Do Project Managers need to be ITIL experts?

General discussion on all aspects of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
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YorkshirePudding
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Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:18 am

Project Managers need to be highly proficient in Project Management methodologies,tools and techniques, as well as having tenacity, diplomacy, and tactfulness. It is a tall order to expect them to be experts in Service Management and ITIL as well. However, if the ITIL/Service Management awareness is not present, then the transitioning of Services into Live environments will always be inefficient, error-prone, costly and unpredictable.
How do Project Managers in your organisation become fully conversant with all of the combined Service Management disciplines, processes, requirements, and interactions that need to be addressed as part of any project that will be introducing New or Modified Services into a Live environment?


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DYbeach
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Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:12 pm

imho project managers need to understand service management and vice versa
My background is operations and that's how I came to service management, with a few interesting detours along the way. In the last few years I've been increasingly involved in projects and have felt the need to find out more about this strange world of the PM, which is why I'm going to do some PMI training this year, with the goal of getting CAPM at least
One of the joys of contracting is if I decide I need some training, I can organise it for myself and not be dependent on someone else's budget and decisions
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LizGallacher
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Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:57 am

This, to me, was one of the biggest disappointments of Version 3 - its failure to link Project management and Service management, despite all its talk of Transition. Considering that APMG/OGC own ITIL, Prince2 and MSP, this was ridiculous. Guidance somewhere in Transition as to where in a Project Lifecycle these things would happen would have been very useful.
Similarly, These other areas (MSP and Prince2) need updating to take account of V3
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DYbeach
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Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:20 am

:lol: they have to keep something back for Version 4 :lol: :lol:
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YorkshirePudding
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Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:34 am

Liz – your comments are spot on. The need for integration of Project Management & Service Management is hardly touched upon in the Transition book. Since the vast majority of Service or Infrastructure Changes would be conducted under the guise of Projects, or Programmes of Work, there is a significant void in the guidance available. There is also enormous missed-opportunities for cost-saving and efficiency improvements that can be achieved by integrating these frameworks correctly in a Service Introduction Process.
The need for integration, collaboration, cooperation, engagement and timely involvement of many teams including Service Management, Systems Management, Operations Management, Project Management, Development, Suppliers & Others in such a process is clearly evidenced.

DYbeach – some of us are not waiting for V4. If anyone is interested in how we are tackling this dilemma right now, then please take a look at my website where you will find many free whitepapers and guidance on this very topic.
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swansong
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Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:46 am

What a great question! Sorry, haven't got the time to write a full and passionate answer. In the interim...

My very short answer is I am not bothered whether my PM has a good understanding of Service Management, as long as the PM, engages with all stakeholders (including those stakeholders with Service Management requirements), and ensures their requirements are delivered as part of the project.
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DYbeach
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Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:22 am

[quote="YorkshirePudding"]
DYbeach – some of us are not waiting for V4. quote]

Was joking. V3 gives the idea a nod with Release and Deployment Management but it's not good enough

Nobody needs a framework or methodology to tell them that throwing projects over the fence into the Operations back yard and then denying all knowledge is not a good approach
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YorkshirePudding
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Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:36 am

Hi DYbeach - totally agree with your statement regarding "over-the-fence" . This has been the case for so many years in so many organisations, unfortunately, it still appears to be the case today.
What does it take to make organisations sit up and listen and to take some positive action to correct it. Maybe it is the fear of "eating an elephant". That's why we have broken it down into bite-sized chunks.

PS. Hope the surf's up and the sun is shining in Sydney....it's freezing here in the UK.
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DYbeach
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Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:29 am

Hot and humid in Sydney - 31 deg, cloudy, chance of rain. Some waves but not fantastic. Water temp is around 22 deg
26 Jan is Australia day aka the Big Day Off (the lack of waves is a Good Thing - lots of average swimmers will be at the beach), so will be out sampling said surf and beach pools for a little while.
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YorkshirePudding
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:21 am

Hi Swansong – You are so right about the Stakeholders (providing you have the right Stakeholders engaged on the project). Many Stakeholders will be engaged purely due to their vested interest in the projects deliverables i.e. the Functional aspects. There has to be a means of ensuring that every Project Board has the correct mix of Stakeholders that will address both the Functional & the Non-Functional requirements/interests.
At SMART-SIP we believe that there are 29 disciplines that should be consulted in respect of any project that will be introducing new or modified Services/Infrastructure requiring Operation, Support, Maintenance and ultimately Decommissioning. Not all of them are ITIL-related, not all of them are obvious, but they have all been directly responsible for project overruns/over-spend/failures and the cause of Service Impacts/Outages at some time or another.
A Service Introduction Process that covers the whole project lifecycle is one answer. Such a process needs to not only address the Service Transition elements (plus the elements Transition ignores), it also needs to ensure that Project Managers are guided through: Who needs to be engaged, Why they need to be engaged, How they need to be engaged, When they need to be engaged and What they need to do. Having such a process in place will ensure that every project follows the same approach and gives the same consideration to the Non-Functional requirements every time a new project is started – irrespective of the Project Managers ITIL-awareness.
Identifying, capturing & incorporating the Service Management (Non-Functional) requirements consistently will also ensure that the Business Cases are properly constructed and evaluated.
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asrilrm
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:16 pm

Just a straightforward answer: No. Not necessary to be precise.
What PM needed to know is ITIL awareness, meaning that they must be aware about the processes they will have to step into (whether comply, understand, fulfill) in every pre, in and post deployment of their delivery to production.
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DYbeach
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:25 pm

agree, but ITIL ppl also need to understand about internal project controls, no point in duplicating effort
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YorkshirePudding
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:07 am

Hi Asrilrm - Without precision (each project considering the same issues each time for each discipline) you will never achieve consistency in project delivery. The point of the precision is to ensure that old mistakes are not repeated by new projects, a valuable contribution to Continual Service Improvement. Project Managers & Service Managers need to be brought together to develop a mutual awareness (as indicated by DYbeach). Working together under the guise of a Service Introduction Process will ensure that knowledge, awareness, requirements and obligations are understood and addressed, in a common forum without duplication of effort.
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asrilrm
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:54 am

YorkshirePudding,

I don't think I understand what you mean.
I think you have misunderstood my answer, but DY didn't, I guess.
I wasn't talking about precision.
What I meant was that a PM does not necessary have be ITIL expert (answer to your question). Being one would probably be an advantage but not a must.

Or maybe I was too dumb to understand?
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YorkshirePudding
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:37 pm

Hi Asrilrm – Apologies, I thought that you were inferring that it wasn’t necessary to be precise in the actual engagement between Project Managers & Service Managers – as proposed in the last thread of the discussion before you responded.
You are correct in saying that Expert-Level is a nice-to-have and not a must have. My point was that if there is a solid Service Introduction Process in place (one that guides and instructs PM’s on all of the Service Management considerations) then the individual PM’s level of ITIL expertise becomes irrelevant. The process would ensure that the PM automatically asked the “ITIL-Expert-level” questions every time.
Hope this clears up any confusion.
Best Regards,
Terry
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