The importance of Control and Metrics in ITIL 4

Date: 20/10/2020| Category: IT Governance & Service Management| Tags:

Within ITIL 4 there is a lot to do about ‘control’ related to plan and improve activities. These are two specific aspects of the ITIL 4 Value Chain. The ITIL Strategist Direct, Plan and Improve module goes into depth on this topic and provides guidance to ITIL users when it comes to control.

If we have to establish the direction, we need to define what the control is supposed to be. In ITIL 4 there is the concept of “shared government“, which dispels the myth that government is linked to just the board of an organisation.

Leading an organisation can be applied at many levels and each level has its own authority. In fact, each employee has a perimeter that he/she governs, has some form of authority, directs the actions to be taken and defines what the results are. ITIL emphasizes that beyond the sphere of control, people also have a sphere of influence, which means that resources can influence the decisions made by others.

How to use ‘control’ according to ITIL 4?
ITIL 4 recommends to design and implement a goals cascade. This cascade must start from the goals and objectives that we set for ourselves. What follows are the definitions of the necessary indicators and the metrics that will support them.

itil 4 dpi_metric cascade

How to design a cascade

Often we start by the use of data-collection tools and collect information that is not always useful. Instead, here we start from the objectives and then define the indicators and metrics. The design of the measurement system cascades (in the image from top to bottom) is from purpose to metrics. Of course, the measurement will then feed the indicators through the metrics, which will support the objectives and finally the ultimate goal of our needs (from bottom to top in the image).

So if it is true that it does not make sense that all decisions are taken at the same level, as it slows down the decision-making process, it is necessary to build a widespread authority. A widespread authority is created by delegating as much as possible. One way to do this is by using a metric cascade that provides the tools so that everyone can make the best decisions based on the information that he/she receives in regards to his/her own level.

If the scope of control is too narrow it will always lead to pushing decisions upwards, which is something that should be avoided. If, on the other hand, the control area is too broad, there is the risk of making strategic decisions at lower organisational levels.

On the one hand, restricted control leads to escalation and therefore longer times, on the other hand, less restricted control could lead to decisions with risks that are not carefully evaluated. We must therefore try to mitigate the risks by training people or providing guidelines so that decisions are aware and structured.

The ITIL 4 Direct, Plan and Improve module provides the practical skills necessary to create an IT organization in continuous improvement, with a strong and effective strategic direction. ITIL DPI provides a practical method to plan and implement continuous improvement with the necessary agility. Learn more about the exam here.

Together with Kais Albassir QRP organized a webinar about the DPI module, click here to see the free registration!

ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

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