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ITIL Practitioner: blending best practices to deliver customer value

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ITIL® Practitioner was launched two years ago, expanding IT service management (ITSM) practitioners’ capability to deploy and derive value from the ITIL framework.

Since then, how has the guidance helped people on the frontline of delivering IT services? AXELOS spoke to US-based consultant and trainer John Custy:

ITIL Practitioner has given my customers a different way of how to move forward with continual improvement and best practices.

John CustyBy that, I mean any best practice they’re looking at; creating a different way of thinking in which there is no “silver bullet” or only one way to begin. Previously, organizations tended to operate similarly by starting in the easiest (or where many other organizations began), rather than looking for what changes would provide the most value to their customers/business.

And the guidance is also focused on how to be successful – e.g. communicating what you’re doing, dealing with transparency (one of the major customer complaints) and helping customers recognize the value their organization is getting from the investment in ITIL. All nine principles are important but often it is two or three of them, when focused on, will facilitate the desired outcomes faster.

Complementing multiple best practices

ITIL Practitioner is proving itself a good stepping stone for how to address best practices in general, not just ITIL®. Plus, its application goes beyond IT services. In the past two years I’ve seen companies moving more to enterprise service management and having discussions about an enterprise service catalogue across various functions. So, ITIL Practitioner has been part of that, supporting the drive to make changes and improve services in areas such as facilities and HR. Using the 9 guiding principles in ITIL Practitioner is understandable by all service providers.

The focus is on customer value and thinking about how to use ITIL Practitioner’s 9 Guiding Principles; and while all 9 are important, each organization will often focus on improving a few for each initiative.

To focus on value, the first challenge is ensuring business goals are clear and how each function contributes to those business goals; then organizations can look at how each initiative will increase the value to the business. Service providers need to better communicate how changes are linked to business goals.

Ultimately it’s about developing the mindset of how to identify the right services (and improvements to those services) to customers regardless of the best practice framework you’re using. From a services management perspective, customers need to see that the IT organization is contributing more value and helping to achieve business goals.

Today, IT affects affect almost every business process. A successful service requires more than just IT components; it also needs customer assets, as well as the service owner understanding the business viewpoint.

ITIL Practitioner helps bring together all the functions that provide business service capabilities to think the same way about what they’re doing.

Adopting ITIL Practitioner in 2018

For any organization, ITSM professional or manager responsible for service delivery considering ITIL Practitioner this year, the primary benefit is providing a consistent way to identify changes/improvements, and ensuring that they align to business value – facilitating success for the business as well as the service provider. It is a way of building a foundation across the organization so that all groups understand the rationale for prioritization and providing a method of looking at opportunities in a way it hasn’t been done before.

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