As our team implements System Center across the globe, and are constantly pushing the Service Management framework with a focus on Microsoft Service Manager, it is interesting to observe organizational adoption of the common sense framework labeled ITIL. Every organization is truly unique and different when they try to discern their level of ITIL consumption into the corners of IT operations.

We generally observe three types of companies:

  1. The company who doesn’t even want to understand what the acronym ITIL means.
  2. The company who is intrigued and wants to adopt the framework slowly, but very slowly. They typically start with Incident Management, dabble into Service Request Management, but that is typically their breakeven point.
  3. Then you have the “ITIL” company, adopting every process ITIL has to offer and over time driving ITIL past Service Request and Change Management into concepts such as Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement Processes.

No matter the type of organization we work with, I think fundamentally everyone is doing ITIL whether they want to believe it or not. If you break down some core concepts around ITIL, what exactly is an Incident, Service Request or Change Request really? Net net, here is how I define these concepts:

  • ­An Incident is responding to something broken in your environment (i.e. BSOD, can’t print).
  • A Service Request is responding to a I need or I want from the business (i.e. need a new computer, need a piece of software).
  • A Change Request is communicating to the business you are going to change something that affects the business, and most of the time getting an Approval to move forward (i.e. upgrade of an Exchange server, rebooting of a router).

At the end of the day ITIL is truly a set of best practices, forged together via 1,000 of customers experiences, bridging COMMON SENSE into definitions that ITIL labels.

If you look at this way, I challenge any company on the planet to tell me they are not doing some form of common sense ITIL. It may not be called “Change Management” at your company, or even defined inside your Service Desk solution, but I promise when a Server guy wants to upgrade an Exchange Server he is doing some fundamental common sense tasks:

  • Testing the upgrade
  • Scheduling the upgrade
  • Getting an approval from his management for the upgrade
  • Implementing the upgrade
  • Testing the upgrade after implementation

Look like any thing familiar : )…cough cough, this is what we call best practice Change Management from ITIL. You can take this type of example and wrap it into any corner of ITIL, which leads me to notion…

ITIL is really just a big dose of COMMON SENSE, and we challenge organizations to really take a look at the adoption of ITIL as you are most likely operating under this framework even though you may not even know it!