PERSPECTIVE: ITIL where to start


Do you expect us to implement all of this? this needs years and years!
How can we master all of this? this is huge!Where should we start?

Typical questions I hear as an ITIL Trainer and consultant.

Before tackling them, I admit that ITIL scope is huge. It covers the complete life-cycle of any IT Service through 26 Process and functions. Each process have a decent amount of activities and sub processes.

It that bad? not at all, ITIL grew beyond a set of best practices, to a philosophy and mind set of delivering everything comes out from IT as a service with the promise of elevating customer satisfaction, cutting cost and increasing quality. This require having a holistic view of any service since it starts as an idea till it retires.

In other words, ITIL is not a tool or a project outcome. It’s not a goal by itself but a mean to improve the way  IT is managed to deliver and improve the value produced by IT to business. In reality, believing in ITIL as a tool or project outcome is one of the main reasons behind ITIL implementation projects failures 1.

In theory, adopting – not implementing 2 –  all ITIL processes will help to achieve  the best value possible. However in practice you might not need all. Or even if you need all your definitely not at once.

So where to start? the answer is actually quite simple if you understand ITIL properly; use ITIL!  The “7 steps of improvement” is the process to help you gather and process the data and information to identify the main pain points in current IT practices. Once identified the “Continual Improvement Approach” is the way to go to start your improvements.

Achieving quick wins in the early stages of adopting ITIL will definitely help you get more momentum and support. Using the 80/20 rule is the way to go

Finally, always remember ITIL is a journey, a philosophy and mindset that needs to be embedded in IT organization practices.


  1. ITIL is continuous, it’s a way of thinking rather than an output.
  2. Will write a bout adopting vs implementing soon. ITIL cannot be implemented but adopted. there is nothing such as ITIL implementation project!
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