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Getting Started with ITIL: 35 Terms and Definitions Everyone Must Know

02/15/2012 by: The SunView Team

Here in the US, ITIL tends to look like that kid in elementary (primary for those across the pond) that dresses a little odd and talks with a "funny" accent. Of course, if anyone took a little time to get to know him, they'd realize he has a lot to offer, and is a go-to-guy whether you are in a pinch, or if you need a lifelong friend. If they would only stop beating him up for lunch money, and see he just wants to be friends. Eventually, if they gave him some time, he would show them that, he's ahead of the game in many ways. He's the cool kid. He's ITIL.

Cool kid or not, they still make fun of him, chastise him even. Sometimes, they go and put him in the locker at school until the janitor comes to rescue him well after the bell rings. OK, maybe that last one was a personal memory. However, what those kids certainly do not do is embrace differences, and furthermore, they want nothing to do with change. That's a crazy way to go through life though, fearing or running away from change. It's an even crazier way to approach IT Service Management. Unfortunately, a lot of organizations do.

Looking at things more objectively, you will see that ITIL is not something to fear, even though many people do. Sure, it is strange and different, maybe even a little bit complex and confusing. You're right when you, as an IT organization, sense that great change, on a massive scale, might be the wrong approach. That said, it doesn't mean you can't evolve. It also doesn't mean that ITIL can't be a part of that. In short, don't let your premonitions or fears get in the way of radical and measurable change.

Understandably, fear and uneasiness will be a natural part of the process. That's because there is an obvious, comfortable nature about the familiar. However, the rewards for stepping outside your comfort zone and learning something new are always much greater. Where to begin though, that can be a difficult equation. Even with the Internet offering all of the world's information at our fingertips, figuring out a starting point becomes more difficult by the day.

To help, we've pulled together a list of thirty-five ITIL terms, and defined them using a common sense approach with the typical IT organization in mind. While these aren't definitions that will get you to certification, they will help you and your team better understand a number of the core principles behind ITIL.

Finally, why not try to use these terms as a starting point, or even a conversation starter in your next presentation? That is unless you already have a good idea about the difference between a customer-facing service and a supporting service. As always, Good Luck!

Image | Flickr: Horia Varlan