As an accredited ITIL trainer and as many people know, especially those that have attended my Axelos®/PeopleCert® approved online certification courses, that I focus as much as possible on business context and relevancy whilst at the same time ensuring the textbook is understood. When people ask me what I mean when I refer to ‘walking the talk’ as opposed to ‘talking the walk’ in the context of ITIL, I could literally spend all day giving specific examples, however, let me very briefly highlight some high-end examples:
We can just talk the walk!
We can promote a progressive modern-thinking mindset based on a collaborative working environment but have a zero-risk appetite, analyse to the point of paralysis, and continue to adopt a silo’d mindset.
We can promote a vision and a commitment to ongoing improvement with zero motivation to achieve the vision, and only ever introduce improvement when things go wrong through corrective action.
We can advertise how we can become a positive asset to our consumers and have zero understanding of the expected values, e.g. we can just carry on fixing and/or building things.
Or we can walk the talk!
We could map service value streams and processes cross-functionally (workflow and behaviour) to policies (mandatory documented statements of expectations), and progress in small manageable increments, and check and act! For example, we should not just focus on incident management otherwise the scope of control will be far too narrow. The focus should be ‘service restoration’ which incident management as a practice is just one of many contributing practices. Other practices do not exist just to help out, they are an integral component of the service (end-to-end) and should be committed and mapped accordingly. This will not only demonstrate more commitment to services (end-to-end) but also improve understanding through collaborative working. Not to mention, introduce more frequent and proactive improvements by progressing incrementally.
We could cascade business strategic goals and objectives to IT organisational goals and objectives, and to IT success factors, metrics and measurement, and cascade again to teams and if need be, to individuals, and check and act! For clarification, an IT organisation cannot define the strategy for the business of which it is a part. It can only align with the business strategy and define the IT strategy accordingly. Cascading these goals, objectives, success factors, metrics and measurement to teams and where relevant to individuals, will enable us to work to a vision together, and identify how we can improve and measure our contributions.
We could map our outputs to expected consumer outcomes and values, along with removing waste and anything that does not add direct or indirect value and check and act! The basis of overall value creation comprises of outcomes, costs, and risks and not to mention, factors such as perception and preferences. If we focus on value in everything we do, and in turn do this in an efficient manner we will truly become a positive asset to our consumers.
In summary, its no good some people or teams understanding this, everyone should!