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ITIL Training for the Technically Challenged

May 15, 2007

Linda Donovan

By round three, we had the system processes working correctly and more than made up for losses, with a cumulative profit of $108,000. Our revenue jumped from a low of $9,600 in round one to $459,000 in round three. Availability jumped to 83%. Per problem, the MTTR dropped from 16 minutes to just 3 minutes and 30 seconds. In the first round, only 11 flights were able to take off, but we got that number up to 55 by round three.

Doing it Right

In our strategy session before the third round started, we made sure that our processes and technology implementations were effective and understood by everyone. Then we set up a clear communications strategy and defined how events would be prioritized and efficiently communicated.

Most importantly, we learned to make sure we always understood the reported problem before we provided an answer. Each time we thought we had identified the problem, I asked the person assigned to be the “business” to confirm that we really were working on the correct request. There’s no point in solving a problem if you solve the wrong one!

As obvious as this seems, we, like many real IT organizations, didn't always first checked with the business, didn't asked the right questions, and consequently sometimes solved the wrong problems.

Just as ITIL recommends, we paid close attention to working toward business priorities instead of only IT priorities, and very quickly assessed which problems we could solve in-house immediately and which ones needed to be outsourced.

We also collected a knowledgebase of answers, so that if we were asked the same question more than once we would be able to expedite the answer. We felt the pain of what happens when IT is not aligned with the business, and experienced the benefits of managing IT based on business priorities.

Linda Donovan, senior strategic marketing manager at BMC Software, leads the BMC Thought Leadership Council where she works with industry experts to provide commentary, analysis, and insight for IT and business executives and their teams. Donovan has broad experience in the enterprise management and aerospace industries, and has taught communications at several universities.