News story

How ITIL® is being used to ensure 27,000 university staff and students receive the best possible IT support

UKLearning NewsAXELOS Global Best Practice

AXELOS has published a new case study outlining how one of the United Kingdom’s most well regarded universities is using ITIL® to ensure that more than 27,000 staff and students receive the highest standards of IT service management.

Newcastle University is in the north east of England and is a member of the Russell Group, of 24 leading UK universities committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector.

The new AXELOS case study has been produced with the support of Sharon Mossman, who is the Service Process Manager in the University’s IT Services department, which consists of around 160 staff, serving 5,200 staff and more than 22,000 students. Sharon has 30 years’ experience in IT and has been an ITIL service manager since the 1990s. She has remained committed to the principle of ‘adopt and adapt’, which has supported her in the implementation and improvement of ITSM processes in these organizations. She is also a PRINCE2® practitioner.

Sharon said: “When I first came to the University, the IT department had already made some efforts to adopt some ITIL processes, with simple incident management processes in place, and a draft service catalogue.

“However, it was clear that we were missing opportunities to learn from our experiences, and improve management of services. I wanted to start by laying some foundations that would allow us to improve how we work over a period of time, at a pace that would work for this organization.”

The case study explains how Sharon used ITIL to overcome technical challenges including controlling change management, which has helped to reduce the number of systems outages and improve departmental communication. Sharon also outlines how she has overcome internal reticence to the adoption of ITIL and managed to gain trust among her colleagues.

She said: “I was very keen to ensure that it was understood that good practice and processes are not designed to make life difficult or to uncover issues in order to find someone to blame. I’ve worked very hard to instil a ‘no-blame’ culture which I’m pleased to say really works, focusing instead on how we can learn from our experiences.”

The case study also outlines Sharon’s top ITIL tips, including the importance of engaging with colleagues as early as possible and including them in process development decision making. She also urges practitioners to work within the culture of the organization rather than against it, and not to be afraid to ask for help from the numerous external ITIL resources and forums.

Access the full case study here on

Sharon will be featuring on an AXELOS webinar on 12 March, discussing the case study and her experience of ITIL. To join the webinar, register here.