Checklist ITIL environment health check

14 questions for an ITIL environment health check

1. Who owns the relationship with each customer? Are all customers owned?
2. What service catalogue do customers see? Users? IT staff? (See p36)
3. How do users request a new service or a change to how they get the service? How is that provisioned?
4. When did you last celebrate good performance or a goal met?
5. What person owns each process?
6. What accountability do people have for process compliance? How is it measured? Rewarded?
7. Is the service performance benchmarked and reviewed regularly? What is the process to act on unacceptable results of that review?
8. What training and coaching are new staff given? Check it includes work procedures. Do existing staff get updates and refreshers?
9. What has improved in the last year? How can you tell?
10. How is customer satisfaction tracking? How is it measured? How often?
11. How is user satisfaction tracking? (Not the same thing. Customers pay. Users use.)
12. How do you review processes and procedures? Who is involved? How often?
13. When was the last priority 1 incident?
14. What is the data quality of reports, especially service levels? What can’t you report on?

From the book Owning ITIL®

Other checklists


Health check ??

Sounds a little like you can implement ITIL if you are doing a healthcheck..

I think this is best left to the realm of Capability Maturity Models and/or Standards Auditing for those companies who care about this information..

Wouldn't want to perpetrate the myth that ITIL is implementable. If you want to know how your ITSM is functioning, best you review top line objectives about customer satisfaction, service usage etc.. etc.. (whatever your goals were for doing it in the first place, or planned goals) and then identify gaps between current state and desired state.. Apply the lifecycle model of adoption of the principles.



Brad Vaughan

Wrestling with reality, shouting from under the wheels

You're not wrong. But I'm wrestling with the reality that ITIL projects do happen and they do end, a few of them even "successfully", and execs need to know what to look for after the fact to ensure they are getting maximum VOI as they go forward. The book does have a whole section on "you don't 'DO' ITIL" and another on "don't do it", so I try my best to get that message across. But the remorseless momentum of the ITIL juggernaut means I'm often shouting from under the wheels :)
[never let it be said the IT Skeptic was afraid to mix a metaphor]

Tell me isn't true

Tell me the pinnacle of the anti disestablishment movement is not saying that when the wheels of the machine are grinding through the masses and creating popular opinion, that we should bend our will and compromise our values :)

Maybe thats the way of the more commercially minded corporate cave-in Rob England, but surely not the "The Skeptic"...

The sky is falling the sky is falling, pig are flying backwards, the boiling mud in NZ is frozen and Apple is writing reliable software..


Brad Vaughan

The customer is up to their neck

Like any good consultant I help my clients (or in this case book buyers) deal with the ugly pragmatic realities, whatever the ideal models may be :D

maybe that's why we've had a few earthquakes lately

the opposite though

I would argue its the opposite effect.. The issue is the performance of IT as a service organization and not ITIL.. Who cares if ITIL is healthy if the IT Service being delivered is at the right quality and level. You can never say healthy ITIL means healthy IT Services and you cannot say health IT services means ITIL.

The pragmatic reality is a checklist for healthy IT Service delivery and the action plan would be base on the review of process against ITIL as a reference framework. If you have a extremely healthy ITIL environment, you may just be overdelivering process and not achieving the desired results..

Who cares if a process is owned if its owned by a the wrong person and therefore the process fails.. How cares if a process is reviewed, if it is done badly and never achieves its goal for service delivery.

If you want to be pragmatic, focus on the top line goal and not on ITIL.

I will say that you included some cust sat and SLA based verbage which gets to the point, but the rest of the stuff is just checking something that should never be checked in isolation.

Brad Vaughan

challenge that

OK I challenge that. Specifically which questions are somehow ITIL specific and not important things to verify in the overall health of service delivery to the customer? It is essential that processes be owned, whether ITIL or not. If the process is not functioning correctly it will be picked up in some of the other checks. Are you saying that one should not check that there is process ownership?

More constructively, what tests would you add or substitute?

back to ya :)

Hope you didn't take the corporate cave-in comment seriously :) This could go on forever because the concepts are a little complex to debate on a blog comment list.

So first point.. I didn't say process ownership is not important. I said its not valuable to checklist it.. A poor process or a stupid owner has the same negative effect on the performance of service management. Check listing ownership is very simplistic and if you consider quality of method rely's very much on the capability of the tools and the people (good 'ol 3P's), then its flawed check.

The second point is I am saying testing the implementation of ITIL is flawed when ITIL cannot and should not be implemented. Its a process with no value. This is another reason I hate quality standards for anything other than transaction process. Its like trying to confirm the value of a prospective employee from resume.. He/she may have all the right words on the resume, but it does not guareentee a good performer.. Same reason I hate Certification Exams etc.. etc..

So what would I test;
1. If I was in close proximity, time wise, to whatever improvement process that I used ITIL as a framework for, I would use the metrics I decided to measure the project and check off the success and action the gaps.
2. If I was not, then I would use whatever measures I have for IT Services in my organization (if I had any).. This is where your SLA part and the customer sat stuff works. I would add some stuff that measures organizational satisfaction, given that internal IT has to consider both customers and those who refuse to be customers for whatever reason.
3. Now if I didn't do any of that (which is probably the case in most organizations), then I would drop down to the detail.. Check the metric for whatever parts of ITIL I identified was critical to impact the benefits I was looking for.. If that was change then I would checklist the trends in change execution.. Improvements in failures from change implementation, improvements in availability etc.. etc..

Do you want me to do a top ten checklist of how to measure performance of IT ? Its a complex area with lots of research already done.. But I can take a stab at a list..


Brad Vaughan

qualitative rather than quantitative approach

I hear you on all of that. I tried to take a qualitative rather than quantitative approach. As you say there are buckets of metrics out there, but it takes effort to measure them, especially if they aren't currently being measured. I want to find an easy read on are all the right THINGS/PRACTICES present rather than how much or how many. I'd be more inclined to ask "can you telll me this metric?" rather than "what is the value of this metric?". A binary present/absent test is quick and easy. I do think the answers will give you an initial gut feel for whether all is well or not.

ITIL projects fail

I have done a number of open interviews on itil processes. One of my questions was: What was the goal of the develeopment effort? I grouped the answers in three categories: 1) Do not know (the person was not involved), 2) Just implement ITIL and 3) Actual improvement goal.

I used ISO 20000 compliance as a metric for succes. Group 2 got 45 % and Group 3 69 % on the 0-100 scale. Group 2 had 54 %. The result seems to indicate that a pure "Let's implement ITIL" -project is in fact a poor idea.


I do not advocate ITIL projects

Just in case there is any confusion here, please everyone be clear that I do not advocate "ITIL projects". Aale, you will receive soon the book that you won, Owning ITIL, which makes that clear

But the majority of the IT world still insists on labelling ITSM process transformations as "ITIL project". As you say Aale, a third or so of them that's all they are and it is a very bad idea. Owning ITIL says kill those projects. If ITIL is the point, don't do it.

But it is all too tiring to use a non-standard terminology so for the sake of brevity and sanity I do as everyone else does and refer to ITIL projects. Take all the above caveats as read please.

no confusion

I think I understand your position in this.

The point was that I have some actual empirical evidence that those who have no other goal than "implementing itil" do not get much results.

And the book arrived today, thanks.


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