A common notion that floats in the IT world is there can exist either projects or services – the two fields are mutually exclusive and do not relate to each other. This post tries to dispel this notion, by guiding you to learn how project and services can co-exist, and why project managers should look for ITIL.

If you are a project manager, buckle up and get ready to catch some interesting points regarding ITIL and also get to know how the ITIL certification can take your career to the next level.

Project vs. Service

First, I will cover why the project vs. service perspective exists.

A project is a short-term or a long-term endeavor that usually has a start date and an actual end date. You can call an endeavor a project if the two parameters mentioned above are stamped in writing. The result of a project is usually a new product.

In contrast to it, a service does have a start date, but no definite end date. Service is meant to be continuous. Usually, the target of a function is to develop and maintain the status quo, and no unique product is there.

Role of ITIL® in Project Management

ITIL® is a highly recommended certification on services. Therefore, IT professionals in the service industry are likely to pay attention to it. Is it? No longer!

With growing advancements, the world has become a place where products which are outcomes of projects require servicing, and the time when services took over after the end of a project has become a decade old event. Nowadays, project planning looks forward to services to decide what services do the product needs, and how much regular it should be. The future of IT companies will now depend on the way projects and services run hand in hand.

ITIL® is truly the unquestionable approach to services. Since it is gaining traction worldwide, people in the service industry have jumped on the bandwagon; especially project managers are soon going to leverage ITIL® to get better at project management.

How ITIL® Can Help Project Managers

The architecture of ITIL® is designed to define how a service should be formulated, what aspects of the design should be, and what the scope of improvement is in the project. Traditional project management stages involve various stages, from initiation to planning, to execution, to monitoring and controlling, and ITIL is a refined version of these stages.

Whatever is the result of a project, it is likely to feed services in different ways. Had not Microsoft opted for services to launch the next version of Windows- Windows 8, the company would have incurred a significant loss on the grounds of quality, automation, and credibility.

Moreover, users could have issues with capacity and compatibility, or they would have flown to the company’s counterparts. To amaze the customer with something better, Microsoft made a smart decision and hopped on services.

The example mentioned above clearly states that the product led to service and, therefore, it harps on service planning and strategizing to cull out service issues that can cause major problems during the development phase of the project.

Example: Benefits of ITIL® in Projects

To make things clear, I have taken an example so that you can understand how ITIL® can benefit projects.

Every project requires a vendor for regulation of certain activities such as, delivering required hardware and servicing the hardware whenever there is a need for it. Here Project management involves to a great extent as project managers have to hunt for a suitable vendor, using tools such as contract negotiations, bidder conferences, and expert judgment.

Project management is a gateway to select the right vendor and to ensure on-time delivery of products.  So what the terms of support are here. If you don’t carry required knowledge of ITIL, you are likely to juggle hard with such questions otherwise you could have easily advocated the kind of support the vendor would provide.

The support of a vendor comes under the Service Level Agreement (SLA). This agreement defines all parameters of support in a detailed manner. When the vendor can respond to issues, how much fast he can deal with issues, and when you can penalize vendors for not completing targets are all that the document covers. People who have undergone ITIL Training or have done the ITIL certification can easily negotiate on these terms.

This is all about the post. I hope you have understood the importance of ITIL in project management since I have tried to cover as many examples as possible. ITIL has become the need of the hour. So when are you going to consider it?