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4 February 2008

Project Management and ITIL Release Management

PM Hut has an article on the difference between project management and ITIL release management.

The key difference seems to be that projects are finite and releases go on forever. Apart from that good system management shares a lot with project management.

Early this decade I spent some time as a systems analyst. The team I was in managed escalated service issues, releases and administration processes such as the budget and user access.

It was an interesting and high performing team and I learned quite a bit about good system management processes from them. The team approached the management of ther systems in a very planned and structured way that left space to deal with crises when they came up.

Principles from project management were applied to everything they did. Let me run through a few examples;

  • Releases were planned many months in advance, withy resources and funds allocated and work prioritised.
  • Stakeholders were engaged and planned changes were communicated broadly. The communicatons were planned and monitorred.
  • Risks and issues were actively managed.
  • The potential benefits were carefully assessed before budgets were allocated.
  • Changes to business requirements (ie enhancements) were managed in a controlled fashion.

Additionally, individual releases can be 'project managed' even to the stage of benefits realisation. The two frameworks go together well.

Do any ITIL practitioners have a view on this?