The ‘How’ of ITIL®

Your organisation has begun its ITIL journey. You have invested in education so people understand what this thing called ITIL is all about, and perhaps some have gone beyond the Foundation level to dig deeper into this framework of processes. There seems to be some really good stuff here, but the question everyone has is: “Just how do we go about implementing this in your organisation?”

This is the same question that has been asked over and over again. For as long as ITIL has been around, it has been promoted as a framework for what you need to do, but the guidance for how to do it wasn’t really there. At least, that was the case until the release of the ITIL Practitioner Guidance book in 2016.

Successfully implementing the ITIL processes requires more than simply designing or redesigning processes according to the ITIL guidance. There must also be a clear understanding of additional aspects of the initiative such as; the implications for the organisation; a structured approach for the implementation and the measurements needed; a plan for managing the people side of the changes; and the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ of appropriate communication with the stakeholders.

Adopt & Adapt With The Guiding Principles

The ITIL framework, as outlined in the five core books, describes the Service Lifecycle encompassing 26 processes and four functions and is recognised as a best practice for IT Service Management (ITSM). It is important to keep in mind that the implementation of part or all of the guidance is unique within each organisation.

The intent behind the ITIL guidance has never been for an organisation to implement the practices as documented in the books, but rather that it should be adopted and then adapted to fit the needs of the organisation.

First, an organisation must adopt and embrace a service mindset and culture, one that is customer-oriented and focused on value delivery to its customers rather than the traditional technology-focused organisation of the past.

Second, it is imperative that the organisation does not view the ITIL books as instruction manuals but rather as best practice guidance that has underpinned the success of many IT organisations around the world. These organisations have adapted the guidance to fit their day-to-day practices for the delivery of IT services to their customers. Adapting these practices means choosing the elements that will help to improve their ability to deliver value through services that facilitate the desired business outcomes, modifying those elements as needed, and perhaps even ignoring some of the elements that don’t apply. Choose what works for you!

The successful adoption of a service-oriented mindset and implementation of ITIL practices suited to an organisation’s needs can be facilitated by embracing the nine guiding principles outlined in the Practitioner book. These principles should be applied whether you are undertaking a strategic service management initiative such as; the implementation of ITIL practices across the organisation; or looking for some operational improvements, and whether you are a large or a small organisation, and regardless of the industry sector in which you operate….

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By Beverly Parker