Q&A: Jean Ritala of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel on ITIL
Jean Ritala is I.T. support services manager at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minn., and president of the I.T. Service Management Forum USA (itSMF), a not-for-profit membership organization. Ritala has been an active member of itSMF's Minneapolis local interest group, one of 37 such chapters in the United States, and is an advocate of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).
Here are her suggestions, offered in an e-mail interview with executive editor Anna Maria Virzi, for adopting ITIL:
Q: What are your top tips for an organization implementing the Information Technology Infrastructure Library?
A: You need a change agent to spearhead and drive an ITIL implementation. Someone who sees change as a process and not an event and recognizes how change will affect the bottom line in an organization. A person who is an active enthusiast for change who inspires others. A role model for new vision skills and behaviors.
You need a burning platform, or what some people call "pain points" or a mandate in an organization. Like from a recent internal or external audit or where it's too painful too stay the same.
Q: What benefits can a company realize from ITIL?
Q: What are the limitations of ITIL?
Q: What is the most popular library or framework and why?
A: ITIL processes and terminology may be new, but many highly regulated companies such as defense/government contracting, medical, etc. have been using process frameworks that are or have been similar. When I worked for Honeywell and the defense side of Honeywell in the 1980s, we used formal change, configuration and release management processes. Also, some companies may choose to use a combination of frameworks. I know several companies that combine using Six Sigma and ITIL.
Q: Any reasons why some companies avoid ITIL?
A: None that I see. Any company that's in business to provide service and products and wants to grow needs to learn how to do continual process improvement by setting standards and doing good documentation.
Even the smallest companies with few staff can implement process improvement. In many organizations several ITIL functions are done as part of a person's job. An example is a service desk manager may and often will do incident management and service level management.
NEXT: How to Get Support for an ITIL Projectfor an ITIL Project">
How to Get Support for an ITIL Project
Q: How can a technology manager win business support for ITIL?
Q: What are some metrics that companies collect and analyze once they've adopted ITIL, which they may not have collected before?
Q: What size investment does a company typically have to make to adopt ITIL?
A: As little as $15,000 will get you started. That would cover, for example, sending a few key employees for an ITIL Foundation (a certificate program to become familiar with ITIL basics) and at least one employee to an ITIL Managers' course (a certificate program to become proficient in ITIL).
You can make it the service desk manager's job to start an ITIL implementation. And you don't need any software to start. At Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, we started with only the cost of a Foundations' course. And I paid for the ITIL Manager's course myself. And we sent all I.T. management to free ITIL overviews by vendors and sponsors.