totally consistent in the definition of the processes), ASL describes 10 processes.

The ITIL books give sufficient guidance for organizations that manage commercial-off-the-shelf applications but if an organization maintains the applications and therefore actually modifies the source code, then ASL provides a lot of additional en necessary guidance.

The full paper can be found in the link.

januari 24, 2008


Hi, welcome to (another :-) ) blogspot on IT Service Management.

What does this one add? Well, first of all, here in The Netherlands we are fond of process models. Just ITIL® and CMMI is not enough for us. We recognize IT-management domains with their own needs, we defined models for those domains (which are actually pretty popular here!) and this site will share knowledge on these models and domains with you. The models we added so far to the ITSM-world are ASL (Application Services Library) and BiSL (Business Information Services Library). The latter model is very important, because it is made for the demand side of IT. For "the customers". What should they do in order to get the IT provisioning they need.

I am one of the people who were very much involved in defining, applying and spreading this knowledge. So far mostly in papers/journals, from now on on this blogspot as well.

I'll try to add a question-answer section and a private section where papers can be downloaded.