How to win your ITIL business case
Make sure the way the case is explained does these things:
1) Take away pain or fear. SOX compliance is a common one right now. Managers just want to make it go away. There are managers too who just want to tick the ITIL box and move on. The bunker-buster is a “This Must Never Happen Again” decree from the Board. One of those and you will be including a new staff canteen as part of the project scope.
2) Deliver on key people's personal agendas. What new CIO can resist being the one who ITIL-ised the department? Here is a radical concept: go ask the decision maker what they want from the project. If you can never get an appointment to talk about what you need, try this topic for a change.
3) Align with key business initiatives. A quality drive is a good one. Throw on all that “continuous process improvement’ and “Deming Cycle” stuff that is there in the ITIL theory and so seldom in the practice. SAP implementations are a gift too. They over-run so badly no-one notices an extra million to ensure the IT infrastructure can cope with the flood of support calls and the deluge of changes.
4) Use the right buzz-speak. ITIL is not necessarily the right buzz-speak for your organisation and the decision-makers in question.
If you think about these four points, there is one final simple rule: don't call it ITIL (unless the decision-maker wants to hear “ITIL”). Call it "IT Operational Support for SOX Compliance", "IT Transformation 2010 - Exciting Times for IT", "Customer Oriented Services", "Projected Operational Enhancements for 2007", or "budget item 17".
There you have it. Make sure the business case is solid with money. Avoid apparent strengths that can be weaknesses. Apply your strength strategically by aligning with what the business wants (…to hear). You know you can succeed. Look around at all the ITIL projects where you think “How on earth did they get that through?”
This post is an extract from the IT Skeptic's ITSMWatch article What Goes into an ITIL Business Case