Short-Term Wins: A Sprinkle of Constant Value in ITIL® Implementation

When implementing ITIL we have to ensure a balance is made between short-term and long-term wins. A good starting point is to arrange a workshop with all your key stakeholders to identify the outcome required from the implementation. Working backwards from the outcome will allow you to set targets and therefore the necessary milestones that need to be achieved to reach them.

We have to be realistic that many of the targets that need to be set to achieve the outcome will likely be long-term. Therefore it’s a possibility that stakeholder commitment and buy-in could suffer as perception will be that no progress is being made. Sometimes it’s not about communicating progress along the way but actually showing visible improvements and benefits. Therefore, as part of the implementation, short-term targets must be set.

So how do you identify the right short-term wins? Whilst your stakeholders’ requirements are key, consideration also needs to be made to key service assets, including your current organisational structure, processes in place, infrastructure (technology), culture, financial sponsorship, and skill sets that currently exist. Your goal is to align these assets and capabilities with your stakeholder requirements. The right short-term wins will be aligned to long-term targets, and will be realistic in terms of the short time frame for it to be achieved and more importantly deliver value that will underpin business processes.

Here are some techniques to help you identify the right short-term wins:

  1. Identify key pain points within the organisation and select one of these areas to show how benefits can be made in the short term. For example, you may have a business unit who have an ongoing issue or a number of customers who suffer from the same IT-related issue. Use this as a target to resolve as part of the implementation. This can help to secure buy-in.
  2. Improve the strong areas, showing the good work that has been performed and the extra benefits that can be delivered upon that. This will be a win-win situation.
  3. Workshops can be arranged with key stakeholders to discuss areas of concern and identify improvement opportunities for the implementation. The short-term gains would be to bridge the gap between IT and the customer, and to identify areas that can be resolved quickly.

These are just some of the ways to determine short-term wins, and they will be dependent upon your market space, organisational structure, time allocated to deliver the short-term wins, and attitude/motivation of staff to work on this ITIL implementation initiative.

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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