Keys to a Successful ITIL Implementation using HP Service Manager
July 22, 2009
Keys to a Successful ITIL implementation using HP Service Manager 7
ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) is a set of best practices used to implement and govern the processes for Service and Support. HP’s Service Manager application provides ITIL compliant, out of the box processes in each of its modules. The level of adherence and integration with ITIL processes may vary by module. All of the modules meet a minimum ITIL compliance level.
This does not mean that the out of box delivered application can just be dropped into an organization and suffice to support the business. Each organization has its own unique constraints and needs, which need consideration when implementing any Service Management tool.
HP’s Service Manager application provides an excellent template for implementing Service and Support within the enterprise. What makes some implementations so much more successful than others? How can you guarantee success when implementing your Service Management application?
- Carefully review the out of box provided Service Manager application and individual modules
Invest the time in taking a test drive of the whole application. Review and compare the differences between out of box processes versus your established ones. Itemize those key activities that the application performs satisfactorily as well as those that just do not work within your framework.
- Demo the entire application.
Even if you do not plan to implement all of the modules, see how the modules interact and interrelate with one another. Identifying and learning key elements of each module facilitates building your own processes.
- Look forward
Don’t make the mistake of re-building the application you had yesterday. Business needs change and planning for change and growth up front enables you to have a more robust and dynamic application.
- Hold process review meetings
Before doing any tool tailoring, develop focus groups within the organization to review the existing out of box processes and perform a GAP analysis against your process. Make sure the process meetings are effective by:
- Knowing the needs of the organization
- Invite the key SME’s from different areas across the organization
- Provide a published agenda with desired objectives and outcomes for each meeting
- Set up rules for resolving disagreements. The most amount of time wasted in meetings is in resolving deadlocks.
- Perform a GAP analysis of the out of box tool against the desired processes
- Identify all areas where the out of box tool can support your desired processes. Would the out of box tool be able to be used or can the process be tweaked to meet the tool? Or is custom code required to support the process.
- Document your processes. Include all the actors, inputs and outputs used in each process.
- Leverage ITIL and tool specialists that can help guide you through the process review
- Identify key data
It is important to identify key data that will be used in the tool and in your process. Service Manager has some “critical” data that supports all modules in the tool. Planning and establishing good criteria for these will make for a smooth road during your implementation.
- Contact.name – The contact.name is probably the most critical data component in Service Manager. Contact.name is used universally throughout Service Manager. The contact.name must be unique. It should not contain special characters that are interpreted as wild cards by the back end database.
- Services – Identify the services that are supported by your organization
- Categorization structure – Identify what types of issues are reported and supported by the organization. The perfect time to review and implement a new categorization is during the implementation of Service Manager.
- Configuration data – What types of configuration items does your organization use? Do you use an effective way of organizing them? Can your items be dropped into an established structure such as the one HP Service Manager provides? Is there other information that your organization needs to track that is not provided out of box?
- Develop Access Profiles – Identify the different types of users within your organization. Document who has access to what types of data. Is there data or fields that should be locked down? Document these up front.
- Review your Impact, Urgency and Priority matrix. The out of box provided matrix follows ITIL guidelines. Use that matrix if able.
These key data criteria are items that apply globally. There are other criteria that apply to single modules, such as a Service Catalog, or Change Categories that should be identified if you are implementing those modules.
- Plan and document your notifications
Identify all of the notifications and conditions that require notifications to agents, users or approvers. Document these conditions before trying to implement them. Avoid over-notifying users. Excessive notifications may cause a reduction in compliance and ignoring message content.
- Build a good foundation
Start by implementing a clean and well developed system. It’s important to build efficient expressions that can support not only your current system, but future growth as well. Use experienced developers in conjunction with your current team. Make sure you know up front what you want before you start.
- Don’t be afraid to paint outside the lines
Service Manager “out of box” is representative of a general implementation. The out of box behavior is not meant as a one size fits all, but rather provides a good foundation on which to customize and build your Service Management solution. Out of the box and Service Manager Change Management should not be considered, as the out of box are examples of how Change Management could be used. The provided out of box will not give an organization the end to end process that is needed to support Change Management.
- Perform an ITIL review of your system and processes
Will your developed process and tool conform to the ITIL guidelines? Is your system well documented? Are the controls clearly identified?
By following these recommendations, your Service Management solution will be clean and support your business process. Your tool should always support the business process. Avoid building the process to support your tool as there are likely to always be shortcomings in the tool or process that will cause non-adherence.