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John P. Reiling, PMP:: Embrace the ITIL Trend – Advance Your Career in IT Project Management

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Do you work in the Information Technology field (IT), or are you in any way concerned about the success or failure of IT projects in your organization?

The fact is that, for years now, IT’s track record of failed projects has been under great business scrutiny. Up until around the year 2000, IT projects were often approved simply because they were IT projects – and were seen as a necessary expenditure to either keep up with or get ahead of competitors. CIOs and other C-level executives today recognize that IT itself is not a silver bullet, but rather can only work if implemented and managed well.

ITIL is Hot

The emerging popularity of ITIL is a reflection of this need to implement and manage IT with excellence, and to improve IT’s success record on projects. ITIL’s emergence forefront is also a reflection of how the IT industry has matured over the last 20 years.

CIOs are embracing ITIL for its focus on services and processes. According to Dimension Data, nearly 60 percent of U.S. CIOs say they are working with ITIL, not far behind its 66 percent figure for the rest of the world.

A Little Background on ITIL v3.0

ITIL v3.0 provides perspective of the three key constituencies for IT in the business:

  1. Consumers and end users of IT services
  2. Senior IT and business managers
  3. IT workers and managers

ITIL v3.0 recognizes that each of these groups will view these services from a different angle and need different guidance about how to implement and monitor them. It also appreciates that business people want insights as to how their investments in IT deliver value. However, it recognizes that users also have to realize the part they play in effective IT service delivery and must be accountable for how they consume IT services.

ITIL 3.0 additionally places a strong emphasis on achieving IT financial cost transparency. It embraces budget planning and value assessment, and its language speaks of investments (information technology) and returns from these investments (services) managed by the investor (the business).

The ITIL Opportunity for IT Project Managers

So where is the opportunity for an IT Project Manager in this trend?

According to the same Dimension Data survey cited above, less than 10 percent of the American CIOs consider themselves “true practitioners” of ITIL, vs. 17 percent of CIOs elsewhere. At the same time, ITIL is the most popular best practices framework in the U.S., followed by Six Sigma, practiced by 46 percent of American companies; Microsoft Operation Framework (38 percent); ISO standards (33 percent); and Total Quality Management (30 percent).

IT Project Managers can surely advance in their organizations and in their careers by embracing ITIL. They can grow by providing leadership at the critical intersection of IT and the business. By learning more about ITIL, they can take themselves beyond the realm of their projects and gain a broader perspective of entire IT function within the organization.

John Reiling is a creative thinker and problem solver as well as manager and consultant. He has a experience across a variety of industries, including mining, manufacturing, metal fabricating, environmental services, information technology, pharmaceuticals, defense, and more. He has worked in project, branch, general, and executive management in a number of small to medium-size businesses. For over 7 years,  John developed a wide variety of business applications as a Lotus Domino consultant, and since has consulted or lead numerous information technology initiatives in organizations of all sizes. John likes to unwind by playing sports and working out, and he enjoys traveling and reading. John has a BS from Princeton and MBA from Carnegie Mellon. His other credentials include Project Management Professional (PMP), Six Sigma Green Belt (SSGB), and Licensed Professional Engineer (PE). John lives in Mendham, NJ with his wife and 2 daughters. Today, he is in the project management consulting field, and has several web sites, including Project Management Training Online , Tech Training Online, Lean Six Sigma Training Online , and project management blog PMcrunch.

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