Q. What is IT Service Management (ITSM)?
A. ITSM is a customer-centric IT management discipline. Organizations who adopt ITSM principles prioritize customer or business needs when designing IT services. ITSM is often referred to as the ‘ERP’ discipline for IT.

Q. What is ITIL?
A. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a globally recognized set of practices for IT Service Management (ITSM). Created by the United Kingdom’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), ITIL provides businesses with a customizable set of principles and processes to achieve quality service and overcome difficulties associated with the growth of IT systems. ITIL describes effective and efficient ways to structure IT related activities and interactions between IT professionals with business users and customers.

Q. Could another framework have been selected to support IT Service Management at UBC?
A. Yes. Other ITSM frameworks include: MOF, COBIT, ISO IEC 20000, IT CMF and others.

Q. Why was ITIL the selected framework?
A. ITIL was the selected framework as it is generally regarded as the de facto ITSM standard. It closely aligns with the ITSM principles and has become a benchmark standard in many European government and education institutions, and public and private corporations. With a proven track record, it is fast gaining popularity in organizations worldwide. Several universities have benefited from implementing ITIL; the UBC ITSM team is in contact with two in Canada: Memorial in St. John’s and University of Calgary. ITIL is regarded as the basis of many other frameworks, and a qualification certification program is in place and professional ITIL associations are established around the world.

Q. What won’t ITIL help us do?
A. ITIL focuses on the creation and support of IT operational services; it does not offer a set of practices for project management or software development. IT departments often look to combine IT service management practices (ITIL) with project management practices (PMBOK, Prince2, etc) and software development practices (RAD, Agile, etc) for a complete management framework.

Q. ITIL covers a lot of processes and there are multiple IT groups participating on this initiative, so where do we start?
A. The ITSM program at UBC has started by establishing common frameworks and language around the IT services offered by the participating IT groups through the development of a shared Service Inventory. With the service owners identified and the services defined, the foundation is established to address priority processes.

As depicted in the ITSM Roadmap, five transition and operations processes, in addition to the Service Catalogue, have been identified as priority: Incident Management, Request Fulfillment, Knowledge Management, Problem Management, and Configuration and Asset Management. Since these processes are highly interdependent, common components across the five processes will be addressed before specific new process development and new tool implementation is introduced.

Q. How will staff be involved on ITSM projects?
A. As projects and activities are identified, staff may be asked to join working groups in an ongoing major role or a periodic minor or informational role. All contributions will be prioritized and balanced with operational responsibilities. As new processes are developed and new tools are introduced, staff will be appropriately trained.

Q. When is the ITSM initiative complete?
A. The ITSM program team has a project roadmap that extends to 2013; however, ITSM as a management discipline is here to stay. One of the project deliverables will be an operational structure and mechanism to govern and deliver continuous improvement to operational processes and tools.

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