What should you do after your ITIL® Foundation training? Work out where to start

01 Jun 2016

After attending an ITIL Foundation course, or any ITIL course for that matter, one of the difficulties when getting back into the office is “what now?” 

Most likely during the course, you would have found yourself making a mental checklist of what in your organisation needs improvement. I usually mention in my ITIL classes that it is important to consider everything that ITIL contains as a series of suggestions. This means that to every topic and detail, there needs to be one of three paths taken:

  1. What ITIL is suggesting is good, and we already do it. Nothing needs to change if this is the case. Well done!
  2. What ITIL is suggesting is good, but it’s not for us. It is too detailed, too restrictive, too bureaucratic, or just inappropriate for any number of reasons. Again nothing needs to be done if this is the case.
  3. What ITIL is suggesting is a good thing, and we should seriously consider changing the way we work. These are the issues that need to be addressed.

Of course, this could lead to possibly hundreds of different action items for improvements in your department, so where do you start? 

There are a number of different approaches that can be taken. Process assessments can be a good starting point. There are any number of online tools, questionnaires and self-assessments which will provide a basis for the information gathering. These tools will give you a fairly good idea of what processes you do well and which ones you don’t do well, but chances are you already know this! However, this doesn’t mean that this information isn’t useful, it’s just not useful yet. 

You may assess only the operation processes, or only the transition processes, or maybe all of them at once. This will show numerically the maturity of each process, but the starting point for improvement may not necessarily be the most immature process. The best place to start is usually the place which is causing you the most pain. If it is Change Management, then start with Change Management – even if other processes may be less mature.   

This is where the information from the process assessments can prove useful.

A good process assessment will provide not only a maturity “score” but it will hopefully also provide some details on what is not working in that particular process. This will help plan your improvements. 

For example, Change Management may have a maturity of three out of five in your organisation, but there may be one activity (such as Recording Changes or approving them, or even Remediation Planning) which is holding you back. Hopefully the results from the assessment will help pinpoint where you can start to make improvements. 

This is where the ITIL books become useful. The books provide the reference material to help understand exactly what needs to be done and how to do it. There is detailed information in the books explaining what each activity, in each process comprises and how to set it up. Based on the results from the assessments, your own opinion on where the most pain is within your IT Management, and the reference material in the books, you should be able to get an improvement plan underway in no time. 

DDLS offers the full range of ITIL courses from foundation, to the latest Practitioner course, to intermediate and expert level training. For more information on these courses click here and discover how your organisation can benefit significantly by applying the ITIL principles to your work environment.

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