• United States
by - Denise Dubie

Getting started

Aug 30, 20042 mins
Data Center

Thinking of giving ITIL a shot? Heed this advice from IT managers and consultants experienced with the framework.

  • Start with incident management: “It’s hard to move on to the other elements such as service-level management if you don’t know how many incidents you typically have,” says Brian Johnson, director of product management at Pink Elephant, an ITIL training consultancy in Burlington, Ontario.

  • Address pain points: If change management is what you need, don’t feel compelled to adopt configuration and other components of the ITIL framework. “It could become cost-prohibitive to do it all,” says Mark Bradley, senior applications development analyst at Zurich Life, a business unit of Bank One in Schaumburg, Ill.

  • Own the process: Put an IT staff member in charge of each ITIL process you plan to adopt. “The staff has to be empowered to tell the rest of IT, ‘This is how we are going to do things from now on,'” says Priscilla Milam, dean of technology at Kingwood College in Texas.

  • Revise your mission statement: IT shops will need to redefine their role in their companies to get ITIL working across multiple IT silos. “You have to perform an aptitude test of sorts. ‘Does my IT group know it’s here to serve the company and that they have to work toward one goal to do so?'” says Lee Adams, vice president of infrastructure services at Hospital Corporation of America in Nashville.

  • Standardize tools: Adopting common processes across an enterprise IT department requires all IT staff to report and resolve incidents in the same manner, often with the same hardware and software. “We have three companies coming together, and I need to get all the help desk staff using Peregrine Systems service management software to make ITIL work across the entire enterprise,” Bradley says.

  • Train staff: While the idea of doing things a different way might not require certification, early ITIL adopters warn that without training IT staff, ITIL processes will fail. “We have had to start our attempts to implement ITIL over because it really didn’t make sense to the staff,” Milam says.

  • Get management on board early: Management could be the CEO, CIO or CTO, but ITIL users say without someone telling the IT organization that it has to adopt the framework, it won’t happen. “There has to be 100% buy-in from the top to make it work,” Adams says.