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Is your Service Management project lacking ITIL-igence?

Is your ITIL transformation adding value to your organisation? Do have faith that a pure ITIL project will improve the service quality and capability of your team?

Quite often the reality diverges from the service management holy grail and the changes do not materialise or deliver as much value as originally hoped (or sold).

The ITIL framework describes good practice for service design and management. Implementation projects seek to interpret this framework for an organisation and implement processes and tools. However, these projects can quickly become inward looking and prone to become job-creation schemes or another stepping-stone for empire builders.  Does any of this sound familiar? Software touted by a vendor as the greatest thing invented since the wheel, libraries of conflicting documents, complex swim-lanes and process workflows, layers of release managers, change managers, incident managers all with overlapping responsibilities and ‘exception’ processes negotiated by self-interested parties.

Here are some simple ideas and reminders that can make your ITIL project great:

  • Firstly, prioritise the parts of the framework that will give the most cost-benefit and agree a sequence for implementation. Keep the process as minimal as possible and choose software tools that are as turnkey as possible. Avoid the desire to customise and thus over-complicate.
  •  Get people involved and let those most impacted become your advocates. Don’t forgot about the people that actually need to understand and use the processes once the project has finished – PMs, architects, service owners and application support teams.
  •  Demonstrate value and success as the implementation proceeds but don’t be afraid to stop and re-shape if required. Don’t force artificial targets such as desire to archive a specific number of processes. Get feedback from both the users and the process owners and revise where possible. However, don’t keeping polishing or creating exceptions – move on to the next stage the project.
  •  ITIL alone isn’t a cost cutting initiative. The project should help expose hidden costs of delivering service, the impact of poor quality or the expose over engineered IT services. However, ITIL itself isn’t a silver bullet for fixing all of these problems.  Real improvement opportunities can be found. For example, using DevOps ideas to simplify the boundary between development and production release management.
  • Make ITIL managers responsible for organisation success not just the number of steps, complexity or sheer difficult to understand or navigate their process. The business outcome is important not a process for process sake.

A more considered approach to ITIL implementation than purely adopting the manual will lead to greater benefit for your organisation. Make sure you use your ITIL-igence when planning your rollout!