Top ITIL Practices and Ways of Overcoming their Challenges

ITIL is typically a set of guidelines, and is best not implemented as rules. So, in case you have been using ITIL processes and definitions just as they are meant to be, then you may expect slow productivity or frustration to arise; thereby leading to poor decision making too. As each business has its unique set of parameters and qualities, it’s important to adopt and adapt to only those ITIL best practices that have organizational priorities. Read for how successful managers are implementing ITIL practices and handling the many challenges coming their way. 

ITIL Best Practices and ways of Dealing with their Challenges

Executive Management Fails to Offer Support

It’s common for executives to cite a gap in financial performance for adopting ITIL. As the implementation of ITIL practices serves to be a major step, the top management has to be on board, and it is the responsibility of the IT managers to get them there. A small campaign may be triggered off for educating one and all about the many benefits of ITIL and the ways of implementing them in easy ways. Along with throwing light upon the involved costs, role of ITIL, and the various factors that impact its success; useful tips should also be in store for the non-technical staff. Careful planning will pave the path for gaining the executives’ nod—and pretty quickly. 

It’s Customers all the Way

The services provided by an organization should deliver optimum customer value by facilitating expected outcomes; without any ownership of specific risks and costs. As processes are designed to connect with other processes, products, people, and partners attached to (or within) an organization, the intent of services--as outcome-based services--should move companies beyond the realms of business/IT alignment and towards business/IT integration.

Incorrect Starting Point

A lot has been discussed about the right time and ways of implementing ITIL in an organization. The common opinion is that the Service Catalogue should be established as quickly as possible; and this is surely the right way to go. Also, it is important to position ITIL as a very helpful service that is likely to address existing and future problems in more positive ways. Its best to begin with practices that promise to render benefits that nurture tangible process improvements and impact everyone positively. This is especially true in case of organizations with complex IT infrastructure setups that require well-formalized procedures for their success. ITIL provisions should also be implemented in non-compliant areas for seeking immediately-visible results.

There’s no ‘Perfect’ Time

Policies and procedures have to be piloted into projects and then improved upon to gain best results. It is illogical to wait for the perfect time or process as it may never arrive. Also, while prioritizing the improvement process, it is important to focus upon what’s relevant, or adds value, rather than going in for low scoring processes and waiting for the same to offer the greatest benefit after being improved upon. In addition, it is also essential to choose the best people for designing, changing, controlling or piloting a process. These members should be the ones who are involved in the tasks that require focus, have already experienced the negative impacts of the implementation of certain ITIL practices, and are able to bring forth the right connection points for all interactions. Here, incremental changes help in attaining sustainable, far greater improvements for creating positive momentum, and offering the highest levels of accuracy and predictability.

Customization of Implementation

ITIL may serve as the best way of implementing services or undertaking management based decisions, but then it may not fit all business strategies. ITIL fails when used in isolation and has to be customized with the help of practical links and overarching guidance offered by COBIT, DevOps, KCS, and other supporting applications. It’s essential that business outcomes are allowed to take their own path and ripen over time. 

Prepping one and All

“Releasing a process without training or communication is like releasing a wild dog in a kennel.”-Unknown
Equal implementation is not the right way out for all kinds of documenting processes. Along with theoretical inputs and documentation, it’s important to provide proper communication and training to one and all. This in turn, leads to better coordination and interactions in all teams and preps one and all to adopt changes in better ways. Once trained properly, all stakeholders can either carry on doing things the way they have been done in the past, or create their own ‘best ways’ of circumventing inadequate or awkward aspects for getting tasks done. 
For fetching a more holistic and strategic view, it makes sense to control process changes by laying complete focus on those who have been performing the activities. But then, the process does not stop there. All appropriate feedback loops need to be incorporated for reviewing, refining, and improving upon various elements; and thereby attaining better results. 

Challenges in Adopting ITIL

Regardless of the doubts and mixed views of IT business executives, managers, and other professionals, ITIL is surely here to stay. In most cases, the reluctance towards adopting ITIL may be attributed to their concerns of committing to tedious and long projects, including the say of executive management at each stage, dealing with numerous process limitations, and so forth. These obstacles include and are not limited to:

High Investment Costs

Large monetary inputs and human resource investments are required for the implementation of ITIL; this adds to the problems of IT executives. Do remember that though ITIL may not offer immediate ROI, it has a record of portraying long term efficiency. 

Plentiful Process Limitations

ITIL is alleged to bring in too many business process limitations that impact the overall workflow of any organization. However, if customized the proper way, the technology’s popular practices end up functioning as tailor-made solutions. This feature helps in balancing the imposed limits, special procedures, and needless restrictions against business needs; thus improving the infrastructure's reliability, security, and efficiency--without compromising upon efficiency


IT managers often dread ITIL as it latest versions contain loads of information and materials that have to be digested and implemented for gaining optimum results. Furthermore, continuous and constant upgrades are a must for ITIL practices to serve as profitable assets for the company. Yes, not upgrading leads to losing these assets.


Adopting a technology as complex as ITIL will obviously bring certain challenges to the fore. However, it deserves mention that ITIL implementation is certainly worth its cause in the long run. Appropriate solutions offer easy and quick outcomes for ITIL obstacles and pave the way for speedy implementation of these practices. All it requires is the right information for educating and training all stakeholders alike. So, instead of waiting any longer, gear up to structure and visualize monitored IT components and look forward to powerful, unifying solutions for your organization—right away!


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Suha Emma