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ITIL Overview_ Need And Success Metrics


There have been multiple questions about ITIL and how it caters to the organization’s needs. Few businesses are very skeptical of it, while few seem to be flag bearers of the same.

To Start With The Basics Of “What Is ITIL?”

ITIL was developed as an initiative by the UK Cabinet Office and is presently owned by Axelos, a public/private joint venture. The ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) has become the most effective standard in IT Service Management. ITIL helps organizations across industries offer their services in a quality-driven and cost-effective way. The framework was developed in the 1980s, and the most recent update, ITIL 4, was published in February 2019.

 If you are thinking of implementing an Information Technology Infrastructure Library in your organization, you should remember that ITIL is just a framework. What may suit one business may not necessarily suit another business. It is true that implementing the ITIL processes in your organization can help you streamline your ITSM processes. However, for ITIL to work well for you, you must customize it as per the needs of your organization.

So how do you decide what to do? Below are seven questions that you need to ask and answer before trying to apply the ITIL framework to your business.

What Is The Problem You Are Trying To Find A Solution To?

If the answer to this question is not clear, stop right there. It is futile trying to implement the ITIL framework when you do not know what the issue is. Ask yourself more questions to get to the real problem. Are you trying to better your relationships with customers? Do you want to implement a better incident management procedure? Unless you are sure of the problem your IT department has, you cannot conclusively apply the ITIL framework to solve it. Every department in your organization should ideally understand the business strategy and also the use cases involved in the IT department decision making. This can help them focus more effectively on positive outcomes with ITIL.

What Is The Rationale Behind The Application Of ITIL?

         Many organizations start the implementation of ITIL without giving more profound thought to the rationale behind it. They turn to the ITIL framework as their IT departments only focus on the acquisition and integration of technology without understanding the bigger picture. You need to identify what you need to change in your organization clearly. You must analyze all the streams right from development to operations to management level and see where you can improve. Remember that your customers do not care if your application server fails or if your technology does not work. They just want results and that too quickly. You need to look at your networks, servers, applications, processes, and people as a part of one large flow and anything that disrupts that flow can be seen as a valid rationale for the shift to ITIL and ITSM.

How Do We Ensure Continual Service Improvement?

         To ensure CSI, you first need to understand where your business aims to be. Look at this from the management, customer service as well as the operational point of view. For this, you need to look at your existing capabilities, competencies, and the processes that support these. You also need to look at monitoring and measurements. 

What Is The Scale And Scope Of This ITIL Project?

         Understand the scale and scope of the ITIL project before trying to implement the change throughout the organization. It is better to try and implement the ITIL framework to those parts of the organization where it will have the most impact first. You can then slowly expand it to other parts of the organization. Remember that the implementation of the ITIL framework is as much about culture and people as it is about processes. It is best to start small – one person and one department at a time and then move on to addressing the entire organization.

Does It Work As Required?

         Every time you introduce a new ITIL process, make sure you test it first to see if it is working as intended and giving you the required results. You also must look at everything collectively – take the macro view to see if you get the outcomes you are aiming for. First, set your KPIs correctly so that you know what you are looking for. Then place your CSF (Critical Success Factors) and then start with small metrics – one at a time.

Do You Actually Need ITIL?

       Once you have answered the above questions, you may want to move one step behind and see if ITIL is the answer to any of the above. It may be possible that there are other ways of solving the issues that crop up, and you may not need ITIL at all. The deal is to take care of the pain points effectively. Remember to also look at areas where you are doing well. Analyze every stage of the service lifecycle and seek to improve wherever required.

What Has Happened?

       Once you have decided upon and applied one or more ITIL processes to your business, it is essential to conduct a periodic review. Reviews at regular intervals can help you understand what is working and what is not. You can effectively make improvements or discard processes that are not working. It is best to conduct a 30-day audit first after deployment. You can then go for a 90-day audit and see if the problems found during the 30-day audit have been resolved or not. Ensure that you motivate and encourage your team to take part enthusiastically in the entire process because of the successful implementation of the ITIL framework Needs a bunch of hard-working people. Reward and appreciate them as required. 

Asking the above questions can put you on the right path to implementing the best ITIL for your company. After you have decided and if you have agreed to implement ITIL. The next logical question is going to be, how can I gauge the performance?

The last stage in the lifecycle of ITIL is Continual Service Improvement. This usually encompasses all the other stages of the lifecycle, throughout which changes can be made to improve the service’s performance. These changes are made based on the set ITIL KPIs.

The ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) uses Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure and gauge its success. These KPIs are used to see if the ITIL processes are running as per expectations in an organization and if the service provider is meeting the set goals and objectives. It is also used to identify gaps and see how to resolve the same.

Defining suitable KPIs for the ITIL process involves figuring out what exactly is considered a successful execution. Once this is determined, it is possible to decide and measure specific parameters. If you are a process owner or a controller, you can choose how to evaluate the quality of your processes. This can then form the basis for optimizing and fine-tuning process designs as an on-going activity. 

The selection of suitable KPIs for the ITIL process will depend on how possible it is actually to measure the indicators. Both – the ITIL KPIs, as well as the corresponding measurement procedures, are essential for system requirements. These KPIs also serve as a quantitative assessment of the service that needs to be measured. The most critical metrics in the entire ITIL framework falls under the ITIL KPIs. For example, if you are looking at the service level management process, the most crucial ITIL KPI, there can be a number of SLA violations and the time taken by the team to resolve these issues. The ITIL KPI will measure the amount of SLA violations that take place in a given period of time, as well as the average time, is received by the team to restore compliance every time an SLA violation occurs.

How to define an ITIL KPI?

When you are defining KPIs for the ITIL processes, you must keep in mind these three fundamental points.

  1. What does this KPI convey about the achievement of set goals?
  2. How easy is it to integrate?
  3. What can it manage?

For any business, objectives are achieved using critical success factors. These factors are needed to ensure the success of a project and IT service. For example, one of your essential elements of success is to provide a maximum of 10 percent of your employees turnover to your IT service provider’s service desk. Another critical success factor could be ensuring a customer satisfaction level of 90 percent and above. You can measure these critical success factors using the defined ITIL KPIs and metrics. 

What Categories Require An ITIL KPI?


When you are looking at ITIL processes, you will want to measure the quality, performance, compliance, as well as the value of the processes. The ITIL KPI for this will look at measuring the success of the process as a whole. For example: – If you are looking at the incident management process, one of your critical success factors could be that the number of repeated incidents should not be more than five incidents per month. The ITIL KPI for the incident management process can be measuring the total number of repeated incidents per month.


When you are looking at IT services, you will see and measure the end-to-end quality of the service offered. In the process of measuring the end-to-end quality, you will use application and component measurements in order to calculate this KPI. Components, services as well as applications together can provide an output as well as value for the end customer. You can measure all parts of the services and find areas that need improvements.


The technology hinges on the application as well as components. For example, – A database that you collect is an asset. The software running on your server is also an asset for you. But when you look at technology and try to upgrade/improve these assets, you cannot use the same method. They will both differ from each other. When you measure the performance of technology, you can look at measuring dimensions like availability, capacity, performance, etc. 

Setting KPIs in ITIL is extremely important for ensuring continual service improvement (CSI). Without KPIs, your CSI team will not be able to gauge what is working and what is not. They cannot figure if the improvement processes they have set in motion, are actually producing results or no. It is also very important to align your ITIL KPIs with strategic business objectives. This means that only the most important critical success factors will be considered and measured. It is futile to set KPIs for not-so-important components and waste time and effort trying to measure the same. If you consider it carefully, ITIL KPIs are both the beginning as well as the end to the continual improvement cycle. Once you have decided upon and set your ITIL KPIs to ensure that you measure, compare, align, evaluate, and re-evaluate them constantly throughout the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) lifecycle. This will ascertain they are upgraded continuously and don’t get stagnant.