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You’ve Completed ITIL® Foundation: Now How to Implement It

Nov. 30, 2016
Paul Dooley


Shortly after being awarded an ITIL® Foundation certification, a recipient’s natural inclination is to ask: “Now what? How do I take the best practices I’ve learned and apply them to my organization?” ITIL implementation initiatives fail when all three strategic enablers aren’t factored in: people, process, and technology. Of the three enablers, the most important of all is people. People resources must be transformed into people capabilities. Processes require skilled and knowledgeable people to execute on them. Lastly, technology and tools aren’t helpful without trained, capable people using them. To apply best practices, start with people first, then move to processes and technology.



Your team has just finished ITIL® Foundation training, and you’re wondering, “What now? How and where do we begin implementing this ITIL framework in our business?” Ah, but this is putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

It takes a concerted focus on people, process, and technology to plan and implement ITIL and an ongoing, cost-effective and valuable IT service management (ITSM) practice.

People: in your IT functions (the service desk, technical and application support, and IT operations). When entering an organization, people start out as a resource (raw material); training and skills development mature your people groups into capable teams that have the ability to carry out your ITIL initiative, execute your processes, and deliver the value to customers and users. Without an ongoing training program that is a part of your initiative and for each position, your ITIL initiative is at risk.

Process: such as incident management, request fulfillment, change management, and so forth. An ITIL initiative should result in activities that convert undocumented and ill-equipped immature processes into mature processes that affect more efficient operations, lower costs, and higher performance to target goals and objectives. However, keep in mind that processes do not carry out themselves; they require skilled and knowledgeable people—practitioners and managers—along with supporting technology and tools to be carried out efficiently and effectively.

Technology: essential for implementing ITSM and ITIL. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to identify a stage in the service lifecycle, or a process, that would not benefit from the application of service automation or technology. However, as the saying goes, “a fool with a tool is still a fool.” The proper application and use of technology cannot be realized unless one trains the technical, application, and operations staff in the implementation, use, and maintenance of such technology. Because automation tools are constantly evolving, training on the efficient use and application of this enabling factor must be done on an ongoing basis.

Notice how people play a critical role beyond that of a resource and a capability (to the extent you train and equip them). People are critical to the successful implementation of processes. Without trained and skilled people, processes cannot operate at their full potential. People are also essential to the successful roll-out of supporting technology and tools.  And yet it’s the people that often get overlooked!

Why Go Beyond ITIL Foundation Training? People Resources Must Be Transformed into People Capabilities

While processes and technology play key roles in ITSM, the role of people resources and capabilities cannot be understated. Poorly trained managers and staff will lack the understanding and motivation to drive the ITIL initiative forward, which puts the success of IT Service Management in your organization at risk. They will also lack the skills and knowledge to plan and carry out the implementation of the processes and establish functional teams both effectively and efficiently.

With a concerted training program, and a training plan for each role, your team will become a unified powerhouse that will propel your ITSM initiative to success over the long-term. Service and process owners will understand and carry out their roles effectively, ensuring that quality robust services are defined and delivered while supporting processes are there to guarantee the quality delivery of your services. Practitioners—the individuals and teams carrying out the various steps of your processes—will have the skills and understanding to execute those processes consistently and efficiently, delivering high availability and performance of your services.

With staff only completing basic ITIL Foundation level training, you will lack the skilled people capabilities in place to truly be successful with your ITIL initiative. Instead, you’ve only established the foundation for the training component of your initiative.

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