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These are 3 main questions you hear as part of the ITIL® Continual Service Improvement (CSI) approach.

We don’t often take enough time to reflect on how things run. We kind of “just do it” because “that’s how we’ve always been doing it”. If we did take a step back and reflect on how we run our IT shop would we be happy with it? Would we truly say we’re doing things per “best practice”?

If you do have a moment to re-design your IT department you would need to ask yourself the ITIL CSI approach questions.

1. What is the vision?Start by setting yourself that goal. Do you want to be business centric? Do you want to be collaborating with the business or do you want to be a service provider as a supplier only? Are you an IT department that follows corporate standards or do you have your own ways of running the show?

2. Where are we now?Look around you and take in what you’ve got. You need a baseline; a starting point. How is the current culture? Will it be able to adapt to change? Are we currently following a framework like ITIL? Do we run our projects using Agile or Waterfall? Do we have the right amount of governance – too much or too little?

3. Where do we want to be?Think of your future world. How would my teams look? What are the roles and responsibilities? Which type of methodology do I want to follow? How do I want to run my projects – Agile or Waterfall? Am I going to follow ITIL?

4. How do we get there?Now do a KRAC on the “as-is” to decide how you’ll reach your “to-be”. KRAC is working out what you want to Keep, Remove, Add, or Change. Do you need to do some training? Do you need a coach on the ground? Do you need to hire new skills?

5. Did we get there?Make sure you evaluate and do your lessons learnt. Measure your success and be open to continuous change.

6. How do we keep the momentum?Now the hard part…. following all the guidelines and rules and governance, and not letting it fall between the cracks!

You can take any framework and start applying it to your organisation. Like ITIL, you can apply each stage of the lifecycle and customise and tailor to suit your needs. What we need to remember is that all these frameworks and methodologies (such as ITIL, Agile Project Management, Scrum, PRINCE2®, etc.) are just a recipe. As with any recipe you need to become very good at cooking it. Every organisation has different ingredients and ovens so you need to become very good at following that recipe and cooking it time and time again before you change it. When you’re great at following the recipe you can then experiment to substitute or remove or add components but until then follow a recipe. Pick one and become very good at it before you do more!

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