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An intressting article on sucessfull ITIL implementations

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Another Monday – another week of studies. The focus of this week is to get the written assignment as close to finished as possible. I’ve gattered all my data, had a few formal and informal interviews with managers at the organization I’m investing but I’m still waiting for the longer, structured, interview with the head of the IT division.

I’ve already analysed most of the data and come to most of the conclusions but I would like to get my views confirmed before I hand in the report.
Since the organization I research have an outspoken ambition to implement ITIL and I’ve already started to look at articles about successfully implementing ITIL in general and Service Strategy in particular. I found a somewhat interesting article written by Malcolm Blumberg, Aileen Cater-Steel, Mohammad Mehdi Rajaeian and Jeffrey Soar called Effective organisational change to achieve successful ITIL implementation. Though their research focuses on the socio-technical systems (STS), something I haven’t quite grasped yet, it’s interesting to study their lessons learned. In their study they conclude that “the ITIL implementation was found to require greater effort to be applied to the people component of the STS, followed by process, technology and structure components”. In my experience any successful and effective change – organizational and technical – requires the support and authorization of the people effected by the change; changes are not implemented by formal documents but by discussions and interactions between people.

Benefits Realization Management vs. Service Strategy

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This week is almost over and the introduction to the written assignment is now complete. I’ve looked at a lot of articles on benefit realization management (BRM) for my literature review and it’s interesting to see how BRM and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Service Strategy are aligned.

In the book Benefits realization management: a practice guide (Project Management Institute [PMI], 2019), BRM is said to encompass “standard methods and processes that an organization uses for identifying benefits, executing it’s benefits realization plans, and sustaining the realized benefits facilitated by portfolio, program or project initiatives”. Business strategy is central in BRM since benefits are derived, planed, managed and tracked holistically, beyond the scope of a particular portfolio, program or project.

In ITIL, the practices related to strategy management for IT services, suggests similar activities as BRM. In Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and the book ITIL® Service Strategy (The Cabinet Office [TCO], 2011) the purpose of service strategy is described as a way to “articulate how a service provider will enable an organization to achieve its business outcomes”. Service strategy “establishes the criteria and mechanisms to decide which services will be best suited to meet the business outcomes and the most effective and efficient way to manage these services”. This involves activities such as analysing the internal and external environment to identify risks, constraints or opportunities; engage and to keep relevant stakeholders informed; and to ensure that “strategic plans are translated into tactical and operational plans for each organizational unit that is expected to deliver on the strategy”.

References

  1. Project Management Institute. (2019). Benefits realization management: a practice guide. Newtown Square, US-PA: Project Management Institute, Inc.
  2. The Cabinett Office. (2011). ITIL® Service Strategy. London: The Stationery Office.

Thoughts on this weeks lecture

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Another morning at Greve in Chianti – this place is truly amazing. Yesterday, I was unable to finish the recorded lecture since we had a wine tasting booked at lunchtime but this morning I hurried down to the pool area to watch the rest of the lecture.

Studying Benefits Realization Management at Greve in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy.

 

I really liked the lecture and reading the practice guide to benefits realization management has sprung some ideas on how to improve, or rather how to visualize and emphasise, benefits in the projects I’m involved in.
Benefits realization management is just one of many frameworks, in my organization we use Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) as our primary management practice. It’s interesting to connect these different practices and try to vision how our current way of working could be improved. In ITIL, service strategy and continual service improvement kind of fulfil what benefits realization management tries to do. We have a service portfolio to keep track on all our services, related project and the value they provide. The practices of demand management and business relationship management helps us align our services and projects to the organizational needs. Could benefits realization management improve this somehow?

In my organization benefits realization management could probably help us emphasize on the intended benefits per project. The benefits traceability matrix was shortly discussed during the lecture and as far as I could understand, Gunnar was not a big fan of it. Personally, I liked it and I think it would help me to better grasp the intent of each specific project, how it relates to other projects and help me to monitor that those benefits are actually achieved during the course of the project. The benefits map is also something I’m going to try to influence the implementation of – I like the visual structure of it.

Did you like the lecture? What did you learn? Please leave a comment!