Home �   ITIL�  Index

Ten Tips for Successfully Implementing ITIL

Apr 2, 2008

Isabel Wells


To determine the end result, focus the strategy and focus communications on improving service quality and establishing an early baseline of key performance indicators (KPIs) from which to monitor improvements. The chosen KPIs and their associated benefits should be business-focused and clearly understood so that effort is not wasted on measuring and interpreting superfluous data.


Engage existing suppliers early.


Existing suppliers and any subsequent SLA’s will be affected by the implementation of ITIL. The strategy for handling third-party engagement and establishing a robust communications plan must be clearly defined, with priorities focused on the desired supplier landscape.


Early engagement with procurement and legal departments will help to support and address the ripple effect that occurs right through to existing contracts and SLAs upon implementing the new processes. An end-to-end SLA will also be ultimately required to support the operation of the new processes.




Identify and deliver the quick wins.


It's "old" advice, but it remains fundamentally important to ensure that the organization achieves, communicates (and celebrates) early successes.


Such an approach buys time for the process implementation and will help to gain the much-needed

stakeholder engagement across the organization. Experience suggests that failure to achieve these successes will typically double the resistance to the change and halve the support within six months.


Maximum benefit can only be achieved if the impact each process has on another is understood.


The ITIL framework is comprised of ten service management processes and one service management function. Every ITIL process supports, interfaces and integrates with at least one other process.


For effective development and deployment the relationship, impact and interdependencies across the ITIL framework must be clearly defined and understood. The close integration and understanding of the processes allows for the continual flow of up-to-date, critical and accurate information that in turn enables management to drill down and identify target areas for service improvement.


Prioritize process selection based on current maturity; don’t bite off more than you can chew!


It is important to take a holistic view to ITIL implementation, however it is not imperative to implement all processes concurrently in order to realize operational improvements and a significant ROI.


Implementation of individual processes or the prescribed combination of processes can deliver the desired operational improvements. Processes should be selected based on the benefits sought by the organization and the ones that drive the most business value.


Use success as a springboard for further improvement.


Implementing ITIL is a strategic commitment and will take many months to fully implement. During this time many different parts of the IT organization will be required to change.


In this sort of environment it is important to also implement a program of continuous improvement (e.g. a "plan, do, check, react" cycle). First this will ensure that improvement is actually delivered as expected and, second, it will help to build further improvement rather than assuming the job is done and risk slipping back in to old behaviors.




Combine process and tool activities from day one as part of a single solution approach.


Implementing a service management tool will support the streamlined processes, automate tasks and manage and distribute information. Knowledge management, e.g., the re-use and integration of information, is a critical component of the service management tool.


Integrating data control processes with the tool will ensure that information is current and continues to add value to the service management processes.


Implementing ITIL is not just about evaluating and revising processes, it is about change: changing the way people work and are rewarded; changing technology platforms; and changing behaviors across an entire organization.


[Editor's Note: This article originally ran on CIOUpdate.com.]


Authors Isabel Wells, Derek Lonsdale, and Anthea Jeffcoat are all consultants in PA Consulting Group's IT Implementation practice.