When I started in IT support, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), it was not something that anyone had heard of and so we developed our own processes such as:
- “Do it once, right”
- “Document the steps if it’s weird or oddball.”
- “Train staff (customers) on the helpdesk process so they can use it effectively”
Nowadays, we have ITIL, a set of tools to manage your service provisioning.
Many people in IT see it as a millstone of paperwork and pointless procedures, but I see this as a basic framework you can use to build a strong service desk.
There are many things missing which you will need but it covers the basic essential services and a strong implementation framework you can start from.
As with all frameworks, you need to adapt them to your business so they make sense. There is little point in having an extensive change management process if you are the only engineer on a system. It would be much better to simply create a change log you keep updated; likewise many helpdesk teams have no usable documentation on their systems. ITIL has some nice tools you can use to get started. Many of our engineers and all our management team have taken ITILv3 training.
We love the plan-do-check-act logic and since doing it our documentation has got a lot better, as we spend more time thinking: ‘what would I need if I understood the process but not the steps involved’? Now I hear many companies say they use the ITIL framework, but I often wonder whether they embrace and extend what it has to offer or if they use it as a box ticking exercise to justify some nifty PowerPoint?