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 ITIL (Foundation) Cram Notes

1. Service management as a practice 

1.1 Why is ITIL so successful?

The following list defines the key characteristics of ITIL that contribute to its global success:

1) Vendor-neutral: ITIL service management practices are applicable in any IT organization because they are not based on any particular technology platform or industry type. 

2) Non-prescriptive: ITIL offers robust, mature and time-tested practices that have applicability to all types of service organization. 

3) Best practice: ITIL represents the learning experiences and thought leadership of the world’s best-in-class service providers. 

1.2 Concept of a service

1) A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. 

Customers can be internal or external. An internal customer is a customer who works for the same business as the IT service provider. External customer is a customer who works for a different business from the IT service provider.

a) Service can be internal service or external service 

  • Internal service A service delivered between departments or business units in the same organization.

  • External service A service delivered to external customers.

b) Services can be discussed in terms of how they relate to one another and their customers, and can be classified as core, enabling or enhancing.

  • Core Services: required directly by customers to deliver an intended outcome.

  • Enabling Services: needed to ensure core services can be delivered successfully, not visible to customers

  • Enhancing Services: created to add features / values to the customers, not essential.

2) IT service is a service provided by an IT service provider. The IT service is made up of a combination of information technology, people and processes. A customer-facing IT service directly supports the business processes of one or more customers and its service level targets should be defined in a service level agreement. Other IT services, called supporting services, are not directly used by the business but are required by the service provider to deliver customer-facing services. IT Services consist of taking care the design, implementation and maintenance of all the components that are required to fulfill a business objective for the users (i.e. IT and business integration, not just IT and business alignment).

a) Values of IT services

  • Create values for the business by supporting business processes

  • Create values for end customers

  • Reduce costs / increase productivity (enhance performance)

  • Manage costs / risks / issues more effectively

  • Reduce / remove constraints (e.g. not enough bandwidth)

  • Facilitate achievement of outcomes (e.g. students registering for a class)

b) Types of IT services:

There are three types of IT services according to customer types:

  • Supporting Services (infrastructure services): not directly visible to customers, managed with operation level agreements.

  • Internal Customer-facing Services: enable internal customers to carry out its business process, managed with service level agreements.

  • External Customer-facing Services: used by the external customers, can be the business process itself, managed with contracts.

1.3 Service management

Service management is more than just a set of capabilities. It is also a professional practice supported by an extensive body of knowledge, experience and skills. A global community of individuals and organizations in the public and private sectors fosters its growth and maturity.

1.4 IT Service management

IT Service Management is the implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of the business. IT service management is performed by IT service providers (to internal or external customers) through an appropriate mix of people, process and information technology.

IT service management make use of best practices i.e., a set of generic (high level) guidelines based on the successful experiences of a number of organizations, in service management, adapt and apply for the business to save cost and improve quality.
Good practice could be either an application of best practice, or an input into best practice.

1) Types of IT Service Providers.

a) Type I: Internal Service Provider – service providers located within the business unit, maybe several internal service providers within an organization.

b) Type II: Shared Services Unit – supports several business units, e.g. centralized IT department.

c) Type III: External Service Provider – delivers services to external customers

1.5 Stakeholders in service management

Stakeholders are individuals or groups that have an interest in an organization, service, or project and are potentially interested or engaged in the activities, resources, targets, or deliverables from service management.

1) There are two types of stake holders they are:

  • Internal stakeholders: within the service provider organization.

  • External stakeholders: outside customers, users, suppliers (vendors, network providers)

1.6 Processes, functions and role

Process

1) Process is a structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs.

a) The four key characteristics of a process are:

  • Measurability: We are able to measure the process in a relevant manner. It is performance driven. Managers want to measure cost, quality and other variables while practitioners are concerned with duration and productivity.

  • Specific results: The reason a process exists is to deliver a specific result. This result must be individually identifiable and countable.

  • Customers Every process delivers its primary results to a customer or stakeholder. Customers may be internal or external to the organization, but the process must meet their expectations.

  • Responsiveness to specific triggers While a process may be ongoing or iterative, it should be traceable to a specific trigger.

Function

1) Function is a team or group of people and the tools or other resources they use to carry out one or more processes or activities – for example, the service desk.

2) In larger organizations, a function may be broken out and performed by several departments, teams and groups, or it may be embodied within a single organizational unit

3) In smaller organizations, one person or group can perform multiple functions – for example, a technical management department could also incorporate the service desk function.

Role

1) Role is a set of responsibilities, activities and authorities granted to a person or team. One person/team can take up several roles in different context. e.g. change management role, capacity management role

a) Defined roles in ITIL:

  • Group – a number of people performing similar activities, not formal structure

  • Team – a more formal structure for people working together with a common objective

  • Department – a formal organizational structure with a hierarchical structure

  • Division – a number of departments forming a self-contained unit

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