Most large organisations have either heard about, or are interested in implementing ITIL. Earlier this year one of our customers had their hearts set on using the superb models created by IT Process Maps, so we investigated the potential to work with them to bring this capability to the Modeler and Modelpedia environment.
Before we go any further, what is ITIL? The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of concepts and practices for Information Technology Services Management, Information Technology (IT) development and IT operations. Published as a series of books (each covering an IT management topic), ITIL details a number of important IT practices, along with comprehensive checklists, tasks and procedures that any IT organization can tailor to suit its needs. The names ITIL and IT Infrastructure Library are registered trademarks of the United Kingdom's Office of Government Commerce (OGC).
Supporting ITIL is important for us because it provides another aspect of the Solution Framework that we have been working on here; with a view to providing reference models for Holistic solutions. Having partners that are the best in the business always helps a great deal and as a team we been able to build a first-class Accelerator for Modeler.
As part of this project we wrote an ARIS to Modeler conversion, because most of the model content had originated in this product. We developed options to convert the model content into BPMN or Role-Based Process Modelling (RBPM) metamodels. As it has turned out, the semantics of Process Areas in the RBPM have turned out to be extremely useful in the port, and the ability to use existing System Requirement & Fulfilment (SR&F) metamodel concepts, as well as custom notation node styles.
A number of feedback requests from our partners challenged us to enhance Modeler, which we agreed to do as part of the project. We also added some specific support to the metamodel in order to represent better the intention around some of the relationships in the process model, along with boundary processes and normal courses of operation. The scripting engine of Modeler certainly helped to make changes post import and it allowed large sets of data to be transformed quickly and easily. These changes along with the base Modeler 6.2 platform have allowed us to enrich the original content.
As a result of this effort, the Modeler ITIL Accelerator is not just a set of pictures (as it is in Visio for instance), but a complete modelling environment. With these maps you can build real model extensions, perform cost-benefit analysis of implemented processes, as well as Service catalogs. Using the Modelpedia environment, not only can the processes be made available to the right people in an organisation effortlessly, but people can help to improve them without having modelling experience themselves.
Special thanks to our customers for having the foresight to help kick-start the project, Simon for his tireless efforts, Stefan and Andrea at IT Process Maps (Pfronten, Germany), and Allen of ESP ITIL (Sydney, Australia) for all helping to make this Accelerator come to life! (See here for product information)