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Implementing ITIL in Parts

ITIL is a set of recommendations based on thousands of examples and years of experience. Because every organization is different, you should also use your own experience to guide the implementation. Often, you don’t need every part of ITIL.


Small and medium-sized businesses in particular benefit from implementing parts of ITIL. This should be based around the organization’s needs and goals. For example, small businesses often have one or two people handling all computer issues. Since they manage incidents on a case-by-case basis, they won’t have much time to handle issues like service strategy. While service strategy is the center of the ITIL lifecycle, in this case, incident management is a higher priority. You can add more processes as the business grows, if the need arises.

Which ITIL process to implement first

To find out which parts of ITIL to prioritize, identify the biggest problems for IT employees and customers. While every organization is different, these are the most common answers:

  1. Incident Management – This is ideal for organizations who face unplanned disruptions to their IT services, like system outages. This process returns the IT service to users as quickly as possible.
  2. Change Management – Unevaluated changes can disrupt everyday IT services. If your organization is nervous about implementing positive changes, this process could be the most immediately helpful.
  3. Request Fulfilment – Many organizations can improve how they handle users’ requests. This process ensures they’re recorded and resolved effectively.

Perhaps best of all, these processes are customer-facing and quick to implement. In a lot of cases, they have the best ROI of any processes. Because they allow you to score some easy and early victories, they can help sell a wider ITIL adoption down the line.

Plan an ITIL implementation roadmap

If a wider ITIL adoption is the long-term goal, companies shouldn’t try to install every component at once. Aside from being expensive, this often creates a lot of internal debates and deadlocks. The ITIL project becomes lengthy, costly and unsatisfactory. Instead, keep a long-term ITIL roadmap which prioritizes the most important improvements you’ve identified. That way, you can keep improving your organization’s processes in manageable chunks.

Establish an ITIL culture

Before you implement any part of ITIL, the organization has to be prepped. Our blog on the Walt Disney Company showed how ITIL was taught and marketed to the staff. With a plan in place to sell ITIL to the organization, you also need to identify IT leaders. Select these staff members (from the CIO level down) for Foundation training. Our accredited ITIL training courses are up-to-date with the latest version of ITIL.