ITIL® Implementation: Which Process Do I Start With?

This is a classic question that is asked by a number of students on our ITIL courses! Unsurprisingly, the answer is, “It depends.”

The first step is to create a baseline. This can be done by assessing the resources and capabilities. From there appropriate targets can be set as to what is required to be achieved.

We have to flexible in selecting processes as part of the implementation. In other words, we must acknowledge that additional processes may need to be selected and partially implemented on the route to implementing the selected processes.

For example, if we selected incident management, we would expect event management to have a part to play in the full implementation of incident management.

Tip: Try to select a group of related processes.

As an example, change, release, service asset and configuration management are very dependent on one another. Therefore a starting point could be to introduce service asset and configuration management to identify and record all relevant configuration items.  The next process would be to introduce change management to ensure governance and control of assets. The final processes would be release and deployment management to ensure all further deployments of assets are controlled from build, test and deployment.

Will selecting a process make or break the implementation? No! But we must appreciate that we have some processes that would be more suitable. I believe with the right level of effort and dedication, any process can be seen as a starting point.

Here are two scenarios and areas you may want to consider for your implementation:

  1. Are customers extremely unhappy with IT services becoming unavailable at critical business periods with no contingency? Start looking at your IT service continuity process (if it exists).  Have you identified your critical services? Are there disaster recovery mechanisms in place? All of this can be part of activities to undertake as part of the implementation of the IT service continuity process.
  2. Are services being delivered that are difficult to operate? You may want to look at the service design processes (e.g., relating to warranty, are the services fit for use?). Processes to look at include availability management and capacity management.

In summary, we need to think about the overall vision of the implementation. This then can allow for the more suitable processes to be selected with a focus on the highest pain areas within the organization during the start (or early stages) of the implementation.

To learn more, check out Learning Tree’s course, Putting ITIL® into Practice:  A Roadmap for Transformation.

Hitesh Patel

*ITIL® is a registered trade mark of the Cabinet Office

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