Certifying in ITIL Practitioner has been an opportunity for growth and understanding of how IT service management (ITSM) delivers value in the government organization I work for.
In fact, its 9 Guiding Principles have become part of my vision statement because I feel they’re critical to our success.
Though working in IT for almost 30 years, I certified in ITIL Foundation in 2015 and then in ITIL Practitioner a year later. While Foundation helped me identify what I’d been doing right and wrong previously, Practitioner was clearly the way to move forward towards becoming an ITIL expert.
More than anything, it was the clear focus on Continual Service Improvement (CSI) that made sense to me. And it’s not about reinventing the wheel but more about using what already exists and doing it better. It’s allowed me to look at the existing situation in the organization differently, rather than wanting to change everything.
Within Mecklenburg County, North Carolina where I work – a government body serving a number of cities in this part of the state – ITSM is responsible for delivering a range of services to our employees and residents including tax collection, facilities management and social services.
Where the previous ITSM solution had taken calls, raised tickets and provided a help desk, it needed to improve. That has involved a system upgrade and a mapping out of what needs to change. With ITIL Practitioner, I observed what was being done already with a view to making it better.
Using the Guiding Principles
During the course of nine months, I visited each of our 27 departments which have both internal and external customers. My role in doing this was to make sure people are taken care of. By meeting with each department, I found out they had various issues with IT, for example not being transparent or having technology forced onto them without their input being heard. ITIL Practitioner’s Guiding Principles answered these issues by focusing on learning and understanding what they needed and making the right things happen.
Within this, CSI is so important: technology changes regularly and – to excel and provide value to your customers – you need to change or fall behind. So, from transitioning and strategy to design and operations, you have to continually improve how you do things to know you’re still providing value.
ITIL – supporting the ultimate vision
In building an ITSM department at Mecklenburg County, I wanted to break down silos and introduce different response levels to improve the customer experience. This means identifying everyone’s needs and delivering crucial, technical support services and value equally.
The ITIL knowledge is helping me to make my department what it is today and in the future. We are the solution providers and using ITIL best practices and Practitioner has given us the guidelines for how things should be done, with the ability to select what works best in our environment. I have also provided ITIL Foundation training to each of my employees and am hoping that they certify within the next 6-12 months. At least when I speak with them about how I would like to mature ITIL, they can understand what I am talking about.
We’ve built from the ground up and are looking forward to see where we get to next.