I’m developing a strategy for implementing ITIL within my organization, how can I effectively present my plans to the management team?

 An APMG accredited ITIL practitioner recently asked for some tips to help her present her ITIL implementation plan to the IT Executive Management team at her organization. To effectively execute ITIL, it is essential to have support from senior managers, so this is a very important question.

Naturally, strategies for implementing ITIL will vary but the end goal is the same: to improve service management within an organization using ITIL methodologies to enable change.

You need to start by explaining where you want the organization to be, this could be related to your position in the market, need for cost reduction and/or a full or partial solution to your IT service management issues. Considering what you want to achieve from implementing ITIL, explain the benefits in terms of your desired business outcome and describe what it will enable the business to do.

Then you should provide an analysis of the state of the business as it currently stands. Your honest opinion is important here as you have to deliver a true reflection of how the organization is running. This will help the management team to understand why the implementation of ITIL is essential and will increase the relevance of the aforementioned benefits. If you are struggling to provide a realistic view of the business, it might help to get an external point of view; this will also help to bring up any issues that you perhaps had not considered.

Once you have established where the organization is now and where you want it to be, you need to address your plans for reaching your goals. This is where you discuss the strategy you’ve devised for your organization, remember to set measurable targets and be realistic about costs and timescales. You’ll need to manage the expectations of the management team, so ensure there is plenty of opportunity for them to ask questions and ensure that as the changes are being carried out, you have put a system in place which allows for open communication between team members, teams, departments and management levels. You’ll also need to explain how you plan to monitor the success of the implementation and any procedures in place make adjustments to the original plan or strategy. Be realistic about people’s workloads and abilities.

As you conclude your presentation, make clear to the management team that this is not a one off project. High standards of service management will deliver the benefits to get you where you want to be, but your ITIL strategy will need to be embedded into the company’s culture and you will need their support for that to happen.

If you find yourself in this situation, the most important thing is to set realistic expectations for your managers.