CIO at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Michael Beckett used an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework to bring about positive change in the organisation’s perception of IT.
Listed below are ANSTO CIO Michael Beckett’s top tips on deploying ITIL effectively.
1. Realise that deploying ITIL will take time
It took us 2.5 years to put the basic set of ITIL services in place to begin to see the turnaround. The message is that you won’t do this in the space of six months or a year.
It becomes a capacity issue, since you still have your normal day-to-day work to do. So it’s also something that you yourself, not someone from outside the organisation can do, because part of what you’re dealing with is cultural change. People have to want to do it and adopt it, and do it in addition to their normal work.
2. Look for partners
Despite the need to manage ITIL internally, we did end up going outside for a partner. We got someone to come in and do a no-holds barred ITIL assessment. Knowing how good, bad or indifferent we were let us understand what the issues were. We went off and found groups we could do benchmarking with so as to assess how well we were doing with ITIL — we joined Help Desk Association Australia and the IT Service Management Forum.
After 18 months we stepped outside the organisation to do a second round maturity assessment from an ISO 20,000 perspective. We knew that at some point ITIL and ISO 20,000 will merge, so as that’s the long term direction, we wanted to know where we stood in relation to both those things.
3. Take your ITIL in manageable chunks
You have to slice your ITIL program up and do it in sections or elements. Sit down with the business, hear what it wants and talk through its priorities. That will help you determine what your priorities are.
We identified 10 to 15 ITIL-type services and that lead us to incident, problem, change and left release to last. There are 15-odd processes in ITIL, and you can’t do them all at once or in parallel. A number of them overlap, too, so you will need the same people, which gives you a capacity issue.
4. Take a project management approach
Treat ITIL like a project and manage it, either through some form of project management office or capability. Why? Because our ITIL journey took us 2.5 years. You have to scope things and manage a number of issues and risk. Applying decent project management to it is key.
5. Adopt and adapt
Don’t treat your ITIL framework as a literal interpretation. You need to be aware that you will need to make changes to make ITIL fit your particular circumstances .
We combined a number of ITIL processes, such as Availability and Capacity. We also defined two services which weren’t even in the ITIL framework — a PMO function and a knowledge management function. We renamed the ITIL Service Catalogue and made it our Core Services.
People talk about looking at everything, including ITIL, through from the perspective of people, process and technology. We found a fourth element. The fourth is communications.
You are going to have to include some form of communication activity and run it as how well you communicate your changes, publish your results, and that will let you connect to your senior management group.
If you communicate well then you can start a conversation about moving away from supply-side IT to the demand side. Our success with ITIL has opened the door to doing a number of large scale cap-ex projects as we have everything on the supply side under control through ITIL.
For more on ANSTO’s ITIL benefits see CIO’s January story.