ITIL? ITIL: A Project Manager’s Perspective

ITIL is a common acronym for Project Managers working in an IT environment. ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) is a collection of books that are similar to PMI’s PMBOK Guide or ITSM (IT Service Management) – the idea of IT as a service. to the business. ITIL is a term that you should be familiar with if you don’t know what it is. Why?? Simply put, ITIL is the fastest-growing framework in the IT industry today in terms of industry adoption.
ITIL can help organizations improve IT efficiency, quality, and control their costs. AMR Research has found that IT organizations that use ITIL best practices have a 10% reduction in IT costs, without compromising the quality of service delivery. U.S. Computer Economics projects that approximately 45% of all organizations in the US and Canada will have adopted ITIL best practice by 2008.
High Demand for ITIL Expertise ITIL certifications are among the most highly-paid certifications in technology. Recent salary surveys by ZDNet’s Tech Republic have shown that PMI and ITIL credentials consistently rank among the top three IT certifications industry-wide. ITIL’s continued growth in America will drive the demand for IT project managers with ITIL expertise.
The focus should be on Process and not Technology. The most striking and interesting similarities between PMI’s PMBOK Guide, and the ITIL books, is that both are descriptive frameworks that are centered around process and not technology.
This means that both standards are very approachable. The PMP exam doesn’t ask you how to create a milestone task in Microsoft Project. It focuses on the importance of creating milestones.
The ITIL books work in the same way. You don’t need to be able to understand switches or servers in order to fully understand IT Service Management. You need to understand the importance of controlling change, setting service levels and maintaining a list of all your services for the business in terms that the business can understand.
Both are simple knowledge bodies that draw from industry experience. Both provide concepts that can be adapted to any organization and are scalable. A Project Plan for a small project will look very different from one for a complex one. The same applies to minor software patches. They will require different management processes than a new enterprise-wide release.
Frameworks with a Similar MissionIn PMBOK Guide, it is the goal to deliver project results on time and within budget that meet the customer’s needs. ITIL best practices state that IT services should be provided. That provide ongoing value to the business in a cost-efficient and sustainable manner.
Both the PMBOK Guide as well as ITIL guidance share the same mission: to improve the profession by introducing structure and rigour around what is done. Both aim to create a common language, deliver predictable results and do so in a repeatable fashion.
Projects can be prone to rushing testing and planning, especially when there is an immediate deadline. A good project manager understands the importance of planning to reduce rework later.
Businesses want IT to be flexible and quick to make changes while avoiding unforeseeable consequences. You can do this by creating processes to prevent unapproved changes to your IT infrastructure. IT organizations can manage more changes by having the discipline to follow a formal Change Management process. This will reduce the risk to the production environment.
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