Stop Implementing ITIL!You can't implement something that isn't designed to be implemented, writes ITSMWatch columnist Jason Druebert of BT Professional Services.
But, stepping back a bit, why would you implement something you already have? Every IT organization is doing at least some of the practices described in the ITIL framework; rudimentary Incident Management at a minimum. On the other hand, there is no IT environment that looks exactly like the ITIL framework, so no one ever fully implements ITIL. Since no one has all of ITIL and everyone has some does the phrase implement ITIL really make sense?
A final consideration is that you probably wouldnt want to implement all of ITIL, even if you could. The second I in ITIL stands for Infrastructure, and that is the strong suit of ITIL: Service Desk, Incident, Problem, and Service Level Management, to name a few specific areas. There are far better places to go than ITIL when looking to improve areas not specific to infrastructure, such as security or financial practices. The book authors may take issue with my assertion, but the process areas outside of ITILs core competency need to be in the framework only to show the relationships between processes. They should not be considered the definitive source of good practice information for those processes.
Now that Ive talked about what not to call your ITIL efforts, what do you call them? Since we have established that most everyone already has ITIL, why not use the ITIL terminology and initiate a service improvement plan (SIP)? Feel free to substitute project or program for plan, depending on the size. If you do an ITIL implementation and then do another one a couple of years later, it may appear to outsiders that your initial implementation failed. However, it is fitting and proper to take an arms length view of your processes via regular SIP, such as continuous service improvement.
ITSM is first and foremost a cultural endeavor so what you call things matters even more than usual. Saying you are implementing ITIL, besides being inaccurate, often gives the impression to staff that you believe it is the answer to all of the organizations problems―let the eye rolling begin!
One of the tenets of ITSM is to speak in plain terms that are not confusing and intimidating to the business. If the goal of your project is to be buzzword-compliant, by all means call it an ITIL implementation, but if your goal is to improve service quality, please just say so.
Jason Druebert is a consultant with BT Professional Services. Jason has extensive experience in ITSM, IT operations, and project management.