Monday, August 15, 2011

Service Management and ITIL

Service Management and ITIL
I have been working in Service area for 4+ years, so familiar with almost all the service related terms. Recently, I have cleared my ITIL foundation certification with 95% and now I am preparing for Intermediate certification.
I thought of sharing my knowledge on this subject to benefit some of the people who will come across this blog.
Here I am giving the definitions of some of the common terms/questions for those who are willing to know ITIL.
Ø  Service: Service is the means of providing value by facilitating the outcomes customer wants to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.
Real life example:  A Restaurant delivering food to its customer, here delivering the food to customer is a “service” provided by Restaurant.  The outcome customer wants to achieve is nice food, Restaurant is facilitating the customer by preparing & serving food to its customer by owning all the processes and risks included in this. So Restaurant is providing a value to its customer in the mean of nice food and Customer is paying him the cost for that.
Ø  IT Service: IT Service is the means of providing value to customer using IT methodologies, tools, software etc.

Ø  Why does a customer want the service? Service Providers are specialized knowledge group who can facilitate the outcomes in an easy way.
Real life example: In the Restaurant example above, the Restaurant is preparing and providing food to its customer, so Restaurant is a Service Provider here. Why customers want to avail Restaurant service? Because Restaurant is expertize on preparing delicious food and customer can enjoy the delicious food any time with no extra efforts.
Similarly in IT, an expert IT company can design and offer some useful tools & techniques to its customer and provide them services for achieving the customer’s outcomes.
Ø  Service Management: Service Management is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customer in the form of services.

Ø  IT Service Management: ITSM governs the IT Service department of an organization by defining several important processes, roles & responsibilities, management of third parties (external suppliers/partners) etc. to deliver and support quality IT Services that meet specific business needs and requirements.

Ø  Official ITIL definition of ITSM: “A set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing values to customers in the form of services.”

Ø  ITIL: ITIL is a framework that describes the best practices in IT service management. ITIL provides framework for the governance of IT and focus on continual measurement and improvements. Some of the ITIL benefits include,
·         Increased user and customer satisfaction with IT services.
·         Improved service availability, directly leading to increased business profits and revenue.
·         Financial saving from reduced rework.
·         Improved decision making and optimized risk.
Real Life Exmple: When you want to write a java program or a .net program, you refer the Java Reference Architecture or Class Libraries. These JRA or Class Libraries are well proven templates solution which facilitates you in implementing already proven functions and these align your program with standard. Similarly when you want to implement and effective Service Management in your work, you use Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL is set of proven best practices, which if implemented in our work, will help us in better service management and will keep our business as per current standard.
Ø  ITIL Versions:
·         ITIL initial version (1989 ~ 1995) was consisted of 31 associated books covering all aspects of IT service.
·         ITIL second version (2000 ~ 2004) was consisted of 7 more closely connected and consistent books. The 2nd version became universally accepted.
·         ITIL third version (2007) is consist of just 5 core books covering the service lifecycle.

Ø  Service Lifecycle as per ITIL: As per ITIL Framework, a Service has five stages in its lifecycle.
·         Service Strategy
·         Service Design
·         Service Transition
·         Service Operation
·         Continual Service Improvement

ITIL Processes and Functions:

Ø  Process: A Process is a set of coordinated activities combining and implementing resources and capabilities together to produce a desired outcome.
·         A process takes one or more inputs and through the activities performed termed them into defined output.
·         All processes should be measurable.

Ø  Function: A Team or group of people and the tools they use to carry out one or more processes or activities. Function provides units of organization for specific outcomes. IT Functions defines the different roles and responsibilities required for the overall design, delivery and management of IT Services.
Please refer the following figure for understanding of ITIL v3 Lifecycle, Processes and Functions.
There are total 24 Processes and 4 functions in ITIL v3.
Ø  ITIL Certification
There are four levels of qualifications within the scheme:
·         ITIL Foundation
·         ITIL Intermediate Level   
·         ITIL Expert Level
·         ITIL Master Qualification
The modular, tiered structure of the qualification not only offers candidates the flexibility in relating to the different disciplines and areas of ITIL, but generally makes ITIL qualifications more accessible and achievable.

For more information on how to plan for Certification, please go through the ITIL official website, link provide below.

Helpful Links:

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