ITIL and Scrum

by Rahulprasad Hurkadli

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and Scrum are two popular frameworks used in the field of IT and project management. While they serve different purposes and have distinct approaches, they can be complementary when used together.

ITIL and Scrum

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library):

IT service management (ITSM) best practices and recommendations are outlined in the ITIL framework. It provides a framework to manage IT services effectively and align them with the needs of the business. The main focus of ITIL is on delivering high-quality IT services that meet the requirements and expectations of customers and stakeholders.

ITIL is organized into a series of processes and functions, such as incident management, problem management, change management, service level management, and more. It emphasizes the importance of defining and documenting processes, creating service catalogs, and continuously improving service delivery.


Scrum is an agile project management and delivery system. It was originally developed for software development projects but has found applications in various industries. Scrum follows an iterative and incremental approach, where work is divided into time-boxed iterations called "sprints." Each sprint typically lasts 2-4 weeks and results in a potentially shippable product increment.

Scrum roles include the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Development Team. The Scrum Master facilitates the Scrum process and helps the team remove any impediments, while the Product Owner represents the customer or stakeholders and prioritizes the work in the product backlog. The Development Team is self-organizing and cross-functional, responsible for delivering the product increment.

How ITIL and Scrum can be complementary:

  • Service Management and Project Delivery: ITIL focuses on managing IT services in an organization, while Scrum focuses on delivering projects and products. By combining the two, you can ensure that the services being managed align with the project deliverables.
  • Incident and Problem Management:  ITIL's processes, like incident management and problem management, can be integrated into the Scrum approach. For example, the Scrum team can use ITIL processes to handle incidents or problems related to the product they are developing.
  • Service Improvement: ITIL's continual service improvement can be integrated with Scrum's iterative approach. Teams can use feedback and retrospectives to improve both the product being developed and the service management processes.
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs): ITIL's service level management helps define SLAs with customers. These SLAs can then be considered during sprint planning in Scrum to ensure that the team focuses on delivering high-priority features.

In summary, ITIL and Scrum have different focuses and approaches, but when used together thoughtfully, they can create a strong foundation for delivering high-quality IT services and managing projects effectively. Organizations may choose to adopt specific elements from each framework that best suit their needs and context.