ITIL and Agile

by Rahulprasad Hurkadli

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and Agile are two distinct approaches commonly used in the field of IT service management and software development, respectively. While they serve different purposes and have different principles, they can complement each other in certain situations.

ITIL and Agile

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library):

ITIL is a set of best practices and guidelines for managing IT services and processes within an organization. It provides a framework to ensure that IT services align with the needs of the business and deliver value to customers. ITIL focuses on the lifecycle of IT services, from their design and transition to their operation and improvement. Service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continuous service improvement are among the main tenets of ITIL.


Agile is a software development approach that prioritizes flexibility, collaboration, and incremental progress. It values customer feedback and adapts to changing requirements and priorities. The Agile methodology encourages self-organizing, cross-functional teams that work in short, iterative cycles called sprints. The most well-known Agile framework is Scrum, but there are other variations such as Kanban, XP (Extreme Programming), and Lean.

Combining ITIL and Agile:

While ITIL and Agile have different focuses and methodologies, they can be combined effectively, especially in larger organizations with complex IT environments. By doing so, organizations can leverage the benefits of both approaches. For example:

  • ITIL and Agile in Service Delivery: Agile development teams can follow Agile principles during software development while still adhering to ITIL processes during service transition and operation. This allows for faster development and deployment cycles without compromising on ITIL's focus on service quality and stability.
  • Continual Service Improvement (CSI): Agile retrospectives, which are regular meetings to review and improve team performance, can align with ITIL's Continual Service Improvement process. Agile teams can identify areas of improvement and implement changes to enhance service delivery.
  • Change Management: Agile's incremental and iterative approach can help organizations manage changes more effectively by breaking them into smaller, manageable pieces. This aligns well with ITIL's Change Management process, ensuring that changes are implemented with minimal risk to IT services.
  • Incident Management: Agile practices like Kanban can be used to manage incidents and service requests, ensuring they are handled efficiently and transparently.

It is important to note that the successful combination of ITIL and Agile depends on the specific needs and characteristics of an organization. It requires careful planning, communication, and collaboration between teams to ensure that the benefits of both approaches are realized without conflicts.

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