After a 2 day ITIL Foundation boot camp I strangely find myself still enthusiastic about enough process.

What is ITIL?

ITIL is a lifecycle framework for running IT services within an organisation. This generalised set of steps provides both a common framework and language for discussing and designing the IP operations within a company. By using ITIL it is easy to ensure that everything in IT service is covered in a neat orderly and sufficient manner.

The Good

Some very useful things about ITIL from my perspective are in fact the success factors identified by the ITIL authors:
  • non-prescriptive
  • vendor neutral
  • best practice
Also the focus on adaptation of the processes to circumstances is also a highly desirable feature (the enough part of “enough process” and the use of approaches appropriate to the organisation).

ITIL also provides a common language for discussing IT service activities.

Is ITIL everything?

ITIL does not speak to everything … specifically it does not address risk and the details of software development - it is a framework on which an organisation can build working IT service activities.

Using ITIL

Even if the processes of ITIL are not employed by the organisation, knowing them and having a consistent framework can aid an individual practitioner towards areas of improvement in service delivery. Best results will come from an organisation committed to both the principles and practice of ITIL. Unfortunately, a gorilla approach to implementing ITIL by an individual is unlikely to work as without strong management support it is hard to create both the policy and culture required to transition from a seat-of-the-pants reactive approach to Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle focusing on continual improvement. The temptations of reactive heroic actions are hard to overcome without reinforcement.

Finally one of the things which drew me to ITIL was the Visible Ops Handbook from The Visible Ops approach took on the language of ITIL describe how it works within an organisation. Although what they did is not strictly ITIL (in fact they only deal with part of the lifecycle) the embracing of the ITIL language makes it more accessible to organisations. Post the course I still feel the approach has great merit - offering IT the opportunity to shift from uncontrolled fire fighting to proactive production.