“Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail” published in the Harvard Business Review and authored by John Kotter is the definitive guide to the few steps critical to transformation success. Below are five specific additional steps which will greatly improve an organizations ITIL implementation.
The process designers must have working experience of ITIL and general IT experience (and general business experience if possible): All too often ITIL process designers have no experience of working in IT environments. The problem with this is that processes get designed that are idealistic rather than practical and workable.
ITIL Foundation training is not good enough:
Unfortunately ITIL v3 Foundation training (the most basic ITIL official training) is just so broad and covers so much that it is more than likely that participants will leave the training being more confused about ITIL than when they started the training. My advice would be to send relevant people on the Foundation training but also have tailored training specific to certain areas of interest e.g. for Incident Management specifically and Problem Management specifically etc.
Keep things simple:
ITIL generally receives a groan when mentioned to people. This is because it is often made overcomplicated and people don’t sufficiently understand the benefits. Try to keep ITIL simple and use practical examples when explaining ITIL; for example sum up Incident Management as ‘getting the customer working as quickly as possible even if there is not a permanent solution to the error’.
There is normally a significant ‘unknown’ attached to ITIL implementations for those who will be using the processes on a day-to-day basis. Once implemented, and if implemented correctly, the processes become second-nature for those interacting and using them. It is important to stress to those involved that ITIL is not something to fear. What is often helpful to alleviate the fears is to reinforce the positives (such as reduced workload once the processes are embedded) and even get in Service Desk personnel from other companies who have gone through an ITIL implementation to explain the difference the processes made to their work.
Continuous reinforcement that ITIL is evolutionary:
ITIL processes should not get implemented and then forgotten. The processes will need revisiting and amendment as time progresses. No one should be under the illusion that the processes implemented will be correct and final on day one of the ‘go live’.