ITIL – Process and Process Control Part 3

August 28, 2008

update: First – the above image is just window dressing – not a true process control no click necessary.

As I wrote in the previous posts, I was dropping the term process within the concept of ITIL, without doing a very good job of explaining the terms as used by the ITIL framework authors.

There is a good reason that defining this is important.

While the concepts of ITIL are not difficult, What can be difficult and time consuming is ensuring that there is management and commitment to the processes and framework.

Within the ITIL texts Process Control is defined as;

The process of planning and regulating, with the objective of performing a process in an effective and efficient way

Clear as Mud?

In reading the ITIL texts, within each of the processes, there is a pretty vague idea of Management Reports. This primarily means a method of validating the errors or successes of your ITIL processes.

To clarify this, lets use the same order to cash process we used as a (simplified) sample in part one of this series;

– The sales Department – getting the order to warehousing
– Warehousing – for pick, pack and load
– shipping – for freighting to the customer
– Accounts Receivable – for invoicing

Lets say that your A/R always has a significant percentage of receivables aged over 60 days. You find out that the aging is because you aren’t getting the invoice out the door for 30 days.

We know that our order to cash process has inputs and outputs (hand-offs) from all the above departments, with some research we find out that the shipping driver forgets to hand over (output) the signed delivery slip to A/R (input) so the invoice can be prepped and sent (another output).

So our process control system must have a method of ensuring that the signed delivery manifest is properly handed over.

It can be manual (maybe a signing log) or automated (ie software alert) but the end result is that knowing the process, and ensuring that you have controls in place are important to effectively move towards ITIL alignment. These controls are then our management reports on the success (or failure) of the overall process.

Summary

To re-iterate, ITIL is a journey, not a destination. Purchasing a “help desk” software package does not make one ITIL aligned.

Defining and managing the end-to-end process and results are the key.

They take time, energy and commitment.

Image Credit Mario Seekr

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