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ITIL® Service Lifecycle – An Overview

The ITIL® Service Lifecycle has five phases – Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement.

The first Service Lifecycle phase is Service Strategy which encompasses five sub processes: Business Relationship Management, Strategy Generation, Financial Management, Service Portfolio Management and Demand Management. In Service Strategy, you define the strategy to accomplish your business goals and objectives: how is the service going to help achieve your business goals? How will the service add value to the business? What are the strategic goals of the business and how are they aligned with the business objectives?

Once the Service Strategy has been developed, the next phase in the Service Lifecycle is Service Design. This Lifecycle phase is where the new or changed service is designed. Service Design must ensure that the service is aligned with the organization’s business goals and objectives defined in the business strategy. There are eight sub processes within Service Design: Service Level Management, Availability Management, Capacity Management, IT Service Continuity Management, Design Coordination, Service Catalog Management, Supplier Management and Information Security Management.

The next phase is Service Transition, and it is the stage where the new or changed services are implemented into the production environment while controlling risks of service failure and business disruption. There are five sub processes: Change Management, Service Asset and Configuration Management, Release and Deployment Management, Service Validation and Testing, as well as Knowledge Management.

Service Operation is the day to day operation of the processes that govern IT services. This is where the value of the services is first realized by the customer. The Service Operation phase is composed of five sub processes: Event Management, Incident Management, Problem Management, Request Fulfillment, and Access Management. In Service Operation, it is critical to have the proper Service Management tools in order to capture data as well as track and measure service performance.

Continual Service Improvement ensures that the IT services are continually aligned with the organization’s changing business needs. Service improvements are implemented based on feedback identified during Service Operation. An example of a service improvement opportunity may be changing a specific service level commitment. It may be out of alignment due to changing business goals or information technology’s performance capability. By looking at data and operational processes, we can look back to any of the previous Lifecycle phases and adjust service level parameters to be in line with required service performance commitments or changing business needs.

To learn more about the phases in the ITIL Service Lifecycle, contact Ashford Global IT today!

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About this author:

Jon Francum

Jon is the Director of Training at Ashford Global IT.

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