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ITIL "Just the FAQs Ma'am"

10/31/2012 by: The SunView Team

It is time to start with a basic FAQ about ITIL. Every time that I see an FAQ, I think of the show Dragnet starring Jack Webb from the 70s. Yes, the show is much older than that, but those were the episodes I watched as a kid. Dragnet is from back in the day - long before the internet. If you don't know or remember the show, you can check it out on YouTube.

The main character, Sergeant Joe Friday, would say "Just the facts ma'am." I know, FAQ is not facts - but it brings out the Joe Friday in me every time. "This is the city, Los Angeles, California"

So, I suppose if we are all about the ITIL facts, then we should start at the beginning with a little history about ITIL. In the mid-1980s, the Government IT Infrastructure Management Method was created in the United Kingdom to develop a reliable model for IT service management. This led to the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) creation of ITIL short for IT Infrastructure Library. Being from the UK, you may notice many of the words in ITIL manuals and discussions are spelled with the British variant versus the ‘merican spellin' such as IT Organisation and Programmes.

The next fact we should explore, why should your IT Organization implement an ITIL-based solution? In order to improve your Service Desk, you need to implement standardized processes. This will allow the results to be consistent, improve the level of Service Level Agreement or SLA and see real cost savings and quick ROI. That is what an ITIL implementation is all about.

Now that you see the benefits of building a better Service Desk based on ITIL, let's look at how to adopt ITIL. Think about your IT pain points. For an organization with a homegrown Help Desk solution, you may be having the most pain with tracking your Incident Tickets. If you don't have tickets to track, just a never ending stream of emails, then let's start right there. You can't manage what you don't measure, I am sure I heard that somewhere. The first step to manage the incidents is to be able to track and then measure them.
For other companies with more mature IT processes, they should consider beginning with incident management or change management, or possibly the relationship between existing processes. For example, how does your incident management interconnect with your problem management processes? What is the process to escalate an Incident Ticket to a Request For Change or RFC? The best thing about ITIL is that it is a framework for your processes and doesn't dictate what your processes should do, simply that they should be repeatable, consistent and efficient.

So, an ITIL implementation will solve all of my IT problems, you ask. Of course, it will, NOT. Again, ITIL is the framework to better manage your processes, but you may want to build your ITIL on top of a quality improvement model such as Six Sigma. Come back soon, in a future blog post I will dive deeper into this topic, 5 Takeaways when Combining ITIL and Six Sigma.

Whether building on your existing processes or building consistent efficient and cost effective processes from scratch, an ITIL-based ITSM solution is the standard for an IT Organization.

"The Service Desk telephone rings every 20 seconds, 24 hours a day. Of the 3 million people who live in Los Angeles€¦ every time a Service Desk operatoranswers a call, he takes a calculated risk. There will always be somebody out there with an IT incident. There are over 5,000 men and women in this department that know that being a Service Desk staffer is an endless, glamour less, thankless job, that's got to be done. I know it too€¦" Joe Friday, Service Desk Supervisor.

Flickr Image by Kevin