VP Glen Taylor manages the Theme Parks and Resorts is one of five segments in The Walt Disney Company, which generates 30% of TWDC’s revenues. Theme Parks and Resorts (TP&R) manages 11 theme parks, 42 resorts, two water parks and two cruise ships. It is also the only segment in TWDC that interacts with the customers face-to-face 365 days a year. The ultimate objective of the TP&R is to provide the customers with “the perfect experience” and for IT, this means 100% availability, reliability and maintainability. Some examples of this “perfect experience” are:
Disney teamed up with Verizon mobile to give the customers in the parks updates on the waiting times for their favorite rides and tells them where their favorite Disney character is located in the parks
Disney introduced a handheld device that can track inventories of mobile retail carts and allows vendors to reorder dwindling supplies with a few keystrokes
Disney uses RFI for global costume management system that helps ensure that the cast members choose the correct costume for their role for the day
Why is it important for Disney’s TP&R to implement ITIL best practices? Implementing ITIL in the organization enables TP&R to
improve availability, reliability and security of IT services,
reduce total operating costs of IT infrastructure assets and IT applications,
improve resource utilization including decreased levels of rework and elimination of redundant activities.
Implementing ITIL, especially in an organization as big as The Walt Disney Company, can prove to be a tedious task. How the company (management and employees) adopts to the new processes is essential in the success of ITIL. VP Glen Taylor used the following steps in implementing ITIL in TP&R:
Market ITIL from the executive level down and make the staff aware of the company’s interest in ITIL. leverage on existing forums to discuss the problems they faced and are facing and how the use of ITIL best practices can help address these issues more effectively.
–> Engaging the employees is good because successful adaptation of ITIL requires continuous communication at all levels of the organization since implementing ITIL impacts the full spectrum of the organization’s employees. This is why it is important to understand the impact at each level within the organization and the value each brings to the program.
2. Instigate an education program from CIO level down. They combined the ITIL training with additional topics that made the training relevant to Disney and TP&R’s specific challenges.
–> By combining the ITIL training with additional topics that are relevant to TP&R’s specific objectives and challenges, TP&R is making sure that ITIL is part of the IT-wide strategy and is using it to guide all other strategic initiatives. By doing so, the company is avoiding both resource and programming constraints since implementation will be aligned with other company wide programs.
3. Choose ITIL Champions or Experts from across TP&R to ensure organizational commitment. These champions should be able to articulate the vision for the processes they manage, be able to learn and understand the considerable amount of information that ITIL V3 comprises, be able to persuade and influence people, work collaboratively and fight resistance, and finally, be able to leverage ITIL best practice and have an understanding of what is doable.
–> Engagement, communications and training are absolutely key to success; from the initial engagement of senior stakeholders to the manager-level ITIL training of new global process owners. Getting and training ITIL champions can help TP&R achieve maximum benefit since the impact and interdependencies across the ITIL framework is clearly understood. The close integration and understanding of the processes allows for the continual flow of up-to-date, critical and accurate information that in turn enables management to drill down and identify target areas for service improvement.
Implementing ITIL is not just about evaluating and revising processes, it is about changing the way people work and are rewarded; changing technology platforms; and changing behaviors across an entire organization, and for Disney, ITIL’s role in delivering excellent service management continues to be a vital one.