ITIL Implementation - Key Factors
It must be ensured that the new, ITIL-compliant processes are put into a coherent framework that covers the IT organization as a whole, taking into account the complete spectrum of IT processes. This creates the context for defining the IT Service Management processes in more detail.
In order to ensure the long-term success of the project, any ITIL introduction must not be reduced to the introduction of "ITIL-compliant" application systems, like e.g. a Help Desk system.
Practice has repeatedly shown that this way of thinking is too short-term, and will often result in investments not showing the expected benefits: The emphasis must be firmly on defining suitable, effective, and efficient processes, and selecting adequate technical equipment in a subsequent step, as required by the processes.
In line with these requirements, the suggested ITIL Implementation Method describes how – starting from an analysis of the as-is situation – an IT Service Management according to ITIL and related application systems are introduced in stages. At the same time, Process Management principles take root step-by-step within the IT organization.
Focus on Processes and Organizational Framework
The first stages at the beginning of an ITIL project are of great importance, because the cornerstones for a functioning IT Service Management are being laid in the form of process definitions and responsibility assignments.
In practice this means that one must complete these first steps with due diligence, using proven methods. The aim is to ensure that
- the effort for implementing new or changed processes is well spent
- adequate application systems become procured and implemented
- the introduction of ITIL remains a long-term success, and IT staff actually work along best practice principles
Once the conceptual project phase is completed, the actual implementation of processes and application system(s) begins. The specific activities during implementation depend upon
- how the processes were designed in detail
- which application systems will be implemented
- whether processes will be handled internally, or procured from external service providers.
The implementation phase therefore lends itself to standardization far less than the first conceptual part, and the project manual at hand cannot be quite as specific. It does, however, name the project steps which are usually required as part of the project schedule.
The Pivotal Point: Defining Responsibilities and Procedures
There is one big question when setting out to introduce ITIL: How to thoroughly instil the ITIL principles within the IT organization? Experience from various implementation projects shows that this calls, above all else, for a clear definition of processes with all the participants. ITIL will not get into full swing before it is clearly and unmistakably determined which members of IT staff are in charge of which activities, which deliveries they are meant to produce, and what they, in turn, can expect from others.
In practical terms this means that process descriptions/ work instructions have to be drawn up within the context of the IT organization.