Managing a Large Network Installation Using ITIL and PPDIOO

Managing large network installation projects can be pretty daunting.  Keeping track of your progress and making sure you don’t miss any steps along the way is crucial.  ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) as well as Cisco’s PPDIOO both provide a network services lifecycle frame work to help ensure that when the project is implemented the entire company will have everything it needs to operate and maintain the new network.


ITIL is broken down into 5 key steps. Each step covers a specific practice within IT Service Management.

1. Service Strategy – provides guidelines  to clarify and prioritize your project
2. Service Design – provides guidelines on the design of your project
3. Service Transition – provides guidelines on the transition of your project to operations
4. Service Operation – provides operational guidelines for maintaining levels of service
5. Continual Service Improvement – provides guidelines for aligning project service based on change business needs

ITIL is much more complex then just this simple outline, and is beyond the scope of this article.  However, by breaking your project down into these steps you can more easily manage each step of your network installation and seeing your project to completion.


Cisco also has their own network service lifecycle guidelines that loosely map to ITIL standards.   PPDIOO service lifecycle allows network design engineers and network planners to better manage large network installations.  Cisco created this methodology to allow network engineers to better plan and meet business objectives.

  1. PREPARE – This is the discovery process to understand the business requirements
  2. PLAN – Verify the requirements, conduct workshops, and complete site surveys
  3. DESIGN – Create low level designs to be passed to implementation
  4. IMPLEMENT – Rollout the design into production. Create operational instructions
  5. OPERATE – Transition to the operations team and analyze operational issues
  6. OPTIMIZE – Work with operations to establish and identify system improvements.

Again, just like with ITIL, the  PPDIOO methodology is much more detailed then what is described above. However this is an introduction and outline to allow for an improved large network installation.

Below you can see a comparison of how ITIL and PPDIOO map to each other.


For a truly excellent break down and in depth explainatin of both ITIL and PPDIOO check out the following links

Cisco PPDIOO Lifecycle Services

ITIL on Wikipedia



Senior Network Engineer, technology enthusiast, guitar and bass player. Joe Wilson is the creator of as well as other niche websites that can be found around on the Internets.

What do you think about this article?


  1. ITIL is one of the worst standards ever created.. it causes more headache and overhead than needed

    the only value for ITIL is in organizations that are heavily regulated (healthcare/financial)

    otherwise, you've got to be stupid to be doing ITIL

    • Mike,

      Thanks for your comments. I understand that ITIL and PPDIOO are both frustrating to work with at times. But they do offer a way to organize very large roll outs and very large projects. For the most part I would prefer to not have to use ITIL or PPDIOO. However recently I've been involved with a tremendous global network implementation involving 65 offices in over 23 countries. With a project of this scale having some guidelines to work by is extremely helpful. If I had a choice I prefer PPDIOO over ITIL. It is Cisco's standard and much more granular.

      Thanks again for your comment

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