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How to Transition Away From Your ITIL Consultant

Jan 13, 2007

Mike Drapeau

If these pre-requisites to a successful ITIL implementation are not present, it may be prudent to delay the consultant’s pink slip.

Based on answers to the above, most organizations are not able to dismiss their third party ITIL experts immediately. So the challenge that faces them is how to know how to let them go "when the time is right."

Saying Goodbye

Positioning your organization to effectively and non-disruptively transition from your consultant is a task that should be anticipated and planned for while still deep in the throes of dependency.

Before agreeing to extend any contract with your chosen third party services firm, ensure language is inserted that specifically addresses their obligations with regard to creating a situation where you are no longer dependent on them for assistance.

Items in a relevant scope of work should include the need to:

  • Create operational templates for all documentation and, most importantly, a specific companion guide that contains a series of questions that must be answered so that each section of each document can be completed appropriately.
  • Perform specific mentoring tasks, particularly with regard to internal process owners.
  • Develop an action plan specific to each process for what tasks are necessary to achieve Level 3-4 maturity, including a cross-reference to the CMMI framework and the OGC questionnaires.
  • Plan for a return in a year’s time for an external audit on maturity achievement.
  • Provide elements and aspects of the implementation methodology used so that it can be extended and adapted by the customer following departure.
  • Create a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis that specifically concerns the ability to execute future required process improvements; and
  • Deliver a summary report that informs executives about the existing obstacles to successful ITIL adoption and how they can be overcome.
  • It is important to note that this is the most important turnover item and also the one least likely to occur, as it requires the consultant to document unpleasant and unflattering truths about the organization they have served.

    Also, such a document might be used to prevent the consultant from obtaining future business in other services categories, merely because they had the audacity to voice uncomfortable truths. Yet, with all that said it is critical that this document be delivered.

    Some find this task remarkable easy and others not so. Common practice is to give the consulting firm advance notice and to request that all the items discussed above are completed in detail to meet contractual expectations. Either way, their departure should not disrupt the progress, momentum, and perception of success in the overall internal ITIL implementation. If it does, the departure was either premature or insufficiently scripted.

    Mike Drapeau is the president of an ITIL consultancy, the Drapeau Group in Atlanta, GA.