ITIL Newbie Mistake #10: Expecting a Tool to Do the Work

ITILTools122580185 “We need to adopt service management in our organization. A tool will implement ITIL for us!”

Many times when organizations want to “implement” ITIL, they look to a tool for their ITIL solution. While there are many excellent tools on the market that support the concepts of IT service management (ITSM), ITSM starts with the organization itself.

ITSM is focused on providing value to customers to facilitate outcomes customers want to achieve. Begin with an understanding of the customer needs and then realign the organization’s processes and activities to facilitate these needs.

A tool will not do this for you.

Tools have very specific purposes to support an organization’s processes and activities, but the concepts of ITSM go far beyond what a tool can provide.

Before tools are sought out, an organization must understand what that tool is expected to accomplish. By starting with documentation and development of the underlying processes that support the concepts of service management, an organization can begin to develop requirements for a tool. The best approach, while not always realistic, is to perform the process without any formal tools to learn how the process operates within your organization. By performing the process manually for a while, an organization can better understand how the process works and improve the process without the distraction of complex tools and tool configurations.

Through this definition and manual operation of a process, tools can then be introduced to support the processes and activities instead of implementing the processes and activities. Through this technique, an organization can tailor a tool to support the goals and objectives of its processes and activities instead of tailoring the organization’s processes to conform to the tool. Remember that a tool should work for you instead of you working to support the tool.

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