By Dick Stark
RightStar’s Dan Wilson held a Google Meetup at RightStar last Wednesday to introduce his group to ITIL. In case you don’t know, a Google Meetup is a way like-minded individuals can come together in person to discuss any area of common interest. Dan created and organized the group, No More Boring IT, and selects the subject matter and plans each meeting. For Wednesday, the topic was, “ITIL Overview by an ITIL Expert in IT Service Management.” Nine out of ten people who signed up attended which is a terrific start for Dan’s first Meetup. If you want to join or learn more about Dan’s Group, visit: http://www.meetup.com/No-More-Boring-IT/events/158312252/
We began the Meetup by discussing the value ITIL brings to organizations—to become a partner in strategic business decisions with the organization, not simply a “technician” to implement operations requirements. We also discussed ITIL terminology such as good practices vs. best practices and the value of ITIL training within the organization.
While it is true that RightStar has seen a drop in demand for foundation level training and ITIL based assessments, that is more of a function of tighter IT budgets and a commoditization of ITIL training. Just recently, however, we’ve seen an uptick in interest as we’ve sold ITIL training to customers such as CCC and a major insurance carrier, ITIL is as important as ever in returning value back to IT organizations. We then discussed several ideas for moving forward with ITIL.
Implement ITIL along with an initial (or upgraded) software ITSM toolset such as Remedyforce. Remember, ITIL is a framework, not a step-by-step instruction manual. Included with most software toolsets are flowcharts, mapping ITIL modules such as Incident and Change Management to specific work instructions. While this may not cover specific details such as the time and date of your Change Advisory Board (CAB) Meetings, you can fill in these details in your own policy and procedure manual.
ITIL Foundation training does make a difference. While not all IT organizations have highly motivated people that will all self-ITIL certify, ITIL training does give everyone in the organization common nomenclature. Most importantly, ITIL training provides employees the impetus and value behind good ITIL practices. Based on RightStar’s ten years of experience with ITIL, we far prefer working with an ITIL savvy organization over one that is not.
Make the value palpable. We discussed ITIL simulation training that we performed at a Northeastern University, prior to a Remedy upgrade. Not only was the simulation training not boring, but it provided tangible proof to the CIO and her direct reports of the tremendous value offered by full blown Incident, Problem, Change, and Configuration Management.
Management support is essential for success. We made it clear that ITIL, or at a minimum, process discussions around good practices are essential. But it is more than that. The hard part is getting our clients to fully buy-into the changes that accompany a new process redesign and toolset roll out. That is where our efforts need to be focused because it is at that point that value to the client organization becomes real.