IT GovernanceProblem Management

5 Tips for Getting Started with ITIL

It would probably require a magic lamp and maybe a monkey’s paw in order to implement every single aspect of ITIL into your business. Since lamps and paws are in low supply, it means you have to start smaller with your implementation. In a post at his blog, Joe the IT Guy shares five tips to get started with ITIL adoption in a practical way:

  1. Establish a formalized service desk.
  2. Identify root causes.
  3. Manage your changes.
  4. Track software licenses.
  5. Start using a configuration management database (CMDB).

No Magic Required

Your business inevitably already has at least somebody, if not a vast dedicated group, who takes care of IT support issues as they arise. It is time to formalize this into an actual service desk if it does not already exist. There must be a reliable central hub that manages incidents and service requests, in order to pave the way for further efficiencies.

Problem management will be an effective aspect of ITIL to adopt early on, as it will help you to look at the root causes of *ahem* problems. Identifying root causes is important as it is the only way to squash recurring issues. And once problem management capability has reached a suitable level of maturity, it can expand into proactive activities like example trending or talking to leaders about their personal service concerns.

Change management is another major function to implement. Change management is the only way to ensure that changes being made both make sense and will not adversely disrupt other operations. A good change management process will allow minor, business-as-usual changes to be raised and approved quickly. Perhaps a change advisory board can be implemented to manage the larger changes that incur more serious risk.

Next up, implementing software asset management will ensure that you are meeting regulatory obligations—and it will also save the business money to know easily what assets are available and what their licenses entail. Lastly, about a CMDB, Joe says this:

Used wisely, the configuration management database (CMDB) is a key enabler for resolving incidents, identifying the root cause of problems, assessing the impact changes, and building the technical layer of a service catalog.

Even if your CMDB isn’t complete, or is limited only to certain areas within your organization, you should start linking incidents to related services. And when you create a change or a problem, make sure that you link it to a service. Where your CMDB isn’t complete, add service information as you encounter incidents, problems, or changes. This will ensure that you get an accurate picture of the state of your IT estate and will allow you to better build and maintain the relationships between your IT elements and your business services and processes.

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