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Rightsizing Your ITIL Implementation

Jan 11, 2008

Frank Bucalo

The Service Catalog - In the event that a service catalog exists, one should review its content and attempt to map it to an SLA. However, we find most clients have not formalized a service catalog and additional detective work is required.

The Service Desk Function - In many organizations, the service desk function is the service-consumer interface to service level management and therefore a source of service expectation information. It is important to remember that the service desk is not an ITIL process area, it is an ITIL function. Information discovered about the service desk, however, may relate to process area requirements.

ITIL project leaders may first query the service desk to derive its support hours. Those hours are the default service hours for all services. Project leaders can then look for any unique arrangements such as special service hours or areas of expertise. Those differentiations may imply unique service requirements for certain services, which can then be considered candidate services. For example:

  • Service hours or response times may offer evidence of availability, reliability, customer support, or resolution time expectations.
  • Incident categories may offer evidence of unique services.
  • Contacts may offer evidence of service owners and customers who can be interviewed to capture and verify service expectations.
  • Costs may offer evidence of financial business rules.
  • Discovery for Financial Management

    Most IT organizations calculate a budget for IT services. They may even charge for them. These budgets and invoices contain implied services and associated financial management requirements. Often, they are supported by spreadsheets that contain detailed financial information. Location and review of such documents can provide lists of candidate services and associated costs and charges.

    Discovery for IT Service Continuity Management

    One can obtain and review any existing disaster recovery plans to determine candidate IT services as well as their relative value to the business.

    Other ITIL Processes

    Similar exercises can be applied across all other ITIL processes to formulate a proforma SLA: Gather existing artifacts; Analyze them for implied SLA information; Review the analysis with stakeholders to formalize agreements.

    We’ve all heard that “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Many people take this to mean that measurement is a binary issue, i.e. that either something is being measured or it isn’t. But that’s not always the case in the real world. Measurement can also be a continuum. So the question isn’t just whether something is being measured or not—it’s whether the level of measurement is sufficient to fulfill a company’s business requirements. With an SLA in hand, one can determine the right architecture to right-size ITIL implementation.

    Editor’s Note: Additional articles in this series will delve into individual ITIL areas, providing use cases and architectures that illustrate ITIL implementation options with their associated costs and benefits.

    Frank Bucalo is a senior architect at CA. Frank has more than 20 years of experience implementing business applications for the Wall Street community. Over the last five years, Frank has a track record of successfully delivering ITIL implementations – from business analysis, through intelligent design, and technical implementation.