10 things you should know about itil

These days, you’re likely to hear the term <i>ITIL</i> bandied about in many IT circles–yet a lot of IT managers don’t know what ITIL really is. Tom Mochal has created a list of key facts to help you get up to speed on ITIL concepts.

This article is also available as a PDF download.

Five years ago, no one outside the United Kingdom had heard about ITIL. Now, it seems like you can’t pick up a trade magazine without someone mentioning it. But despite all the buzz, many IT pros don’t fully understand what ITIL is all about. Here are the highlights.

#1: ITIL stands for the Information Technology Infrastructure Library

ITIL contains a comprehensive set of best practices that are used to develop and execute IT service management. It offers a number of benefits, including increased competitive advantage through cost reduction, growth, and agility; more business efficiency through streamlining of IT processes; enhanced IT value through business and IT operational and goal alignment; and improved internal customer and user satisfaction.

#2: The organization body that supports ITIL is located in the United Kingdom

The overall ITIL approach has been available since the late 1980s and has been published on the Internet for years. However, it was largely unknown in the United States until a critical mass of large companies and media publications started to take notice. More than 10,000 organizations worldwide have now adopted ITIL.

#3: ITIL consists of a series of books giving guidance and recommendations

ITIL is undergoing some updates and restructuring to reflect technology changes. The books now encompass the following areas:

  • Introduction to ITIL
  • Service Support
  • Service Delivery
  • Planning to Implement Service Management
  • Security Management
  • The Business Perspective
  • ICT Infrastructure Management
  • Application Management
  • Software Asset Management
  • Small-Scale Implementation

#4: To be successful, ITIL stresses the need for a strong executive sponsor

Implementing ITIL practices is a culture change initiative. People are going to complain about having to do things differently than they did in the past. You need a strong sponsor to push the change. If you don’t have one, don’t attempt the implementation–or look for limited success.

#5: ITIL is not project management

ITIL does not focus on creating things like projects do. Instead it focuses on delivering IT services to the company.

#6: Despite its popularity, little content is available on ITIL

ITIL is a set of approaches and best practices. It is a model for IT service delivery. It does contain some processes and templates, but it is not a methodology an

d does not contain all the implementation details. Companies that want to use ITIL can follow the overall guidelines and then develop the more detailed processes that make sense for the individual organization.

#7: ITIL is not a tool

You can implement many aspects of ITIL using tools, but tools are not required. If your organization is small, simple templates and spreadsheets may be all you need. If your organization is large, you may need to find appropriate software tools to help.

#8: ITIL is not an all-or-nothing proposition

Since ITIL is a series of app

roaches in different areas, a company can implement some or the entire overall model. There is no rule that you have to implement everything.

#9: You can implement ITIL in stages

There is also no rule that you have to implement the entire ITIL model at once. Many organizations implement ITIL in phases over a period of time.

#10: You can be certifi

ed in ITIL

itil foundation 2011 HoaiN

There are three levels of ITIL certification:

  • Foundation. This level means you understand the terms and have a basic knowledge of the ITIL model.
  • Practitioner. This level means that you understand the model to a degree necessary to apply the specific and correct ITIL processes where applicable.
  • Manager. This level is available for practitioners who will be managing ITIL service management functions.

Source http://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-things-you-should-know-about-itil/

Why are Companies investing in ITIL Training for their employees?

The proverb “work smart, do not work hard” is the motto of Many organizations who want their employees to focus on the core processes such as increase in productivity, and enlargement of their customer base rather than on the non-core ones such as solving incidents and errors.

Organizations want their key personnel to possess vital skills that can be used for positive outcome of a project or in the case of an untoward incident. This is the main reason why they are interested in making their personnel certified in ITIL or other certifications such as PRINCE2 Certification(Projects In Controlled Environment) and PMP Certification (Project Management Professional).

Organizations are increasingly dependant on IT services and it is mandatory that they have to garner profits for the investment incurred for delivering a service. Technological developments in every industry are occurring at a fast pace and any IT professional or any organization that does not adopt or adapt themselves to the changing trend will lose ground.

In recent times, ITIL has grown in popularity because it is a framework and it can be used by both Multinational Organizations and Small corporations for various benefits such as provision of services according to the requirements of the customer efficiently and effectively and also to stay one step ahead of their competitors.

Advantages for Organizations investing in ITIL certification for their employees:

·         Implementation of the required ITIL processes to an organization provides staff the capability to rise to the challenges of any demand. In other words, ITIL can be best described as a set of policies, principles and procedures that show the way IT services should be managed for a project. An improved performance or minor success during the course of a project paves the way for boosting the attitude of personnel positively.

·         For an existing service to be modified as per the needs of business or for a new service to be designed and released into the live environment in an Organization, personnel should have:

o   The right skills with essential knowledge and capabilities,

o   Technological tools required for the positive outcome,

o   Proper distribution of roles and responsibilities

These three factors are an asset and vital for any organization and to be successful. Implementation of the required processes can help an organization, in the long run, attain these three factors slowly.

·         An ITIL certification assists personnel to establish better communication with not only their peers but also with customers. Investing in ITIL training can, in due course of time, make the organization ITIL certified and having ITIL certified personnel can convince potential stakeholders and customers that the best policies, procedures and guidelines are followed and this can lead to greater investment in the projects.

Professionals who have become ITIL certified by means of the organization investing in ITIL training, feel more valued as they can diversify their job routine and better express themselves in their initiative towards improvement, if any.

Source http://www.myitstudy.com/blog/2013/07/why-are-companies-investing-in-itil-training-for-their-employees

Important Points Manager should keep in mind while implementing ITIL in their organization

There is a famous proverb: It is not the amount of knowledge which makes a human being successful, but the implementation of knowledge in their respective fields. ITIL training and ITIL certification can no doubt, change an organization from a reactive to an proactive one but the top management personnel have to keep in mind that there will be several challenges involved.

Top management personnel should always remember that there will always be resistance to change. According to popular management books, the best way to overcome resistance to ITIL training and ITIL Implementation is to involve employees actively and encourage them to contribute their ideas. It is mandatory that focus should not be on only one group or department but should involve every aspect of the organization. This may take time, but the returns for would be worthwhile.

The management should be prepared for any type of resistance (superficial or real). A good communication plan effectively can change resistance to all-round involvement.

For an effective change improvement to take place, management commitment and participation is also necessary. A team should be set up which should monitor improvements in every department and preferably, they should follow the Kotter’s eight step model for Leading Change.

ITIL implementation or training and ITIL certification lays emphasis on roles and responsibilities, that plays a key role in the outcome of every project. In other words, emphasis has to be placed on many areas of the organization, inclusive of ITIL processes. Some of them are:

  • HR department: Organization infrastructure, compensation, reward and recognition have to re-modified in a way that will support newly developed roles and responsibilities.
  • People: Roles will be changed, inclusive of disciplines
  • Technology: This is one of the most important aspects of ITIL implementation, where few technological improvements have to be made or modified with respect to the processes and project. Interfaces between processes should also be carefully monitored.

ITIL stresses on the importance of common terminologies and so, a well-organized education plan should be developed and it should be imparted to every key person in the organization at the initial stages. Important phases of the educational model should contain organizational design, change management, maturity of processes, Successful management of resistance, perfection in quality and Continuous improvement.

The main challenge during ITIL implementation is improvement of a Service Desk according to the ITIL standards. It may take years and for development of the processes roles and responsibilities may have to be modified or created.

It should be kept in mind that ITIL certification is one of the most sought today in Multinational Companies and an ITIL trained professionals are considered to be an asset to their organizations.

Source http://www.myitstudy.com/blog/2013/09/important-points-manager-should-keep-in-mind-while-implementing-itil-in-their-organization

Wise men do ITIL certification

A wise, successful business magnate once stated, “I became successful because I tread the path which has been used by my peers. By this way, I gain knowledge regarding the difficulties and challenges they faced which I use to my advantage.”

This statement has been reiterated by our old wise men and their statement is “There are some who learn from their own mistakes. Then there are others who derive wisdom from others’ mistake, cautiously tread the chosen path and become successful.”

In recent times, where life is moving at a fast pace, errors, mistakes and failures can have a major impact on a professional’s career.

So professionals are turning to certifications such as ITIL where they could gain knowledge about the best practices garnered from many organizations. Their reasoning “Why should we make mistakes when there is a certification which has been adapted from the best practices of all the organizations in any type of environment?”

The above statement sums the phase of many IT and non-IT professional who are going up the ladder to lead their organization in their respective careers and profiles.

Since ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) has proved time and again that it creates positive impact in the organizations which implements its practices, not only professionals but also many Multinational Organizations are making a bee-line for making their staff ITIL-certified.

Now let us see the benefits of ITIL training:

  • High profile professional believe that ITIL training can make their staff become adept while implementation or management of ITIL/ITSM in the organization.
  • ITIL certification can help a professional or an organization develop their skills and increase their productivity. Professionals feel they become more confident while leading ITSM projects.
  •  ITIL training helps the staff to have better communication with their peers/juniors as they speak a common language regardless of their profiles in the organization or geography. Knowledge gets shared which is successful for any organization.
  • If you are a CEO who runs a firm in search of project, you can bump into organizations which are in search of companies which has staff with ITIL certification or companies which have implemented ITIL in their companies.

Other benefits of ITIL training and implementation which can be summarized are:

  • ITIL training makes the organization place their major focus on services which support the objectives of the business
  • Management of services will be prioritized based on their business value
  • Maintain a record that will clearly show the balance between cost and quality

itil foundation 2011 HoaiN
Source http://www.myitstudy.com/blog/2013/09/wise-men-do-itil-certification/

ITIL Certification and Project Management

It is a wide belief in the Information Technology environment that projects and services are as different as chalk and cheese; it is not possible to integrate them. However, it is a big myth that projects and services cannot exist together and project managers can definitely add value by understanding and implementing Information Technology Infrastructure Library.

Let us look at the definition of a project: A project is temporary and has a specific date of beginning and a project termination date. Without these two set in place no project can be termed as complete. Also the output of any project always has to be unique for it to be categorized as a project. A service on the other hand may have definite start date but no finish date as the motto of a service is meant to go on continuously until it is no longer needed. The output of a service does not always have to be unique and also there may not be a unique product which gets created and the ultimate aim of every service is the creation of stability.

ITIL Certification is a the most widely accepted and established name in IT service management, hence it would be logical to assume people from this industry would only be using it. But that is not the case anymore.

The globe as we know it is shrinking fast and the project products i.e. the outcomes of projects need to be serviced, and hence service and projects are very much inter-related. Project management as we know it doesn’t just bound itself to its project related boundaries and extends to service management also- it helps in deciding how the services will be delivered and also defines the boundaries of the service itself.

The future calls for both project management and service management going side by side. Today, ITIL is undeniably the best available standard practice for all IT services and ITIL is gaining more and more popularity day by day and more and more people have started implementing ITIL in their projects for better results.

The purpose of ITIL is to take a deep dive into the ways a service is to be strategized, designed, tested and put into operational stage and then continuously improved upon. While the old school thought of project management stages include initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling more or less similar to what ITIL offers, usually the output of a project will act as input to other services in most cases.

Good implementation of ITIL will not only help the project managers but also the team members in the projects to increase their productivity and providing better services to the clients

Source http://www.myitstudy.com/blog/2013/07/itil-certification-and-project-management

Know why your organisation adopts ITIL?

ITIL V3 is the most widely adopted guidance for IT service management worldwide. ITIL v2 was heavily process-focused. In contrast, ITIL v3 is centred on a service lifecycle approach to help IT departments focus on providing business value.

Most organisations today rely upon IT to enable them to achieve their goals.

Organizations use IT to:

  • Revolutionize the way they operate, communicate and do business
  • Develop and innovate, gain market advantage and differentiate themselves to their end customers
  • Drive increased productivity and efficiency, improve business processes, make cost savings, and increase sales and growth
  • Communicate with a larger, more global marketplace.

Many companies are now looking at the ITIL framework as a cost-effective methodology for streamlining processes and improving productivity in the enterprise, as well as for IT Service Management. And because the IT Infrastructure Library is simply a set of practices, there are no direct costs for adoption, although users do need to invest in ITIL training and ITIL-compatible software for services like automation and tracking.

Service management is a planned and conscious means of building and managing your support structure to meet business and service objectives – moving from chaos to control, from fire-fighting to fusion.

What are the real benefits of service management?

The real benefit of ITSM and ITIL is that it forces an organisation to develop a ‘service model’ – i.e. a clear definition of the structure, constraints, objectives and operational capabilities of its support operation. This helps to move the organisation forward from simply an evolved or ‘organic’ structure.
Let’s see what ITIL provides – procedure, a method for handling all work. Where procedure comes into play, performance is likely to become more consistent because jobs are dealt with in a similar way. This consistency means that fewer issues are likely to slip through the cracks, because some of those cracks simply will not be there after the adoption of considered practices, processes and procedures.

  • To implement consistent delivery
  • Improved quality and efficiency
  • Reduced cost of failure
  • Increased business productivity, efficiency and effectiveness
  • Reduced risk to the business
  • More effective change management
  • Greater visibility of services
  • Improved management and accountability/auditability
  • Improved communications
  • Improved user and customer satisfaction with IT
  • Improved end-customer perception and brand image.
  • To ensure ‘best practice’
  • IT aligned to the business

Until now, the assertion that ITIL provides quality and best practice has never been scientifically tested. However, it is clear that for a company to adopt ITIL, it commonly requires a major commitment to changes in practices, re-skilling of staff and considerable expense. This raises the issue as to whether this outlay can be expected to produce a return, and what the might be nature of that return.
Despite all the processes mentioned in ITIL, it remains incomplete. Adopting companies found a need to add other processes beyond those described in the ITIL literature.

  • Customer Relationship
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • User Development
  • Internal Staff Development
  • Customer Management
  • Centralised Service Desk
  • Release Management
  • Customer Satisfaction Monitoring via online survey
  • Improved communications internally and with users
  • Quality Customer Surveys
  • Staff Training and Development
  • Customer Satisfaction Measurement
  • Solutions Delivery – new product creation and delivery
  • Staff Development
  • Infrastructure Management and consolidation of data

Source http://www.myitstudy.com/blog/2013/08/know-why-your-organisation-adopts-itil/

How Can I Use ITIL to Improve IT Services?

How Can I Use ITIL to Improve IT Services?

When it comes to management of IT services, the question, “How can we improve ’x’?” is often asked. The “x” can represent a multitude of project facets (services offered, productivity, organizational planning, etc.), and one of the best methods for process identification and improvement is the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a framework for information management that focuses on continuous improvement to business processes. There are five core process areas related to the ITIL framework:

1. Service Strategy

2. Service Design

3. Service Transition

4. Service Operations Process

5. Continual Service Improvement

Each process is iterative, and process outputs serve as inputs for subsequent process areas. This framework allows organizations to integrate business and service strategies, monitor measure and optimize performance, optimize and reduce costs, and manage knowledge and risks effectively.

Service Strategy

As new technologies emerge, it’s important for us to understand how these tools fit into the overall service strategy of our project deliverables. ITIL’s Service Strategy process area allows organizations to identify their business objectives, customer needs, manage service portfolios, and answer the, “why are we doing ‘x’?” instead of, “how do we do ‘x’?” question. Artifacts of the Service Strategy process area lay the groundwork for all subsequent core process areas (e.g. Service portfolio, Vision and Mission, Patterns of business activity and demand forecasts, and financial information and budgets).

Service Design

Once a service strategy has been determined, it is important that those services are designed as efficiently as possible to reduce the need to improve those services over their lifecycle; this is where the Service Design process area takes center stage. This process area reduces total cost of ownership (TCO), improves service quality, consistency, and performance. Service Design covers any requirements for new or changed services, management information systems and tools, technology and management architectures, measurement methods and metrics, and processes required to support the service being offered. Artifacts of the Service Design process area include: service design packages, financial reports, SLAs/OLAs, and achievements against key performance indicators (KPIs).

Service Transition

The Service Transition process area allows service providers to plan and manage changes efficiently and effectively, manage risks to new/changed or retired services, ensure knowledge transfer occurrence, and set performance expectations. Artifacts of this process include: a change schedule, feedback to other lifecycle stages, and providing information to the service knowledge management system (SKMS).

Service Operations Process

The Service Operations process area provides an opportunity to see the benefits of each of the previous process areas, in action. This process area covers the coordination and carrying out of activities and processes at the agreed-upon levels, for your business users and customers. Management of events, incidents, problems, and access are all covered under the processes of Service Operations. Artifacts generated as part of this process area include: operational requirements, financial reports, and operation performance data and service records.

Continual Service Improvement

Continual Service Improvement (CSI) differs from the other four process areas because it involves incremental or large-scale improvements across a service lifecycle. CSI involves more than just measuring current performance. It incorporates understanding of what to measure, why it is being measured, and what the successful outcome should be. All processes should have clearly defined objectives and actionable measurements, which will lead to actionable improvements. Artifacts generated as part of this process area include: change requests for improvement implementation, service improvement plans, updates to the SKMS, achievement of metrics against KPIs, and service reports and dashboards.

Implementing an ITIL framework of iterative continuing processes can help service provider organizations improve their “x,” in a defined and measured manner. By following the processes of strategy, design, transition, operations, and CSI, organizations can reduce inefficiency, and deliver greater value to their customers.

 

ITIL Certification – Why You Need It, How To Get It

ITIL Certification: Why You Need It, How To Get It

Takeaway: ITIL focuses on the basics that matter to business: how to improve IT services, increase productivity and cut costs. That makes it a good bet for IT professionals.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework for best practices in IT service management, and a good one at that. It’s recognized all over the world as one of the key certifications for IT professionals. Plus, it’s one of the highest paying IT certifications out there. That’s because ITIL focuses on the basics that matter to business: how to improve IT services, increase productivity and cut costs. Want to boost your professional resume? Here’s how to add ITIL certification to your job-hunting arsenal.

Why ITIL Matters

ITIL ensures that an IT professional knows the best practices and the best solutions in any IT service management situation. ITIL’s framework helps improve IT operations no matter where the organization is in the service management life cycle, and it helps businesses by reducing costs while also improving IT services. What’s more, a lot of organizations and professionals view ITIL as a sort of common language or model, which makes its related skills more transferable between organizations.

Those in IT financial management, continuity management, availability and capacity management, service level management, and service desks stand to get the most out of ITIL training and certification. Thousands of companies all around the world – including some of the world’s largest technology companies – even have this certification as a requirement.

ITIL Certification Guide

If you’re interested in pursuing the ITIL certification, there are a few things you should know.

1. The Basics
ITILv3 has five different certification levels:

  • ITIL Foundation
  • ITIL Intermediate Level
  • ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle
  • ITIL Expert Level
  • ITIL Master Qualification

The most popular of these is the ITIL Foundation certification, which is the first step to all further ITIL certifications. While a foundation-level certification is usually enough, those who are looking for higher and managerial positions would do well to get both an intermediate-level and expert-level certification.

For foundation-level certification, it is recommended that you have 16.25 hours of instruction with an accredited training organization (ATO) or any accredited institution.

2. The Test
The test itself has 40 multiple choice questions that must be answered in 60 minutes. If you are answering in a language that is not your native language, you can use a dictionary and have 75 minutes to complete the exam. This supervised test has a 65 percent pass rate

The ITIL Expert in IT Service Management certification is finally obtained by accumulating credits via the earlier levels. The Master level may be achieved through five years of on-the-job experience in leadership, managerial or higher management roles.

Clearly, studying for all levels at once is impossible. Keep it simple by preparing yourself for the examination that you are taking. ITIL generally involves intensive study and tough exams as well as work experience, so if you’re looking to take the higher levels of ITIL, it’s best to approach them one by one. (You can find out more details about each test at the ITIL’s official website.)

3. Study Guides
ITIL consists of five volumes covering specific practices of IT service management. If these have you dumbfounded, you might need study guides to help you narrow down what you need to know to pass the exam you’re taking. There are many online resources and training courses that can help your prepare.

That said, be aware that there are a lot of providers offering study guides and training courses that are as expensive as the examinations themselves, if not more so. If it’s in your budget, these can be good resources, but there are also free resources online. All you need to do is search for them.

Similarly, official ITIL publications are expensive, but less-expensive books are available from other providers. These books can be helpful, but the quality of these resources varies widely.

4. Preparation and Practice
Search online for practice exams. These are often free and you can do as many exams as you want. Not only will you get a feel for what types of questions will appear on the actual exam, but you will also learn how to answer them. This will help you pace yourself in the actual exam and help you become familiar with the multiple-choice format that the ITIL exam uses.

While taking practice exams, take note of the kind of multiple-choice questions that are included in the exam and find out the best way to answer them. Do not leave a question blank – ITIL does not penalize wrong answers.

Getting ITIL Certified

ITIL may include an exhaustive set of guidelines, how-to’s and best practices in its framework, but if you have been working as an IT professional for quite some time, you are probably already familiar with these principles. Nevertheless, despite all the tips, tricks and tidbits about ITIL online, nothing can guarantee a passing grade beyond sitting down and studying hard for the test.

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