IT service management, as defined by ITIL®, is a complex topic that takes individuals years to master. Consisting of five core books with each book focusing on a specific stage of the lifecycle approach to service management, ITIL is very detailed and at times can be difficult to understand.
ITIL provides numerous best practices that help organizations establish and maintain accountability, boundaries and consistency (the ABCs) in an organization. This blog series so far has described the concepts of accountability and boundaries and how individuals and organizations can communicate ITIL in a simple way using the ABCs. This final post will cover the concept of consistency.
What is Consistency?
Consistency refers to doing an activity the same way every time it’s performed. ITIL encourages organizations to take a process-based approach to managing IT services, because following a defined, predictable, repeatable process leads to defined, predictable and repeatable results at a defined, predictable and repeatable level of cost. Consistency leads to the ability to automate some repetitive activities, which is one way that organizations can control costs.
For example, an organization has a process called “server provisioning,” which results in a new server being deployed in a data center for business use.
Currently, the server provisioning process takes 112 days to deploy a new server. Obviously, this is too long for the business to wait for a new server, and so the business decides to use its own budget to buy and support its own servers. In the best case, this means that the organization now has two completely different service provisioning processes that are producing different results at different levels of cost and supportability. In this situation, it is only a matter of time before something dramatic happens that significantly impacts a vital business function in this organization.
Consistency is the delivery of predictable, repeatable results following predictable and repeatable sets of activities. It’s often difficult for an organization to move very far beyond the startup stage without some level of consistency based on a predictable set of repeatable processes. World-class organizations have figured out how to harness the power of consistency in many things they regularly do – from normal daily handling of incidents and requests to how new employees are trained for specific roles.
Organizations that effectively establish, manage and maintain boundaries tend to experience higher levels of quality and cost effectiveness. Managing boundaries means controlling scope, and controlling scope often leads to success. Being consistent means that the organization is performing common activities the same way and at the same level of cost every time they’re done.
This is the final part of a three-part series taken from the Global Knowledge white paper, The ABCs of ITIL.