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5 ITIL Service Lifecycle Management Processes to Review Today

5 ITIL Processes

An Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is best described as a framework with a set of best practices for providing competent IT support services to an organisation. Its main goal is to produce affordable IT service management. 

ITIL’s primary area of focus is resource optimisation. It regularly reviews the current processes to know where further improvements are needed. Technically speaking, it refines the processes to be as perfect as possible.

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5 Stages of ITIL Service Lifecycle Management 

There are ITIL service management stages or processes, and they are as important as the Australian Cricket team using sandpaper to get reverse swing. 

Which of the stages of service lifecycle manage the technology? Each of these stages is made up of functions that are aligned with the IT organisational structure. You don’t have to adopt all of these functions. You can just make do with those that serve your purpose. Overall, it is extremely flexible.

1. Service Strategy 

A man writing notesThe first process or stage is service strategy. It is the most important stage as it makes all the other processes possible.

An IT strategy can only be successful if it is in sync with the organisation’s business strategies. At this stage, the focus is on the customer. Focus on what services that the customer needs, how to develop these and deliver them successfully.

Service strategy begins by identifying the clients business goals. The next step is to visualise a portfolio of IT services to meet those goals.

Once you work these out, it all boils down to strategising. The strategy that you develop for the client should be cost-efficient and meets the objectives. In business terms, it will consist of the definition of the market, development of critical IT assets, preparation for implementation, financial management, ROI, service portfolio management, and demand management.   

2. Service Design

The service and design phase is simple. It is the planning and design period. During this stage, it is time to move on from visualising to actually developing.

What you essentially do is chart out a blueprint of what the ideal IT environment would look like. You can do this by first creating a catalogue of technologies you already have. Then, work out those that are needed in addition to the existing ones, along with the architecture needed to make the service strategy a success.

Make a list of all the tools and management systems which are needed to monitor and support the IT services offered. A successful service design makes sure that when moving into a live environment the service transitions smoothly and that your customer will be stoked with the end result.

Because of this, the IT service owner needs to be familiar with the associated processes and take guidance from the IT service manager. Overall, the service design stage consists of service catalogue management, service, level management, capacity and availability management, service continuity management, IT security management, and supplier management.  

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3. Service Transition

A woman checking dataSo far you’ve visualised and developed on paper. Now it is time to deliver the goods to the customer by building and testing as you go. During this stage, expect to change stuff on the fly, just like the government changes prime ministers.

A lot of last-minute changes will occur mostly due to the rapid changes in technology itself. Sometimes there is a better tool that has just come into the market and yet other times there is an update or a bug-fix which you have to incorporate. Whatever the reason for change is, their aim is to ultimately make a robust system. Prior to release, you need to really test the system so that no muck ups or stuff arounds occur once it has been delivered.  

During service transition, there may also be a development of a completely new system. If not,, changes may be made to the existing one to bring it up to mark. The service transition stage is marked by transition planning & support, service assets & configuration management, change management, release & deployment management, service validation, and testing.

4. Service Operation

In service operation, the designed IT services are now introduced into the live environment. This means that the actual end-customers are starting to use it. If they face any problem at all, they will submit a ticket so the issue can be resolved as soon as possible.

You deliver the service each day and observe how it performs through continuous monitoring. Any issues that arise should be handled quickly and efficiently, eliminating their root cause.

If each ITIL process is diligently followed, the customer is most likely to be happy and satisfied. Any disappointment would be a major setback. The service operation stage is defined by incident management, service-level agreement management, problem management, and knowledge management.

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5. Continual Service improvement

During the last stage of the ITIL service lifecycle, the emphasis is squarely on improvement through small and gradual changes. This can be done by enhancing the IT framework, work processes, and corresponding functionalities as better technology and practices materialize.

This stage provides the best practices to follow, measure, compare and increment the performance of the IT framework. It consists of the seven step improvement process. It includes service reporting, service measurement, ROI for continual service improvement, business queries for CSI, and service level management processes.

There should be a real focus on CSI. An efficient CSI process will increase the expected life of the rendered IT service in the market. You wouldn’t be wrong to say that that CSI protects each ITIL process by keeping it aligned with the changes in technology.

Concluding Thoughts

As the most commonly adopted IT approach today, an ITIL process is just a small piece in the big ITIL service lifecycle meat pie. A poor decision in each stage will always result in client dissatisfaction. It not only offers the best practices but also delivers on the promises in the most cost-efficient manner.

In any organisation, there are many processes that need to be designed, optimised, monitored, and followed. Each of these will benefit from the proper ITIL process lifecycle management. It guarantees complete customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer is a happy customer, and a happy customer may point more business in your direction!


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