John Talbot, general operational manager at the Commonwealth Bank, said identifying said the problem with many so-called 'experts' is that they have textbook knowledge, but no real-world implementation experience.

He said: "Our initial challenge was that there were far too many 'experts' out there; I know certification isn't easily obtained so that lends credibility, but you need some experience under your belt as well."

Talbot, who was speaking at an ITSM Forum (itSMF) roundtable in Sydney, said another stalling point is lack of executive sponsorship.

Fortunately, he said, the bank had a "depth of active sponsorship" when it started its US$1.14 billion (£773 million) transformation project.

Branko Milenovic, Centrelink's ITSM project manager, another roundtable participant, agreed with Talbot about seeking out expertise. He found experts with "appropriate accreditation", but that lacked credibility and integrity.

"While we had people with appropriate accreditation to assist us with the journey we soon found the credibility and integrity was in question, and that is an important factor when implementing ITSM," he said.

A central management point

Centrelink began a multimillion-dollar ITSM project, based on HP’s OpenView platform using ITIL (IT infrastructure library) methodology in August 2005 that is expected complete by December 2006, and give Centrelink a central point for managing IT service requests and incidents.

Another roundtable participant Roger McPhee, Queensland Transport project director, already had practices and processes in place, none of which were aligned to ITIL.

"For us it was a challenge because of our immaturity in terms of having practices in place; those we had weren't aligned to ITIL and, as a result, we would fix the same problem 45 times. The enormous investment going into fixing issues was not helpful to our organization," McPhee said.

"It was a perfect opportunity to redefine the processes and align them to what is recognized as a de facto best-practice standard and an opportunity for us to build from the ground up."