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ITIL newby. Please help.

 
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MitchellF
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Joined: Jul 20, 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:02 pm    Post subject: ITIL newby. Please help. Reply with quote

I am a newby

I have been recently tasked with ITIL like procedure manufacturing for our small company of 300+ employees. I say ITIL like because my CIO (boss) likes the word ITIL, but doesn't really want to follow all as it will cause a lot of red tape.

I took the ITIL essential crash course (1 1/2 days) and passed the cert so I am absolutely a novice. I have procedure writing and ISO experience so it is nothing that too aggresive for me to learn. It is just a different terminology for me to learn and master.

Anyway, I have written a Change Management and Incident Management procedure according to what we are doing here. CM and IM and the whole concept came to me rather easily and we already have a pretty good process in place, but I am struggling already with what is next. My boss is breathing down my neck already for the next phase.

Problem, Release or Configuration?

I am having a hard time grasping PM and how it will work in our organization. I have started a document on PM, but it just thye ITIL basics.

Can anyone help me with what may be next? I would also like to get some PM, RM and Conf.M. example procedures, if possible.

Thanks
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3292
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You dont want much do you ? In my not so humble opinion, your boss (CIO) has set you up for failure.

As you have said, you dont have enough experience in ITIL and are expected to write processes/procedures for Incident.. change etc.

The red/blue books (service delivery/support) ITIL v2 have the details on the process, procedures, policies from a general IT/IS point of view but it wont say what / how you should adapt it to your organization. Check CCTA or itSMF web sites for the books for ITIL v2 & v3.

Any process or procedure that requires staff to follow the plan is 'red tape'. It is an necessary evil so that IT/IS is not unorganized chaos.

From what I can infer from what your boss is saying (CIO), this is what has happened. Sarcasm enabled

In a magazine, seminar or trade show that the CIO attended, he(she) heard the word ITIL spoken along with COBIT, ISO27001, ISO20000 etc

So he realizes that the company needs to implement the 'words', but while he wants to implement the 'word', he does not want to enforce the implementation. He just wants to wave a sheet of paper that says ... see we have implemented ITIL.... either to sell something or etc....


Part of the statements about implementing ITIL in an organization is to get the Senior mgmt buyin before you even start. If your CIO is half interested... then the implementation will be done poorly

You need to ask/tell your boss the following things

Why do we need ITIL ?
DO we need against our internal IT / IS organization
Do we have a Service/Help Desk or NOC ?
Do we have a tool set that we can use to implement ITIL (Incident mgmt, problem mgmt, change, and release mgmt)
Do we have any other staff with ITIL training ?
# of Foundation
# of Practioners
# of Manager Certificate (Master's (US))
Are we going to get more people trained ?
What is the time line for doing this ?
How much money is willing to be invested in this ?
Capital expenditure ?
Am I to do this full time
Should we involved outside consulants / support for the tools

I personally think you have bitten off more than you can handle and possibly implement ITIL in a good manner.

One thing I do not see any where in your psot is how you are handling Configuration Mgmt and the CMDB ?

Definitions - quick & dirty

Incident mgmt - the management of any event which is not part of the normal service and the resolution of the incident to restore service as soon as purpose. This would include send the work to system, network and application staff to fix and restore.

The Service Desk manages all incidents from begin to end - regardless of who fixes it

Problem mgmt - the management of trying to find the underlying root cause of an problem. A problem is any incident for which there is no work around or solution and where the root cause is unknown. Not all incidents generate a problem. Problem mgmt is not concerned with the restoral of service but what caused the incident.

Release mgmt - implementation of changes to any Configuration Item - h/w, s/w, etc - atribute or feature that is tracked, managed etc through the CMDB

Change mgmt - management of release to ensure that the releases are shceduled, planned and approved prior to the implementation

Config mgmt - mgmt of the IS/IT assets that are used in the other disciplines. Identifies, verifies all assets

That is just Service Support
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Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Guerino1
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Joined: Jan 01, 2006
Posts: 500
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Re: ITIL newby. Please help. Reply with quote

Hello Mitchell,

Please find my responses embedded, below...

MitchellF wrote:
I have been recently tasked with ITIL like procedure manufacturing for our small company of 300+ employees. I say ITIL like because my CIO (boss) likes the word ITIL, but doesn't really want to follow all as it will cause a lot of red tape.


Your CIO is correct. Following ITIL to the letter will be a tremendous amount of red tape for an enterprise of your size. It will cripple you. My recommendation is that you go after an "ITIL-Lite" approach. First of all, it's important to understand that there is no real criteria for being ITIL compliant. You can literally hang a sign on your door that says "ITIL" and call yourself ITIL compliant. Next, it's extremely important to understand that there is not one enterprise that is on record that has formally implemented every piece of ITIL. The reality is that it's too costly even for the big enterprises to simply drop everything they're doing and try to implement ITIL. The fact is that ITIL just can't guarantee an ROI that makes it worthwhile to pursue it, to the letter.

This being said, an ITIL-Lite approach is something you definitely "can successfully" go after implementing. This means you take away the core principles of each discipline and do what you can to implement them, in a way that makes sense for your enterprise:

Incident Management:

  • Track all Incidents in one place
  • Ensure you have at least a light process in place to address your Incidents.
  • Ensure you have an appropriate escalation policy.
  • Ensure that your process has some basic governance


Problem Management:

  • Track all Problems in one place
  • Ensure that you have a process in place to address them
  • Ensure that your process has some basic governance


Change Management:

  • Track all Changes in one place
  • Ensure that you have a process in place to address changes
  • Ensure that your process has some basic governance


Asset Management:

  • Track all Assets in one place
  • Ensure that you have a process in place to address changes
  • Ensure that your process has some basic governance


Etc.

All of this is common sense for most enterprises and can be implemented very successfully, with very little effort.

Quote:
Anyway, I have written a Change Management and Incident Management procedure according to what we are doing here. CM and IM and the whole concept came to me rather easily and we already have a pretty good process in place, but I am struggling already with what is next. My boss is breathing down my neck already for the next phase.


The reality is that you can jump the curve on ITIL if you take a wider, more horizontal approach, than taking a vertical "one-process-at-a-time" approach. Most enterprises make the mistake of going a mile deep and an inch wide. You can get much more out of ITIL if you go wider than you do deep.

Quote:
Problem, Release or Configuration?


I personally like Release Management (but not the way ITIL defines it). If you implement a very detailed RM process, you can see a great deal about how your enterprise works. The reason is that Assets, Products, Services, Changes, etc. all move "through" your Release Management process. You can use RM to tie them all together.

Recommendation: Stay as far away from Configuration Management as you can. Most enterprises we deal with get it wrong, more often than not. For an enterprise that's your size, I wouldn't recommend the risk of trying to implement it. Far too few firms show any ROI at all, when it comes to Configuration Management. Most completely confuse it with Asset Management. Most also implemented a very limited form, where the scope is far smaller than it needs to be. Not having thought out the long term requirements to address the bigger scope, their tactical solutions act as severe limitations that hamper their ability to grow and adjust.

Quote:
I am having a hard time grasping PM and how it will work in our organization. I have started a document on PM, but it just thye ITIL basics.


The fastest and simplest way to implement Problem Management is to implement it as a Defect Tracking and Management process. Defect Management and Problem Management are rather synonymous. The key is to document and formally address your Defects. This won't address all Problems but it will get you a long way, very quickly.

Anyhow, I certainly hope this helps.

My Best,

Frank Guerino, CEO
TraverseIT
On-Demand ITIL
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jpgilles
Senior Itiler


Joined: Mar 29, 2007
Posts: 123
Location: FRance

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:56 pm    Post subject: Re: ITIL newby. Please help. Reply with quote

Guerino1 wrote:

Recommendation: Stay as far away from Configuration Management as you can. Most enterprises we deal with get it wrong, more often than not. For an enterprise that's your size, I wouldn't recommend the risk of trying to implement it. Far too few firms show any ROI at all, when it comes to Configuration Management. Most completely confuse it with Asset Management. Most also implemented a very limited form, where the scope is far smaller than it needs to be. Not having thought out the long term requirements to address the bigger scope, their tactical solutions act as severe limitations that hamper their ability to grow and adjust.

Although I would agree you need to be cautious with Config Management , as most companies either try to go too far or don't go far enough in this area, I totally disagree with the idea that you can implement ITIL, even in a "light" mode, without any type of Config. Management.
Conf Management is at the heart of ITIL , and most of the processes won't deliver half of the expected benefits, without a proper conf management.
Just a few examples:
1) Incident management: your process should, at least, plan for assigning priorities to incidents and treat them by priority. According to ITIL, priority should be based on business impact: how do you expect the Help desk operators to be able to determine the business impact of an incident without proper config information about which services and business processes rely on the affected component? If you think they will , with experience, understand the business impacts of technology , frankly speaking: you are dreaming... not condidering any outsourcing of help desk activities to a third party providing support to several different businesses...
2) change management: how to asses the impact of a change without proper configuration information? How to identify potential not authorized changes without "baseline"?
3) Continuity: speaks for itself. what can you do without config managment? asset management will not be sufficient to tackle all he issues, especially if your plan include partial or gradual disaster recovery plans.
4) Problem management and other process require some level of conf management to work and provide benefits.

So the question is not really whether you need Conf Mngt or not, but what level of cfg mngt you need. And I fully agree with Frank and others: it is a really though issue....

BR
JP
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Ed
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Joined: Feb 28, 2006
Posts: 411
Location: Coventry, England

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michell

I agree with most of the points above, (Ido not agree with staying away from Config Management, in this I am with JP) and if you want to take Frank's suggestion and go with 'ITIL-Lite' Google for the FITS site.

Regards

Ed
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Guerino1
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Joined: Jan 01, 2006
Posts: 500
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: ITIL newby. Please help. Reply with quote

Hello JP,

jpgilles wrote:
Although I would agree you need to be cautious with Config Management , as most companies either try to go too far or don't go far enough in this area, I totally disagree with the idea that you can implement ITIL, even in a "light" mode, without any type of Config. Management.

Conf Management is at the heart of ITIL , and most of the processes won't deliver half of the expected benefits, without a proper conf management.


While I agree with you in principle, the reality is that very few enterprises that implement ITIL go after implementing CfM, up front, if at all. It really is a very low percentage that we see, who have gone after implementing CfM. Most we deal with don't have any formal implementation of CfM, at all. The statistics we see are that enterprises go after Incident Mgmt. and/or Change Mgmt., first and/or second and then go after Problem Management third. Very few get beyond this point, successfully, without realizing that the investment for ITIL to work is very large. So, they usually stop around this point to reassess their strategy.

The truth is that most enterprises in the world work fine without any form of ITIL CfM. Most tend to put things like Help Desks in place first, which becomes very low hanging fruit for Incident Management implementation (which is why so many enterprises go for that, first).

However, I do agree with you that you start to see the real benefits of ITIL when you get to the point of putting in a proper CfM solution. However, there are very few enterprises that do. CfM is just too wide open of a space. Putting in Infrastructure CfM has very limited use without putting in formal Application & Software CfM, which most enterprises can't implement correctly, because their software developers would have to drastically change the way they work to make it happen.

As for implementing an ITIL-Lite version, without CfM, we see it all the time. Not only do we see it, we advocate it for all enterprises, regardless of their size. It's far more cost effective way to see real results.

Anyhow, I hope this helps.

My Best,

Frank Guerino, CEO
TraverseIT
On-Demand ITIL
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3292
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The CMDB (configuration mgmt) does not have to be deep. It just needs to be started as part of the work to implement ITIL

Who are the users
What are the services they use
Are there SLAs
What devices are part of the service
who supports the services/applications/devices

Every Help desk tool I have seen has to have users, customers, services, servers etc in the application.

This is a start

As the information gets used more and more, the various parts want more information.

Then the Asset register (what it really is) gets expanded, related, linked and starts to be a CMDB

It is however... hard and difficult to do this.
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Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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goitilcouk
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Joined: Feb 24, 2007
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My suggestion would be to give up now and if ITIL does float your boat go and find a company who are going to take it seriously to develop your knowledge and skills from.

Having worked for an organisation where the CEO's "liked" ITIL but did not believe in it, your are on a hidding to nothing. We were asked to have customer facing SLA's in for sign off without OLA's/UC's in place - doomed to fail!

The whole approach would worry me. You can not "learn ITIL" in 2 days and then write processes from theory - you have got to live it and breath it, seeing the touch points and asking the question "Is this bit right for us?"

It sound like your boss is playing lip service to meet some objective then trying to do it on the cheap......

Get out now!

Regarding the debate about can you do ITIL without Config, I would say yes you can with a level of success (as we have been doing so for 4-5 years now). Its all about what you want out of the processes and how you apply the framework to your organisation.

Rob
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3292
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob,

Of course you can implement ITIL with a degree of success w/o a CMDB.

Even if you dont have a CMDB (as ITIL defines it), you probably have sufficient data to manage your environment

for incidents - users, customers
for problems - incidents, vendors, hardware, systems, software, versions,
for change - the above
for release - the above plus 3rd vendor data etc
but not config - relationship twix servers, routers, services, s/w, h/w etc

so if you have any data about your assets, the configuration ... etc you have a cmdb is spirit.

Like rum
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ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Guerino1
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Joined: Jan 01, 2006
Posts: 500
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello All,

I think it's important to point out that the "spirit" John is pointing to is that of "tracking appropriate data" and "managing it" through it's "lifecycle". If you're doing this, you're doing your job, appropriately. This is really what ITIL is all about. If you can see it, you can manage it and you can't see it unless you register it and track it.

When it comes to ITIL, taking effective baby steps is all about figuring out what you want to track and how you want to manage it.

The reality is that this is very simple. Simply break down all the "nouns" you use to run your enterprise and it will lead a clear list of things you want to track:

- Assets
- Incidents
- Problems
- Changes
- Risks
- Projects
- Documents
- People
- Organizations
- etc.

The second step is to understand what attributes you want to track for each of all of these. For example, for Asset, you may care about things like:

- Asset Name
- Asset Identifier
- Asset Severity
- Asset Type (The beginning of defining Taxonomies)
- etc.

In essence, you are building an Ontology, which is equivalent to identifying and building out all your high level Configuration Items.

The next step becomes understanding how you're going to capture them and manage them...

- When do we create them?
- Where do we register them?
- When do we modify them?
- Who can modify them?
- What are the key process points in their lifecycle that we care about?
- Etc.

Remember, the key to performing IT properly starts with transparency. Transparency is all about "seeing". You can't see most things in your enterprise unless you make a conscious effort to capture and manage them.

PS: Let's not forget the importance of Rum... Or a good single malt scotch, for that matter...

My Best,

Frank Guerino, CEO
TraverseIT
On-Demand ITIL
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