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What is the Most Important Part of the ITIL® Service Lifecycle?

ITIL Training for BusinessesThe heart of the ITIL® framework is the idea of the ITIL Service Lifecycle. This lifecycle is broken down into five phases, and it should be viewed as a cyclical cycle rather than a chronological list. Despite its cyclical nature, many individuals and business managers want to know which of the five phases is most important.

Take a closer look at the value of each of the phases of the ITIL Service Lifecycle, and learn definitively about which is the most important.

Service Strategy

Although the lifecycle is cyclical, the start of an idea, service of product often begins at the Service Strategy phase. This stage of the ITIL Service Lifecycle is where a team or department thinks carefully about the strategies needed to provide a service to potential customers.

This could involve tweaking a service or identifying the various challenges that might occur.

Service Design

The Service Design phase of the ITIL Service Lifecycle is where theory and strategy come together to form concrete ideas and objectives.

This could involve creating a budget for service delivery, creating a timeline for service release or determining how many staff are required in order to carry out the anticipated services.

Service Transition

The plans might be set and the strategy in place, but Service Transition is the phase where all staff, departments and consultants weigh in on how best to get it done. Prior to the release of a new service, for example, a company might need to lead training seminars for staff so that they know how to sell, install or troubleshoot any customer problems.

If products, hardware or other tangible goods are needed, a logistics or ordering team might oversee their arrival. Services need to be tested, and everyone needs to be sure that they know their part in the ultimate delivery and operations of a given service.

Service Operation

From the outside, this is the most visible phase of the ITIL Service Lifecycle. Service Operation is go time, or when a service goes live. This phase will involve selling to customers, handling implementation, delivery or installation, if needed, and any customer service or troubleshooting to ensure a successful release.

Continual Service Improvement

Many companies mistakenly believe that Service Operation is the end of the cycle. In reality, the next phase is Continual Service Improvement. This phase focuses on identifying and understanding any flaws that cropped up during operations, how to stay ahead of new technological developments and whether there are any ways to change an existing service that would better meet the needs of customers.

This can be an ongoing phase, and whatever is learned during Continual Service Improvement can feed right into Service Strategy for the next release or service upgrade.

Identifying the Most Important Phase

Now that you’ve got a basic understanding of each of the phases, you might wonder which is the most important. However, no one phase on its own is more valuable than the next. In order to deliver IT services effectively, your businesses needs to incporate each and every phase in the ITIL Service Lifecycle.

The ITIL Service Lifecycle is one of the building blocks for success, and you’ll want to emphasize each of the phases in order to achieve the best possible results.

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About this author:

Jon Francum

Jon is the Director of Training at Ashford Global IT.

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