Tips for ITIL implementation

David Pultorak follow's up his ITIL webcast series with this podcast Q&A about ITIL implementation.

David Pultorak follow's up his ITIL webcast series with this podcast Q&A about ITIL implementation.

Tips for ITIL implementation


Read the full transcript from this podcast below:

Jeff Kelly: Hello and welcome to SearchCIO.com. My name is Jeff Kelly and I'm an associate editor with the CIO Decisions Media Group here at TechTarget. I'm joined by David Pultorak, chief executive of Pultorak and Associates. David recently recorded a series of webcasts on ITIL for SearchCIO.com and today David will answer some of your follow up questions. This is our second podcast of Q&A with David, and today's chat will focus on ITIL implementation issues. Welcome, David.

David Pultorak: Good morning.

Jeff Kelly: So, you mentioned at the start of your second webcast that the implementation of the CSIP is crucial to ITIL's success because it serves as a foundation for the rest of the project. What risk do you run if you overlook this initial step?

David Pultorak: There's lots of them. Losing sponsorship, losing resources, funding, momentum and ultimately, return on investment from ITIL, I should say. ITIL's initiatives must compete with every other initiative that's in play or proposed in an organized and fuzzy initiatives, idol or otherwise that don't define things as a program of projects and you know, that's what a CSIP is. It's a program of projects, bounded projects, those fuzzy projects that aren't well-bounded don't stack up well against those that are. Those that have a clear leader, team, goal, start, end in a well articulated problem to start and solution to pursue.

Jeff Kelly: You also said that what people think about ITIL processes is more important than what you have on paper. Can you explain a little bit more about what you mean by that?

David Pultorak: Absolutely. I think if there's one thing that's crucial to ITIL's success is this. It's in implementing ITIL when you get down to it, it's a matter of installing the right behaviors and people in the organization. Process maps, documentation, tools, templates, work flows, all that stuff. They're good stuff, to the extent that they enable people to enact the right behaviors. The opposite approach, you know, engineering processes and forcing them is by itself a poor way to get uptake. You don't see people running around doing their jobs with 70-page documents that these approaches create.

What you want to do is help people change their thinking to change the results, to rewire their eyes with a new view as to what they should see in their environments. They look at their environment, they should see incident, problem, change, configuration, what's there, what should be there and so on and rewire their brains to drive towards the imperatives or aims of these processes. So, okay if I just take change management. The general ideal or imperative there is to minimize the business disruption of changes and know what changed.

To put it most simply, think of an organization that has all the right ITIL documents in place, but doesn't have people who get it, get that processing and get on with it. With one that doesn't have all the paper in place but people do get and get on with it. They get on with realizing them in their behavior. There's a world of difference in the results. The paper stuff is only as good as what it does to enable the right behaviors driving towards the right results.

Jeff Kelly: Right. Well, and how does this relate to ensuring your organization adopts a service-oriented culture?

David Pultorak: Well, it's one and the same. It's lost in a lot of people maybe because much of the service manager literature goes quickly past the idea of service culture and onto processes that are underpinned, but it's important to understand that the core idea of service management is that of realizing a culture of "I'm here to help you with your problem" versus "I'm here to showcase my technical skills, bow down, you're not worthy" type of stuff. Service culture is the right behaviors and techniques for sure, but underlying it, proceeding it is the right intent. The right and the intent to help people to serve people. After all, it's service management. You got to serve somebody.

The old consulting saw people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. That's dead on for what we're talking about here. That's the intent behind service management. It's the life blood of it and approaches that don't honor that are hollow. So, that's really the spirit of the service culture. You can't engineer and enforce it, that spirit. You must enable people to enact it.

Jeff Kelly: Well, you also say in your webcast that you try to avoid maturity rating when it comes to setting targets for ITIL's success. Why do you say that and what should you focus on instead?

David Pultorak: Oh, boy. If there's anything that puts the fun back in dysfunctional in organizations, it's maturity ratings. I got to tell you. It's a sore subject for a lot of people because while it can be useful to use a maturity rating scale to establish where you are on a continuum, the idea is being that in a stage model you can organize what to do best by grouping and informing next actions by what stage you're in. A lot of organizations, a lot of people see the ratings and read them like a report card and the general kabuki dance goes like this. We're, we're a three?
We're rated a three? What's the highest rating? A five? Well, we're a world class organization. We should shoot for five. Let's be a five within. That's our goal now. Let's be a five within one year or something.

That's the way the logic goes and it's problematic. No one should expend an iota of effort improving services or process maturity. It's just plain stupid and self defeating to do it without an end in mind. So what? Why do it? Why go from a three or a four or a five. Maybe a three's appropriate. What you want to do is take actions that produce business results. That's the original intent of these maturity scales. It gets lost in the shuffle of these report card kind of interpretations of results.

That's why over the years we've built and refined idol assessment instruments that are in common industry. They focus on measurable business value and impact on key stake holders while the general bottom line is while a maturity rating can serve a purpose too often people take it, twist it and the result is that putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

Jeff Kelly: Well said. So, what are some of the ways that you can fuel further investment from management in ITIL and what are the risks that you run if you don't do this?

David Pultorak: Oh, yeah, good question. In the ITIL webinar series we did, part three of the four parts covers five types of justifications to make on ITIL programs and how to make them. Part four of the series covers justifying ITIL projects, so there's no need to repeat that guidance here, but in a nutshell to succeed you need to know the type of justification you're making and match your technique to that type. Beyond that you need to make sure that you have a set of problem solution pairs that cleanly articulate in as tangible a way as possible how big and bad the problem is and how big and good the solution is that you're proposing.

Listeners should check out parts three and four of that series for more particulars. As for the risk if you don't do this, no go on your projects, marginalizations of projects that do go forward, failure, not good stuff.

Jeff Kelly: Finally, if you can give our listeners one suggestion when they're about to implement ITIL, what would it be?

David Pultorak: Position implementing ITIL in your mind, in the mind of others as a matter of getting better business results by changing people's thinking and behavior, to drive towards ITIL's service and process goals. Bake that idea into everything you do and you'll be all right, an organization with people running around get it and get on with it. You know, get the general drivers of the ITIL processes and services and get on with realizing them. It's a thing of beauty. It's the real heart and soul of service management. Everything you do in implementing service management should be subordinated to that idea of changing, thinking in behavior and in support of that goal.

All the tools, documents, workshops, initiatives, anything that you do, you buy, you do it with, you should choose it and measure it based on the extent to which it enables people to enact the goals of service management in support of business objectives.

Jeff Kelly: Great, well then on that note that concludes today's podcast. Thanks to David Pultorak for taking the time to speak with us today and thanks to you for listening.

David Pultorak: Hey, thank you Jeff.

This was first published in February 2007

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