Why ITIL Doesn’t Work in the Real World

Feeling like the lone ITIL prophet, without honor in your home town? Knowing how much IT Service Management can help, but feeling it will never happen because of the huge gap between ‘here’ and ‘there’?

Been there.ITIL Help

Why IT’IL never work

You’ve been to ITIL training. You know how it’s supposed to work. But there’s so much that needs to change to make it work at your company. And people just don’t seem to ‘get it’. You can’t do it all at once, and yet you can’t do anything until other things are in place.

“ITIL doesn’t work”, you conclude. It’s an idealistic pipe dream that just doesn’t work out in the real world.

ITIL Neverland

Add to that the stories we hear about the big companies and the consultants they employ that have grand plans, big budgets, staff, and CEO support.

It’s enough to make you scream. Or give up.

Maybe both.

Sadly, very few of us live in ITIL Neverland.

Hang on, help is on the way

Here’s the sad reality: ITIL doesn’t work.

It never has and never will.

But, ya wanna know a secret? It’s not supposed to.

It’s like getting lost and saying maps don’t work. A map is just a tool that people use to find their way. In the right hands; valuable.  In the wrong hands; useless.

It’s not some kind of magic potion that suddenly makes everything better.

The truth is, You are the key, and I’ll tell you why.

You know your organization better than any ITIL consultant ever could. Sure, they have decades of experience, and have played in the big leagues. But they’ve never faced your circumstance. Never dealt with the attitudes, behaviors, and cultures unique to your company. They don’t understand your business, and haven’t walked 10 miles in your shoes.

Recognizing the key role we practitioners play, Kaimar Karu, head of ITSM at AXELOS (The company who owns ITIL) recently spoke of “Focusing on the needs of the practitioners, while ensuring the delivery of business value…” (The Future of ITIL® )

I founded ITSMTransition to enable practitioners to bring excellence in IT Service Management to their company. A common thread you’ll find here is that you are the key to excellence in your company.

You see,  ITIL doesn’t create excellence, people do. You are the key. Not budget, staff or CIO support.

You have the passion, the vision, and the knowledge to make great things happen. There are valuable improvements that can be made right where you’re at.

But how?

Excellence; one step at a time

By starting right where you’re at, and taking small steps forward. Don’t get caught up in wishing things were different. Don’t look longingly at other companies who seem to have a wildly fantastic ITSM program.

Steven Covey described the Circle of Influence and the Circle of Control in his infamous Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The concept boils down to this – focus your time and energies on things that you can either influence or directly control. Minimize energy spent on things that merely concern you, or over which you have no control.

In IT Service Management, this means making small improvements in areas where you can. What can you control or influence? Whatever team you’re part of, say, Service Desk, or Network Operations, think about what parts of ITIL might help improve service. Maybe, say, Incident Management, or Problem Management.

But don’t implement ITIL or adopt Service Management. Focus instead on using the guidance to improve service in your sphere of influence. Work for just one thing: increase the value of what you do for your customers.

That’s it. Do that.

Excellence is built one step at a time. The daily practice of continual improvement.

Excellence is contagious

And it gets better. Here’s a simple truth: Excellence is universally attractive.

It’s why we pay attention to professional musicians and athletes. It’s why we listen to successful people; those who have overcome great challenges in life.

By building excellence where you can, you expand your sphere of influence. People will notice and want to be part of it. You’ll find yourself in good company in the middle of a full scale transformation.

You can do this. And as a tool in the capable hands of passionate practitioners, ITIL does work.