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Introduction to ITIL v.3 - Service Management Model
1.Introduction to ITIL v.3
Sooner or later many IT managers notice a need for structured and systematized approach to organization of their IT departments. It causes in creation of new processes, roles and functions. If IT department is mature then those processes, roles and functions are constantly corrected and improved. This improvement may last very long and the conclusions are universal. That’s why the work on ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) began in the 80s of the twentieth century on behalf of government in the UK. The goal was to gather “good practices” and recommendation and to structure the knowledge regarding effective and efficient service providing. First publication – “HelpDesk” – came out in 1989. In 2001 the second version of the library came out in two major publication, and in 2007 the third version of the framework was published.
To successfully operate in dynamic and changing environment, the organizations need to improve their performance and maintain competitive advantages constantly. To do this, the organization must have the ability to respond quickly as well as space and resources for growth. The organization is like a living organism living in the open. It must remain focused and watchful to respond to attacks from larger predators. It must also be able to act without hesitation when the occasion arises – and therefore it must be flexible and have some ability to quickly respond and adapt. Finally – it can’t be trapped in a cage of restrictions – it must have space for development and energy to work.
To ensure the efficiency of this organism we can find “good practices” in any industry. They help to enhance the organization’s ability to perform their functions and effective actions.
“Good practices” can be found in several sources:
- In widely known, public structures and standards that have in a diverse environment. Professionals and experts often share their knowledge, especially when they move from one company to another and often start their own training, consulting or work as a personal coach.
- Knowledge, which belongs to organizations or individuals and is a source of competitive advantage. Often, it is adopted to the local context and specific business needs. This can be either knowledge that affects company’s strategy or is inextricable and poorly documented.
1.2 ITIL Framework
ITIL framework is a source of good practices in Service Management. They define the way services should be provided for customer to fit they business needs and purpose, to be stable and so reliable that the business views them as a trusted provider. The framework is neither bureaucratic nor unwieldy if used sensibly and with full understanding of organization business needs. ITIL has been successfully implemented for 20 years, during which it has become specialized in Service Management bible, basing on processes and providing holistic approach to entire Service Lifecycle.
What is Service Lifecycle?
Service Lifecycle is an approach to IT Service Management that emphasize the importance of coordination and control across the various functions, processes and systems necessary to manage the full lifecycle of IT services. The Service Management Lifecycle approach considers a strategy, design, transition, operation and continuous improvement of IT services.
Service Lifecycle is divided into five parts. Each of them cover a stage of the Service Lifecycle from the initial definition in Service Strategy, through analysis of business requirements in Service Design, migration to live environment in Service Transition, to live operation – Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement.
1.3 What is Service Management?
To understand what Service Management is, we have to understand what we mean by service and how Service Management can help us in providing and managing services.
What is Service?
A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes that customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.
The outcomes that customer want to achieve are the reasons they purchase or use the service. The value of the service is directly dependent on how good the service helps to achieve those outcomes.
Service Management is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customer in the form of services.
Those “specialized organizational capabilities” are described in ITIL framework. They contain processes, activities, functions and roles that service provider uses to enable them to deliver services to their customers, as well as the ability to organize, manage knowledge and understand how to adjust services to create value.
Service Management includes so much more than just delivering services. Each service, process or infrastructure component has a lifecycle, and Service Management covers the entire lifecycle – from strategy, through design, transition, operation to the continual service improvement.
1.4 THE ITIL v.3 Service Management Model
All services should be based on business needs and requirements. They must also reflect the strategy and policies of service provider, such as security policy, within this context.
The diagram shows how the Service Lifecycle is initiated by a change in business requirements. Those requirements are identified and agreed by defining Service Level Package (SLP) in Service Strategy stage. Then it proceeds to Service Design stage, where a solution is created together with Service Design Package (SDP). SDP contains everything that we need to pass a service through the remaining stages of lifecycle. It passes Service Transition, where the service is evaluated, tested, validated and finally transitioned to live environment as it enters the Service Operation stage. Service Operation is focused on providing efficient and effective service that delivers required outcomes to the customer.
Goals of Continual Service Improvement is to identify possible improvements at every stage of Service Lifecycle, based on measurement and reporting of the efficiency effectiveness, cost effectiveness and consistency of service, service management processes and technologies.
ITIL uses models to improve and adapt the organization to use good practices. The models are designed so that they can be used independently of the organizational context and to help take advantage of economies of scale and efficiency. The central part of these models are the main elements of the processes that are interrelated and influence each other.
Diagram below provides a graphical representation of the key processes defined by each publication and lifecycle stage.