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Getting Started with ITIL

May 24, 2007

Mike Tainter


This report will be your guide in determining your target maturity and the steps you need to take to get there. When you conduct the assessment you will find that you may have more maturity in some activities for each process than in others. For example, most organizations perform well in areas such as Incident or Change Management even before they begin an ITIL initiative.

The results of the assessment must be shared with the members of the steering committee and executive leadership to gain consensus on the current state of the organization's processes. Once consensus is reached and a commitment is made to address the gaps in the report, you can start to build your action plan.

If you obtained services from a vendor for your assessment, ensure this same vendor helps you with your roadmap. The roadmap should contain a list of projects that you can undertake to increase your process maturity.

The first project in your roadmap should be a strategy and planning effort to create the project plan that provides for the following: ·

  • Creation of a baseline service catalog that defines the services your IT department delivers;
  • ·
  • Process workshops to gain a more detailed understanding of the activities for each process;
  • ·
  • Assignment of roles and responsibilities for the people that will execute the processes, including a training and communication plan;
  • ·
  • Tools and technology that can be used to automate the processes; and
  • ·
  • Measurement and reporting to evaluate compliance.
  • Too often, organizations begin ITIL adoption by focusing on activities for service delivery such as capacity or availability management, because that's where they are experiencing pain. However, the power of ITIL is in its integration.

    Organizations adopting ITIL have discovered that maturity of their service support processes creates the groundwork for optimizing their configurations to provide better service. For example, if you consistently detect, log, classify, assign, resolve and close incidents, it can lead to more effective problem management, which helps you identify and control known errors.

    Problem Management can then be your entry point to creating your availability and capacity plan to enact changes in your environment to address those known errors.

    Starting the Journey

    To summarize, your ITIL journey should start with education and leadership, assessment and an actionable roadmap for success. Hearing how other organizations have tackled their ITIL journey can be invaluable to your success because you can learn from their experience. This can be done by joining a local user group such as the IT Service Management Forum USA (itSMF USA) local interest group in your area or continuing to read articles such as those posted on ITSMWatch.com.

    But keep in mind, ITIL is not a project, it is a method to change the way your organization delivers its services to the business. A project has a beginning and an end, whereas ITIL does not have an end, it is a continual journey toward process maturity that enables IT to deliver quality services to the business so that it can continue to thrive and be profitable.

    Mike Tainter, Forsythe's ITSM practice manager, has been managing technology and large scale projects for more than 20 years. His expertise encompasses IT service management, ITIL, operations management, process design, IT operations support system development, and IT logistical requirements for a wide variety of organizations including highly-mobile global organizations.