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ITIL®: Six Key Processes

The IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®) is a set of best practices in IT Service Management. ITIL contains detailed descriptions of important practices and provides checklists and procedures that can be tailored to any IT department’s needs. Six of the key processes in ITIL are discussed below.

The Service Desk

The Service Desk is a functional unit made up of a dedicated number of staff responsible for dealing with a variety of service events, often made via telephone calls, web interface, or automatically reported infrastructure events. The duties of the Service Desk are detailed and varied in day-to-day activities.

The Service Desk is the primary point of contact between users and IT personnel as it represents the frontline of customer support. Users will contact the Service Desk to report a service disruption, place a Service Request, or inquire about general information that may impact the user’s service. Some Requests for Change are also handled through the Service Desk.

Incident Management

An Incident is defined as an unplanned disruption to a service or degradation in the quality of a service. The goal and mission of Incident Management is to correct and restore a business’s disrupted or downgraded services to their normal operating standards as quickly as technology allows.

Problem Management

Much like Incident Management, Problem Management is there to resolve the root of any IT related Problem. A Problem is defined as an unknown cause of one or more Incidents. Problem Management works to prevent Incidents from occurring and minimize the impact of those Incidents that cannot be prevented. Problem Management keeps information about Problems and the appropriate workarounds and resolutions, so that the organization can reference this information if the Problem persists. The organization is also able to use this information to reduce the number and impact of Incidents over time. Although Incident and Problem Management are separate processes, they are closely related and work together to minimize the impact of Problems and restore normal operation as quickly as possible.

Service Asset and Configuration Management

Service Asset and Configuration Management handles all the information pertaining to the IT infrastructure and its components, including Service Assets and Configuration Items. These records must be accurate and up-to-date. This information is stored in the Configuration Management System (CMS). By having all this information in one place, IT personnel can easily see how changing one Service Asset or Configuration Item can affect other services and even the IT infrastructure. This process can also present all the costs related to a specific service.

Change Management

Change Management is responsible for implementing Changes in a timely and efficient manner while keeping disruptions to current IT services at a minimum. The Change Advisory Board (CAB) is a group of personnel who is responsible for assessing, filtering, and managing the Change and then prioritizing and scheduling when the Change will take place. The CAB is called in to ensure that Changes are evaluated, approved, and implemented in a controlled manner. In the event of an emergency, the Emergency Change Advisory Board has the authority to implement a Change.

Release and Deployment Management

Release and Deployment Management plans, builds, and tests Releases to ensure that when the Release is delivered into the live environment, minimal disruption to IT services takes place. This process also makes sure that the correct components are released into the live environment. Releases need to be made in accordance with Service Design specifications in an effort to meet the demands of the stakeholders.

Contact Ashford Global IT today to learn how implementing ITIL’s processes in your organization can be beneficial!


About this author:

Angel Prusinowski

Angel is a leading ITIL® instructor at Ashford Global IT.

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