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Essex County Council
Essex County Council (ECC) is England’s second largest local authority and is the overarching local government body for Essex, an administrative area east of London. In collaboration with 12 district and borough councils, two unitary authorities, and about 300 town and parish councils, the Council provides vital services to a varied population of around 1.4 million people over an area of 1,300 square miles.
Information Services (IS) are an in-house Information Services department who support a user base of around 10,000 County Council employees, plus external customers. Made up of around 200 people, IS provide a fully managed IT service, looking after servers, networks, websites and applications in partnership with external suppliers.
When David Wilde joined in 2011 as Chief Information Officer (CIO), the IT function had been in a period of transition. The customer base had little or no faith in the IT department and there was a service report full of red Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). We had silos of knowledge without adequate tools to enable sharing and out of date documentation. As Essex County Council was and is under continued financial pressure, with aspirations to become a truly mobile and flexible workforce, we needed to standardize our estate, meet our Service Level Agreement (SLA), gain control of the service, get our underpinning contracts into line and capitalize on sensible outsourcing opportunities, such as our networking.
How did you approach ITIL’s Adoption?
Our ITIL journey began with the help of third party consultants who documented and educated us on 7 processes – Incident Management, Problem Management, Service Asset & Configuration Management (SACM), Change Management, Release Management and an improvement process based on the Plan‑Do-Check-Act cycle and Continual Service Improvement (CSI) approach. We then started a brand new Service Management team from scratch to bring these processes to life, to educate, implement and continually improve.
Journey to ITIL Expert
I recently had a conversation with a potential student, wanting to know the best way to study the ITIL courses, starting right at the beginning with a Foundation course and hopefully ending with a successful MALC result. Immediately, I began to explain the choices and differences between Lifecycle and Capability courses, or how the modules could be mixed to create a mixed track, about options for the exams, about accreditation and the training methods that could be used… However, that wasn’t what the student wanted to hear.
There is a wealth of information on WHAT you need to do to become certified as an ITIL Expert – every training provider will be happy to provide that! What this student wanted to know was “How”. How to be effective in studying, how to successfully pass each of the required exams. How to gain as much value as possible from each module.
The best person to answer this, of course, is a student who has already “been there and done that”. The case study below gives a blow by blow account of former student, Alvin Bedgood’s journey to ITIL Expert. He explains how defining your vision, goals and objectives can help to keep you on track, advises how to effectively study online and how to tackle those all important exams.
This is a fantastic resource that will help anyone who is on the path to ITIL Expert, or those thinking about it.
LeasePlan Information Services’ Service Support Department
As a global car fleet organization with around 6000 employees worldwide, LeasePlan is reliant on its Information Services to connect the different parts of its business. LeasePlan Information Services (LPIS), a Dublin-based business entity, employs 190+ people in support of IT services for the global organization.
How did you approach ITIL’s adoption?
LPIS was established in 2003. It was a greenfield site and we used ITIL from the start. Over the years, we refined our processes and apply continuous service improvement plans every year. Buy-in for ITIL adoption was supported from the top down. The process owner for each of the ITIL streams is at the director level. Process managers within the operational management layers are also appointed to own and drive improvements at the team level. Performance against service levels and process KPIs is reported and analysed weekly right up to the senior management team.
How does ITIL make things easier?
ITIL provides a professional approach to service delivery, using a common framework with in-built controls. As an accepted standard, it allows us to have a common language across teams and departments and, with its measurable processes, it can help organize staff and give greater visibility to IT costs and assets, as well as to the use of those assets. ITIL enables a company to devise staff training plans and career paths in IT Service Management, which helps with staff retention and motivation, which leads to better service delivery and happier customers.
Map the service being provided in the CMDB to aid fault diagnosis and resolution.
As part of a major outsourcing and migration programme there was a requirement to provide a Service Management (SM) Solution. The original solution was an in house support solution which had no service levels, multiple service management tools and was very inefficient. The idea was to outsource the solution and bring all support under a common set of processes utilising a single service suite of tools and measurable service levels.
Using OBASHI for Service Mapping
It was decided that to aid fault diagnosis and resolution the CMDB should contain service maps for the applications being managed. These maps would be created using OBASHI.
The OBASHI methodology allows organisations to clearly understand what is involved in supporting their business processes. Simple, powerful information can be used to support business decisions, financial decisions and strategic planning.
Developing the Service Maps
In order to gain a good understanding of how the service management tool was going to be used, the concept of operation document was reviewed. This document provided a high level overview of how the solution was to be used once it went live. This included an explanation of the software to be used, the processes that would be adopted, the planned service levels and the roles and responsibilities of those using the solution.
Using ITIL and PRINCE2 Together
Setting up service desks in offshore locations is big business. There are various drivers behind such efforts. Some are pure cost savings. Others are to attain quality improvements by leveraging superior language or business skills available in the new location. Some projects can be extremely emotive, and all are certainly challenging projects that need to be handled with care.
PRINCE2 supporting ITIL
From the moment the CAB provided the project mandate, the project was run using PRINCE2® methodology. PRINCE2 was extremely valuable in ensuring success. It did this in many ways, but of particular value were the following:
- The PRINCE2 principle focusing on business justification throughout.
- PRINCE2’s management by stages to break it down into manageable chunks.
- The PRINCE2 emphasis on lessons learned from previous efforts.
- PRINCE2’s risk management provided a methodical and consistent approach throughout.
Perhaps the greatest benefit PRINCE2 brought was the principle of continued business justification and consistent focus on the business case throughout the project. It ensured that the project did not deviate away from its central objective. And thank goodness. As there were many tests and traps trying to entice the project away from the original design.
70/20/10 – a case study in overhauling traditional learning