Tuesday, 29 August 2006

The future's bright, the future's Pink!

Those who have read up on ITIL will no doubt be familiar with Pink Elephant as their consultants have been involved with writing both the v2 and v3 refresh; in fact, their claim as the world leader in IT Service Management probably isn't far wrong!

But did you know that this month they launched a free member's area which features archives full of quality articles, web casts and their new pinkcasts (podcasts)?

I didn't! I've only watched one web cast, but I've listened to all the pinkcasts, and dipped in to some of the articles (some of which I have seen previously) so far; yet I must say it's good introductory stuff!

If you're into ITIL and you haven't already signed up for a free account, then do so. That's right, leave this page and do it now! You won't regret it :)

Saturday, 26 August 2006

And the answer is...

In our case we don't have the resources to go for a big bang (and nor would we want to). ITIL is very much about culture change, so it isn't going to happen overnight (more like years, especially in the public sector). Harnessing the support of everyone in IT will be fundamental to the success of the implementation.

To answer my question posed on Tuesday, the service support processes identified to help eliminate our pain areas are:
  1. Service Level Management
  2. Review maturity of current Service Desk Function and Incident Management
  3. Change Management
  4. Problem Management
  5. Configuration Management
It may be that we can run change and configuration concurrently, I always think they are like the chicken and the egg. You don't want to implement Configuration management with change management otherwise you have no controls over the Configuration items; but if you implement Change with the configuration then you don't have the links to what are you changing... 'A person could go mad thinking about this... (10 points to the person who knows where that is from).

There are of course a lot of things involved from the people side with awareness training and workshops, to benchmarking existing processes, to consideration of the right tools to support those processes.

My intention is to manage the implementation as a 'Programme' of distinct projects, using Prince 2 Lite as the methodology. The high level plan has been drafted, let's see what the coming week holds...

For those of you in the UK - have a good bank holiday weekend!

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

Drafting the plan.. where to begin?

As an ITIL programme is being included in our proposed IT strategy I've started drafting a plan. Just where does one start when introducing ITIL? Assuming that you are familiar with what ITIL is and the benefits of each process then I think identifying points of pain is a good start. Then you can identify which processes will help you eliminate those. They may not be 'quick wins', but as long as they make a REAL difference then they will help secure the CONTINUED buy-in needed for the other processes.

In our case, with three authorities coming together for IT service provision we have 3 major pain areas:
- High number of incidents and not enough staff to resolve them all within SLAs
- No clear delineation of service support roles and responsibilities across the 3 councils so calls are frequently assigned to the incorrect team which contributes towards breached SLAs
- Seemingly innocent 'It's a 5-minute job' changes made to shared council network infrastructure can create unexpected issues

Before I reveal which processes I'm including in the initial programme; given the information above, which do YOU think would help us and why? Answers on the back of a postcard... (not really, just use the comments!)

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

ITIL on the horizon, or is it?

Apologies for the infrequency of posts, I've been on holiday :)

There are some exciting developments in my workplace at the moment. Our IT head of operations has recognised the contribution that ITIL could make to improving the way we work. So much so that he organised for an external company to come and present an introduction to ITIL to key IT personnel.

Initially I was a little miffed because I had put together a business case and presentation on my own time that the board had agreed for me to put forward. However, in hindsight it seems that management pay more attention when it is an external company telling them the same thing that you, as an internal person, has been saying for ages! I'm sure I'm not alone on this one; is it a peculiarity of the public sector?

Anyhow, the external introduction seemed to do the trick as I've been asked to write a high level ITIL implementation plan. Perhaps finally I can start putting some of my knowledge to practical use, hooray!