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Analyzing ITIL® Service Design

Graphics webIn the development of software, design is one of the most important stages; this phase follows the requirements gathering stage and precedes the implementation phase. Although that is the general concept for software development, the same applies to IT services.

Service Design helps in converting plans and service objectives into specifications that are executed throughout Service Transition and Service Operations. ITIL® V3’s Service Design volume is one of the best resources which can help IT managers and professionals design and develop services and Service Management processes.

Besides handling new services, the Service Design principles in ITIL V3 can also help improve older services. Therefore, value to clientele increases while the overall process is enhanced with better quality.

The Process of Service Design

To better understand how ITIL V3 Service Design works, you need to understand its processes. So, without further ado, here are the main processes you will encounter in the ITIL V3 Service Design training course.

Service Catalog Management (SCM)

In the Service Catalog Management process, a Service Catalog is created and maintained. A Service Catalog is a database or structured document that contains information about all the ongoing or planned services. Usually, this is provided to stakeholders, developers, and everyone working on the processes mentioned in it.

Aside from that, Service Catalog Management helps by supplying the other Service Management processes with information that can be vital for their operation. Some of the information shared includes service details, current status, and the interdependencies of services.

Service Level Management

During the Service Level Management process, Service Level Agreements are negotiated. A Service Level Agreement is an agreement that is made between an IT service provider and a customer. It defines the IT service, service level targets, and the responsibilities of the provider and the customer. Once that document has been prepared, the services are designed according to the agreed service level targets.

Since the Service Level Management process handles the information of services, it is also responsible for negotiating, approving, defining, and validating all Operational Level Agreements. In addition, Service Level Management also validates and reviews Underpinning Contracts while Supplier Management handles the initial work, i.e. the procurement, negotiations, approvals, etc. for all Underpinning Contracts. An Operational Level Agreement is an agreement between the IT service provider and another part of the same organization (e.g., the project’s team lead and the web designing team). It is used to define the services provided and the responsibilities of each side.

The following sub-processes are included in the Service Level Management process:

  • Maintenance of the Service Level Management Framework – A framework for the Service Level Agreements is designed and maintained. As for other documents such as reports and review checklists, templates are provided for these.
  • Sign Up Customers to Standard Services – In this process, the customer’s requirements are captured. With the help of the standard services provided by the company, service level targets are also agreed on.
  • Identification of Service Requirements – The client’s requirements are captured for new services or the modification of older ones. Then, once service requirements are documented, they are submitted for a preliminary evaluation to filter requirements that are not feasible.
  • Decomposition of Business Service into Supporting Services – Supporting Services are determined or modified to deliver the required service levels and functionality.
  • Technical and Organizational Service Design – IT professionals define the technical aspects of the new service.
  • RFC Compilation and Submission – The Request for Change (RFC) is submitted to mark the start of a new service.
  • Agreements Sign-Off and Service Activation – All relevant contracts are signed after Service Transition is completed. First, Operational Level Agreements will be placed and signed, followed by the Service Level Agreements. The reason behind this sequence is that the first set of documents supports the latter.
  • Service Level Monitoring and Reporting – Service levels are monitored and compared with service level targets to improve service quality. Quality is ensured when the perception of the service provided matches the client’s expectations. Thus weekly, monthly, or quarterly reviews are conducted.

Capacity Management

The Capacity Management process is used to ensure that IT resources meet the demands of the services provided. Capacity Management also makes sure that output is delivered in a cost-effective and timely manner. Here are the sub-processes in the Change Management process:

  • Business Capacity Management – Business needs and plans are translated into capacity and performance requirements that can also be used in the future to support the business plan.
  • Service Capacity Management – The capacity requirements of an individual service are reviewed to improve it. This helps in adding quality to the services delivered to the client.
  • Component Capacity Management – The performance, utilization, and capacity of IT resources and components are managed, controlled, and predicted in each component.
  • Capacity Management Reporting – Service Management processes and IT Management are provided with documents, such as the Capacity Plan, which indicate the service, its performance, and the resources the service utilized. This is the equivalent of the Availability Management Reporting.

Availability Management

During the process of Availability Management, application systems are tested to see whether they are up and available for use as specified in the Service Level Agreements. For new processes, defining, analyzing, planning, and measuring them occurs in the Availability Management process.

The following are the sub-processes of Availability Management:

  • Design Services for Availability – The procedures are designed along with the technical features that are required for the availability levels agreed upon.
  • Availability Testing – Recovery, availability, and resilience mechanisms are tested. This is a regular process throughout the service.
  • Availability Monitoring and Reporting – Achieved availability is compared with agreed availability. Reports of service and component availability are then circulated.

IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM)

IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) is a critical discipline which contributes to the survival of an IT organization. This is done by managing risks that could negatively affect critical services.

Practically speaking, saving all services is time and money consuming. For this reason, critical missions, or Vital Business Functions, are defined. These essential services will be able to utilize the limited resources available. IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) reduces risks and plans the recovery of key services, therefore ensuring the delivery of essential services to support business continuity operations.

The following four stages are included in ITSCM:

  • Initiation: Management objectives are set out through policies, then scope and responsibilities of all staff are defined. Next, resources are allocated, and the project is organized. Finally, Quality Plans will be arranged before obtaining approvals.
  • Requirements and Strategy: The costs and estimates linked to the business requirements are ascertained. Then, strategies are developed to avoid any risks that could hinder the work.
  • Implementation: The IT Service Continuity Plans are produced to match the Business Continuity Plans. Other plans such as the Damage Assessment Plan and Personnel Plan are also integrated into the Business Continuity Plan and then tested.
  • Ongoing Operation: This stage can be further divided into the following:
    • Education: The staff should know the implications of business and service continuity.
    • Review: All deliverables from the process are reviewed to make sure they are current.
    • Testing: Regular testing of strategies should be integrated after the initial test.
    • Change Management: Changes will be assessed and approved if necessary.

Information Security Management

Information Security Management is quite necessary. During this process, the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of an organization’s information are ensured.

Information Security Management can be divided into the following sub-processes:

  • Design of Security Controls – Technical and organizational measures are designed to ensure the security of the organization’s information and data.
  • Security Testing – All security mechanisms are tested regularly.
  • Management of Security Incidents – Attacks and intruders are detected and countered in order to minimize the damage that can occur if security is breached.
  • Security Review – Security measures and procedures are reviewed, maintained, and tested.

Supplier Management

In Supplier Management, contracts with suppliers are checked to see whether they support the needs of the business or not. Contractual commitments are also checked to make sure that suppliers have met the contracts’ conditions. This is handled through six sub-processes:

  • Providing the Supplier Management Framework – Guidance and standards for obtaining suppliers’ services and products are provided.
  • Evaluation of New Suppliers and Contracts – Prospective suppliers are evaluated based on the company’s criteria for suppliers.
  • Establishing New Suppliers and Contracts – New contracts are negotiated and signed.
  • Processing of Standard Orders – Orders and pre-orders for available products and services are processed.
  • Supplier and Contract Review – Performance is validated according to the contract which has been agreed upon. If necessary, improvements will be determined in this process.
  • Contract Renewal or Termination – Assessment of contracts is carried out. Based on that, the termination or renewal of a contract is made.

By implementing these processes of the ITIL V3 Service Design, you can help improve the quality of your services as well as your output. Although these are not all the processes which occur during this discipline, they are definitely the most essential for making your work run smoothly.


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About this author:

Jon Francum

Jon is the Director of Training at Ashford Global IT.

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