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Should project activities be logged and tracked in the ITSM Tool

By ITIL® from Experience©

It is common for operational staff involved in projects to ask that all project activities be logged in the ITSM tool. This makes it easier for them to coordinate the project and operational priorities they need to work on by having them in one centralized place. This is reasonable from an operational perspective. This approach is also suited for organizations that carry out projects like operational work – as a series of transactions.

Although most ITSM tools can be configured to categorize requests with a project code (e.g. Project 2437) or link a request to an RFC, they are not well suited to manage a project.

A project management tool on the other hand are made to: link dependent activities, identify the critical path, automatically adjust the schedule as dependent tasks slips, calculate resource requirements and budgets, track overall completion, forecast completion date, calculate Earned Value, etc. Moreover, most organizations do not ask the project manager to duplicate activities in two places: the ITSM tool and the project management tool (e.g. MS Project).

That being said it makes sense for the project to use existing operational processes to request services. For example, the Request Fulfillment process should be used to request a new server, or the Change Management process to authorize the installation of an application or to deploy a solution. But, it is impractical to log project and track activities in the ITSM tool if there are no formal operational processes to manage activities required to prepare a service package such as: preparing a project plan, preparing and scheduling the project kick-off meeting, planning meetings with stakeholders, preparing the Statement of Work, researching and evaluating options, designing the architecture, creating a UI design mock up, developing the training material and User Guides, documenting the installation instructions, coordinating the UAT – since “In most organizations many design efforts are managed as part of a project utilizing formal project management methods” (Service Design, ITIL® 2011 Edition, Section 4.1.4.3, p. 89).

In summary, if there is a formal operational process for it, log it in the ITSM tool, otherwise keep it in the project management tool.

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Category:
Implementation > Project Management


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