Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has been funding a project called ICT Technical Support Project For UDSM and IET Tanzania run by Pitky (Information Processing Association of Tampere Region). The project is reaching its end at the end March and we were lucky to get two trainings for ITIL (The Information Technology Infrastructure Library, http://www.itil-officialsite.com) run by an ITIL expert Mrs. Tiina Säntti. First training was held in Dar at the Innovation Space and second was held this week in Arusha at NM-AIST.
ITIL is a set of practices for IT service management that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business. It is the most widely accepted approach to produce IT service in the world.
ITIL is a best practice framework that has been drawn from both the public and private sectors internationally. It describes how IT should deliver business value, documenting the processes, functions and roles of IT Service Management.
We interviewed ITIL Expert Tiina Säntti who facilitated the training and Ilpo Tolvanen who is the CEO of Pitky.
What is your ICT-background?
Tiina: I have worked over 20 years in companies like ICL, Nokia Data, ICL Data and Fujitsu Services starting 25 years ago as a Programmer and Designer to Project Manager. After that I have been a Team Leader, Group Leader, Area Manager and Service Manager in different processes e.g. organizing and running help desk. I have a certificate of ITIL Expert and also foundation level knowledge f.ex. with COBIT, Lean, maturity measuring methods,… and of course I have used those methods and standards in practice.
Ilpo: I built or lets say bought first ict-classroom in the beginning of eighties and have planned and carried out several different classrooms and courses starting from few hours introductions to some years Offical Vocational Examinations and international certifications. I have been about ten years a project manager and also vice principal in two different schools. In between I had an own company. Now i am Education Manager in Tampere Vocational Adult Education Center and CEO in Pitky, Information Processing Association of Tampere Region that is running this project.
Why understanding of ITIL is so important?
Tiina: Producing IT services means co-operation with supplies and also other producers. First of all, ITIL defines common terms for production and managing the services, so it makes communication and agreements easier. Sharing information is very important also inside of your organisation so using and defining roles gets easier with this same practices.
The benefits are improved IT services, reduced costs, improved customer satisfaction through a more professional approach to service delivery, improved productivity, improved use of skills and experience and Improved delivery of third party service. So, its really worth of adapting.
Ilpo: It is often difficult to get ICT and business or administrative people to speak and understand the same language so that customers get ict systems and solutions that satisfy customer needs.
It is important that ict providers understand what are customer needs and not only make systems to work at the present situation. World and ict is changing so fast, that it is quite impossible for customer to determine exactly what kind of system they need, but they can determine what kind of services they need and they know what is their business.
What are the key concepts of ITIL?
Tiina: 5 important phases of ITIL gives you the knowledge, how to serve your customer efficiently and with quality. The common goal is to increase business and respond your customers needs and expectations with satisfaction by written and reviewed agreements. Key is to deside the level of services to get right balances for costs, quality and performing service.
Ilpo: I think that it is not so much ITIL or other systems than the understanding of business: There is always a customer, perhaps also customers customers and end users – regardless of that where you are working. Our business is to satisfy customers needs in such a way that they and we are satisfied – considering also the costs.
How was training?
Tiina: ITIL was very easy to accept and the students really got ideas to use ITIL for improving their business and even ideas for starting some future business. Also they learned some new facilitating methods:
– Learning Cafe to find solutions for many question in short time and also sharing ideas
– Aquarium to have your opinion shared and opponed from few
– and to increase your circulation 1+1=2 ( Thanks to Deogratius )
ITIL is very inspirating subject so we had many good moments with discussions and I will remember my sisters in ITIL and this first training in Dar. Here are the training materials in pdf.
Ilpo: After some minor starting and timetable problems the training went well. We got over 50 attendants and I was suprised how much the participants got out of training. ITIL is quite wide concept, but I believe the overview and also service attitude that they now have are good starting points.
What about the project?
Ilpo: Well – we have now used all the money for training in Tanzania and we also have had visotors in Tampere who have participated in training, different happenings and got acquainted with different organizations and solutions. I hope that they spread their knowledge and experience.
I am glad that there is TANZICT-project that is strengthening ict development in Tanzania. I also can reveal that our project leader Kristina Nokso-Koivisto is looking for a new project. So if you have good suggestions you can send them to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.