In today’s highly competitive marketplace, both ITIL and PRINCE2 can be a powerful combination for organizations that want to maintain their corporate dynamism. Whether an organization is setting up an offshore location or developing something new in-house, following the ITIL framework along with a robust project management structure will do wonders for the business.
According to AXELOS, PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a flexible method that guides organizations through the essentials for running a successful project regardless of project type or scale. PRINCE2 can be tailored to meet your organization or industry specific requirement.
ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a widely-accepted IT service management approach in organizations across the globe. The ITIL framework is drawn from best practices followed by both public and private sectors all over the world. The best practices in ITIL are based on expert advice and inputs from ITIL users, and combine the latest thinking with sound, common sense guidance. ITIL has, hence, gained in importance as a methodology that delivers positive business outcomes for enterprises.
The ITIL framework addresses many of the limitations of IT by providing a service-oriented framework which meets the business needs of the customer. But, for the ITIL framework to be implemented, which is a project in itself, a rigorous project management methodology in PRINCE2 must be implemented as well to ensure a greater degree of success. PRINCE2 and ITIL combination complement each other in several ways:
The best benefit that PRINCE2 brings to the table is the principle of continued business justification and consistent focus on the business case throughout the project. This ensures the project does not change course from its main objective at any point of time.
Breaking large chunks of work to sizeable chunks will help in handling a project more efficiently. Each requirement will be analyzed and signed off from the right stakeholders. With PRINCE2 methodology, it gives one an honest view of what can be done and when it can be done.
Because ITIL demands changing not only the IT department, but also the rest of the organization, ITIL implementations require an impeccable project management structure. Anything less and the implementation is at severe risk. With its careful risk management processes described in the risk theme, PRINCE2 helps to address all possible threats in the project. As risk management is also part of the ITIL framework, hence they complement each other really well. The emphasis on identifying and assessing risks helps the stakeholders to take informed decisions as part of ITIL change management.
The ITIL best practices in Service Design and Service Strategy have a clear project mandate which form a basis for building PRINCE2’s project management structure. Everything from scope, success and different criteria, are clearly identified and approved by senior management. This saves a lot of time in starting up a project.
The ITIL framework helps PRINCE2 to focus on the bigger picture. It is extremely important to balance both cost and quality in ITIL which helps in taking correct decisions for quality improvement which adheres towards the bigger picture. The emphasis on quality also fits in with the PRINCE2 framework, where the quality theme elaborates on aspects such as Project Product Description, Product Description, Quality Register, Quality Management Strategy, among others.
The ITIL framework implementation helps in ‘benefit realization’ which happens only after the project is completed. PRINCE2 has no part in this, as the project management structure mandates the completion of the project successfully. But, the ITIL framework helps to realize the benefits when the implementation is done and it can fine tune it when there is change after the project is completed.
Managing various constraints such as time, price and the scope of business are all superimposed on a framework of meeting quality requirements, and this forms the foundation of project management. Meeting customer-defined needs, availability, reliability, capability and cost-effectiveness of business services offered along with improving responsiveness in managing change form the basis of ITIL. PRINCE2 with its project management structure and the ITIL framework with its best practices together deliver a competitive advantage for an organization.
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