ITIL Foundation Certification

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The ITIL Foundation certification covers the basics of ITIL and is where most newbies start the process of learning ITIL and becoming certified. The certification has no prerequisites and anyone with an interest in the subject matter can sit for the exam.Although the certification covers all of the five practice areas of the ITIL service lifecycle, including how the different lifecycle stages are linked to one another, an IT pro who completes the ITIL Foundation level will need to get to the Practitioner or Intermediate levels before being able to qualify for service management positions.

ITIL Practitioner

The ITIL Practitioner is the newest entry to the ITIL certification scheme, with the exam offered for the first time in February 2016. An ITIL Practitioner is capable of explaining how to use the ITIL framework to support business objectives, and focuses on organizational change management, communications, and measurement and metrics.

The ITIL Practitioner is considered the next step after achieving the ITIL Foundation (which is a prerequisite) and emphasizes the ability to adopt, adapt and apply ITIL concepts in an organization. Although the Practitioner certification is not required for any upper-level ITIL credentials, it earns three credits toward the ITIL Expert certification.

For more information about the ITIL Foundation certification, browse our Best Help Desk Certifications article.

ITIL Intermediate

The ITIL Intermediate is module-based, each of which focuses on a different aspect of IT service management. Modules are categorized as either Service Lifecycle or Service Capability.

The Service Lifecycle modules are:

  • Service Strategy (SS)
  • Service Design (SD)
  • Service Transition (ST)
  • Service Operation (SO)
  • Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

The Service Capability modules are:

  • Operational Support and Analysis (OSA)
  • Planning, Protection and Optimization (PPO)
  • Release, Control and Validation (RCV)
  • Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA)

To enable candidates to meet their own career goals, AXELOS lets you achieve qualification in one category or by choosing modules from both categories. AXELOS recommends that you have at least two years of IT service management experience, and accredited training is required.

ITIL Expert

The ITIL Expert is an advanced certification that encompasses the breadth and depth of ITIL processes and practices across all ITIL disciplines. ITIL Expert certification is a prerequisite for the ITIL Master certification.

To qualify for the ITIL Expert, you must obtain at least 17 credits from the Foundation, Practitioner and Intermediate modules, and pass the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) exam, earning a total of 22 credits.

For more information about the ITIL Expert certification, browse our Best IT Governance Certifications article.

ITIL Master

The pinnacle ITIL Master certification demonstrates an ability to apply the ITIL framework in real-world situations. The ITIL Master encompasses all of the ITIL principles and processes covered in the Foundation through Expert certifications. An ITIL Master must demonstrate complete mastery of the ITIL framework by completing the following:

  • Achieve the ITIL Expert certification
  • Demonstrate at least five years of ITIL experience in a management or leadership role
  • Submit a proposal for a service improvement
  • Submit a work package that demonstrates your ability to apply ITIL principles to a real-world business case, including positive impacts to a business service
  • Successfully complete an interview with an ITIL assessment panel

The cost of the ITIL Master runs about $4,000 USD, which you pay after an EI accepts your initial application. Given the expense of this certification and stringent requirements, only serious candidates pursue an ITIL Master, but earning the certification indicates you’ve reached the highest level of achievement in your field.

ITIL-Related Jobs And Careers

IT professionals who possess an ITIL certification have always been valued by large corporations who have adopted the ITIL framework as an internal IT standard. What is beginning to change is the fact that many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are also now recognizing the value of having employees with ITIL certifications under the collective belts.

As IT becomes more and more of a mission-critical part of most businesses, SMBs are seeing the most benefit from having ITIL-trained personnel on staff. Though no company wants to see IT projects fail, larger companies can usually absorb the loss of productivity, time and money that accompanies a failed IT service project. SMBs may not have the financial luxury of having an important IT project fail due to poor management and lack of processes. Thus, the value of an ITIL certification may actually be greater for enlightened companies that cannot afford to have critical IT projects fail.

The good news about ITIL certification is that it is a valuable skill for almost any IT professional, from system administrators to CIOs. Many large companies have dedicated ITIL coaches or mentors who help shepherd projects through the various steps of the ITIL framework. These ITIL gurus have a wide understanding of the IT landscape and can usually spot trouble with a service design document or implementation plan in a matter of minutes.

ITIL certification is also a valuable credential for IT project managers, who are in the IT service trenches every day. Most project managers are already familiar with the development lifecycle process, so the principles of ITIL come naturally for them. IT managers, architects and engineers might not ever become ITIL Masters but even a basic knowledge of the ITIL framework can assist with understanding and supporting the ITIL process.

AXELOS provides a Career Paths chart that maps IT service management job roles with skill levels. The chart is handy for certification candidates who are interested in specific jobs and need to understand how they fit into the ITIL service lifecycle.

ITIL Training

Each ITIL certification webpage provides links to relevant study guides and a syllabus (where available). Those who are pursuing the ITIL Foundation cert should read the three-part blog series on preparing for and taking the ITIL Foundation exam. Those who are thinking about pursuing the Intermediate certification should use the ITIL Intermediate Training Navigator to match desired job roles and skills with the appropriate modules.

Formal ITIL training is available in self-paced online courses, instructor-led distance learning and instructor-led classroom classes. The variety of ITIL training offered and the collection of certified companies offering ITIL training ensures that anyone who is interested in learning about ITIL or becoming ITIL certified has an option that fits their learning preferences.

Although non-accredited ITIL training is available, we strongly recommend that you only utilize an ITIL ATO when you pursue ITIL training. Find the complete list of ATOs on the official ITIL website:

P.s: I do not claim any of the rights for the article. Full article and the resource can be found at:




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ITIL v3 is the third version of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, a globally recognized collection of best practices for managing information technology (IT).

The original version of ITIL was a manual published in the 1980s to help government IT departments in the United Kingdom establish a framework for best practices. While ITIL v2 remained strongly focused on basic IT operations, ITIL v3 emphasizes the concept that IT is a service that supports business goals.

The ITIL v3 framework is broken into five sections:

  1. ITIL service strategy – specifies that each stage of the service lifecycle must stay focused upon the business case, with defined business goals, requirements and service management principles.
  2. ITIL service design – provides guidance for the production and maintenance of IT policies, architectures and documents.
  3. ITIL service transition – focuses upon change management role and release practices, providing guidance and process activities for transitioning services into the business environment.
  4. ITIL service operation – focuses upon delivery and control process activities based on a selection of service support and service delivery control points.
  5. ITIL continual service improvement – focuses upon the process elements involved in identifying and introducing service management improvements, as well as issues surrounding service retirement.

IT professionals can be accredited under four levels for ITIL v3: Foundation, Intermediate, Expert and Master. The Foundation level covers the terminology and basic concepts of ITIL as a whole, while the higher levels go into greater depth for each of ITIL’s five major topics.

ITIL, COBIT, PMBOK, BABOK & TOGAF – 5 tools to improve your IT department

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Too many needs and too many tools to choose from. Here are the five I would use if I were your IT leader.

Back in 1997, my first civilian job when I left the military was to manage a newly formed Project Management Office (PMO) for a mid-sized Research and Development firm. It seemed they were having issues with project delivery: cost, quality, scope, schedule, and so on. Having very little knowledge about the subject, I frantically looked for anything that might help me tackle the fundamentals that I knew were lacking. I found something called the Project Management Body of Knowledge, known as the PMBOK. For me, this was ideal. I finally had a real industry model that explained a set of processes and knowledge areas I could use to guide my new PMO into a meaningful and useful outfit, complete with policies, procedures, and all of the things PMO’s needed to deliver projects. This is when I encountered a new issue…the IT department.

As the manager of the PMO, I logically considered myself a customer of the IT department. Why? Because my projects largely depended on IT systems and services to deliver projects on time and within budget. Not surprising at the time, I was often told that I was the number one critic of IT. Why couldn’t they handle my calls effectively? Were there agreements explaining what services are offered and at what cost? Why are we having downtime at this hour? The list went on.

Today, having worked in multiple IT departments and served in a number of leadership and consulting roles over the last several years, I now truly understand the challenges that this IT department faced. What I didn’t know at the time…and know now, is that the world is much bigger than just the PMBOK. There are frameworks, Bodies of Knowledge, and best practices out there for almost any business need, and I could have helped apply some serious improvements to the IT organization back then had I known what to look for.

But what are the key models that are the most applicable to an IT organization? First, understand that there are some key axioms that all IT organizations must recognize. Without these as guidelines for running IT organizations, trying to select applicable frameworks will be useless. I’ve boiled them down to the five primary areas. IT organizations must:

  1. Focus on alignment with the customer and deliver quality services that exceed expectations
  2. Build information, infrastructure and application architectures that support those services
  3. Have the right organization, people (roles) and processes that support those services
  4. Continuously monitor, measure and improve
  5. Ensure governance, risk and compliance activities over all of the above

Now, the question is…how do we satisfy these axioms using frameworks? Should you use internally developed frameworks or industry-proven best practices? My advice is both. However, there are a few important tools that are publicly available that provide a key foundation to building an IT organization while having the flexibility to adopt models to fit your organization. Of course, there are dozens of models to choose from, and the list can quickly overwhelm anyone who dives into researching which is the right fit. In any case, I have condensed the massively large list down to my top 5 list based on experience. It is very important to note that the frameworks below are not standards. They are suggestive (rather than prescriptive) tools that help IT shops design and manage towards meeting the axioms above.

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
ITIL is an IT Service Management framework that aligns IT with the needs of the business. ITIL key areas of focus include Services, Lifecycle Phases, Processes, Roles, and Functions. No doubt, ITIL has made its way to being the most popular and well known Service Management solution, and has proven its utility thus far. Although early adopters of ITIL were generally large corporations, it is finally escaping the “it’s for big companies only” curse, and more small to mid-sized businesses are finding the practices useful. ITIL is a great starting point for IT Service Providers who are just beginning to drive process discipline, as well as provides structure and accountability around an already mature organization. The biggest advantage is how ITIL uses Continual Service Improvement to provide a constant feedback mechanism to help you ensure that what you are delivering is in line with customer expectations. I pick this as a good overall framework that allows you to cover all axioms mentioned above. Particularly numbers 1, 3 and 4. For more information, visit the official ITIL website.

Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT)
Today, COBIT is internationally recognized as the “go to” solution for IT governance, with aspects in security, quality and compliance. Its focus is not necessarily on how to execute a process, rather what should be done to ensure proper control of that process. Therefore, you won’t technically implement COBIT processes from the bottom up, but use it as a tool to help you control processes from top down as a part of a larger governance initiative. This is a very constructive and useful tool. Starting out as a tool designed for IT auditors to assist in the control of IT, it has grown into a model to help companies meet compliance and statutory requirements as well. It helps you understand IT systems, and guides decisions around the level of security and control that is necessary to protect assets through the leverage of an IT governance model. More specifically, it bridges the gap among control requirements, technical issues, and business risks rather than focusing on the actual process (i.e. ITIL) and enables policy development and good IT control practices. Generally speaking, COBIT is the most broad of all IT related frameworks and bodies of knowledge today. I pick this as the starting point to most of my initiatives since it tells me what to do rather than how to do it. As with ITIL, it covers all of the axioms. Particularly numbers 1, 4 and 5. For more information visit ISACA.

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)
There are many project management resources in the market today, but the PMBOK is clearly the most tried and true of the project management resources out there. The guide presents a set of standard terms and guidelines for the project management discipline and includes core processes and knowledge areas. These are designed in a matrix structure that allows you to link every process to a process group and applicable knowledge areas – a huge benefit when planning, organizing, and managing resources towards achieving project goals. Of course, you don’t have to follow this by the book, but considering the challenges in our industry with respect to achieving project goals (generally attributed to scope, time and budget constraints), you should spend some time seriously contemplating the benefits of using this as a means to formalizing your project management methodology. Whether you are new to project management or have years of experience, I pick this as the guide that primarily covers axiom 1, with honorable mentions of 2, 3, 4 and 5. For more information visit Project Management Institute (PMI).

The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK)
Now that I’ve bragged about how great the PMBOK is, there is something missing in it. Considering the number one failure of IT projects revolves around requirements, this gap is definitely filled with the BABOK. The guide is written for the Business Analyst (BA) and provides a framework that describes the key knowledge areas, which align with a related set of tasks and techniques used by BAs to perform their roles. There is not a prescribed delivery methodology as a part of the BABOK; however the primary focus is to document these techniques as they pertain to the core BA knowledge areas: Business Planning and Monitoring, Elicitation, Requirements Management and Communication, Enterprise Analysis, Solution Assessment and Validation, and Underlying Competencies. Whether you are a BA, PM, or other project delivery professional, I highly advise looking into this one. As with the PMBOK, I pick this as the guide that primarily covers axiom 1, with honorable mentions of 2, 3, 4 and 5. For more information visit the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) .

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)
Never heard of TOGAF? Neither had I until a few years ago when a client asked me what an Architecture Review Board (ARB) does. After a few quick minutes of searching, TOGAF came up time and again. This hidden gem is an enterprise architecture framework that represents a set of tools, methods, and vocabulary that satisfies a full approach in planning, designing, implementing, and governing enterprise architecture. The TOGAF topics incorporate Domains, Architecture Development Method (ADM) and Enterprise Continuum. Domains (or pillars) include Business Architecture, Applications Architecture, Data Architecture, and Technical Architecture. The ADM is an iterative cycle used to manage the execution of architecture planning activities. The Enterprise Continuum is akin to a repository of all organizational architecture assets. For more information visit The Open Group.

If this still sounds overwhelming, don’t worry, it is. Let me offer you a few final points to consider before we finish. Since I like to boil down my messages into succinct lists, the following are my nuggets pertaining to picking and deploying any of the frameworks above:

  1. These frameworks are suggestive, not prescriptive. You don’t have to implement everything by the book, and should plan on adjusting them to fit your specific needs.
  2. Don’t think you have to pick one and run with it. As I’ve tried to illustrate above, there is not a single framework that can cover all of your needs (i.e. axioms). You will be best served to deploy the applicable parts of many frameworks.
  3. A framework is not the silver bullet that will resolve all of your issues, but it sure can help.
  4. Deploy frameworks in phases. Don’t try to squeeze everything in a single release. Use your project management practices to help you implement as projects.
  5. Get training on the frameworks to help you understand the full spectrum of what they can offer before diving in head first. You may find there are a lot of tips and tricks from a qualified and experienced instructor.


Mark Thomas
Director of Business Services
Interface Technical Training

Ps: I do not claim any of the rights of this article. Source: is here!

10 things you should know about ITIL

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Five years ago, no one outside the United Kingdom had heard about ITIL. Now, it seems like you can’t pick up a trade magazine without someone mentioning it. But despite all the buzz, many IT pros don’t fully understand what ITIL is all about. Here are the highlights.

#1: ITIL stands for the Information Technology Infrastructure Library

ITIL contains a comprehensive set of best practices that are used to develop and execute IT service management. It offers a number of benefits, including increased competitive advantage through cost reduction, growth, and agility; more business efficiency through streamlining of IT processes; enhanced IT value through business and IT operational and goal alignment; and improved internal customer and user satisfaction.

#2: The organization body that supports ITIL is located in the United Kingdom

The overall ITIL approach has been available since the late 1980s and has been published on the Internet for years. However, it was largely unknown in the United States until a critical mass of large companies and media publications started to take notice. More than 10,000 organizations worldwide have now adopted ITIL.

#3: ITIL consists of a series of books giving guidance and recommendations

ITIL is undergoing some updates and restructuring to reflect technology changes. The books now encompass the following areas:

#4: To be successful, ITIL stresses the need for a strong executive sponsor

Implementing ITIL practices is a culture change initiative. People are going to complain about having to do things differently than they did in the past. You need a strong sponsor to push the change. If you don’t have one, don’t attempt the implementation—or look for limited success.

#5: ITIL is not project management

ITIL does not focus on creating things like projects do. Instead it focuses on delivering IT services to the company.

#6: Despite its popularity, little content is available on ITIL

ITIL is a set of approaches and best practices. It is a model for IT service delivery. It does contain some processes and templates, but it is not a methodology and does not contain all the implementation details. Companies that want to use ITIL can follow the overall guidelines and then develop the more detailed processes that make sense for the individual organization.

#7: ITIL is not a tool

You can implement many aspects of ITIL using tools, but tools are not required. If your organization is small, simple templates and spreadsheets may be all you need. If your organization is large, you may need to find appropriate software tools to help.

#8: ITIL is not an all-or-nothing proposition

Since ITIL is a series of approaches in different areas, a company can implement some or the entire overall model. There is no rule that you have to implement everything.

#9: You can implement ITIL in stages

There is also no rule that you have to implement the entire ITIL model at once. Many organizations implement ITIL in phases over a period of time.

#10: You can be certified in ITIL

There are three levels of ITIL certification:

  • Foundation. This level means you understand the terms and have a basic knowledge of the ITIL model.
  • Practitioner. This level means that you understand the model to a degree necessary to apply the specific and correct ITIL processes where applicable.
  • Manager. This level is available for practitioners who will be managing ITIL service management functions.



IT Metrics

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The mission of an IT organization is to provide an information processing capability that benefits the business. In order to fulfill this mission IT must provide the following services while managing costs and prioritizing requests to optimize value:

• Operate and support the infrastructure required to process, store, secure, and communicate information.
• Operate and support the business applications that process information
• Provide technology consulting, training, and planning services
• Employ, train, and deploy staff required to provide these services
• Plan, develop/purchase, test, and implement new infrastructure or software to fix problems or provide enhanced information processing capabilities to the business

This document identifies data elements for measuring IT performance by related categories. Some of the metrics represent averages while others are reported in the form of a graph. By reporting these metrics on a regular basis (monthly is the minimum recommended reporting period), trends can be observed across the reporting periods. In many cases the trends are more important than the actual value. Averages can hide significant problems. Some of the data elements are designed to identify significant problems that may go unnoticed by simply reporting averages.

Example: If a critical application was down for 24 hours, this is a significant event that should be reported even though the overall average availability for all applications was within an acceptable range. One hundred data elements is more than a typical CIO would review. The CIO’s management team should be tracking and managing to these metrics. The highlighted metrics should be reviewed by a CIO on a regular basis. The following general objectives have been identified for all TI organizations. The recommended metrics are organized according to the supported objectives. Some of the metrics are described in general terms and must be interpreted by each organization. The intent of the metrics is more important then the specific terminology used to describe the metric.

You can see these metrics in the link below. Select a category and choose the related metric to see it’s decription, purpose and target value.

Systematic Approach to Successful Implementation of ITIL

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Information Technology and Infrastructure Library implementation is not well spelled out in documentation and therefore can be very challenging. In this study, a literature review is conducted to identify critical success factors (CSFs) for ITIL implementation. The CSFs are then used in an improved solution to the decision problem using Analytical Hierarchy Process. In order to validate the proposed model, it was applied to a case study of a company in the United Arab Emirates, where the ITIL implementation project failed.

1. Introduction

Demand for a governance model or a quality improvement framework such as Six Sigma, Total Quality Management (TQM) or Business Process Reengineering (BPR) increases as managements begin to recognize the importance of Information Technology (IT) to the core business. However, most of the models are very limited in scope and are mainly designed for products not services. In order to address these limitations, researchers and governmental bodies introduced IT frameworks such as Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), Information Technology and Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT). Among these three IT governance models, ITIL proved best adherence to Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) [2], [7-9]. ITIL is a set of service management standard library that focuses on the IT industry. It was developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), which later merged with the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) of the UK government in the middle of 1980s. The latest version of ITIL enacted by the OGC is ITIL 3.0 [6]. Even though ITIL has been around for more than 20 years now and has gain significant popularity among IT practitioner, there has been little academic research published to date about issues related to ITIL adoption and implementation. Implementing ITIL has proven to be challenging because it depends on various critical factors each of which might compromise the overall implementation of the project [3], [11-12], [15]. It was found that a large number of the CSFs are not technology-based, that is, they do not depend on the vendor or application selected to aid in ITIL implementation. On the contrary, most of the CSFs relate to user acceptance of the framework. Therefore in this paper, we propose a set of CSFs that considers both human and technological factors. We then use these criteria in an improved solution to the decision problem using the well-developed Analytical Hierarchy Process. Since ITIL popularity has much to do with the fact that it is not based on academic view but purely on what has been proven to work effectively, we tested our proposed model at a financial firm in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We surveyed fifteen experts who were directly involved in the ITIL project at the firm. The case study confirmed our main objective, which was to help the decision makers to better identify an appropriate practice for ITIL implementation using a systematic approach.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework of best practices compiled from the public and private sector organizations worldwide. The objective is to deliver high quality IT services, essentially for IT Service Management (ITSM) [6]. There are two major reasons that explained the move towards implementing ITIL. The first reason is the increased focus on customer service [3], [11-12], [14-15] and the second reason is the increased interest in effective and transparent IT governance [3]. ITIL has proved to provide many benefits such as cost savings, risk management and streamlining of IT operations [10], however it also faces several implementation challenges. ITIL is not well spelled out in documentations, and it provides only general guidance on what processes to implement. As such, many managers were in doubt about the best practice to implement ITIL [10] and often relied heavily on the consultants, and vendors. Another common challenge in ITIL implementation is the resistance it receives by staff due to poor change management [10]. In order to overcome, or at least reduce ITIL implementation limitations and setbacks, researchers studied CSFs and how users perceive IT frameworks.

2.2 Critical Success Factors for ITIL Implementation

ITIL has become a global standard of best practices in IT service, but many companies agreed that ITIL implementation was challenging and not all ITIL processes are of equal importance and value to them [3], [10]. It is therefore important for companies to understand the factors that would help to determine whether ITIL implementation would be successful. In this study, an extensive literature review was conducted to identify critical factors for successful implementation of ITIL. The first paper reviewed was a meta-analysis of previous studies on critical success factors (CSF) [14]. In another paper, an ITIL expert, Marquis [10], provides a list of concise CSFs, and non-technical best practices for each ITIL implementation based on his experience about ITIL. Another paper identified CSFs that was based on results of a questionnaire completed by itSMF National Conference delegates [3]. Most of the papers reviewed were multi-case studies of organizations that have implemented ITIL where the authors interviewed ITIL stakeholders in the studied organizations [2], [7-8], [11-12], [16]. In Cater-steel [2], key success factors for ITIL implementation were derived by studying five Australian organizations that have successfully transformed their IT service management by implementing ITIL. In another paper, Iden and Langeland [7] studied the adoption of ITIL in the Nordic countries where they managed to get 446 responses from firms in the four Nordic countries. The final paper presented barriers instead of success factors to successfully implement ITIL, hence, these factors were negated to their positive counterpoints in order for us to use them as CSFs in our paper [15]. In total, we identified 17 factors and their significance is briefly explained in Table 1. Table

1. Identified CSF for successful ITIL implementation Critical Success Factor Significance

1. Management Support

Endorses policy and enforces compliance to following newly implemented standard processes [16] Guarantees funding needed for consultancy, tools, and training [12] Triggers communication between stakeholders [14]

2. ITIL Awareness and Training

Effective communication among stakeholders [14] Knowledge of ITIL documentation is considered a quick win [8] Reduces employee resistance [12] Increases cooperation and adoption of new processes [14]

3. Interdepartmental Collaboration

Maximizes knowledge sharing and communication [12], [14] Makes modifying cross-functional process smoother, hence, minimizing the risk of project implementation from running overtime [4]

4. Process Priority Accurate process definition has priority over tool selection [12]

5. Tool Selection Avoids underutilized tools [12] Allows easier configuration of the processes [12] Influences Perceived Usefulness (PU) [14]

6. Change Management Critical in situations with big bang (revolutionary) [11], [15]

7. Customer Orientation Provides proactive IT process rather than firefighting [15]

8. Use of Consultants & Consultant selection Knowledge transfer to permanent staff is critical once implementation is completed [12]

9. Implementation Strategy and Design

Provides proper applications of implementation strategies [11]

10. Project Champion Advocates and promotes ITIL [3]

11. Ability of IT staff to adapt to change Involving the staff in the ITIL implementation process from the beginning till the end is very crucial to help the staff adapt to the change [3]

12. Quality of IT staff allocated for ITIL

If ITIL training positively impacts communication and collaboration on ITIL processes [14], it can be drawn that competent knowledge in ITIL is critical to smoother implementation

13. Monitoring and Evaluation of ITIL Implementation

Ultimately affects Attitude towards Use (ATU) [14] Essential for continuous improvement program that is a must for ITIL implementation [10]

14. Feasibility Study before the Actual Implementation

Helps planning the implementation process [8]

15. Project Management and Continuous Service Improvement

Analyzes business needs, involves stakeholders, establishes goals and manages processes of change [10]

16. Goal Setting Through Process Maturity Framework

Helps companies know when and where to begin implementing ITIL [10] COBIT. [16]

17. Continuous Reporting and Auditing through a Quality Management Framework

Ensures a step-by-step close eye analysis of the implementation process of ITIL [10]

The 17 CSFs are then grouped into 7 key classes of factors. The 7 key CSFs were originally proposed by [14] as the main CSF relevant to ITIL implementation after conducting a qualitative meta-analysis of available ITIL research. The 17 factors are then mapped to the seven key factors in order to have a comprehensive and detailed list of CSFs (see Table 2). Table 2 also summarizes the conducted comparison between ten most prominent research papers in terms of reported critical success factors.

4. Methodology

In order to test the framework defined in Figure 1, we interviewed and surveyed fifteen experts from a financial institution in the United Arab Emirates. The firm is fairly young; it was established about thirteen years ago. We chose this particular firm because it has the financial, and human resources necessary to manage a variety of activities; it has service management professionals within the company; and it has the ability to acquire differentiated knowledge about best practice adoption through various cooperative strategies with other organizations experienced in IT service management. At the time of first approaching the company, the firm had just finished its ITIL implementation. This situation provided an excellent opportunity to test our proposed model in an attempt to identify the factors that drive success of ITIL implementation and highlight the pitfalls, which could impede the adoption of ITIL framework.

4.1 Survey Sample

The participants were selected based on their job descriptions and their involvement in the ITIL implementation. In addition, the selection covered different categories of users at different organizational levels (see Table 3 for details). The survey questionnaires were e-mailed to the fifteen experts who had agreed to participate in judgmental exercises involved in the AHP. The experts were given two to three weeks to complete the survey. By the deadline, all fifteen experts have successfully completed and returned the survey. It is important to note that the results obtained from this convenience sample of subjects represent a broad cross -making and perception towards ITIL implementation. All participants were promised anonymity and confidentiality of their participations; therefore we will refer to the participants as IExpert1-5 for the IT team, EExpert1-5 for the end-users and MExpert1-5 for the upper level managers.

5. Data Analysis

The fifteen experts evaluated the hierarchy of the CSFs (Figure 1) constructed by pair-wise comparison. Since the model consists of more than one level, hierarchical composition was used to weigh the eigenvectors by the weights of the criteria. The sum was taken over all weighted eigenvector entries corresponding to those in the lower level, and so on, resulting in a global priority vector for the lowest level of the hierarchy. The global priorities are essentially the result of distributing the weights of the hierarchy from one level to the next level below it. The individual judgments from each expert were entered into the AHP software and results from each expert were combined and calculated for the entire group. AHP can be applied easily with groups. Each member’s assessments are evaluated for priorities and inconsistency using their own hierarchy, and then the group rollup is synthesized and calculated by taking the geometric mean of the final outcomes of the individual judgments [13]. This approach provides an efficient way to build consensus since each expert can see where he or she stand and compare it to the group as a whole.

6.0 Results and Analysis

We calculated the overall priority for each of the criteria for each group and the result in terms of ranking for the first level is shown in Table 4. The result showed that the three groups of experts the IT Staff, the Management team and the Users have different priorities in terms of the CSFs of ITIL implementation. Interestingly, we can see that both the IT Staff and the management team viewed top management support as the most important CSF while the Users viewed Communication and cooperation as the most important. Another interesting result was the rank for the least important factor. The IT Staff viewed change management and organizational culture as the least important while the management team viewed ITIL process implementation and applied technology as the least important. The users on the other hand considered monitoring and evaluation as the least important to them.

7. Discussion and Implications

In this paper, ITIL synthesized CSFs were identified from a comprehensive literature review and were applied to a case study of a company that suffered from implementing ITIL. It took the company five years to implement few selected processes of ITIL. According to the CIO of the firm, one of the reasons was the poor way the ITIL implementation was handled as the company does not have any project management strategies nor follows any project management methodologies. The IT Staffs agreed that there was no proper project management involved in the ITIL implementation. The absence of project management highly contributes to the failure of projects. In addition, the management neither communicated nor chased feedback from employees throughout the implementation process of ITIL. Finally, the management did not account for the stable organizational culture and attempted to implement ITIL as part of the business not as a project. This resulted in the employees looking at it as an extra workload. Therefore, handling ITIL as a project may help the employees realize the benefits. The IT Staffs added that training was not made mandatory by the management. In addition, the goals of the training were not communicated properly resulting in many employees not taking it seriously. The company did not spend enough effort in understanding its culture and did not implement the right methodology for tool and vendor selection, which resulted in a one-year delay trying to customize the tool. According to the end users, most of th This was due to the fact that the top management did not communicate the need for ITIL to the employees nor yees did not feel the urge to commit to the project. It is worth noting that the employees started changing their behaviour towards adopting ITIL in their relevant tasks only after the management started questioning them on their lack of adhering to the new processes. The IT Staffs mentioned that although management had approved the purchasing of an ITIL compliant tool, hired a consultant to guide the implementation process and provided the required training for the employees, the acceptance of ITIL was not as high as it was expected to be according to the adoption model. The reason behind that was the absence of other critical factors such as change management procedures, project management methodologies and effective communication.

References (All the article is taken from here, so I don’t claim any rights or benefits)

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