ITIL V3 – A Brief


ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) V3 looks at IT Service Management through the prism of the following phases/steps in the service lifecycle:

1> Service Strategy

2> Service Design

3> Service Transition

4> Service Operation

5> Continuous Service Improvement (CSI)

First, let us define what a service is:

A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.

And what is service management?

Service Management is a set of specialized organizational
capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of

ITIL provides a framework for the governance of IT, the ‘service
wrap’, and focuses on the continual measurement and improvement of the
quality of IT service delivered, from both a business and a customer

At the core of IT Service Management, is Service Strategy.

Service Strategy includes 4 key processes: Strategy Generation,Financial Management, Service Portfolio Management (SPM) and Demand Management.

Service Portfolio Management can be considered a subset of IT Portfolio Management. It consists of making an inventory of all the services including services being conceptualised and/or developed and retired services. Service Portfolio Management addresses the what of IT Service Management .

Demand Management consists of balancing demand for the services produced and the capacity of the service provider. Analysis of business activity and user profiles is key to developing a coherent response.

Service Design consists of the following Key Processes and Activities:

Service Catalogue Management (SCM) – provides an accurate and up-to-date picture of the live services.

Service Level Management (SLM) – defines the level of service to be provided to the customers of the services.

Capacity Management – addresses business, service and component needs across the Service Lifecycle.

Availability Management – should be looked into from the following perspectives

a> Reactive – monitoring, measuring, analysis and management of events, incidents and problems involving service unavailability

b> Proactive – proactive planning, design, recommendation and improvement of availability.

IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) – This is required to ensure business continuity and have to ensure that they are aligned with the larger business continuity plans and disaster recovery.

Information Security Management (ISM): Aligns IT security with business security.

Supplier Management : The purpose of the Supplier Management process is to obtain value for money
from suppliers and to ensure that suppliers perform to the targets contained within their contracts and agreements.

The 3rd lifecycle stage is Service Transition.

The role of Service Transition is to deliver services that are required by the business into operational use. Service Transition focuses on implementing all aspects of the service, not just the application and how it is used in ‘normal’ circumstances.

The key processes and activities under Service Transition include Change Management, Service Asset and Configuration Management ,Knowledge Management, Transition Planning and Support, Release and Deployment Management, Service Validation and Testing and  Evaluation.

Service Operation is the actual delivery of the services to the users/consumers of the services.

The key processes and activities under this include Event Management, Incident Management, Request Fulfillment, Access Management, Problem Management and other Common Service Operation Activities.

Key functions under this include Service Desk Function,Technical Management Function,Application Management Function, and IT Operations Management Function.

Finally comes Continual Service Improvement or CSI.

CSI follows the 7 step improvement process.

  1. Define what you should measure – you cannot improve what you cannot measure.
  2. Define what you can measure – Not everything is measurable. Try to get as close to what you wish to measure.
  3. Gather the data – the dirty , tedious work of collecting the data.
  4. Process the data
  5. Analyze the data – w/o analysis, data is just that – information. Analysis transforms it into knowledge.
  6. Present and use the Information – This provides value and allows the audience to make informed decisions.
  7. Implement corrective action – Improve the processes/services.

Reference: The itSMF publication – An Introductory Overview of ITIL V3.

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2 thoughts on “ITIL V3 – A Brief

  1. To the latter question, yes, I am.
    My interest in ITIL is an extension of my interest in Enterprise Architecture. As for an increase in the interest in ITIL, yes, it is true that Indian IT companies are training their personnel on ITIL. I wouldn’t know about the UK. Whether this is because of ITIL V3 is moot. I am not familiar with V2; But ITIL is the application of best practices gleaned through experience and research. And with the advent of SOA . I believe ITIL has even more relevance for service providers, internal and/or external. Have a good day, Sarah!


  2. Over the last 18 months or so I have noticed an up turn in companies requiring people with Service Introduction / Transition skills – there is no doubt in my mind that what was a niche skill is becoming more mainstream – is this a direct result of ITIL V3?

    Does this mean that you should be seeking out experience within this space as it makes you more marketable? I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this.


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