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Quality - Gap analysis for ITIL process
Gap analysis

Overview of the ITIL Process gap analysis

Any organization adopting ITIL Best practices always ask “where do I start to adopt ITIL best practices?” The starting point is Gap Analysis.

 An ITIL process gap analysis is an assessment and review of Legacy ITIL process adopted for IT services, which enabling the service provider for betterment of their existing services to a customer or client during their adoption to a new or customized or enhanced ITIL Processes in addition to the legacy processes already adopted.

According to ITIL frameworks and recommendations, the scope of gap analysis is situational in nature , so before initiating a gap analysis the scope should be clearly defined like, is it organization level or account level or portfolio level of gap analysis. In this context the gap analysis is a means of identifying the key controls/steps where a Legacy process falls short of it modified or enhanced ITIL process.  When conducting a gap analysis, many organizations will choose to compare themselves to the full set of ITIL best practices, implying that their desired vision is to operate as closely to best practice guidance as possible.

In an organization Process Quality Analyst teams conduct the gap analysis on their overall ITIL process adopted for the service provided or they might focus gap analysis on some IT service areas of their business operations and ITIL processes.

When do we perform a gap analysis? The gap analysis is required when a customer demands to espouse new process or adopt modified Legacy processes for the services provided across all the portfolio’s in an organization. The following are initiating baseline or triggering points for the gap analysis.

  • Customer needs to change Legacy Process or adopt a new ITIL process for the services.
  • To have a better control on the Quality of the Services.
  • To improve on the cost of the service.
  • Improve the operational efficiency of team by adopting the modified or new ITIL processes.
  • Adopted process is not performing as expected.

A gap analysis is typically conducted using a standard set of questionnaire or a specific template that the organization will use this template to each process area for all the service areas.  The following are the some of the questions that are commonly part of a gap analysis for the ITIL process.

  1. Have you identified the Key controls in the Process and highlight them if they undergo changes?
  2. Do you have the process related SOP, Work Instructions and Job Aids?
  3. Do you compare a Legacy process and new process for respective process?
  4. Have you categorized the new controls as per the one time efforts or recurring efforts to estimate the impact of the new process implementation?
  5. Is the gap analysis is identified with the potential operational impact due the proposed changes in the new process?
  6. Have you identified the action items which address the impact of the adopting customized or new ITIL process?
  7. Are the gap analysis reviewed and finalized?

Gap Analysis

The gap analysis is means of identifying the short falls of the controls by comparing the legacy process with newly customized ITIL process, here the controls means a check points in auditors perspective for that process to be compliant. Here we use Legacy Process for the existing ITIL process and new process for newly customized ITIL Process.

 The below flow chart diagram shows different steps involved while performing the gap analysis.

Gap analysis

Prepare Generic Template

In the process of gap analysis first prepare a generic template for a selected process with the identified sequence of the controls or steps based on the legacy process and new process, to identify the new controls added or removed existing from the Legacy process.

Initiate Gap Analysis

Initiating the Gap analysis means invite relevant groups or portfolio’s or team or individuals like process Controllers and owners to contribute with their findings with reference to the new ITL process going to implement.

Perform Gap Analysis

After receiving the inputs from the gap analysis participant groups; review and update the consolidated template with identified controls.

Highlight the new controls or differences or gaps between the two processes in the template. Finally estimate additional efforts required for example on time and repetitive efforts to implement the new process.

The below are the essential steps required to perform gap analysis for an identified Legacy process.

  1. Select Legacy process or a new process to perform gap analysis.
  2. Identify controls and prepare template based on Legacy process SOP.
  3. Identify controls and update the template based on new process SOP.
  4. Note down in the template prepared with findings and deviations from both the process SOP s as part of the gap analysis.
  5. Compile these finding and prepare the gap analysis report.

Impact Analysis

Impact analysis is a measure of the consequences or assessing impact of an Incident, Problem or Change  management process on business  or  IT services provided when a process is improved or undergo some changes . Impact analysis primarily identifies the type of efforts required to restore the services; the time within which full recovery of the services is to be recovered is also identified.

The identification of critical process controls defined in a workflow for an ITIL process, potential deviations and efforts required in terms time, trainings, configuring or setting up tools for the process which are resulting from a proposed changes in a process is outcome of the impact analysis. 

Impact Analysis Approach

After compilation of gap report from the stakeholder’s perspective, the next step is to identify the impact due to the customized or new ITIL process on the proposed changes and finally we do impact analysis and assessment to finalize the report with effort estimation metrics. The basis of the impact assessment is to compare the proposed changes in ITIL process before and after change in controls or execution steps.

With reference to the parameters and based on the proposed changes identified, the impact at operational level may be decided as simple, medium or complex. Then we will estimate the efforts required for the changes with appropriate justification. Finally the list of the activities and efforts required are prepared in a gap report.

The below steps are used in the impact analysis and in the estimation of the efforts required to implement the proposed changes in the process.

  1. List out the Identified key gaps or deviation as per the proposed changes.
  2. Categorize the changes as minor, medium or major.
  3. Classify the operational impact of the gaps as simple, medium or complex and also provide appropriate justification and any recommendations required.
  4. Estimate the efforts required for the deviations identified in step 1 [in hours].
  5. Categorize the efforts as one time or recurring.
  6. Finalize the list of the activities need to address proposed changes.

The above mentioned process can be used for the impact analysis and effort estimation for the proposed changes in a ITIL process, It is a general approach and the parameters are identified subject to change as per the scope defined, ITIL process selected.

Finalizing the Gap Analysis

Finally conduct a brainstorm session with all the participants to draw final conclusion and to standardize the identified or modified controls to freeze the gap analysis and need to get their formal acceptance or signoff of this final gap analysis report process.

The following are the steps while finalizing the gap analysis

  1. Invite all the Stakeholders to review and update the report with findings or controls which are newly added or changed in new process.
  2. Estimate the efforts like one time or repetitive efforts required to adopt the new process.
  3. Classify the Controls based on the impact if new ITIL process adopt.
  4. Communicate the final gap analysis report to stakeholders.

Outcome of the Gap analysis

The outcome of the gap analysis will give the following opinions in adhering new or customized process.

  • Identification of key process controls and their degree of deviation.
  • Overall Impact identified.
  • Additional efforts required in terms of time.
  • Additional training necessary to the team members.
  • Expectations and modification with respect to new ITIL process.
  • Recommendation to a Legacy process.
  • Risks in implementation of a new Process.
  • Impact on team members due to changes in process like Team structure, Role & Responsibilities.
Author: Oxygen
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