How long will ITIL take?

Dear Wiz

We are looking to adopt ITIL. How long will it take us?

Enthused of Slough

Dear Enthused

It is great to hear you are enthusiastic but don't underestimate the commitment required to properly implement ITIL. I have to break it to you that an ITIL project can take weeks or even months to do properly. It depends of course on how many processes you adopt: whether you just do the Service Desk process or whether you do all ten will make a big difference to the time.

You need to allow several weeks to implement any service desk tool, it is not just a matter of running the install you know! There's product training to be done for the administrator, and a help manual is a good idea too. Vendors don't usually write very good user manuals.

But once you have that done it can all go pretty quickly. If you shop around, many vendors will include some process documentation for you with the tool. So then all you have to do is tell all the staff and design a few reports (many people don't realise but metrics are really important to do ITIL properly - Continuous Service Improvement remember! It's all about the Plan-Check-Do-Act cycle: if you don't report you can't check now can you?).

Good luck
The ITIL Wizard


Adpoting ITIL - not a quick thing

ITIL Wizard... while a big fan of your blogs and tweets, this one has me worked up.

Your comments are setting some major expectations that I feel continue to aid to the frustration of the businesses support for service improvement.

I"m asked the same question all the time. My response is always the same "How long does it take for you get healthy".
They quickly realize the point - you never "GET" healthy, you achieve a level of satisfaction based on your life-style.

Same thing here with improving the IT service to the business. ITIL is just one of many fitness progress. You adapt to your current health and goals, and then you adopt it by making it routine and a priority. Any good fitness trainer will give you clip-board to track your efforts so that you stay in the routine. However, the real reason they do this is to justify and convince you that in 3 months while your still fat and lazy, you have actually made gains. You are lifting more, running faster and farther, etc...
But you still look pitiful...

Adopting ITIL will be the same thing. We are improving the underlying conditions that are impacting inefficiencies and most importantly we are trying to influence behavior, which is always difficult to measure yet really is where the pay back is. Optimizing decision and reaction time of people is the number one gain from all this effort. But it won't come in a few weeks.

My non-politically correct analogy on the topic of adaption vs. adoption is this.
If you are a man dating a woman with kids. The Friday night her kids are sick and you have to cancel that fine dinner to stay in with a rented movie, you are adapting. You are changing your actions, but your decision to still be with her is the same. At the point the kids sickness causes you to sell your sports car and send her and her child abroad for treatment, you have now adopted that family. You are making a personally unpleasant decision for a better outcome of the whole.

When we can get IT professionals thinking of the outcome as a whole, we have started to adopt IT Service Management. Now it's time to raise that to a healthy mature level.

Keep up the good work..

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