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Feb 18, 2008

Implementing ITIL and Staying Alive

At first sight, ITIL implementation path depends on who you are and what you do. And of course, with what do you do it. So: People, Processes, Technology.

At the beginning, let's move one starting dilemma out of the way: full frontal or phased approach? Phased, period. Strategically, you will have in mind full set of processes. But when you start, you want to dig deep and narrow, not broad and shallow. Hit the major pain points, ensure quick wins, and fly on the wings of starting success. This will enable you to move forward easier.

Critical factor number one? Management support. A lot of it.

From What Angle?

  • You can try to imagine a well-organized company whose major pain is to know what it has, where it is and how it works. They have a stabile infrastructure with a low incident rate, and their Service Desk copes with it fine. But they implement a lot of changes and they want to gain more control over the Change and Configuration management. Of course, this is a fairy tale company, since a lot of hanges automatically means a lot of incidents, but just for the sake of the argument, this imaginary company would start it's ITIL journey in Change and Configuration Management.
  • Or, maybe you are in a bank. Security is probably one of your biggest concerns. Maybe you want to start with Information Security and Access management. Depending on your country regulations, maybe you will even start ISO27000 certification. In some parts of the world it is a very likely case.
  • Some service organizations with a high-end infrastructure (ASPs?) will be focused on geting their services definition right: Catalog, Portfolio, Demand, Suppliers, SLM...
  • But, in nine out of every 9.1 cases, you are firefighting. In incidents up to your ears. Your left doesn't remember what your right has just done. Your customers are pissed. And because of the chaos you're in, you turned to ITIL. So you start from Incident Management. What a cliché.

So you decided to implement ITIL. How?

Simple: first you get a few ITIL Foundations certificates. Then you realize that you need a magic wand. What? Something to do the job for you. So, you realize that it is the tool that will take you on a journey. Of course, the TOOL.

You read some Gartner reports, evaluate some tools, and choose the best salesmen of evaluated tools. His implementing team is ITIL certified, his Tool is all Pink and shiny. Sadly, but this is usually the most critical point on your way.

You probably chose a good application, since most of the tools on the market are adequate for first steps in ITIL. At the end of the day, and at the beginning of your project, it all depends how good is your vendor. Because at most cases, he will be your ITIL consultant, too. So look closely. References, team certification, staff fluctuations.

To add some odds to your side, at least at the first phase of your project, hire an independent consultant. If you can afford one. This will probably save you a lot of effort, and eventually your job.

P.S.: If your company has ISO9000 certificate, it will be relatively painless for you to start preparing for ISO/IEC20000. You can implement the tool and ITIL processes, you can certify your people, but ISO 20000 offers you the mechanism for process definitions and audits. More on ISO/IEC20000 later, for now I've put a few mindmaps for you to download:


    Anonymous said...

    Surviving the implementation of itil can be difficult. I work within a mid sized company that was just large enough to need some type of itil service management in order to survive the rapid growth that was being experienced. Though all of the changes brought on my itil automation where fantastic the adjustment period was difficult because none of us but the top two people in the organization knew what to expect. I would recommend this process to anyone running a large network however.

    gary said...

    Chnage is always going to bring new changes and best to bring it on, with the ITIL path, at least you know its heading in the right direction!

    Anonymous said...

    ITIL is cеrtаinly becoming a lοt morе іmροrtant іn today's IT companies around the globe. I know that, in my encounter, it does not always go 100 % to plan - yet thats the reason why Itil is just a structure I guess.

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