In the last edition on this topic, we looked at two main aspects that ITIL can bring to the table for organizations. It not only brings the business and IT on the same page but also makes businesses a lot more competent than they were without the added element of IT alignment.
Today, we will look at three more factors that make ITIL attractive and worth investing in.
Avoid Duplicate Activities
In bigger organizations where multiple verticals and several horizontals cut across each other, there is bound to be a percentage of activities where the left-hand does not know what the right hand is doing, and that could cost the company dearly with activities getting duplicated. The same activities being carried out is a sheer wastage of resources and all companies frown on it as it simply adds to the expenses without the addition of revenue. ITIL is a great benefactor to avoid duplicate activities being carried out. How you may ask! Well, one way that ITIL can bring in semblance is through the introduction of a RACI matrix.
The RACI matrix lists out all the possible activities in a process or a function, and delegates owners, responsible parties and other supporting roles. This clears any ambiguity such as who would be performing activities and the person who would be held accountable. It is possible that different teams and verticals may have separate RACI matrices which may once again result in duplicate work. In such a scenario, company-wide activities and team/vertical/horizontal based activities must be segregated and rostered. This will definitely avoid duplication of work.
Skip Redundant Activities
Avoiding duplicate activities saves plenty for organizations and so does redundant activities. Redundant activities can be referred to as the actions being performed that no longer achieve any objectives nor has any consequences. For example, running maintenance checks on a server that is no longer being used actively.
ITIL has processes that achieve certain objectives. By tagging all activities in an organization to the respective process, we can identify and eliminate a number of redundant activities that otherwise get hidden within the confines of required ones.
You may have heard the phrase reinventing the wheel. It happens all the time and in all industries. It simply means that people at several stages go through the same motions as their peers had, in coming up with the same results. For example, in the software industry, coders in organizations might write a function for accomplishing a certain objective several times. In IT organizations, firefighting teams might research and break their heads over IT issues whereas their colleagues would have probably found a way to fix the same issue a year earlier.
People reinvent the wheel for two reasons. Number 1 – organizations lack a user-friendly knowledge management database (KMDB). A KMDB must be a repository where all new information gets stored, and more importantly can be retrieved just as easily. Take for example Google. It has made life so simple that searching across various websites is a simple task. I enter the keywords and based on the page rank ratings, more often than not, I get what I am looking for within the first three search results. Organizations must implement KMDBs that mimic what Google is doing. It must be keyword based and must be easy to use. I remember the days before Google. Although we only had a handful of websites, it was difficult to search for information across it.
I have across several organizations that call a dumpyard based on products such as SharePoint as KMDBs. Just throwing in MS Word and MS Excel documents onto a file storage tool is not a KMDB. Every entry or a file must be duly keyworded or categorized at the very least – along with a decent filename.
The second reason why people reinvent is that they are too egoistic (or dumb) to come up with their own solution. They feel that they are capable of getting to the information on their own, which I don’t disagree. But, the fact remains, a smart worker uses the available information and researches around unexplored territories. A person digging a hole to discover water underneath is a fool and none better than the person gazing at open skies in anticipation of UFOs.
Improve Resource Utilization
A combined effort of avoiding duplicate activities, skipping redundant activities and reducing rework leads to improved resource utilization. Think about it! By carrying out my (based on ITIL) recommendations, you are saving tons of wasted hours and can go back to the pool where the resources can be put into useful activities or moved out to give organizations a better handle on their expenses and better management of resource utilization.
I may sound grave when I say move people out if they are not needed. But this is a fact in today’s world. IT companies are not making plenty of dough to keep it going with resources doing nothing on the sidelines. They need every single resource to be billable and working directly towards profiting the company. You may be hearing about HP, IBM and Yahoo releasing a number of employees, and the result is due to such an exercise where they are primarily weeding out wastage and keeping on essentials.