Implementing ITIL’s best practices can reap many rewards for companies that include improved customer satisfaction, cost savings and enhanced employee productivity. One of the last stages of planning your ITIL implementation initiative is performing an internal assessment of your IT department and then, acting on your results.
At the most basic level, the assessment report will provide an overview of the scope of the project. The report will outline the design, development, transition, operation, and improvement of an IT organization’s services and processes. It will look at the areas that are done well, and the areas for improvement. The report will provide details about any new IT or other company processes that should be implemented, and how the governance and culture of the organization might change to better align with its defined vision mission and strategy.
What Defines Success?
Success can mean different things to different stakeholders, so prior to acting upon the recommendations in the assessment report and implementing an improvement or a new process, it is imperative to define exactly what will constitute success.
Document each goal and objective with measurable targets. By monitoring and reporting these goals, you will see whether or not you have reached your targets. Successes should be celebrated and shared with the organization. The more value that’s shown, the easier it will be to get additional funding for further improvement.
One of the most important outputs of the assessment that should be in the report is “quick wins.” A quick win is an improvement that has an immediate benefit, is widely visible to the business, IT, management, and other stakeholders which can be implemented rapidly.
The reason that quick wins are important is that they very rapidly show the benefit of instituting the best practices and they give relevance to the effort. They instill a sense of confidence to both the team and the other stakeholders. They also have the potential of changing the perception of those that have not bought into the initiative.
The last item is very important and is worth repeating. Once implemented, quick wins and the benefits realized should be shared with the whole organization and should be included in the newsletter.
Monitoring and assessment of an organization’s processes for gaps and improvement areas should be an ongoing activity. The best scenario is to appoint a continual service improvement manager who has the responsibility of ensuring that IT is continually aligned with the needs of the business.
Having a continual Improvement initiative that focuses on improvement across all aspects of the IT organization will provide the visibility needed to ensure IT remains proactively aligned so that the business can achieve its goals and objectives.
In addition, assessments should be carried out on a scheduled basis. They are not one-time activities. The organization should continually be evaluated to ensure the organization remains focused on improving its maturity and capabilities.
There are many ways that organizations decide on the areas to focus, and how they are going to go about improving their processes. The way an organization decides to start is really secondary to the fact is that they are looking at improving the way that IT supports the business.
To learn more check out Part I and Part II of this three-part series or the “ITIL® Implementation: Where to Begin” white paper.