Approach 2: Hire a Designer, But Do the Work Yourself
If you don’t have enough confidence in your own vision, and/or don’t think you can pull together the details well enough, you might hire a designer to help you with a kitchen plan. The designer looks at your current kitchen, listens to the factors motivating you to remodel, presents some alternatives, and finally creates a detailed plan for you. The plan should include exactly what you need to purchase and a complete estimate of cost—including the cost of the designer. You can take that plan, make your purchases, and set out to remodel your kitchen with a high degree of confidence that the results will meet your needs and desires. The designer has helped to organize your thinking and given you a goal that you know is achievable.
The use of a kitchen designer is analogous to the use of an ITIL consultant. Thousands of highly skilled people make a living helping organizations to get started with ITIL. These experts can evaluate your current organization for strengths and weaknesses, listen to your motivations, help you to explore alternatives, and eventually create a detailed plan. The plan should include tasks for staffing, process development, tool implementation or augmentation, communications with stakeholders, and of course some indication of the resources you’ll need to complete the project.
One variation of this approach is to engage a high-level designer or architect first, and then hire lower-level designers for each piece. In the kitchen, for example, you might employ one overall architect who will lay out the entire plan for the kitchen makeover, but then work with an interior designer to figure out a color scheme, a master carpenter to plan cabinetry and flooring, and a personal shopper to find the best deals on appliances and furniture.
For an ITIL implementation, you might select an overall architect who will set out the vision and define a series of individual phases. The phases will define specific process areas to implement—and, equally important, the benefits you should see from implementing each phase. A good architect will front-load the benefits so that the later phases become optional based on how your business changes as you implement the earlier phases. Next, you build phase-specific project plans with the help of consultants who are experts in the various disciplines. Using two layers of consultants is likely to be more expensive in the long run, but will help you to demonstrate value earlier than when running a single, monolithic project.
Of course, the use of designers or consultants still assumes that you have enough skills to complete the job once the design or project plan is done. This is a good approach for managers who don’t really have knowledge of ITIL, or who believe that their organization isn’t strong in defining a vision and making project plans to reach that vision. Hiring outside expertise ensures that you get industry best practices, instead of simply rearranging your old processes with new ITIL buzzwords thrown in. You still need to have the skills to execute the project, and you still own the responsibility for the results.