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Role of Design in ITIL Process Development and Implementation

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Process development and implementation is a skill that is best learnt through experience and maturity. Organizations implementing ITIL processes normally develop workflows, define activities, identify roles and embed all of it in a process document. This is good, but there is a major chunk that is still missing. The design. Every single process needs to be designed first, and then the process must be developed.

So, what is a design in ITIL process development?

Design provides you the roadmap for implementation, pointers for tool selection, structure for tool implementation and direction for future releases.

Process design does not focus on the sequence of activities, but in fact, it looks to enable the process to be fit for use and fit for purpose – which is the essence of value creation.

Let’s pick an example, the most common process that is out there – incident management.

For the incident management process, what does design look like. If I was to create the design document, it will have the following items:

  • Scope defined in terms of requirements
  • Development and implementation plan – here, the focus is on understanding whether you want to implement it in a phased or a big-band approach, whether you wish to pilot with a few users and groups (in sync with the overall plan)
  • Test plan, including test cases and how you plan on certifying that the process is fit for use and fit for purpose
  • Tool selection parameters – list out all the specifics that are needed in the ITSM tool of choice (remember that process always precedes the tool)
  • Incident priorities, SLA timelines, measurement parameters etc
  • Parameters for functional and hierarchical escalation of incidents
  • And a whole lot more…

When do you develop a design document?

I recommend that the design document is developed, reviewed and signed-off by relevant stakeholders before developing the process (workflow) document. The pretext is that you use the design document as the reference benchmark for developing processes and other necessary artifacts.

Whatever you do, think in terms of design before you start defining the activities. This will help you go a long way in terms of developing effective designs that will accelerate your momentum towards the objectives to reach.

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Abhinav Kaiser
Abhinav Kaiser is an author and a management consultant. He has authored Reinventing ITIL in the Age of DevOps, Become ITIL Foundation Certified in 7 Days and Workshop in a Box: Communication for IT Professionals. He works as an agile/devops coach in one of the top consulting firms. He advises businesses, organizations and enterprises in the areas of DevOps, IT service management and agile project management frameworks.

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