Part IV : How can we implement ITIL practices for Peoplesoft Applications?
We already started discussing about applying ITIL related concepts into the PeopleSoft infrastructure in our earlier blogs. I took my ITIL Version 3 Foundation Exam last week and passed with 92% score (wow!). I can’t believe it!!! The score was really unexpected but I am happy though. I thought I may get around 80% or so. However I was lucky. I didn’t even schedule the exam in advance. I just decided to go to NIIT and took the exam giving no notice to them and good thing is I passed. Now I have the ITIL Version 3 Foundation Certification.
I prepared for my ITIL Version 3 exam using lot of resources available in the internet and by using some standard books in the market. During my exam preparation, I read the ITIL core publication called “Introduction to ITIL Version 3” as well. That book gave me a holistic perspective to IT Service Management and improved my knowledge on IT Service Management related topics.
Ok. You may be wondering why I chose to get ITIL Version 3 Foundation Certification. There are some reasons. Few of them are:
- Being an PeopleSoft infrastructure support person, I work with IT Service Management a lot. I think ITIL will increase my knowledge on IT Service Management, I am sure I can contribute more for future projects
- ITIL Version 3 is the latest ITIL Framework released in 2007 (I think) AND a major upgrade from Version 2 – So I chose Version 3
- After my Linux Certification last February, I didn’t do anything else on IT Certification for this year’s performance appraisal
- And finally, I work in IT services industry (doesn’t that sound like an obvious reason? just kidding)
Anyways, now that I completed my ITIL Version 3 Foundation Certification, I am planning to write more about implementing these practices into PeopleSoft Applications in these blog series (Though I started writing earlier, now I wanted to write more abt it!). Some of the organizations that I already worked with are already using some or little bit of these practices. However, implementing ITIL practices will provide some benefits to the organization at many levels. To understand ITIL framework, we need to start thinking from basics as always.
Basically, ITIL framework considers four P’s during IT Service Management Lifecycle Phases. To put this in other words, when you plan to implement ITIL practices, these four P’s needed to be considered. They are:
- Products (technology and management systems)
- Partners (vendors, manufactures and suppliers)
A basic understanding of these four P’s is required for understanding the ITIL framework further. An IT Organization has to understand its business it serves. Recently I read in one of the ERP book. Some college students who were given training in ERP Softwares thought that it was data entry work (what a different perspective?). I believe that this clearly shows there is a gap between understanding business needs and IT capability. An IT solution without understanding business needs. How can we address this kind of issue in real world?
An understanding of business needs and processes is required for implementing a IT Service Management methodology. This is one of the important factor in ITIL Version 3 framework. For example, an organization uses PeopleSoft General Ledger for its accounting purposes. A basic understanding of General Ledger process used in this organization helps to improve the IT Services provided for this application. You can serve the business community better by understanding its needs. Without this basic business understanding, an IT solution cannot be implemented properly. Even if you can implement something, there will be major issues with aligning this IT application with the business processes.
These four P’s needs to considered when implementing IT Service Management. I am planning to write more about these four P’s later. As I already mentioned, ITIL Version 3 framework defines five phases of IT Service Management Lifecycle. These are part of the ITIL Version 3 Core publications. They are:
- Service Stategy
- Service Design
- Service Transition
- Service Operation
- Continual Service Improvement
I thought a lot about these five life cycle phases of ITIL Core Publication during my exam preparation last few weeks (to put them into context). Now, I am planning to write a holistic perspective about implementing ITIL framework for PeopleSoft applications or for new Implementations.
Lets start with Service Strategy Phase of the Life Cycle. This is the first phase and part of the Core Publication Group for many reasons. This Phase reiterates that customer needs should be understood clearly before doing anything with IT (I kinda liked that approach!). A clear and deep understanding of customer needs is required during Service Strategy Phase. This provides lot of benefits for the Service Provider. Please refer the ITIL Core Publication “Service Strategy” for more details.
Lets take an example. General Ledger Application is required for a financial institution. As you can understand, We can not talk about PeopleSoft at this moment. We are still gathering business needs. In other words, we are still at Strategic Level. Once all the business requirements are received and analyzed, at Strategic Level (part of decision making), Lets say, PeopleSoft is considered for implementation. (There are lot of things involved here and I dont want to get into gory details).
We will start talking about more with this new ITIL Lifecycle approach, starting with Service Strategy in coming weeks. Until then.