When I analyze the tangible results my organization has achieved as a result of employees being ITIL® competent, the return is undeniable.
The benefits of ITIL training are threefold: differentiation, service improvement and cost saving.
In 2012, levels of ITIL training and competency within my organization were low, with members of the team unsure how to effectively implement the service lifecycle. We couldn’t claim to be ITIL proficient when completing bids and proposals and, consequently, were not selected for major contracts. So, we made the decision to certify about ten members of our team to the ITIL Expert level and for them to become Accredited ITIL Trainers. We then began a wide roll-out of training within the company. Four years on, we’re really reaping the rewards.
Increasingly, ITIL certification is a requirement of many Government IT Service Management (ITSM) contracts we bid for and now we can confidently state our levels of accreditation and celebrate our resulting successes and achievements. Being able to answer bid questions with the right language and terminology gives us the competitive edge. But what is most powerful is our ability to present evidence of how ITIL best practices have helped other Government programmes. Personally, since 2012 I have participated in (and won) $7 billion in new contract wins.
Alongside the benefits of winning work, our ITIL training has also made sure we’re more effective in actually delivering it.
In my view, one of the most significant benefits of ITIL is its continual service improvement (CSI) approach. While some people may think that ITIL isn’t relevant in their environment, that’s very much a myth. CSI applies everywhere as nothing is perfect and you can always improve. Through CSI you make services more effective, efficient and customer focused; but there are softer benefits too.
Currently, I’m working on a programme that employs about 2,000 people worldwide. This programme has a CSI register where members of the team can make improvement suggestions. This has created huge collaboration in addition to improving services at a tremendous cost savings. There’s also a real morale boost when the team sees its ideas come to fruition.
In applying ITIL’s CSI seven-step improvement process we’ve achieved huge financial savings. By reviewing our current agreements with vendors we have identified and stripped out services we were paying for but not using, achieving a $20M cost saving.
Our in-house approach to ITIL training has saved us about $600K on external consultancy and materials. With a team of ten ITIL experts within the company, we can deliver training to our employees around the world on demand.
Play the long game
Undoubtedly, ITIL training has delivered a robust return on investment for my organization. But it’s important to remember it is a long term investment to obtain ROI. Unfortunately, it’s this lack of immediate return that can sometimes preclude management investing in training.
Ultimately, a leadership team wants to know how any investment is going to save or make money, and it’s the job of senior IT professionals to show that impact, and often. Senior stakeholders in any business need to know what a person or investment has done for them lately and ensure any outlay they are making is as relevant today as it was at the beginning.
To overcome this, senior IT professionals need to be in constant dialogue with leadership to show the value of their training through projects and programmes. But as well as showing them the quick wins – what they’ve achieved in six months or a year – it’s important to remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Measuring and realizing the value and importance of training is a never-ending cycle.
See our ITIL section for more information.
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