Migrating to ITIL: Evolution, Not Revolution (Part 1)

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library has pretty much been accepted as the standard for managing information technology infrastructure, development and operations. ITIL’s roots can be traced back to the 1970s in the works of Richard L. Nolan’s Managing the Data Resource Function, which helped inspire A Management System for Information Systems by IBM's Edward A. Van Schaik’s  in 1984. Seems that any real long-lived IT standard takes a few decades to evolve and mature.
Now more than 30 years later, ITIL appears ready for prime time, evidenced by the volume of articles and books on the topic along with a formal certification process to anoint those who demonstrate a competent understanding of its body of knowledge. Amazon.com offers over 40 publications on ITIL, while a Google search will reveal far too many hits than can be farmed. In addition, ITIL is part of the IT Joint Governance Framework that consists of COBIT, ISO/IEC 27001, ITIL, & AS8015-2005.
So why, with all this background and pedigree, isn’t ITIL being implemented with great success across the board in IT organizations? The short answer is that it is vast and complex. In addition, most ITIL implementation failures aren’t a product of the framework but rather the fault of the implementation approach used. Implementing ITIL means implementing change…

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