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Editor's Corner
Editor's Pick
Feature Articles
» Do's and Don'ts for a Successful ITIL Implementation
» ITIL Version 3 News

Editor's Corner

"Volatile", "tenuous", "fluctuating" - these words will sound familiar to you if you have been cautiously watching the ups and downs of the DJI, STI and SEHK's. No, these are not new acronyms from ITIL Version 3.0 : ) For those of you who are unintiated, I am talking about the stock markets. We've read the story of the undergraduate in singapore who gained $80k in profits but lost $700k in the stock market within 3 months. It makes you wonder if these folks have any regard for the fundamentals of investments. Does anyone believe in earning through hard work anymore? I guess this undergraduate has learnt his lesson the hard way.

Alright... this is not the Business Times but we sincerely hope everyone has been riding the bulls and reining in the bears of the market well.

The term "ROI" has become a comon word in several of my conversations with friends in the IT field recently. A particular acquintance, whom I will call "John" (to protect his anonymity), was tasked the noble responsibility of launching an IT service improvement program in his company. He is convinced that any form of standardized IT processes will be a great leap forward in his IT organization that is plagued by service quality issues, daily doses of escalations and incessant customer demands, not fogetting hordes of disgruntled users whom have some rather strong and unfavouable opinions about the quality of IT services.

John's particular challenge to get the ITIL program started is that his management seems to have a rather skewed and unrealistically high perception of what ITIL should deliver. The management will agree to the budget to implement tools and getting consulting help only if John can commit to attaining maturity level 4 for 10 processes within a year and $X of cost savings. Stories of companies who saved USD 100 million and 40% of their IT budgets with ITIL are excellent inspirations but these targets are tall orders for many others who are struggling just to put their houses in order. What most people fail to realize is that implementing ITIL should be more than a financial or a maturity level's game. IT cost savings may be realized, but there is more that defines "IT Service Quality" than costs. "Metrics for IT Service Management" offers good guidances on which metrics to define in order to measure "sucess". Another caveat to this: it requires pure hard work. Do not expect that you can fully implement processes in a matter of days or weeks. It takes time for IT staff to adapt and use the new processes and demonstrate incremental sucesses.

For John, after some research and deliberation, he is charging ahead with his proposal but has managed to put in a list of tangible benefits measured by clearly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) with realistic targets in a phased manner. I wished him luck for his business case presentation to the IT Steering Committee, confident that he has put together a sensible pitch.

So is ITIL a good investment? We dare say "yes", but I would liken it to a good old blue chip stock that yields consistent dividends and returns over time. There can be quick wins but there are no shortcuts and you have to be in it for the long haul.

In this issue of the newsletter, we bring you more on the "fundamentals of investments" in ITIL: an article on the "Do's and Don'ts" and an Asian perspective on ITIL's likelihood of success in Asia. Of course, we continue to trail the upcoming release of ITIL version 3.0.

The Editors:

Cindy Ling, Ho Eu Jin, Chan Hwee Hiong

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you think that ITIL is a good investment that delivers the required ROI? What are the experiences or issues you have encountered when determining the ROI's of ITIL? Send us your views and comments to “Letters to the Editors”


Mar 2007

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Editor's Pick

ITIL Can Succeed in Asia

A brief counter to traditional arguments against comprehensive adoption of ITIL by Asian organisations
By Peter Hind
CIO Asia

Will the movement to embrace ITIL in Asia fail? In the recent Fairfax IT Leaders Agenda survey, 23.6 per cent of Southeast Asian respondents reported that their organisations had implemented ITIL. Moreover, a further 44.8 per cent expected to be implementing ITIL by the end of next year. Yet, if a reported ‘IT Sceptic’ is to be believed, they are probably wasting their time.

In a recent article on ITSMWatch, the self-professed ‘IT Sceptic’ makes the extraordinary statement that ITIL is unlikely to succeed in much of Asia due to “its formal nature and its emphasis on accountability, ownership and management by measurement, all of which are an anathema to many Asian cultures”. The author claims a level of understanding of Asian culture that would make a writer for Lonely Planet travel guides envious. Yet I would challenge his assertions on several fronts.

At its heart, ITIL is a series of guidelines for establishing best practice processes in IT service delivery and support. It is not something you can simply implement in a project.

Instead it is an organisational journey to best practice. This difference in perception is important as it influences the goals you set for the activity and how you “sell” ITIL to both your staff and business colleagues. In effect when you adopt ITIL, you are embracing a culture change within the IT department.

This excerpt was taken from CIO Asia' Jan/Feb edition. Read the full article at this link

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Feature Articles

Do's & Don'ts for a Successful ITIL Implementation

- by Peter Edwards

There are many conflicting stories about the benefits and successes of implementing ITIL. On one side, META and IDC have reported statistics showing the success of implementing ITIL, including the following:

  • 85% resolution of customer calls at First Point Of Contact
  • Cost per call down by 30%
  • 79% reduction in downtime     
  • Total savings per user of C$800 p.a.

    On the other hand, Forrester has made the following observation:
    "Forrester has learned of spectacular failures in implementing ITIL as well as many success stories ... and a clear pattern."

    At a personal level, many of us have heard of both successes and failures in the implementation of ITIL. So what makes an ITIL implementation successful? In this article, we would like to propose a list of “Do’s and Don’ts for a successful ITIL Implementation. This list has been collated from both global and local experience. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list, nor is it a prescriptive list. However, we hope that it will provide some guidance to those of you who are planning to commence an ITIL implementation program.

    Don't: Implement ITIL for ITIL's sake
    Clearly a worst practice has been an “ITIL-for-ITIL’s-sake” approach to adoption and implementation. In other words, don’t start an ITIL implementation because it is the popular thing to do, or your peers are doing it. These efforts are usually characterized by the lack of adequate funding and limited management commitment – grass-roots enthusiasm morphing into islands of fragmented efforts with no top-down support. These good intentions typically lead to higher costs coupled with scrap, rework and delayed benefits.

    Don't: Implement ITIL purely to Achieve a Certain “Score”
    Generic service management assessments indicate that you should start with improving any process that appears to be the least capable. But is that really the case? You may learn that you are a level “1” or a “2” on some arbitrary scale but then what? Discovering general weakness in a certain process may be helpful in getting someone’s attention, but it is not enough information to “act” on in any meaningful way. An ITIL implementation program that is focused on reaching a certain level of maturity will probably not receive long-term support from the business. If the goal of your program is to achieve “ITIL maturity level 3 or above”, the business will see little benefit in this statement, and you will not receive long-term support or resources for the program.

    Don't: Implement ITIL Without Understanding the Whole Picture
    Another “worst practice” has been to view service management as a number of very limited concepts. Very often, “We implemented ITIL” really means that the company promoted widespread ITIL education and then attempted improvements to its service desk, incident and change management processes. Plans to address other complex processes such as configuration management typically have not yet been formulated, while service level management suddenly becomes a highly political issue. Despite the popularity of ITIL education, many IT organizations still attempt an unbalanced or unfocused approach to adopting service management.

    Do: Establish the Business Benefits and the Business Case
    At the commencement of an ITIL project, it is critical that you establish clear, measurable objectives that will drive benefits in service quality and/or cost reduction that the business is looking for. Therefore, you will need to:
    Understand the business and IT strategy – where you are going
    Understand your current capabilities
    Understand which capabilities are important now
    Understand which capabilities are labor-intensive, expensive to operate or error prone 
    Prioritize what areas need attention first
    Diagnose the areas of highest priority

    Do: Establish Metrics for the Program
    Objectives are best when they are clear, documented and measurable. Success will require two sets of metrics – those related to implementation and those related to the operational results of the solution itself. All the old maxims still apply:
    What gets measured gets done.
    Inspect what you expect.
    What can't be measured won't be agreed upon.

    Do: Obtain Executive Support for the Program
    There are many demands on IT resources, and unless the ITIL Program has executive endorsement and commitment, resources will regularly be re-assigned to address other urgent operational issues. This will result in the project not achieving it’s goals, or significant delays in the project.

    In addition, an ITIL implementation always requires implementation of new processes, and often requires changes in organizational roles and purchases of new tools. Such changes normally require executive endorsement, and if you are unable to obtain approval for the changes success will not be achieved.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of case studies that show that if there is senior executive support for an ITIL implementation then significant benefits can be derived.

    Do: Adopt and Adapt
    A basic and generally accepted concept has always been that ITIL describes the generally accepted best practices, but not all the practices. ITIL describes what should be implemented, but not how to implement it – the implementation will differ from organization to organization.

    ITIL implementation can be summed up in the phrase, “adopt and adapt.” The beginning phase in every case includes adopting a standard language and set of service management concepts. Typically the ITIL implementation will commence with education, and an ITIL maturity assessment. These activities provide a basis for an organization to adopt ITIL.

    The second phase is to adapt service management best practices to your unique requirements. During the design and implementation of the ITIL processes you should not get into arguments over the content of one paragraph in one ITIL book compared with another paragraph in another ITIL book, or worrying about whether you are strictly adhering to the ITIL textbooks. Instead, be pragmatic and stay relevant to your organization needs. This is the phase of adapting ITIL to your specific organizational requirements.

    Do: Plan the Program as a Project
    Strategic planning is the first best practice in most business activities, including service management. Service management needs to be planned. Plans should at least include:
    The extent of the service management system and the scope of this particular effort
    The objectives and requirements
    The processes that are to be in scope
    The roles and responsibilities
    The process, organizational and technical interfaces
    The approach to managing risks
    The resources, facilities and budget necessary to achieve the defined objectives
    Tools as appropriate to support the processes
    How the quality of the service will be managed, audited and improved
    The governance model.

    Do: Implement in Phases, with a Clear Scope
    Another common issue with ITIL projects is the tendency to succumb to the all-or-nothing line of thinking; some enthusiasts would have you believe that you have to do it all – now – to get the benefits. Others promote the adoption of a few of their favorite processes due to their limited experience or available tools. While it is important to understand the total scope of ITIL we recommend that you limit the scope of your implementation project by staying focused on your business objectives. The tighter the scope, the lower the risk – and the greater the probability of success in completing your project and getting the agreed-to results.  However, all service management improvement should consider the details within each of the following areas:
    People (roles, job descriptions, etc)
    Process (design, workflows, procedures, etc)
    Technology (ITSM architecture, tool requirements, etc)
    Information (Information flows, measurements, reports, etc)
    Services (Service catalog, definitions, etc)
    Governance of both the implementation program and the on-going management of ITSM within the enterprise

    Do: Talk To and Use People Who Have Done it Before
    There are many companies that have implemented ITIL, some successfully and some unsuccessfully. However, everyone who has traveled the journey can provide you with invaluable experience and advice. Forums such as itSMF provide an avenue for organizations to get-together and communicate about what works and what does not work.

    In addition, there are many consulting companies that have a wealth of templates and tools that will simplify the implementation of ITIL for you, making the project faster and more successful

    We recommend that you use as many of these resources as possible in order to achieve the objectives and maximize the business benefits for your ITIL implementation project.

    Acknowledgements: much of the content of this article is taken from the IBM white paper "IBM Service Management: Practical solutions for today based on 25 years of continuous thought leadership" by Bill Powell, IBM Global Technology Services

    Do you have any opinion on the following topics?
    What is an ITIL assessment, what are maturity matricies, etc, etc?
    How do you do a business case for an ITIL implementation?
    What is the difference between objectives, KPIs, metrics, etc?
    How do you develop a plan for an ITIL project?
    What are the components of an ITIL design project (covering people, process, tools, information, governance)?
    Send us your opinions here


    ITIL Refresh News

    Examination and Accreditation News

    Accreditation: Why it Matters

    APMG's new accreditation scheme is aimed at continuing the development of professionalism in ITIL training to ensure the qualifications are consistent and internationally recognised. It will also mean that candidates can identify trainers who are officially accredited, so they will know the teaching they receive is of the best quality.

    APMG's accreditation scheme requires an accredited training organisation to have:
    • Clearly defined processes
    • Accredited material
    • Approved trainers capable of running each course they offer.

    Without approved trainers a training company cannot be accredited, so registration of their trainers gives a company the right to be accredited. Only accredited companies can use ITIL Intellectual Property (IP) in their training materials and offer examinations directly.

    There are two categories of trainer:
    • Sponsored Trainers with an ITIL Accredited Training Organisation (ATO)
    • Independent or Pool Trainers able to work for any ATO.

    Anyone wishing to study for an ITIL qualification will know that accredited trainers have proven their competence to teach and their knowledge of the subject. A trainer examination is a concept that is being considered as a way of migrating trainers to ITIL V3 by assessing their all-round understanding of the new version.

    APMG: What gives us the authority to accredit trainers?

    APMG is a global business providing accreditation and certification services. Through its international network of Accredited Consultancy and Training Organisations, APMG helps end users develop their professional skills and organisations improve their processes through the adoption of worldwide best practice.

    APMG is the only organisation offering professional qualifications in Programme and Project management with third party independent accreditation through the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). APMG will apply for the same level of certification for its ITIL programmes as soon at possible. APMG is also governed by an independent Ethics Board, which monitors its business practice and helps to ensure it supports the industries it serves in a transparent and responsible way.

    Exam Panel: An international perspective
    APMG has formed its international examination panel for ITIL V3 examinations.

    The exam board has been given the objective of delivering high quality, internationally acceptable examinations to coincide with the delivery of OGC’s refreshed ITIL.

    Sharon Taylor has been appointed as Chief Examiner. She is joined on the panel by a team of experts from around the world:
    • Pauline Angelico, Singapore/Australia
    • Pierre Bernard, Canada
    • David Cannon, USA
    • Rosemary Gurney, UK
    • Signe-Marie Hernes Bjerke, Norway
    • Majid Iqbal, USA/India
    • Vernon Lloyd, UK
    • Ivor Macfarlane, UK
    • Christian Nissen, Denmark
    • Anthony Orr, USA
    • Sergio Rubinato Filho, Brazil
    • Wilfred Wah, Hong Kong
    • David Wheeldon, UK
    • Katsushi Yaginuma, Japan
    • Porter Sherman, USA.

    Sharon Taylor, Chief Author and Examiner for ITIL V3, says: “This panel of examiners brings a truly international view to the development of ITIL qualifications. Each examiner on this panel offers long-standing, world class experience in the ITSM qualifications industry, and represents the views of vendors, ATOs, consultants and consumers of ITIL qualifications. We are all strongly committed to creating a qualification scheme which supports the needs of our global community and to ensure that ITIL qualifications move forward to meet the demands of ITSM professionals today and in the future.”

    Eminent ITIL trainer, consultant and panel member Ivor Macfarlane says, “After 15 years as an ITIL examiner I am delighted to be moving forward with the next generation of exams. APMG has assembled an impressive team from around the world to create the new ITIL examination infrastructure and I am proud and excited to be a part of it. We have the opportunity to build a genuinely international product that reflects the new V3 landscape and I have every confidence that we will do so.”


    A Qualification to be Proud of

    The launch of a newly refreshed ITIL has prompted APMG, as OGC's official accreditor, to revamp the ITIL qualifications. “It's our aim to ensure all the ITIL examinations are valid, accessible and streamlined across international boundaries. We hope that more candidates will attempt the higher ITIL qualifications. These will be made more internationally acceptable, but no less challenging!” said Richard Pharro, APMG's Managing Director.

    APMG has set its exam board the task of creating the new examination and qualification programme to coincide with the launch of OGC’s refreshed ITIL. “It's a challenge, but one that everyone is working towards for the benefit of the service management community” said Pharro.

    ILX Named as First APMG Accredited Provider

    ILX Group plc (ILX), the AIM quoted vocational education and training company, has become the first organisation to be accredited by APMG to deliver ITIL training. ILX will provide both instructor-led and computer-based training for qualifications by APMG.

    Pharro, said “We believe our appointment as OGC's official accreditor for ITIL will help improve guidelines and establish greater standardisation for organisations wishing to adopt ITIL worldwide. As we rely on a network of experienced and high-quality Accredited Training Organisations (ATOs) to help achieve those goals we are pleased to announce ILX as our first ITIL ATO.

    Eddie Kilkelly, Group Operations Director from ILX said, “We are delighted to become the first training company to be accredited by the APM Group to deliver ITIL Training. The appointment of APMG will bring a step change for the industry and will enable us to give greater choice and flexibility to our clients.”

    Agreement Reached Between APMG, BCS-ISEB & EXIN for the Benefit of the ITSM Community
    APMG is delighted to announce it has reached an agreement with EXIN and BCS-ISEB, the existing ITIL examination institutes. The agreement means candidates taking ITIL examinations will have maximum access to the quality training and assessment they require in order to obtain certified ITIL qualifications.

    As the service management community anticipates the arrival of the ITIL Refresh from OGC, expected in Quarter 2 2007, news of this agreement will reassure enterprises committed to ITIL that the training market is unified.

    Richard Pharro, Managing Director APMG, said: “This is a very significant announcement for APMG because we value the expertise and experience of EXIN and BCS-ISEB. Candidates can now be reassured of consistency as the ITIL qualifications evolve. This is quite clearly the best possible outcome as we go forward into a new phase for ITIL, aligning service management more closely with business needs.”

    Pete Bayley, Director of Qualifications for the BCS said: “This is excellent news for our Accredited Providers and tutors as they can continue their business with minimum disruption and with the knowledge that we will be able to provide them with all the relevant information required for a smooth ITIL Refresh transition. We are looking forward to collaborating with EXIN and APMG to develop the new scheme and hope that our experience and expertise will provide a valuable asset to the ITIL Community. BCS recognises that as the IT profession matures, relationships of this nature are important as they help to provide the building blocks for professionalism in IT, which is a key goal of our 50th anniversary year.”

    Joep van Nieuwstadt, CEO EXIN, said: “We are looking forward to joining forces with BCS and APMG. As a global player in the area of certification for IT professionals, we will continue to deliver professional support for the worldwide dissemination of the qualification program in IT Service Management. By working closely together with all of the existing members of the IT Service Management community involved in the current ITIL based certification services, we can continue to safeguard and support the quality of the worldwide recognised certification programme - a programme that has been so successful worldwide over the last 15 years.”

    Jim Clinch, ITIL Refresh Project Chief Editor

    The ITIL Advisory Group

    On Monday, 8th  January 2007 drafts of the refreshed version of ITIL were distributed for public review to approximately 500 people who had registered their interest. It is yet another example of how much this project draws upon the support and contribution of the ITIL community.

    Although OGC is the sponsor for the ITIL Refresh and is accountable for its funding, we could not possibly deliver this project alone. In fact, since its launch, hundreds of people with a vested interest in service management have been involved in some way, maybe during the initial public consultation or perhaps with a defined role in the project.

    We recognise that ITIL is very much a part of the IT service management community and we have attempted to involve the widest possible range of stakeholders. With this in mind, in October 2005 we set up the ITIL Advisory Group (IAG), not only to provide much needed support for the project but also to represent the interests of the global IT service management community. The 27 members were chosen to provide a range of viewpoints: from users to academics, examiners to trainers. This has given us the best possible opportunity to deliver a product that truly meets customer expectations.

    The first task for the IAG was to review the overall programme scope. Comments and suggestions were made via an online forum, and given the international diversity of the group, this proved to be a successful way to bring all members together. A similar review process was carried out for the work packages and author selection.

    Once author teams were appointed, the hard work of drafting the books began. The authors had to work to very strict deadlines and to aid this process we decided to introduce a mentoring scheme. IAG members, with appropriate knowledge and experience, were appointed to each author team to provide expertise and guidance throughout the authoring stage. This amounted to eight groups, one for each core publication and an additional three for technical integration, process model development and terms and definitions coming from the content development.



    For OGC, this was an innovative approach and it is very much in the spirit of best practice, seeking out a significant breadth and depth of knowledge. The mentors provided assistance with specialist areas of expertise and guidance, while ensuring that work was progressing in line with the work packages. This avoided the need for time-consuming major re-writes, as the drafts that were delivered closely matched requirements.

    These drafts were checked by the IAG for consistent, accurate scope alignment and appropriateness of content. Overall, the work of the IAG helped us to deliver a high quality product for public review in January, and we hope that this in turn will ensure that the resulting ITIL V3 publications comfortably meet customer expectations.

    And finally, this article would not be complete without mention of the many ‘champions’ of ITIL. OGC would like to thank everyone throughout the IT service management industry who has encouraged interest and involvement in the creation of ITIL V3. Winning the hearts and minds of the ITIL community for acceptance and adoption of the new version will be the key to its ongoing success.

    On the role of the IAG, Pippa Bass, OGC director, said:

    Essentially, the IAG has provided invaluable advice and guidance throughout the various project processes. We also appreciate that members have given their time free of charge, on a volunteer basis. The benefits of establishing a group of experts are clear and as a result, we are considering establishing similar groups for our other guidance products. The mentoring process was particularly successful and as a result we introduced mentors

    Newsletter Editorial Team: Cindy Ling, Ho Eu Jin, Chan Hwee Hiong

    © 2007 itSMF Singapore Chapter Inc. All rights reserved. Contents of this newsletter may not be republished in whole or in part without prior written permission from itSMF Singapore Chapter.