Many organisations are adopting the ITIL process lifecycle to enable them to manage business and technology changes more effectively and efficiently.

Strategy (SS)

The purpose of the ITIL process strategy lifecycle stage is to define a strategy that a provider needs to execute to meet an organization’s business objectives and outcomes. Value creation begins in the strategy lifecycle stage with an understanding of the organizational objectives and customer needs. The strategy lifecycle stage covers strategy generation that aims to improve the alignment between the service provider’s capabilities and the business strategies.

The strategy publication covers the principles of management which are useful for developing management policies, practices and processes across the ITIL service lifecycle. The guidance includes the development of markets to be served, characteristics of internal and external provider types, service assets, the service portfolio and implementation of strategy through the lifecycle of the process. Major topics are financial management, demand management, organizational development and strategic risks.

ITIL Service Design (SD)

The purpose of the design stage of the lifecycle is to design IT resources, together with the governing IT practices, processes and policies, to realize the strategy and to facilitate the introduction of these resources into the live environment. Critical success factors are quality delivery, customer satisfaction and cost-effective service provision.

The design lifecycle stage enables service providers to design appropriate and innovative services underpinned by IT to meet current and future agreed business needs.

The design guidance covers the design principles and methods for converting strategic objectives into portfolios of service assets. The publication guides organizations on how to develop design capabilities for service management. Key topics are service catalogue, availability, capacity, continuity and service level management.

Service transition ensures that new or changed services meet customer and business expectations as documented in the service strategy and service design lifecycle stages.

The transition lifecycle stage covers the transition of an organization from one state to another while delivering the capabilities for service operation and continual service improvement. This stage aims to plan and manage changes efficiently and effectively whilst controlling risks and delivering knowledge for decision support.

The transition guidance covers practices in change management, service asset and configuration management, release and deployment management, change evaluation and knowledge management and places them in the practical context of service management.

Service Operation (SO)

Service operation is the management of the day-to-day operation of services. The focus is achieving effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery and support of services to ensure value for the customer, user and the service provider. As strategic objectives are realised through service operation, it is a critical capability.

Knowledge about the ITIL service operation lifecycle stage enables operational managers to make better decisions in areas such as managing the availability of services, controlling demand, optimizing capacity utilization, scheduling of operations and avoiding or resolving service incidents and managing problems.

The operation publication combines practices in event, incident, problem, request, access, service desk, application, technical and operations management practices.

ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

Continual Service Improvement aims to align the IT services to the changing business needs by planning and implementing improvements to IT services that support business capabilities.

The ITIL CSI guidance provides practices on linking improvement efforts to outcomes. The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) approach provides a closed loop feedback mechanism for prioritising improvements from different perspectives.

The ITIL CSI publication includes advice on service measurement, demonstrating benefits and value delivery with metrics, assessing capability maturity, baselines and benchmarking. The guidance combines principles, practices and methods from quality management, change management and capability improvement.

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