Implementation Quotes

By ITIL® from Experience©


Project Management


"There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." The Matrix movie 1999

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates

"Good enough strategy excellently implemented will trump a perfect strategy lukewarmly implemented nine times out of ten." Don Sull Professor of Management Practice in Strategic and International Management, the Faculty Director of Executive Education at the London Business School, and author of The Upside of Turbulence, as quoted in "When You Think the Strategy is Wrong" Harvard Business Review, Feb.4, 2010 http://blogs.hbr.org/2010/02/when-you-think-the-strategy-is/

"We do not have all the answers. That's why we are doing this project." Denis Matte

“Change means reinvention, and until something is reinvented, we have no idea what the spec is.” Seth Godin

In the midst of setting deficit projections and spending recommendations for the provincial government this year, Don Drummond who chairs a commission on the reform of Ontario’s public services made a key observation: “Almost every time a program was performing badly I could trace it back to the origin of the program. Whoever had implemented it had not really thought long and hard about what they wanted." "http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/12/29/don_drummond_what_i_learned_about_planning.html" by Jennifer Wells December 29, 2012.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo DaVinci

“If you have no doubt in what you are about to do, you are not pushing yourself hard enough.” Silvio Micali

“Implementing ITIL® is like doing a puzzle. All pieces are good. But a piece might not be the right fit at this time.” Denis Matte

"Each implementation is like a fingerprint, unique to each organization, and should be designed in consultation with the stakeholders, the external facilitator, and prior experience on what has worked and not worked in past implementation rollouts." Parmenter, David (2010) Key Performance Indicators (KPI): Developing, Implementing, and Using Winning KPIs, p. 62


“When you provide people with the data, knowledge and mechanisms to change behaviors, they do.” "Taking control of electricity costs” by Mary Bitti, Financial Post • Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010

" Although defining good processes is important, the key to the overall success of your implementation is building an outstanding change and release management team. Highly skilled people can make up for inadequacies in the process, but no amount of process documentation can make up for people who are unwilling or unable to do their job." Larry Klosterboer, Implementing ITIL® Change and Release Management, 2009, IBM Press

"In cultural change, the leadership team has to plan how its own behaviors will mirror the desired change in culture. If executives continue to behave more in line with the past than the future, the culture will not change for the better, and it is likely to change for the worse as cynicism takes hold among the rank and file." Fast Forward: Organizational Change in 100 Days by Elspeth J. Murray, Peter R. Richardson, 2002, p. 224

"Culture both reflects and affects our values. As self reinforcing feedback loop it is difficult to change."

"Although everyone has to be involved in change, for some people, it has to be a full-time commitment." Fast Forward: Organizational Change in 100 Days by Elspeth J. Murray, Peter R. Richardson, 2002

"Failure to deal adequately with opposition has derailed more than a few major change efforts." Fast Forward: Organizational Change in 100 Days by Elspeth J. Murray, Peter R. Richardson, 2002, p.54

"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking." Henry Ford

"If turnover (or performance) is a problem, try showing people that their work matters and that it affects other people." Blog: "A Better Way to Think About Lazy and Incompetent Employees" by Sam McNerney, Friday, April 18, 2014

"When it comes to people, the shortest distance between two points isn’t necessarily a straight line." Make Change Work: Staying Nimble, Relevant, and Engaged in a World of Constant Change by Randy Pennington

"Good managers want people to be happy. Good change leaders want people to be unhappy so that they want to change."

"Consultants, like artists, may not necessarily produce the sculpture that you want or need." Parmenter, David (2010) Key Performance Indicators (KPI): Developing, Implementing, and Using Winning KPIs, p. 57

"If you want to improve performance, change the environment instead of obsessing over the individual." 3 Insights People in Business Can Learn From the History of Medicine

"The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate." Gruenter and Whitaker

“People will do almost anything before they will shift their paradigm.” Eliyahu M. Goldratt

Henry Ford is credited of saying, “the only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”


“The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline.” James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

"We should work on our process, not the outcome of our processes." W. Edwards Deming

"Get started. Policies and procedures do not have to be perfect the first time. Get something out, pilot it on a project and improve on it. If you wait for the perfect process, you may never improve." Unknown

"You can not buy your way out of a broken process. No software/technology can remedy the situation without first engaging people to solve it!" Mike Orzen

"If you sweep things under the carpet, the carpet eventually gets too lumpy to walk on." Unknown

"If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing." William Edwards Deming

"If you want it done a certain way, management needs to understand that it has to be put down on paper. " Unknown

"Every tool, document, data or process must have a system sustaining it. Don't leave all your hard work to crumble into ruins." The IT Skeptic, http://www.itskeptic.org/content/process-archaeology

"Draw a flowchart for whatever you are doing. Until you do, you do not fully understand what you are doing. You just have a job." W Edwards Deming

"If you do not document the current business process, it is difficult to have appropriate business requirements."

"Let's not focus so much on defining the roles and responsibilities that we re-enforce the silos"

"A RACI Matrix is a good analysis tool and a poor communication vehicle."

"Management must communicate process/behavior expectations, like in performance objectives. Otherwise don't expect them to be met." Denis Matte

"If you don't tell people when and how to use a process it will either not be used, or used to meet their goal leading to unintended results. " Denis Matte

"Every process should have a goal. Otherwise what are you trying to achieve and why are you doing it?"

"Good process design does not diagram all work instructions in a flowchart. That's what work instructions are for." Denis Matte

"Good process design cannot fix organizational issues related to people (attitude, discipline), culture and governance."

"Process maturity increases accuracy and predictability."

"The more critical the process, the more governance it needs."

"Releasing a process without training or communication is like releasing a wild dog in a kennel."

"Everybody says they want to be free. Take the train off the tracks and it’s free, but it can’t go anywhere." Zig Ziglar

"A successful process is part of the answer to a bigger question: 'What is your value?'" Scott Plaskett, financial advisor and CEO of Ironshield Financial Planning as quoted in How to establish a repeatable process

"Make sure that people solutions are used to address people issues to avoid implementing convoluted technology or procedures simply to address a few people’s resistance to good practice." D. Matte

"Even formalization of mostly existing procedures will deliver cultural change" (ITIL® v3, 2007, Service Transition p. 201, Section 8.1.4 Cultural change aspects.)

“Do not over-engineer a process. Meet the immediate business requirements otherwise you are trying to predict the future and over-engineer beyond the organization's maturity or capability to use it ”


"Ask vendors to show their next release or a viable product roadmap. "If they can't do that, we won't sign on with them," Nate McBride, vice president of IT and chief cloud architect at AMAG Pharmaceuticals. Whittle down application sprawl, by Sandra Gittlen, Computer World, March 6th 2014

"Companies get the systems they deserve. A company's systems estate is a result of its culture, organizational history, and its funding structures. Coherent, well-integrated systems will only ever exists in companies that value coherence and integrated service." Jim Cook, chief architect at British Telecom as quoted in Enterprise Architecture as Strategy, p.202, Harvard Business Review, 2006

"Because it can be done, does not mean it should be done. Make sure that the ITSM technology does not outpace the process & people's capabilities and level of maturity." Denis Matte

"Just as a carpenter needs a vision of what to build in order to get the full benefit of a hammer, Lean Thinkers need a vision before picking up our lean tools." James P. Womack author of Lean Thinking: Second Edition

"Technology becomes a barrier to progress when the business or process matures beyond the tool's capabilities. Adapt it or replace." Denis Matte

"No amount of technology can fix a people or process problem. No amount of technology can fix a bad business model or strategy." Denis Matte

"If you look at the tool when gathering requirements it will: take more time to complete, have more customization, be a more complex solution."

"The ITSM tool can be many things to many people. It is better to do less very well than a lot poorly."

Project Management

"Pay attention to where you are going because without meaning you might get nowhere." A.A. Milne

"Plans are especially important when we don't feel comfortable with something." “Only plan for 4-5 hours of real work per day." David Heinemeier Hansson, 37 Signals

"Plans are worthless, but planning is everything." Dwight D. Eisenhower

"It is always more involved & time-consuming than we had imaged. That's because, before a project begins, we don't generally understand all of the details involved." Thurmon, Dan. Off Balance on Purpose, 2012, p. 226

"Without the correctly diagnosing the nature of the change required, it is virtually impossible to properly map out a plan of action." Fast Forward: Organizational Change in 100 Days by Elspeth J. Murray, Peter R. Richardson, 2002, p. 34

"Do not shoot the messenger of bad news otherwise you will never get another warning that things are deteriorating."

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