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ITIL® is one of the most heavily used ITSM frameworks. But have you ever wondered why it is so popular in the IT market? Well, this is because ITIL is composed of various processes that make ITIL very flexible, scalable and versatile. These processes are nothing but a sequence of activities with some inputs, triggers, and specific outputs. Through the medium of this article, I will give you a brief introduction to various ITIL® Processes and the concepts pillaring them.
ITIL® v3 is built on 26 processes which have been segregated into 5 service lifecycle stages. These are:
Let’s now drill deeper into each of these stages of the ITIL v3 framework and find out how ITIL processes are mapped into these stages.
This is the initial stage of the ITIL® service lifecycle. This stage helps organizations in identifying their business mission and vision. This also helps in developing strategies to meet customer requirements and priorities by analyzing the current market needs and existing offerings. The Service Strategy stage is composed of 5 ITIL® processes which I have discussed below in detail:
This process mainly focuses on the management of the IT service’s portfolios which are offered. Service Portfolio Management process guarantees that the delivered services stay aligned with the goals of Service Strategy. This process is made up of 4 sequential activities which are, defining the services, analyzing services, approving and chartering services.
This process focusses on financial spending and various services in a business such as budgeting, accounting, and charging activities and many more. Financial Management also takes care of the costs that are required to provide services while maximizing its value. This process is made up of three sequential activities which are budgeting, accounting, and charging.
This process performs an analysis of the IT services to know their overall market position. Four sequential activities are performed in this process which are, performing a strategic assessment, generating a strategy, executing strategy, measuring and evaluating.
This process is used to assesses the current customer demand against the services which are being provided to them. Demand Management focusses solely on understanding the customer’s demands and coordinating it with the capacity, availability, and types of services that are provided. There are four sequential activities that are performed in this process which are identifying sources of demand and forecasting, analyzing the patterns of business activity and user profiles, developing differentiated offerings and managing operational demand.
This is the final process in the ITIL Service Strategy stage. Activities like creation and management of customer relationships, comprehension of customer needs, and implementation of required services to meet those needs are performed in Business Relationship Management process. The three sequential activities that are performed in this process are request and complaint handling, identifying opportunities, and managing business relationships.
This is the second stage of the ITIL® service lifecycle. This is the stage of designing processes and functions. In this, service management processes, technology, infrastructure, and products are planned and designed thoroughly in order to meet both customers as well as business demands. This stage is composed of 8 ITIL processes which I have discussed below in detail:
This process basically involves planning for defining the targets for the overall organizational service delivery and then measuring their performance. For easier measurement and comparison of services against the actual service performance the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are used which help in deciding the service level goals. In other words, this process is made up of four sequential activities, which are understanding requirements and drafting SLA’s, negotiating the SLA’s, defining and standardizing the SLA’s, and monitoring and reporting service performance.
This process mainly ensures that there is an updated service catalog available with easy accessibility to the services that are required by the customers to remain productive. There are four sequential activities followed in this process, which are documenting service definition and description, agreeing on service catalog contents, and producing and maintaining the service catalog.
This process helps a business to meet its requirements by ensuring that the involved systems are operating their optimum capacity. There are five sequential activities that complete this process. These activities are monitoring capacity and performance data, analyzing the capacity data, investigating capacity issues, defining and revising capacity plans, and reviewing and optimizing capacity.
This process ensures that the required services are available to the customer at any point in time. There are four sequential activities that are performed in this process namely monitoring availability, analyzing availability data, investigating service unavailability, availability planning, and reviewing availability and testing.
This process mainly focusses on risk management and business continuity. This process is made up of three sequential activities, which are developing requirements and continuity plans, implementing continuity plans, and invoking the continuity plan.
This process centers on providing protection to the system and data along with people has access to them. Information Security Management includes activities like intrusion detection, limitation, and prevention, as well as minimizing the damage and fixing problems. There are five sequential activities performed in this process which are understanding security requirements, producing security policies, implementing security policies, assessing information assets and risks, and reviewing security controls.
This process mainly monitors all supplier relationships which also include recording whether the involved parties are adhering to contracts and agreements. This process is made up of five sequential activities that are, defining requirements, evaluating suppliers, selection of suppliers, manage performance, and renewing/ terminating contracts.
This process takes care of the management of the service design phase by monitoring the resource availability and various service needs in order to determine whether the design is of optimum quality and effective enough to deliver the needs. The four sequential activities that form this process are defining policies and methods, planning resources and capabilities, managing design risks, and improving service design.
This is the third stage of the ITIL® service lifecycle. This is the stage of project management where it focuses on maintaining the current state of service all while deploying the new organizational changes as well as managing services via transitions/discontinuations. It also helps in risk mitigation. The Service Transition stage is composed of 7 ITIL processes which I have discussed below in detail:
This process ensures that with the changes in the business needs, the services remain scalable and reliable. This process is made up of five sequential activities which are registration and categorization, risk and impact analysis, approval, coordinate change build and test, authorize change deployment, and finally review and close change record
This process includes anticipation and management of changes, as well as evaluation of the changes that will help in moving forward. The three sequential activities that form this process are planning evaluation, evaluating predicted performance, and evaluating actual performance.
This process takes care of software deployment while ensuring that the business changes have minimal impact on the presently active production environment. There are five sequential activities that are performed in this process which are release planning, build and test release, deploying, early life support, and reviewing and closure.
This process provides details of the testing and measuring results as well as helps in making decisions regarding service changes and continuation. Five sequential activities are performed in this process which are, planning and designing tests, verifying test plans and designs, preparing test environments, performing tests, evaluating exit criteria, and cleaning test environments and closure.
This process is mainly responsible for the management of the configuration items (CIs) attributes, status, owner, relationships, and change/activity history, etc. There are five sequential activities in this process, namely management and planning, CI identification, CI control, Status accounting and reporting, and verification and accounting.
This process involves gathering and assembling of useful knowledge that will be further used in resolving the issues by technicians and customers. This process is made up of five sequential activities which are defining knowledge management strategy, identifying and gathering data sources, drafting knowledge, technical reviews, editorial reviews, and lastly publishing.
This process is less common and is implemented to plan for the transition of a new or updated service into production. There are five sequential activities that are performed in this process, namely, defining transition strategy, preparing for service transition, planning and coordinating service transition, and monitoring and reporting progress.
This is the fourth stage of the ITIL service lifecycle. This stage offers various ways to manage the smooth delivery of the services on a regular basis. The ultimate objective of this stage is to provide value to the customers. This stage keeps tabs on the changes in the business needs based on the ever-changing technologies in today’s market. The Service Operation stage is composed of 5 ITIL processes which I have discussed below in detail:
This process takes immediate action to restore the interruptions in service due to various incidents such as password resets, printer failures, or an error message, etc. There are five sequential activities in this process, namely, registering & categorizing the incident, prioritizing, investigating and diagnosing, resolution, and finally closure.
This process focusses on pinpointing and preventing recurrence of the problems and incidents. There are five sequential activities performed in this process, which are problem detection and logging, categorizing, investigating and diagnosing, and problem resolution and closure.
This process checks and analyzes all the service events that may occur from various applications, monitoring solutions, and other systems to take necessary actions to ensure service continuity. Five sequential activities performed in this process are event notification, detecting the event, correlating and filtering events, categorizing events, and lastly reviewing event and closure.
This process prevents unauthorized system access by allowing access only to legitimate users. This process is made up of five sequential activities that are accessing requisition, verifying and validating, provision of rights, monitoring the access, tracking the access and finally de-provisioning the access.
This process receives, logs, prioritizes and resolves various service requests that are often received by the service desk. There are five sequential activities in this process that are, requesting registration, validating request, categorizing and prioritizing requests, reviewing and authorizing requests, and request closure.
This is the final stage of the ITIL® service lifecycle. This stage introduces the improvements and policy changes/ updates within the ITIL® process framework for service growth and enhancement. This stage basically pinpoints the areas of improvements and the effects of those improvements you have made by analyzing the metrics. It thoroughly analyses the reasons for success as well as the failure of each business which further helps in identifying the market trends, bottlenecks, and flaws. This stage guides a business in making changes that will improve its business processes. The Continual Service Improvement stage is made up just one process which is discussed below:
This process is made up of seven sequential steps which are identifying the strategy for improvement, defining what you will measure, gathering data, processing data, analyzing information and data, presenting and using information, and implementing improvement.
This brings us to the end of this article on ITIL® Processes.
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