IT Service Management/Core Concepts

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Core Concepts[edit | edit source]

Services deliver value to customers without their having to own specific costs and risks.

Service Management is a set of specialized capabilities for delivering value to customers in the form of services.

IT is a standard abbreviation for Information Technology. ITS is an abbreviation for IT Services.

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a framework for IT Service Management (ITSM).

Good practices are time-tested, widely-accepted, widely-adopted best practices.

Sources of good practices include:

  • Public frameworks
  • Standards
  • Academic research
  • Proprietary knowledge

The Service Lifecycle consists of five phases:

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Operation
  • Service Transition
  • Continual Service Improvement

The Service Lifecycle organizes activity around services as they move from concept to live environment, then to retirement. The ITIL core is structured around the Service Lifecycle, and the ITIL core documentation consists of five volumes, each representing a single phase of the Service Lifecycle.

Processes are structured sets of activities for achieving specifics objectives. Processes may involve roles, and could reach across multiple functional groups. Processes are typically not supported by budgets or reporting structures.

Basic characteristics of processes:

  • Measurable
  • Transform inputs into outputs
  • Deliver specific results
  • Deliver results to a specific customer or stakeholder
  • Are triggered by, and respond to, specific events

There are specific processes associated with each phase in the Service Lifecycle. Processes have a generic structure that can be represented by a three-layered model.

The three-layered model includes:

  • Process Control
  • The Process itself
  • Process Enablers

Process Control includes process policies, ownership, documentation, and review programs.

The Process itself includes the steps, procedures, roles, work instructions, inputs, outputs, triggers, and metrics, of the process.

Process Enablers include the resources and capabilities that are required to support the process.

Functions are self-contained subsets of an organization, typically including a group of people and their tools, intended to accomplish specific tasks. Functions may be supported by reporting structures and budgets, involve roles, map reasonably directly to an organizational chart, and add stability and structure to the organization.

Major functions include:

  • Service Desk
  • Technical Management
  • Application Management
  • IT Operations Management

Roles are collections of specific privileges and responsibilities, which may be held - alone or in combination with others - by individuals or teams.

Standard roles include:

  • Service Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Service OWner
  • Process Owner

The Service Manager is responsible for all services. The Product Manager is responsible for a group of related services. Both Service and Product Managers are responsible for the development, performance, and improvement of services under their respective domains.

The Service Owner is responsible for a single service. The Process Owner is responsible for a single process. Both Service and Process owners are responsible for the design, performance, improvement, integration, and management of the services or processes under their respective domains.