How to Implement ITIL in an Organization ?

In this blog post, you will learn the 6 most important steps of implementing the ITIL® in an organization.

People who are thinking about how to implement ITIL® in an organization, in this blog post you’ll get the exact answer of this question. We’ll also share with you the 6 steps of the process of implementing ITIL® in your organization.

If you’re thinking about taking a certification of ITIL® 4 then our training can help to make you a globally certified IT professional.

There are many ways one starts the implementation journey of ITIL®.

Firstly, you need to define your objectives. What do I want to achieve by ITIL® 4 implementation? For example, you can use your pain point as an implementation journey. What are the pain points? 

Maybe you are getting a similar incident (you may call it a complaint or problem, but remember the problem has specific meaning in ITIL®). Or you may notice when the service desk or help desk forwards an incident to the backend team, it gets lost like in black hole. Nobody takes ownership of the customers' complaints. 

Even one department blames others for mistakes. Business organizations are frustrated about IT or technology teams. A clear indication that you do not have IT service management in your organization. You need to implement IT Service management framework ITIL® or ISO/IEC 20000:2018. Anyone will work for you. 

Though you will get many additional benefits by implementing ITIL®. I will talk about this later. So this is one point to start.


Next starting point could be in the growth state of your organization. Your organization is rapidly growing, you feel the need of implementing IT service management ITIL® for better customer service and value delivery.

Another implementation time could be even keel mode, everything in the organization is going smoothly. As part of continual improvement, you decided to implement ITIL®

Last one according to me is the demand of context and time. Like in current VUCA world, when there is so much volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, when new frameworks such as devops, agile, Scrum, lean, six sigma are emerging and need to rapidly respond to disruption or your organization is disrupting the marketing, industry or eco system, you need ITIL® to align all these framework.

Another very good starting point for you could be COBIT 2019 design tool. COBIT means Control Objectives for enterprise Information and technology. If you want to know more about COBIT 2019 check these free videos. COBIT 2019 design tool gives organizations a priorities list of governance and management objectives based on 8 design factors.  From this priority list, (click here to see how to generate priority list by COBIT 2019 design tool) check what are the objectives related to your ITIL® list.  This will guarantee customer focus value delivery.

If you do not have anything in the organization at this moment, you can start with the customer focus process. But remember, implementing one or two processes will not give any value to your organization. 

You need to implement a minimum number of interrelated processes for your organization. Minimum number of requirements can be found from ISO/IEC 20000:2018 standard. If you want to know about ISO/IEC 20000:2018 standard, click here.

6 Steps Process of Implementing ITIL® 4 or ISO/IEC 2000:2018 IT Service Management in an Organization.

Step 1

It is always recommended to first check with your organization's vision. And define your ITIL® or IT service management vision. How your IT service management vision is supporting your organization vision.

For example if your organization vision is: “We develop highly tailored software to meet our customers requirement.”

Your ITIL® or IT service management vision could be: An integrated service management operation and team to deliver seamless services and support to our customers according to agreed specification and stakeholders' needs.


Step 2 

In step number two, I must do a current state audit.  Check what you have in the organization. He has something in your organization. People cannot work with processes that may not be documented. Certainly, you are following your own process. Create a list of processes you are following. Like you are supporting your customer through incident management process, service request process, you are providing access to different tools, you are changing or introducing certain features in your application or software, List down all thee.

Immediate next step is, write down what are the activities your organization (people) are doing as part of this process. For example, if you have a service desk or help desk what are the activities you are doing as part of service request and incident management or service desk practices.

Let us list down the activities for service request practices as an example, activities may include:

Step 1

Users call to a designated number

a.       Users visit your service desk directly.

b.      User send email for service.

Step 2

Your service desk agent respond to Call, email for physical visit


Step 3

They serve the request


Step 4

Service Desk agent informs the end user.


Similar to these you have to list the activities performed by your organization for all the processes mentioned in ITIL® 4 or ISO/IEC 2000: 2018 standard.

After completing this document, you need to compare with ISO/IEC 2000: 2018 standard or ITIL 4 practices to find your GAP. ISO/IEC 2000: 2018 standard is an excellent point to start, as this standard clearly mentions what activities you need to do for Service Request or any other process you need for your organization. Let me show you what ISO/IEC 2000: 2018 standard said for service request practice


ISO/IEC standard for Service Request shall be

a)      Recorded and classified;

b)      Prioritized;

c)       Fulfilled;

d)      Closed;

Records of service requests shall be updated with action taken.

Instruction for the fulfillment of service request shall be made available to persons involved in the service request fulfillment.

Now you compare the activities you listed in your document with this standard, you can see for service requests you are not following recording and classification. It means all requests need to be recorded, it could be in excel or any service management tool. Then there must be a written prioritization matrix known to the service desk agent and they need to assign a priority for each of the service requests.

Next missing thing is whatever you are doing to serve the request, this also needs to be recorded in excel or tool.

And the final  one is how to serve a request that must be well documented. That’s all, if you have only these minimums your service request is in international standard and has level 3 maturity.  You may always do not need higher maturity  level 4 or 5. What maturity level you need for your organization can also be found for COBIT 2019. COBIT 2019 considers the process as a component and provides a required maturity level for each of the processes as part of priorities governance and management objective list.

You can see free videos of COBIT 2019 from this link

Free videos for ISO/IEC 20000:2018 standard from this link

Free video for ITIL® 4 from this link.

You can do this GAP analysis by yourself or hire a consultant to do the work for you. When you hire a consultant, then findings are more acceptable to all parties due to our long experiences.

Then you need to present this finding to your stakeholders and management for approval and commitment. Remember without active management commitment and approval you cannot implement ITIL® or ISO/IEC 20000:2018 IT service management.


Step 3

you need to decide what your next step is. Again, you could prioritize lists generated from the COBIT 2019 design tool. You could decide that the objectives listed in the priority list are your next target and you will achieve only the maturity level mentioned in COBIT 2019 or at least 3 which is the baseline for ISO/IEC 20000: 2018 certification.


Step 4

In this stage, you need your game plan, how do you achieve your target. You have to listen, if you do the same task again and again, you will always get the same result. So what you are doing in the organization will not generate new results. You can start by training core team members, all of the core team members can go through ITIL® 4, COBIT 2019, ISO/IEC 2000:2018 part-1, and at least one project management training PRINCE2 if you do not have formal project management experience. It is advised to run the project by an experienced project manager. Other project members who will create process documents also have to go through either ITIL® 4 or ISO/IEC 2000:2018 part-1 training.

It is always recommended to hire a consultant who can guide you to achieve the objectives. If you have in house experience resource persons, you can implement by yourself.

Step 5

Define what you will measure as part of the project. Are you happy only with documentation? ISO/IEC 2000:2018 certification is one of your objectives, in this case if you implement all processes with minimum maturity level 3, documentation could be your first step before implementation.

You could also define a measurement target like 100% recording of all requests and incidents coming to IT.

5% Improvement to customer satisfaction. Be careful what time you are trying to increase the satisfaction level. After implementation of a new process, usually people need time to adapt and the first few months performance drops.


Step 5

Check whether you achieve the objective or not. If not, go back to step 3 and start again.


Step 6

Keep the momentum and institutionalize the practices in your organization.


Written by

Ibrahim Hossain

Certified ISO/IEC 20000 consultant, Certified ITIL® 4Digital and IT strategy, Direct, Plan and Improve trainer, Certified ITIL® 4 managing professional trainer, Certified Agile business professional trainer, TOGAF 9.2 certified, PRINCE2 Practitioner, management consultant and entrepreneur.

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