ITIL Implementation for the Rest of Us: Using ITIL Best Practices


>ITIL Implementation for the Rest of Us: Using ITIL Best Practices


The IT Information Library (ITIL) — a series of structured IT management guidelines originally produced by the Office of Government Commerce in the U.K. — is a framework that has gained popularity, especially since the release of ITIL Version 3 in 2007. It found its success by answering management needs to improve IT and service quality.

Even though there is more public documentation and IT personnel are becoming more knowledgeable on the framework, ITIL technology is still misunderstood. ITIL implementation in organizations of all sizes can be quite a challenge.

The following are tips to help you view ITIL technology in a friendlier light:

1. Present ITIL in real-world situations. ITIL is certainly an extended framework that can be overwhelming. Don’t worry about integrating ITIL into every aspect of your company — use it as a tool that will answer specific needs. Not all ITIL processes are beneficial in real-world situations. The general perception of the ITIL framework is something akin to “more documentation, more processes and, therefore, more work.” Instead, organize an IT lunch workshop as an ITIL overview, showing how ITIL can be beneficial in day-to-day work using the ITIL V3 Service Transition and ITIL V3 Service Operation books. You can start by demonstrating that integrating ITIL will address sustainment issues: When project staff members leave the organization, the new team members struggle with application support with no documentation and the absence of a support-level agreement. ITIL supports a warranty period for new services or applications and an emphasis on knowledge transfer.

2. Take the ITIL V3 Introduction certification program. More and more companies have registered their service desk and other IT groups for the ITIL V3 Foundation certification training courses. This ITIL training course gives everyone in your organization the chance to share the same knowledge and create a standard glossary when referring to ITIL terms. Be careful of the course type — the condensed ITIL training course can be challenging due to the significant amount of information covered in a short period of time.

3. ITIL is not just for IT! Let’s face it: IT is now everyone’s business. Seek the participation of other departments — finance, for example — when you integrate ITIL. Most users will benefit from a solidified incident management process and a very basic ITIL overview.

4. Keep it simple, students. If your company doesn’t follow a formal ITIL process, aim for a successful ITIL implementation by keeping it simple and building strong best practices. A good place to start is with your help desk — your Service Catalogue will consist of every application and service your help desk touches. Then start thinking of ITIL Incident Management in your help desk processes. For example, create an Incident Escalation policy matrix by prioritizing types of incidents, and then use that matrix to assign a service-level agreement or an organizational-level agreement to each priority. This will improve your incident response and will manage customer expectations. A significant win in the implementation of ITIL best practices in my company has been in the area of change management: All changes to production are traceable, making sure they are communicated to customers beforehand and ensuring that changes are reduced during peak business periods. The result is that we now know exactly what is happening in our infrastructure. This also allows us to limit conflict: For example, when the server team deploys Windows patches, we are able to ensure that the network team is not rebooting core network devices at the same time.

There are several ways to promote ITIL in your organization without getting completely overwhelmed and lost. It is crucial that you allow plenty of time since this isn’t a small project that can be done on the side of a coffee table. The key to ITIL best practices and success is to make sure that you understand where you are going.

To learn the foundations of ITIL v3, visit us for ITILv3 Foundation on August 8th – 10th at our Bloomington Education Facility. Our session includes the ITIL v3 Foundation class in addition to exam preparation. This class is a perfect introduction to the ITIL concepts and practices for all employees of an organization implementing ITIL v3.