From a business management perspective, executives look to IT for help in keeping their business running smoothly and to maintain the existing operations needed to do so. However, these responsibilities can be a challenge for IT managers, who must also find innovative ways to improve business overall and incorporate new technical requirements.

When practicing service management, IT departments should be able to manage processes as successfully as possible, so that they are able to focus more on overall continual improvement. Can implementing ITIL processes within your organization be the key to improving your current services and delivering a better business experience to your customers?

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you implement ITIL practices among your team.

1) Is your team dedicated to being proactive?

It can be easy to believe that everyone should improve everywhere they can, but this mindset is not realistic. Continual improvement must be consistent.

Therefore, IT managers must find ways to make modest changes and achieve attainable goals. Make a substantial commitment to measuring your data. Decide whether your current processes are working to benefit the business and make changes from there.

Be proactive about improvement, instead of waiting for something to go wrong. Making changes in small increments will lead to a more efficient system down the road.

2) Is tracking incident data important to your team?

Incident management is not very exciting, but it’s necessary to ensure the quality of services delivered to your customers. Fewer incidents mean better service.

When services are available to the customers without disruption, the business can function properly and the customer is happy.

It is impossible to pinpoint the areas of service management that need improvement if you don’t know where most of the problems are occurring. Incident data becomes the basis for how we improve and use other processes like problem management, configuration management, and root cause analysis.

Valuable incident data is crucial to implementing a successful ITIL system.

3) Do you need designated process and service owners?

Governance is a fundamental component of IT service management. If no one is accountable for certain processes, how can we expect to improve them or deliver business value?

Having process owners and service owners doesn’t mean that those individuals do all the work. In fact, all processes should be cross-functional. However, it is important to establish which people have the authority to make certain decisions.

Without the specific focus of process owners, nothing would get done. They decide if they have the right people with the appropriate tools and skills to successfully execute a process.

Service owners keep our eyes focused on the value of services delivered to the customer and ensure a cross-functional effort to supply whole working services.

Without anyone to own these projects, no one has the authority to drive improvements, therefore they just don’t happen.

4) Are you prepared to audit your current processes?

By definition, ITIL is a set of 26 best practices that aid IT service management. And yet, ITIL isn’t so much about the processes themselves but what they deliver. They are intended to deliver a set of services to support business outcomes and do this in a faster, cheaper, and better way.

If your processes are successful individually, yet are unaligned, they will never be as efficient as they have the potential to be. So, as you survey the connections between each of these processes, also keep in mind how they work together to provide a customer with certain end-to-end services.

From both an IT and business management standpoint, improvements happen when we eliminate as many unnecessary steps as possible. Fortunately, through process management and innovations in tooling, IT departments have the capability to cut down on the time and money required to do this.

5) Have you defined your processes?

Obviously, tools are important to service management and eventually you will need them, but they do not help us achieve our targets alone. By defining your processes, you are able to understand your requirements and ultimately discover what you want those tools to accomplish.

Are your processes going to establish and enforce policies? Which processes do you need to actually implement?

Organizations that take the time to define their processes realize that utilizing tools becomes significantly easier once they’ve discovered what they need the tool to do.

*Note: See our attached infographics: “What is A Process” and “Service Operation Model”

6) Are you ready to delegate, instead of relying solely on automation?

Automation can be great if we have a clear understanding of what we want to automate.

Automation can lead to a high level of consistency, repeatability, and control. It can also lead to epic disaster if not used efficiently.

Again, it is critical to first understand what you want to accomplish from your processes. Once you’ve done that, implementing automation can lead to improvements and increased availability of services.

Remember that each of these ITIL processes are not mutually exclusive. They work together. But which ones are you going to focus on as an organization to help drive business initiatives? Automation can help you achieve that focus.

As an IT manager, you should only manage the projects and processes that you have to manage. Everything else you must either delegate or automate.

7) Do you know what data you need, versus what you could get?

When you begin to look at various ITIL process areas, you quickly discover that a “less is more” mentality is a great general strategy to have.

For example, the current amount of data available to IT departments is astounding. Yet, it is more prudent to focus on the information you want, as opposed to the buckets of information you could get. Large amounts of data have the potential to overwhelm you and keep your focus off the particular data you need to get the job done.

Concentrate on critical data to improve critical services. Small iterations are easier to manage and the benefits are easier to deliver.

8) Are you ready to set modest and manageable goals for your team?

You can’t accomplish everything and you shouldn’t try. Commit to small and important victories and build momentum from there.

Getting your processes and procedures in order starts by asking if they are functioning the way you want them to function. If not, take steps to understand why.

Participating in workshops and training sessions will help start the conversation among IT workers about how to make these improvements and ultimately enhance the quality of your services.

If you’ve checked most of the boxes above, implementing ITIL may be a beneficial way to improve IT service management within your business.

When you’re ready to take your team to the next level, QuickStart offers comprehensive ITIL foundations and certification training to give employees the skills to implement a successful service management program.ITIL ProcessITIL Service Operation Model