ITIL business case: does it stack up?

In previous posts the IT Skeptic covered some basic principles of business case design. Let us apply those principles to a business case for an ITIL project.

The previous posts said the strength of a business case is money, real or imagined; the strategy of a business case is how it is aligned with the target organisation. With strength and strategy, and a little luck, you can succeed.

It is not executive management that we need to convince, not at first. We should be convincing ourselves. In theory, IT should not attempt anything that does not have a positive ROI for the business (though of course in practice that can be hard to prove when building or maintaining infrastructure).

We see too often where the Ops Manager or CIO subjectively decides to do ITIL then starts a great work of fiction called a business case to validate their decision. Most IT organisations have learned to talk like a business but not to think like a business.

So first do the business case as an exercise. Does it stack up? If not, why are you taking it to the business? How is it in the best interests of the organisation as a whole? If you still feel it is the right thing to do, then work out why and include those arguments in the business case.

Of course, you may be proposing an ITIL project because you can all see redundancy looming and ITIL looks good on a CV. Even if the business case is as wobbly as a BS15000 certification franchise, these posts will still help you get the business case through.

This post is an extract from the ITSkeptic's ITSMWatch article What Goes into an ITIL Business Case

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