Financial Management - Implementation Checklist
The tracks indicated below serve as a sample checklist of recommended implementation steps that should be addressed. The guidance below is not intended to be a project plan, but a representation of a phased approach to implementation.
Stage 1 - Plan
- Critical questions about the business and IT culture should be addressed prior to moving forward with implementing Financial Management. Refer to previous chapters and ITIL publications for a discussion on organizational considerations that should be considered before designing processes.
- Key to setting of practices is assessing the corporate culture. Geographical considerations, such as one location versus global distribution, will have additional regulatory and compliance considerations.
- Identify all internal and external contacts that provide and/or receive IT financial information.
- Be clear about IT and business expectations. What deliverables do both organizations expect from the implementation? Does the business or IT expect a chargeback system? Is there currently a Service Catalogue implemented and awaiting pricing?
- Determine systems that are in place from which Financial Management will receive and contribute data.
- Determine the funding or operating model to be used. This will set the tone for the way accounting and valuation will be performed.
- Assign responsibilities for the deliverables and outline the activities to be performed.
- Prepare the organization chart based on activities that will be performed, the size of the data that will be managed, and tools that are available.
- Prepare a policy and operating procedures list.
Track 2 - Analyse
- The analysis portion of the implementation should involve gathering indepth details around the planning and funding items previously identified. The most in-depth task will be analysing the data surrounding service valuation and demand modelling.
- If either IT or the business holds expectations about deliverables, work backwards to make certain that all processes and information required to produce the expected deliverables are accounted for as part of Financial Management responsibilities. Often, a chargeback methodology drives implementation of Financial Management with perceptions of multiple levels of service. However, as the availability of financial information is analysed, it becomes apparent that collection and reporting of the various levels of demand is not possible and there is no real value in even having multiple levels of service.
- Become familiar with current expenses in preparation for creating new valuation and funding documents. There may be immediate issues that come into view after reviewing expenditures. Of critical importance may be the realization that not all IT expenditures are collected into one financial centre. Frequently telecommunications charges are disbursed among numerous business organizations. To properly report and account for services costs, centralization of IT expenditures is a prerequisite.
- Once an accounting of all IT expenditures has been completed, service valuation should be performed. Reports should be produced that provide for the first element of valuation pricing of service assets. If the operating model allows for the addition of value-add pricing, then the next step is to add that value to each service to calculate the total price for an IT service. Analysis and calculation of the value-add price will require a great amount of input from Service level management, Availability, Security and Capacity Management. This is a critical calculation since business perception of value and price can be miscalculated and create an unwanted effect.
- If during the analysis phase it becomes apparent that Financial Management dependent processes are not available, the plans for implementation must be adjusted. For example, if no IT Services have already been identified, then valuation will be postponed until the catalogue of services has been agreed.
Track 3 - Design
- The design phase creates the outputs that are expected from a Financial Management implementation. Working with key contributors and supporters is paramount during this track. Design is done around data inputs and translations, reports, methodologies and models.
- Processes - identify all processes in place within IT and design clear hooks into Financial Management.
- Valuation Models - should be prepared and tested for appropriateness to the business environment.
- Accounting processes - from the learning obtained from the initial accounting of IT expenditures, processes and procedures should be finalized. Reports should be identified that will be pertinent to the operating model and business environment, for example, cost trends by different classifications, and financial analysis of ROI, ROA and TCO.
- Chargeback methods - create the chosen chargeback methodology.
- Procedures - complete design of FM policies and procedures.
- Roles and responsibilities - prepare job descriptions and fill required roles.
Track 4 - Implement
- Implementation involves activation of planned processes. The initial input will come from corporate financial systems and Change Management processes. Key hooks to data translations come through:
- Accounting is the first process that receives financial data for translation.
- Change and Demand Management are the first steps in becoming aware of anticipated changes to IT.
Track 5 - Measure
- To come full cycle through implementation, measures of success need to be provided on financial trends within funding, valuing and accounting.
- It is also important to audit for any credibility gap between the value being received and price being paid as soon as possible. This can be done through providing:
- Concise communication possibly via a balanced scorecard
- Regular communication
- Meaningful data
- Making certain to always map to business strategy.
Other ITIL Processes
- Configuration Management
- Service Desk Management
- Incident & Problem Management
- Change Management
- Release Management