Chapter 2 : Definition of Service Management

2.1 Definition of Service Management ITIL is presented as “good practice”. Good practice is an approach or method that has been proven in practice. Good practices can be a solid backing for organizations that want to improve their IT services. The ITIL service lifecycle is based on ITIL’s core concept of “service management” and the related concepts “service” and “value”. These core terms in service management are explained as follows: • Service management - A set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services. • Service - A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes the customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs or risks. Outcomes are possible from the performance of tasks and they are limited by a number of constraints. Services enhance performance and reduce the pressure of constraints. This increases the chances of the desired outcomes being realized. • Value - Value is the core of the service concept. From the customer’s perspective, value consists of two core components: utility and warranty. Utility is what the customer receives, and warranty is how it is provided. The concepts “utility” and “warranty” are described in the Section “Service Strategy”. 2.2 Service Management Technology Technology plays a major role in IT service management. With the help of tools, management tasks can be automated, for example in monitoring tasks or software distribution tasks. Other tools support the performance of the activities themselves, for example help desk tools or service management tools. An integrated set of service management technology should ideally include the following functionality: • support for all stages of the lifecycle • support for the design of services • self-help and remote control • an integrated Configuration Management System (CMS)
• technology for discovery/deployment/licensing/diagnostics/reporting
• dashboards
Automation is considered to improve utility and warranty of services (see section 3.2 for
an explanation of the terms utility and warranty). Consider the following guidelines to
prepare for automation:
• Simplify the processes before automating them.
• Clarify the flow of activities, allocation of tasks, need for information, and
• In self-service situations, reduce the surface area of contact users have with the
underlying systems and processes.
• Do not hurry to automate tasks and interactions that are neither simple nor
2.3 Overview of the Service Lifecycle
ITIL V3 approaches service management from the lifecycle aspect of a service. The
service lifecycle is an organizational model that provides insight into:
• The way service management is structured.
• The way the various lifecycle components are linked to each other.
• The impact that changes in one component will have on other components and on
the entire lifecycle system.
Thus, ITIL V3 focuses on the service lifecycle, and the way service management
components are linked. Processes and functions are also discussed in the lifecycle
The service lifecycle consists of five phases. Each volume of the core ITIL books describes
one of these phases. The related processes and functions are described in detail in the
phase where they have the strongest association.
The five phases are:
1. Service Strategy - The phase of strategic planning of service management capabilities,
and the alignment of service and business strategies. Processes and functions:
− Financial management
− Service portfolio management
− Demand management
2. Service Design - The phase of designing and developing appropriate IT services,
including architecture, processes, policy and documents; the design goal is to meet
the current and future business requirements. Processes and functions:
− Service catalogue management
− Service level management
− Capacity management
− Availability management
− IT service continuity management
− Information security management
− Supplier management
3. Service Transition - The phase of realizing the requirements from previous stages,
and improving the capabilities for the transition of new and modified services to
production. Processes and functions:
− Transition planning and support
− Change management
− Service asset and configuration management
− Release and deployment management
− Service validation and testing
− Evaluation
− Knowledge management
4. Service Operation - The phase of achieving effectiveness and efficiency in providing
and supporting services in order to ensure value for the customer and the service
provider. Processes and functions:
− Event management
− Incident management
− Request fulfillment
− Problem management
− Access management
− Monitoring and control
− IT operations
− Service desk
5. Continual Service Improvement - The phase of creating and maintaining the value
for the customer by design improvement, and service introduction and operation.
Functions and processes:
− The 7-step improvement process (CSI Improvement Process)
− Service reporting
Service Strategy is the axis of the service lifecycle (Figure 2.1) that drives all other phases;
it is the phase of policymaking and setting objectives. The Service Design, Service
Transition and Service Operation phases are guided by this strategy, their continual
theme is adjustment and change. The Continual Service Improvement phase stands for
learning and improving, and embraces all other lifecycle phases. This phase initiates
improvement programs and projects, and prioritizes them based on the strategic
objectives of the organization.
2.4 ITIL Library
The official, new style ITIL Library encompasses the following components:
• Core Library - the five service lifecycle publications:
− Service Strategy
− Service Design
− Service Transition
− Service Operation
− Continual Service Improvement
Each book covers a phase from the service lifecycle and encompasses various
processes, functions and activities, which are always described in detail in the book
in which they find their key application.
• Complementary portfolio:
− introduction guide
− key element guides
− qualification aids
− white papers
− glossary
Continual Service Improvement
Service Transition
Service Operation
Service Design
Service Strategy
Figure 2.1 The Service Lifecycle

2.5 Introduction to Functions and Processes
This section provides an overview of the basic functions and processes that are included
in the five phases of the service lifecycle.
Processes and functions are defined as follows:
• Process - A structured set of activities designed to accomplish a defined objective.
Processes have inputs and outputs, result in a goal-oriented change, and utilize
feedback for self-enhancing and self-corrective actions. Processes are measurable,
provide results to customers or stakeholders, are continual and iterative and
are always originating from a certain event. Processes can run through several
organizational units. An example of a process is change management.
• Function - A team or group of people and the tools they use to carry out one or
more processes or activities, specialized in fulfilling a specified type of work, and
responsible for specific end results. Functions have their own practices and their
own knowledge body. Functions can make use of various processes. An example
of a function is a service desk. (Note: “function” can also mean “functionality”,
“functioning”, or “job”.)
We can study each process separately to optimize its quality:
• The process owner is responsible for the process results.
• The process manager is responsible for the realization and structure of the process,
and reports to the process owner.
• The process operatives are responsible for defined activities, and these activities are
reported to the process manager.
The management of the organization can provide control on the basis of data from each
process. In most cases, the relevant performance indicators and standards will already
be agreed upon, and the process manager can take day-to-day control of the process.
The process owner will assess the results based on performance indicators and check
whether the results meet the agreed standard. Without clear indicators, it would be
difficult for a process owner to determine whether the process is under control, and if
planned improvements are being implemented.
Processes are often described using procedures and work instructions:
• A procedure is a specified way to carry out an activity or a process. A procedure
describes the “how”, and can also describe “who” executes the activities. A procedure
may include stages from different processes. Procedures will vary depending on the
• A set of work instructions defines how one or more activities in a procedure should
be executed in detail, using technology or other resources.
When setting up an organization, positions and roles are also used, in addition to the
various groups (teams, departments, divisions):
• Roles are sets of responsibilities, activities and authorities granted to a person
or team. One person or team may have multiple roles; for example, the roles of
Configuration Manager and Change Manager may be carried out by one person.
• Job positions are traditionally recognized as tasks and responsibilities that are
assigned to a specific person. A person in a particular position has a clearly defined
package of tasks and responsibilities which may include various roles. Positions
can also be more broadly defined as a logical concept that refers to the people
and automated measures that carry out a clearly defined process, an activity or a
combination of processes or activities. Individuals and roles have an N:N relationship
People, process, products and partners (the four Ps) provide the main “machinery” of
any organization, but they only work well if the machine is oiled: communication is an
essential element in any organization. If the people do not know about the processes
or use the wrong instructions or tools, the outputs may not be as anticipated. Formal
structures on communication include:
• Reporting - Internal and external reporting, aimed at management or customers,
project progress reports, alerts.
• Meetings - Formal project meetings, regular meetings with specific targets.
• Online facilities - Email systems, chat rooms, pagers, groupware, document sharing
systems, messenger facilities, teleconferencing and virtual meeting facilities
• Notice boards - Near the coffee maker, at the entrance of the building, in the
company restaurant.
It is recommended that a common understanding of processes, projects, programs, and
even portfolios is created. The following definitions may be used:
• Process - A process is a structured set of activities designed to accomplish a defined
• Project - A project is a temporary organization, with people and other assets required
to achieve an objective.
• Program - A program consists of a number of projects and activities that are planned
and managed together to achieve an overall set of related objectives.
• Portfolio - A portfolio is a set of projects and/or programs, which are not necessarily
related, brought together for the sake of control, coordination and optimization of
the portfolio in its totality. NB: A service portfolio is the complete set of services that
are managed by a service provider.

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