Home �   ITIL�  Index

Positioning ITIL for Success

Aug 6, 2007

Glen Willis

3. Don’t Overlook ITIL’s Strongest Value Proposition

Like everything, ITIL has its strengths and its weakness. Any organization considering an ITIL initiative needs to understand this as well as it needs to understand its process flows, roles, activities, etc.

The greatest strength of the ITIL framework is the guidance it provides in the area of process integration. An organization that creates a roadmap that simply identifies which ITIL process is to be implemented in which quarter of the fiscal year is forfeiting a vast majority of the benefits to be realized. Ensure the roadmap identifies when the organization will invest resources in specific initiatives focused upon delivering optimum process integration, ideally from both a process view and a supporting technology view. A roadmap that is void of integration initiatives will result in extremely limited business benefits.

4. Understand ITIL’s Limitations

In the last few years, it seems to have become generally understood that ITIL is not something an organization can simply launch in order to realize all of the acclaimed benefits. No organization can expect to succeed with an ITIL initiative without accounting for two specific prerequisites regarding which ITIL traditionally provides little, if any guidance: governance and organizational change management.

For a successful ITIL initiative, governance can be at the program level, the organizational level, or the enterprise level. However, you must ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the way program decisions are made and the way that program accountability is to be managed. And given that any ITIL initiative has at its core the goal of changing the way in which IT does its work, robust, sound organizational change management is a requirement. Any attempt to implement an ITIL-based service management program without these two prerequisites is highly likely to fail.

5. Start Small with Process Implementations

Clearly no organization should endeavor to implement all of the ITIL processes in one go. Even trying to implement a single process with all of the pieces and parts recommended in ITIL is too aggressive to expect good results. Process need to be implemented in stages of maturity that allow an organization to digest these changes.

Remember to focus on the “what” when deciding which parts of the process to implement first, second, etc. Focusing on the business results you are trying to achieve should make it clear which part of the process to focus upon. Implement just enough to achieve the targeted business benefit; mature the process later. This will also help the organization regulate the amount of organizational change management at any given time.

6. Start Measuring Immediately

A common mistake organizations make at the front end of an ITIL initiative is they do not put enough focus on what within the process is to be measured, how it will measured, and how the metrics will be leveraged. This is a very easy mistake to make, as many organizations find all of their resources being consumed by the tasks necessary just to build and implement the processes. However, dedicating some resources, up front, to defining and implementing the metrics (e.g., key performance indicators (KPI)) within the process can result in tremendous value.