• Trevor Wilson

Implementing ITIL® 4


This document has been composed through my own personal knowledge and experience as an ITIL trainer on behalf of Axelos®/PeopleCert® combined with real-life experience. In other words, I have not simply copied and pasted from a textbook.

Situation Analysis

Those company organisations who thought that if their employees simply undertake ITIL® training the business would in turn automatically reap the benefits will have already realised that this is far from the truth.

Unless the purpose is to achieve more cosmetic and indirect business benefits then the end-result is almost likely to be disappointing, unless however, the correct infrastructure exists for those employees returning to the workplace after class.

Without the correct infrastructure and strategy, we will see short bursts of self-motivated initiatives however, these will more than often be short-lived. We will see people flirt with designing and partially implementing things in silos until the novelty eventually wears off.

Without the correct infrastructure and strategy people will ‘talk the talk’ but not ‘walk the walk’, meaning people supporting what they say with just words from the textbook without action.

Equally, without the correct infrastructure and strategy those who fail their exam, may end up resenting anything to do with IT service management (ITSM) best practices.

Furthermore, without the correct infrastructure and strategy organisations will expose themselves to losing any knowledge gained in the event employees leave the company.

The issues highlighted lie with those organisations who are unable to embed and institutionalise the principles, methodologies and practices and therefore, placing the organisation with:

  • A sense of failure to meet the desired results

  • The realisation of the costs associated with such failures

  • Questions being asked as to whether ITIL does what it claims to do?

So, how can an organisation establish the correct infrastructure and strategy and in turn, capture and maintain the principles, methodologies and practices learnt in the classroom? Whilst there are several key factors, one significant contributor falls within ‘Organisations and People’.

Organisations and People

Culture & Roles

Definition (Cultural Fit): The ability of an employee or a team to work comfortably in an environment that corresponds with their own beliefs, values, and needs.

Firstly, we need to either redefine the term manager’ to include servant leadership or differentiate managers from servant leaders. Meaning, regardless of title, seniority or executive decision-making we must introduce and promote servant leaders. So, what is a servant leader?

The term “Leadership” focuses on the explicit support of people in their roles

Servant leaders focus on the needs of the organisation, not just their team. Servant leaders think and work holistically (end-to-end). Servant leaders ‘serve’ and ‘support’ the people they lead by ensuring they have the right resources including knowledge. Servant leaders think and work cross-functionally therefore, servant leaders thrive in matrix-based organisational structures (see the diagram at the top of this article).

So, to avoid confusion regarding the term manager’ we will use the term “champions”, or more precisely ITSM champions. Meaning ITSM champions within this document refers to servant leader responsibilities. It goes without saying that managers can also become ITSM champions (servant leaders) however, it should be highlighted that the criteria for an ITSM champion is not a manager’ by default. In other words, subordinates within a management hierarchy can become ITSM champions. It should also be said that not all managers are best suited to become ITSM champions for many reasons, such as an inability to dedicate the time due to other responsibilities that would fall into the context of ‘manager’ and therefore, introduce unwanted distraction.

In the context of ITIL, based on the organisational structure (shown in the diagram at the top of this article) each ITSM champion will have their own speciality, e.g. Create Deliver and Support (CDS), Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV), High Velocity IT (HVIT) and Direct, Plan and Improve (DPI), etc. These specialist topic areas represent the ITIL 4 certification scheme.

For clarification these specialisms comprise of: