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Zeal Before Capability

You went to an ITIL® Foundation class. Your instructor painted a picture of the power of a great ITSM framework. It sounded fantastic! You imagined what it would look like if your organization paid attention to strategy or actually spent more time designing services. You could relate to everything your instructor said when he talked about the necessity of change management or why testing is important. You relived your own outages as you studied incident and problem management. You were excited at the prospect of having a CSI program in your company. Everything just made sense. You thought, “This is exactly how it is supposed to work.”

 

The day came when you had to take your test – you were a little nervous but felt mostly prepared. When you finished the exam, you were still a little unsure but didn’t think it was too bad. When you got the results, you were ecstatic – you did surprisingly well. Several other team members had the same experience. In your excitement, you share your newfound knowledge and excitement with your management and suggest some things be changed in the company. Your management seems to be on board with the initiative. And while things are fresh in everyone’s mind, you push hard to start a big initiative focused on ITSM; after all, a good ITSM program should really touch the whole organization.

 

Then, the unthinkable happens. Management says yes! And then reality sets in.

 

What do we do now? Where do we go? I know things are broken here, but can I really fix it? I remember the picture that my instructor painted. That kind of organization would be great. Was he just telling stories, or could we really be that kind of place? How do we get from here to there? Everyone is already overworked with their day jobs. Are they really committed to this? Am I really committed to this? Who will they blame when I add work to their overfilled schedules? What does my management expect? Do we have any hope of success? What does success really look like?

 

Too often, this scenario represents the reality of their ITSM journey. But should it be this way?

 

Imagine, for a minute, a group of elementary school students spends a few hours with an airline pilot. They pilot teaches them some basic flight principles. He talks about thrust, drag, gravity and lift. He describes the basic mechanics and operations of the airplane he pilots. He paints a beautiful picture of a smooth flying experience. The children can all relate to the principles he taught them because they’ve seen these things at work in their daily lives. They are excited about the pleasant nature of how he described a perfect flight. While these children have been introduced to some important concepts, by no means are they experts on the subject of flight; nor would we expect they could walk away from that experience, climb into the cockpit of an airplane, and successfully pilot the craft.

 

There are many who would recognize the absurdity of the elementary school situation who would fail to see the dangers of starting an ill-prepared ITSM initiative. While it is likely you may walk away from a foundation-level course with some ideas and some quick wins, that course, by itself, is in no way an adequate foundation for managing, overseeing, or directing an overall ITSM initiative.

 

When you are planning your ITSM initiative, take the time to ensure you have the right resources with the right training and experience. Ask hard questions in the beginning. Even if you are going to pursue the initiative with only internal resources, it would be a wise investment to have an experienced consultant review or help with your plan.

 

 

 

 

ITIL® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved. The Swirl logo™ is a trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

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