ITIL – Process and Process Control Part 2

August 21, 2008

In the previous post on Process and Process Control I gave a very simplified overview of the concept of a business process – as used within the ITIL framework.

The purpose being that in my posts on ITIL, I was dropping the word “process” without providing the background on its applicability to the framework.

In that post we defined how the Process Manager (or Process Owner) is responsible for the cross functional or cross departmental process flow of the particular actions that result in a desired result.

From my simplified sample, a sales staffer may report directly to the Manager of Sales, however there is a dotted line to the Process Manager in charge of ensuring that sales, Warehousing, Shipping and Accounts Receivable do their parts to ensure that the process of order to cash is properly completed.

This concept of “Process” is key to the ITIL framework as the ITIL Processes are interlinked (drop down the categories box on the right of the HOME page and select ITIL to see other ITIL posts) and often cross functional. It is critical that visibility be maintained across these functional silos.

The Example

A number of years ago I visited one of our biggest customers (A large organization) to ensure that the installation and configuration of a software application platform we were providing for them was going smoothly.

It wasn’t

The software needed a server, it needed an Internet (IP) address, it needed a database – and guess what – the Network Operations group did not talk to the DBA’s, who did not talk to the Server Admin team, who did not talk to the PC support team etc etc.

Getting the IP address for the server alone was a three day excersise.

And your point for ITIL Service Support is?

OK, Ok I am getting there!

The ITIL processes depend on this cross departmental visibility.

So your Service Desk (help desk) receives a phone call on a particular incident, troubleshoots the issue and……

Well,,,, the Tech Support folks don’t talk to Network Supprt folks, who don’t talk to the server support folks etc….

The resolution of the issue can take hours.

Under ITIL, For example, the Incident Mangement Process has an Incident Manager (or Incident Process Manager) responsible for effective service support delivery within the organization. That means that the role includes the responsibility (and authority) to ensure that the service incident is taken care of. Regardless of the functional departments (Network Operations, Server Operations etc) required to get the issue solved.

While the Database analyst (DBA) Staff work for a department manager, and the Network Operations staff report to another, and the Server Support staff report to a third, etc. Within the context of an “incident” – They are just as responsible to the Incident Manager for timely resolution to meet service delivery goals.

Clear as Mud I am sure !!!

For the next post will go into the basics of Process Controls. (If you have a question – please don’t hesitate to ask!)

UPDATE: Part 3 is now here

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