In a recent article on CIO Online – The Pitfalls of ITILMalcom Fry, an independent executive advisor, comes up with a top 10 list of why ITIL implementations can fail.

  1. Lack of Management commitment
  2. Spending too much time on complicated process diagrams
  3. Not creating work instructions
  4. Not assigning process owners
  5. Concentrating too much on performance
  6. Being too ambitious
  7. Failing to maintain momentum
  8. Allowing departmental demarcation
  9. Ignoring solutions other than ITIL
  10. Not reviewing the entire ITIL framework

I am glad that others are seeing these as well.  As stated in previous posts, CxO level support for any service improvement project is a key requirement, as the whole IT organization is affected.  Process diagrams should be high level with work instruction detail created to support the process diagrams.  The balance is having the right amount of detail and time should be taken to get them right.  However, they can lead to “black holes” in implementation and at some point a version 1.0 must be declared.

While #6 and #10 appear to conflict, I think the premise is that you should only take on as much of MOF / ITIL at a time as you can handle.  Try phasing in assessing, developing, and implementing service management functions based on pain point within your company.  But based on warning #10, there is a danger in not taking into account the entire service management framework.