View Full Version : Debunking the Six Most Common ITIL Myths

August 2nd, 2006, 02:55 PM
Adoption of IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Service Management best practices is rising phenomenally, with implementation levels in $1 billion-plus companies expected to reach 40% of by the end 2006, according Forrester Research.

ITIL focuses on unifying people, process and technology through a comprehensive, consistent and coherent set of best-practice approaches for IT service management processes. The ultimate goal is to optimize the bottom-line performance of the business, not just to implement a best-practice framework. But several common myths and misconceptions can seriously limit the value ITIL delivers:

Myth: ITIL is just for "techies."

Fact: ITIL is for the entire business.

The time and resources required to successfully implement ITIL, combined with the critical need to support organizational and behavioral change, requires buy-in from IT management and business leaders.

If an ITIL initiative is regarded as “IT-only” or is classed as an IT project, there may be little shared accountability and commitment.

Remember that ITIL is a means to an end, not an end in itself, and the objective is to improve the value IT delivers to the business, such as reducing cost and enabling business growth.

The goals should be agreed upon through an active and ongoing dialogue between IT and business.

Myth: ITIL is only about people and process.

Fact: Technology plays a key role.

ITIL describes what needs to be done to improve service to the business, not how to do it.

Many ITIL and service management consultants and service providers who help companies build their ITIL plans often focus entirely on process improvement and organizational issues. Achieving tangible efficiency gains and ROI, however, requires the automation of appropriate components of the ITIL processes (usually repetitive procedures and workflows) through technology.

To increase the chances for success, look for consultants who are skilled across the essential elements of ITIL—people, process and technology—and who have a pragmatic, outcome-based approach to an ITIL project.

Myth: ITIL is the only answer.

Fact: ITIL complements other best-practice frameworks.

While ITIL defines service management best practices, it is still essentially an IT-operational framework that isn’t intended to address detailed financial asset management, IT governance and related areas. Also, ITIL does not sufficiently address IT security.

As companies evaluate and improve their processes as part of an ITIL implementation, they should consider supplementing ITIL with other best practices, such as ISO 17799/BS7799 for security, and COBIT for IT governance.

Myth: The major investment is education.

Fact: Education is only one requirement for success.

Many organizations often invest significant time and money to train a high percentage of their IT workforce in basic and advanced ITIL principles. What’s often overlooked is the opportunity to unify both business and IT with practical team-focused workshop programs that concentrate less on the description of ITIL, and more on the value that ITIL will deliver to the organization.

Also remember that early adoption of such programs will not only build awareness and support of a shared IT and business project, but also help obtain the senior level commitment needed to drive what is effectively an exercise in organizational change.

Myth: Take it one step at a time.

Fact: Try to improve several processes simultaneously.

Many companies choose to concentrate on a single ITIL process, such as incident management. But ITIL processes are by nature inter-related and inter-dependent. So if you want to drive down the number of incidents, you need to quickly find the root-cause of persistent problems. To reduce the number of problems, you’ll need to consider change management.

Organizations that get too far down the path with one process before considering related processes may spend significant time and money in constantly revisiting and refining the initial process as they implement others.

The best way to improve service is to simultaneously work on enhancing two or three process areas.

Myth: Only choose ITIL “compliant” solutions.

Fact: No technology solution is inherently compliant.

Many companies believe they should only select tools that are certified and compliant with ITIL. However, since ITIL doesn’t provide functional requirements for technology solutions, ITIL compliance in the context of technology solutions is impossible. In fact, the U.K.’s Office of Government Commerce, the owners of ITIL, explicitly warn against vendors making claims about compliance or proof of compliance.

In addition, since ITIL is a high-level set of guidelines that doesn’t lay out processes and procedures in any detail, tool assessments will always be so high-level that their usefulness is limited.

The certification of many ITIL processes, such as problem management, is performed solely on service desk solutions and doesn’t account for how other integrated technologies, such as network and systems monitoring to automatically detect incidents, can improve and complete an end-to-end process. ITIL is clearly becoming the de-facto standard in service management, and the lens through which the delivery of IT services will be measured. Always remember though, that the goal is to improve service and not just implement a best practice framework. Identify solutions, methods and partners that can deliver real business value through IT service management.

August 12th, 2006, 01:00 PM
Here is my another documents on ITIL !!!

IT Metrics And Successful Measurement
By Matt Evans

One of the primary reasons measurement programs fail is because measurement is often done for the sake of measurement itself, and not tied to critical business drivers. In order to successfully measure service efficiency and effectiveness, IT organizations must ensure measurement activities are value-based.

Achieving value-based measurement and continuous improvement of technology services requires an IT organization to implement activities based on what they want to accomplish, not on what they want to measure. As understood and promoted by the ITIL framework and ITSM in general, the primary accomplishment of IT should be the effective alignment of services with the current and future needs of the business and its customers.

Therefore, from the standpoint of value and accomplishment, following are some key attributes that should be considered during the plan-do-check-act lifecycle of IT metrics management:

Vision: The future state of any measurement program should be clearly outlined, specifically identifying the people, processes and technologies that are required to support the future state vision.

Assess: Evaluate the current state of any existing measurement system and understand how best in class organizations implement these systems. Activities that are not value-based should be stopped immediately.

Staffing: IT measurement is primarily built around people with clear roles and responsibilities to ensure accountability and efficiency. Obtaining formal commitment from senior management on support staff is critical to the success of any measurement program.

Documentation: Measurement goals, objectives, milestones and underlying activities should be formalized to ensure sponsorship and continuity. Just like the core IT service support and delivery processes, the IT measurement process should also be captured and documented.

Communication: Communication is required for measurement sustainability and ensures the entire organization understands and supports the program. More specifically, it is important to identify and maintain communication with those individuals that create value through use of the resultant performance measures.

Consistency: The core building blocks of measurement should be established with consistency in order to minimize measurement costs. Specific metrics should be developed, captured, measured, reported and reviewed in a consistent fashion, supported by standard procedures, processes and policies.

Control: With the advent of IT governance, Sarbanes-Oxley and other legislative requirements, metrics and measurement should be monitored for completeness, accuracy, validity and appropriate authorization prior to commencement of any related activities.

Prototype: A prototype or "proof-of-concept" measurement project may be a key activity in demonstrating value to the business. In turn, measurement activities can be bootstrapped and evolve with the maturing knowledge and support provided by the stakeholders.

Prioritize: Any measurement results should be used as an input for prioritizing the service improvement program portfolio. Just as individual metrics themselves need to be evaluated for value, improvement projects based on measurement findings need to be cost-justified and prioritized based their inherent value to the business.

Reporting: The true audience of a measurement program is the business leadership. Measurement results need to be rationalized, rolled-up and reported in a non-technical format, on a consistent basis and to the appropriate business audience in order to add real business value.

Keep in mind that mapping a specific metric back to a business objective does not necessarily validate its value or the effort involved in establishing and maintaining measurement activities. Investment in IT measurement is justified only when IT metrics are established collectively, based on value and drive accomplishment.

Bottom Line: In the end, IT measures must have context to have meaning; deciding which investments in measurement will actually provide business value derives the appropriate context. Adding value requires taking action and establishing clear goals and expectations based on value-based measurement attributes. The success of any measurement program will be dictated by how effectively management aligns and leverages the people, processes and technologies that enable the vision.