Text Size

ITIL: Enabling NASA's Best Practices in IT Service Management and Delivery
Information Technology Infrastructure Library Process Graphic

Source: Andrea M. Riso, Ames Research Center

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) is an industry framework of governance and best practices, with orientation specific to IT service, development, finance and operations. ITIL is fostering NASA's alignment with recognition that information is the most important strategic resource any organization has to manage.

NASA's Chief Information Officer Linda Cureton continues to strategically evolve the way NASA views and implements our IT service delivery Agency-wide, innovating the way we conduct IT business, championing positive changes through adoption of the ITIL version 3 framework.

"Adapting these ITIL processes that have been refined and vetted thousands of times supports our goal of being the best at IT, enabling our delivery of outstanding IT services for our world- class scientists and engineers here at NASA," explains Cureton.

The ITIL framework has quickly become NASA's springboard for improving service delivery, mitigating disruptions, increasing productivity and enabling achievement of IT business objectives. Additionally, ITIL addresses new guidance and reporting requirements from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Government and private industry leaders regard ITIL as the best and most cohesive approach to IT service management in existence. Spearheading our ITIL initiative on behalf of NASA's OCIO is NASA's Service Integration Manager Cliff Ward. This new framework is moving NASA away from the current federated management model to an industry-recognized Service Management and Service Delivery model.

"Our implementation of the ITIL v3 framework will enable us to increase our effectiveness in both management and delivery of IT services across our Agency," said Ward. "Our collaborative approach to consolidation and development of the 'NASA-ized' ITIL processes and procedures will result in our achieving 'The Best of the Best IT.'"

Significant sections of the ITIL framework and certification process include:

  • Service Strategy.
  • Service Design, with guidance on designing IT services along with their governing IT practices, policies and processes.
  • Service Transition, for the development of capabilities in transitioning new and changing services into operations.
  • Service Operation.
  • Continual Service Improvement, addressing highest potential value for customers through better design, introduction and operation of services, linking improvement efforts with service strategy, design, transition and operation.

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) defines service as, "...a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks." ITIL defines Service Management as, "...a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services."

There are more than a dozen ITIL training modules available on NASA's training system, SATERN.