How ITIL are you already? It is
very likely that you will already
have some processes in place,
but they have not been
formalized or designed
specifically to comply with How ITIL are you already? It is very likely that you will already have some processes in
ITIL. place, but they have not been formalized or designed specifically to comply with ITIL.
There maybe scope for adapting your existing processes and establishing some quick
wins to gain some momentum with your best practice strategy.
3. Establish Key Metrics
Once you have established a baseline and identified some areas where the most benefit
can be sought, its is now important to identify some metrics, called Key Performance
Indicators (KPI’s), which can be used to measure the success of your ITIL
There are three principal sets of KPI’s.
“You can’t prove what you
don’t measure” 1) Workflow KPI’s – each process must follow a set of defined steps in order e.g.
ITSMF Approval must precede implementation, acceptance must follow testing. Workflow
KPI’s relate to the process steps and the what, who, when, how many and how long
did it take (Service Level Agreements).
2) Dataset KPI’s relate to the data captured in the process as the workflow is carried
out. E.g. why is a change required? How many hours has the server been offline?
3) Business KPI’s – these should be determined as metrics that have a measurable
impact upon the business, usually financial. These could range from loss reporting
to overtime hours worked on call outs.
The ITIL dashboard. When KPI’s are used effectively, an organization can quickly
establish whether a process is working or not, then enhance the process accordingly to
improve performance. Some KPI’s can be measured prior to completion of the process.
This type of KPI enables action to be taken to correct an issue early on rather than after a
process has failed. Other KPI’s measure the outcome of the process, often as a
percentage change up or down.
Begin with the end in mind. Choose KPI’s that target business benefits from an end user
perspective. This ensures your processes are focused and prevents wading through
4. Select and Define Processes
Which Process to choose first? In a study by Forrester Research Incident Management
“…came out as a clear winner”.
In our experience Incident, Problem and Change management show the largest gap
between current processes and industry best practice, and obviously represent the area
likely to deliver greatest benefit. Although Configuration Management is the ideal
process to obtain, this is not an overnight implementation and organizations are likely to
recognize greater early success and gain momentum wth Incident, Problem and Change
Management whilst planning their Configuration Management Database.
Not all processes are equal, Thomas Mendel Ph.D. Forrester Research. 16 March 2005. www.forrester.com
Experience also shows us that a modular or phased approach whereby the
implementation is broken into chunks works best. This allows time for the
improvements to filter through to IT staff and encourage buy in amongst key
stakeholders. The early successes can then be used as a springboard for future
improvements. Allocate an owner for each process and ensure users have the
opportunity to give their feedback and input into the process.
The ITIL methodology can be described as descriptive rather than prescriptive
(Prescriptive is the realm of standards). The ITIL Service Support and Service Delivery
books include guidance on how to implement best practice but do not include the
specific workflow required in order to achieve it (In automotive terms ITIL would dictate
that a family car should have four wheels, but does not go as far as how to attach those
Therefore any business planning to implement ITIL can either build their own custom
process designs from scratch, or make use of existing templates and customize them for
their own requirements. For example, Symbox, who have worked with a wide range of
clients on ITIL projects and have refined templates, built on a pragmatic approach to
ITIL. Every implementation will have its nuances, but the ability to import successful ITIL
based templates and then fine tune them to individual requirements has been very
5. Overcome Resistance
Introducing any new process naturally requires the business to review existing job
functions and roles and ITIL is no different. Whilst designing your new processes it is
critical to consider the people and partners required to support them. Ensure your team
is positioned in accordance with their skills, style and passions.
Some organizations will experience resistance when implementing the new ITIL
methodology, staff may feel disgruntled if not introduced formally to the the new service
oriented approach. E.g. Incident management advises us to focus on maintaining service
without necessarily understanding why the service was interrupted (until later); this may
be a significant cultural change for some companies. With some elementary awareness
training end users will start to think about how they go about their day to day roles and
the potential impact it may have on the business.
E.g. one public sector organization reflected this sentiment in their call logging screen,
offering the end users to select the priority of the call based on its effect within the
organisation. Users are offered the options;
1) This incident effects me
2) This incident effects my department
3) This incident effects the business
Implementing ITIL is not just about evaluating and revisiting processes, it is about
organizational change. Therefore, involvement, communication and training are
absolutely fundamental to the success of your implementation.
It is recommended that a practical approach that emphasizes and constantly attempts to
reinforce senior management engagement is adopted. This must be balanced by actively
involving all stakeholders through the process involved from managers to analysts to
To facilitate this approach it is vital to benchmark your current position and then define
key metrics to monitor the progress of the project from this base point. The
benchmarking exercise will also allow you to select specific processes based on their
predicted business benefit rather than attempting a big-bang ITIL implementation. When
defining processes it is advisable to consider amending existing pre-defined ITIL
process templates rather than re-inventing the wheel.
Finally, it is recommended that training and education are at the forefront of your
implementation to communicate your ITIL vision and ensure success.
Symbox customers rely on their appliances to automate their business processes. From
applying best practice in service management, to delivering quality of service to their
customers, suppliers and business partners, Symbox is the cornerstone to efficient
The core of the Symbox system is a robust workflow engine. From this workflow
foundation business processes can be mapped, either using proven blueprints or
templates or by building business processes from scratch. Symbox provide a core set of
process templates including ITIL, Facilities Management, Purchasing and Event
The Symbox innovative approach has won them significant success in the IT Service
Management field. However, because of the flexible nature of the system Symbox has
also been implemented successfully to manage Facilities Management, CRM, HR and
Accounts Payable processes – all from the same appliance.