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ITIL® is “Documented Common Sense”

But the problem is that common sense isn’t as common as it ought to be.

A startling example for that would be ITIL implementation projects itself. How difficult is it to implement common sense you say?

Gartner says that over 75% of ITIL implementation projects fail. And that’s just the number for US.

How is that possible, with over 700 Accredited training organizations & over 3 million ITIL Certified professionals!! Seems like there is a problem here… much as the ITIL definition of a problem. So let’s dig into some possible root causes.

ITIL is anything but that! Yes it contains a logical solution to solve most of the issues/Problems in the IT infrastructure, but ITIL alone cannot do it. It needs help from technology & people. They all have to go hand in hand.

More over ITIL contains guidance.. It’s like your granny giving you advise – you onlyimplement it if you think it makes sense in your situation or – turn a deaf ear. So use ITIL.. But only that which is applicable/suitable in your IT scenario

  • ITIL is the hero IT deserves .. Not it needs .. Ok lost in translation.

Companies bring in consultants and most of the times to impress the company consultants go with jargons, almost all the jargons (or more) which are there in the ITIL literature. The objective of this would be to quickly impress the client/company & get the project. Well it’s all good until then, but what happens when the company is not able to see the results which were promised?? They blame the consultants & more over blame ITIL.

Word of advise would be to limit the jargons & set right expectations, promote transparency. This might or might not get you the project, but will definitely give you good sleep at night.

  • ITIL compliant tools – whaaaaaaaat?

This is the new buzz word these days – “ITIL Compliant tools!”. I am sure most of the practitioners/masters in the ITSM field would agree with me here (I hope) that there is no such thing as ITIL Compliant software!. Software companies build tools & tell you that if you implement the tool – you’ll get ITIL/ITSM.

This is as far as from the truth as it can get . Not that tools are not important.. They are but get the process right first , which the tool should enforce/abide by. Not the other way around.

  • ITIL training .. Hmmm this will be a controversial one..

So I am also an accredited ITIL trainer (yippe!) and I have given quite a few trainings, Trust me when I say this that the pressure is enormous on the trainer. Not more so to make the audience understand the subject, but how to make them pass the exam!!

The ATO’s would want a happy customer scenario, the customer (audience) would want nothing more than to pass the exam, & the trainer well.. He/she needs to do a balancing act between covering the syllabus, mock exams & clearing doubts – all of that in 2-3 days with mostly an unprepared audience.

Now that’s unfair.. Unfair to ITIL as a subject. It’s like you want to look like Tarzan & play like Jane! It’s not gonna happen. You have to respect/understand the subject, do your home work & work on it. If some one from the half baked batch get’s to consult – well we all can imagine what might happen later.

  • I am the King!

Most of the times when you start an ITIL project, you face challenges. People wouldn’t want to change their existing way of work or wouldn’t want to change their existing work culture, come out of their cocoons to see if there is a better way to do things.

This is the point where the project might get cancelled or the higher ups will lay down the law of the land, that ITIL is the way to go!. Well this is not (so) right.. Culture was & will always be the greatest resistant to change. And hence should be right up in your list of challenges for the project. Conduct sessions, let the people know “why” they need ITIL, be open about what’s in it for them, show them how it can make their life’s easier.

  • Are we there yet??

Most of the ITIL implementations start with Incident management, they add certain components , then move on to , say – problem management , then to Change Management & suddenly out of the blue they stop! At this point your ITSM project will be all out of fuel. Project managers will not be able to show sustainable improvement & hence no value in business case except some new jargons to learn.

What happened here.. Well they shifted from focus on services to processes. ITIL has always been about managing services & processes are they way to do that.Word of advise – Always focus on services & build processes to effectively manage them.

Thank you all for reading my article! It’s my first :). Any advise on how to make my future articles (if there are any) better are most welcome!