How to Embrace ITIL as an Organization

ITIL certification is an important step in transforming your organization and increasing your business value.

There are 10 topics that you need to explore if you want to really embrace ITIL as an organization:

10.          What is the current state of my organization?

9.            Who are my change agents?

8.            What is change?

7.            Can I define my Business Services?

6.            What does ITIL tell us about strategy?

5.            How do I design with a purpose?

4.            What do we forget to do in transition?

3.            What is the importance of operations?

2.            Will my organization embrace feedback (CSI)?

1.            Who should be trained?

Current state of your organization:

Look at the way that your organization is set up and think about how you are going to organize your organization around ITIL so that there is effective communication throughout your organization. ITIL talks a lot about communication but there are two types of communication that you need to focus on: horizontal communication as well as vertical communication. For ITIL to work you really can’t only push it from the top down, it has to come from the bottom up as well. Horizontal communication is really going to be the key. It is the key to business service management. We want IT to talk to people on the business side and be familiar with what is being offered. It’s important to assess how your organization is set up and determine if there are clear lines of communication.

Discovering your change agents:

There should be a systematic approach to training in ITIL. You really should send your change agents first. Change agents are going to be the people who will come back from the ITIL training and be enthused and want to talk to people about the training and get other excited about ITIL. And that’s really what you want. You want to encourage them further by sending them to ITSMF or other groups where people from different companies talk about how they are doing ITIL at their companies. You really don’t want to have a mandate that comes from the top down; you want people to be excited about ITIL so that it is also coming from the bottom up. Your change agents are the ones that are going to do that for you.

Dealing with Change:

Let’s get into some of the pain points. The first one is change. We think of ITIL as something that talks about how to do change management and the processes and technology. ITIL is about technology but it is also about organizational change. You may need to change your organizational for ITIL to actually work. So technology is the other aspect of change. Think about what you need to do concerning technology to make ITIL work.  There is probably technology that you will need to adopt in order to have ITIL run as efficiently as possible.

Understanding your Business Services:

Business Services as defined by ITIL: Services are a means of delivering value to customers, by facilitating the outcomes customers want to achieve, without asking the customers to own specific costs and risks.

But really, what are the business services? Does everyone know in the business “what are we doing to make money? What are the products and services?” It is going to be very important. It is the backbone to ITIL, so you really need to understand the business services. That will be a pain point if your employees don’t realize and understand what the business services that you offer are.

Improving your strategy:

Next we’re going to get into the five books because each of these books represents areas of pain points that you will have to address. The first book is strategy. In strategy what happens is IT becomes a strategic asset. They understand the business so they can design based on that. They’re at the business meetings; they’re talking about market share, marketing, finance. It’s a big change in mindset if we really embrace strategy.

Designing with a purpose:

Next we get into design. In ITIL it’s really designing with a purpose, and when you design with a purpose, you think of a lot more processes, a lot more processes than maybe you’ve had in the past and you think about what new processes have to be created. One of my favorites is the service matrix. Upfront, before you have designed anything or put any technology together, you come up with what’s going to work, how are we going to rank this on whether or not it worked for us. What is going to make the business and the company happy? It’s going to take a little bit longer now doing this design but it’s going to be worth it.

Service Transition:

Next is service transition we talk about release and deployment, change and configuration asset management, but what’s most important and what we usually forget is training. In service transition we need to have a knowledge transfer so that we can make sure that the operations team is up to date and knowledgeable and that they are ready and prepared to offer the new service.

Importance of Operations:

The fourth book is operations. In operations we talk about processes and functions. We need to focus on what the processes are and who is doing the functions. What is and incident? What is a problem? What kind of tools do we give our service desk so that they can represent our company effectively?

Feedback and Continual Service Improvement:

The last book is continual service improvement. In continual service improvement we look at everything, we assess what we did, we look at our metrics and then we make suggestions. What’s hard about continual service is that it goes back to communication because now we get a lot of feedback. How are we going to handle that in our organization? How are we going to structure this feedback? Will it come from a specific department or will CSI be part of everyone’s job in the IT organization.

Who needs training?:

That takes us through the books. Now let’s talk about training. If you want to be an organization that embraces ITIL, everyone in your organization should have foundation training. Foundation training has a few different forms. You can have foundation training trained in about 4 days and get a certification in v3 ITIL. If you don’t want to go to the level of certifying people you might just want to have awareness training. There won’t be any certification but you’ll be able to learn the terms that you need to embrace ITIL.

You could also just have an executive overview of ITIL that may include airport simulation. Airport simulation is going to really teach your group about operations. They’ll have a heavy focus on communication, incident management, problem management, configuration management and if you have never heard of CMDB you will know about it after taking airport simulation. One of the things that you will learn about in airport simulation is really the personalities of people in your organization because that will really come out during that time. You’ll find non managers that are able to do manage roles with ease. You’ll see people that have been in IT for years really start to understand what it means to be in the business. All of your employees should really have some sort of foundation.

Some people may need or want to become ITIL experts and will need to take more intermediate level courses. There are courses on each of the five books, there are courses on capabilities. They can mix and match these courses and get to a higher level course called management across the lifecycle. Management across a lifecycle is a very intensive five day course, after the five days you take an exam and upon passing that you become an ITIL expert. You can also get training that is equal to something in between foundational training and expert training

Please visit our website to find out more information on finding the right ITIL certification path for you and your organization.