Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (Of Guidance)

31 Oct 2019 03:03 PM

Blog posted by: Akshay Anand, AXELOS ITSM Product Ambassador, 31 October 2019.

IT service manager sat at desk with laptop, calculator and pen and paper

It is October 2019. We are in the middle of the ITIL 4 refresh programme, having launched ITIL 4 Foundation in February and ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition module at the beginning of this month. We are also about to launch two more Managing Professional books and certifications in November. Yet, as we have continued to move forward we have kept an eye on improving what has already been released. To that end, I would like to talk about some of the small improvements happening to ITIL 4 Foundation.


The teams at AXELOS take pride in the quality of work that they do, whether it is product development (guidance, exams, translations, etc.) to internal functions and business operations. In product development, we subject our guidance to rigorous reviews by both internal and external SMEs. If I remember correctly, ITIL 4 Foundation lists over 70 contributors from a variety of IT domains; from academics to practitioners, consultants, and trainers. While the purpose of change control was understood by all, a few cautioned against the use of the word ‘control’ but the vast majority did not flag it as a concern.

Following the release of ITIL 4 Foundation, we have heard from several people around the world that the practice was being misinterpreted or misunderstood as focused on ‘controlling changes’ or ‘controlling teams’, rather than ‘controlling the rate of changes’. The word ‘control’  is toxic to many IT teams, and I am curious how IT governance professionals feel about this development. Nonetheless, we listened to the feedback, we tested options, including reverting back to ‘change management’, and decided to change the name of this practice from  ‘change control’ to  ‘change enablement’.

This decision was not taken lightly! We recognize that there is an impact to the community, from trainers who have to adjust their courseware, consultants who have to update their toolkits and templates (and perhaps make their current clients aware of this decision), to practitioners who have taken the plunge with ITIL 4 and have become comfortable with the term  ‘change control’. However, it is best to make the change as early, and as quickly, as possible.

The term change enablement is used throughout the ITIL 4 Managing Professional books and exam question bank (including in the Transition course).

What have we learned from this? Well, two things; firstly, we need to assess who is reviewing our guidance, and we are working hard to find ways to increase the number of reviews, or change the mix of subject matter expertise and background within the reviewer pool. Secondly, small changes to guidance can be made quickly within AXELOS, but communicating the message across our ecosystem takes time, so we need to diversify the channels we use to reach various groups (and hence this blog!)

So … what else is, er … changing?

Apart from grammatical corrections and clarifications to the examples in the Appendix, there are a few other things to highlight:

We have included many other requests to clarify published guidance in our backlog that we have not worked on yet. We will be looking for the next window of opportunity to make more edits, and we will make sure we keep the community engaged and aware of any changes in the pipeline.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about what has been discussed in this blog post, please do leave a message below. We read and consider every single comment, even if we cannot respond to each one.