ITIL? Tutorial for Beginners – Know How to Get Started with ITIL? V4

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ITIL® V4 is the latest version of one of the leading and best ITSM frameworks available in the market. Many ITIL practitioners are already transitioning towards V4 in order to stay in sync with the current market and technology changes. But in order to perform this transition successfully, one must have a thorough knowledge of the ITIL V4 framework and clear its certification exams to obtain the credentials. Through the medium of this ITIL® Tutorial, I will give you the necessary information on the ITIL V4 framework.

Below are the topics I will be covering in this ITIL® Tutorial:

  • What is ITSM?
  • Introduction to ITIL®
  • ITIL® Service Value System (SVS)
    • Guiding Principles
    • Governance Framework
    • Service Value Chain
    • Management Practices
    • Continual Improvement
  • Four Dimensions of ITIL®

Let’s get started.

What is ITSM?

Service Management is described as
A set of specialized organizational capabilities for enabling value for customers in the form of services.
Thus, IT Service Management can be described as a systematic approach that helps in delivering value to customers via IT services. This entire process consists of visualizing the Service Lifecycle, understanding the service requirement, creation of service conceptualization, strategy, design, transition, operation and performing service improvement throughout the service lifecycle. In order to provide the best services, an organization must have a clear understanding of:

  • the service value and its nature
  • the scope and nature of the involved stakeholders
  • how the co-creation of value is enabled through services

Having a clear understanding of the key concepts and terminologies of service management is very critical in order to ensure the effective use of any ITSM framework and address real-world problems. I have listed down a few of the most important IT service management concepts below:

  • Co-creation of value and it’s nature
  • Business, service provider organization, service consumer/customer, and all the involved stakeholders
  • Final Product and services
  • Service relationships & management
  • Value output which refers to various outcomes, costs, and risks associated with service

ITIL® is considered to be the standard de-facto for IT Service Management best practices since its initiation in the 1980s. Since its release till date, ITIL has continued to keep a stronghold on the top position in the market. The best thing about ITIL is that it is constantly evolving to fit perfectly with today’s market trends which are in continuous flux. 

Let’s move further with this ITIL® Tutorial and learn more about ITIL in detail.

Introduction to ITIL® ITIL® Tutorial

ITIL® stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It is a set of guidelines that helps an IT practitioner in delivering the best services. These guidelines are nothing but the best practices which are observed, gathered and put together over time to deliver anything but the best services. The systematic and structured approach of ITIL towards the IT service management helps an organization in managing risk, establishing cost-effective practices, strengthening customer relations. All these ultimately result in building a stable IT environment.

ITIL was first introduced in 1989, and since then it has grown to become one of the most renowned practices with over tens of thousands of certified practitioners all over the world. Currently, it is owned by AXELOS which is a joint venture created by the Cabinet Office in 2013. Axelos released the latest version of ITIL known as ITIL v4 in Feb 2019.

To know more, you can refer to this article on What is ITIL®.

ITIL® 4 focuses more on value creation, rather than just delivering services. It defines a service as:

A means of enabling value co-creation by facilitating outcomes that customers want to achieve, without the customer having to manage specific costs and risks.

ITIL® 4 is the latest release of ITSM framework and is developed with proper considerations to the dynamics of the modern business environment which helps it in aligning better with the modern best practices & frameworks of Agile, Lean, IT Governance, Information Security, DevOps, etc. ITIL®4 is built on Service Value System (SVS) that basically represents the various service assets, components & activities which are carried out throughout the service life cycle in an organization.

Let’s now take a deeper dive into SVS (Service Value System) to understand the ITIL 4 framework better through this ITIL® Tutorial.

ITIL® Service Value System (SVS)

According to ITIL V4 Foundation publication, Service Value System is defined as below:

The ITIL SVS describes how all the components and activities of the organization work together as a system to enable value creation. Each organization’s SVS has interfaces with other organizations, forming an ecosystem that can, in turn, facilitate value for those organizations, their customers, and other stakeholders.

This means SVS in the ITIL V4 framework helps in facilitating and focussing on the coordination of activities across the service value stream all while providing direction to the organization with a  systematic and structured approach. In order to attain sustainability and consistency by an organization, the need for flexibility and adaptability are brought under consideration. By now, you can probably assume that the process of visualizing and establishing the Service Value System within an organization is an integral part of the modern business environment. It helps in providing a simple representation of various service assets along with organizational activities throughout the ITIL service life cycle.

The various components of ITIL® Service Value System (SVS) are:

  1. Guiding Principles
  2. Governance Framework
  3. Service Value Chain
  4. Management Practices
  5. Continual Improvement

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Let me now explain each of these components in detail.

  1. Guiding Principles

These are the standard recommendations that provide guidance to an organization in any kind of situation, irrespective of diversion in its goals, planning strategies, work type, or management structure. There typically seven principles which I have listed below:

      1. Focus on Value: The value of the services is always determined from the perspective of customers. That is, every service or product must generate some value that is useful for the customers and its stakeholders. Essentially, if it is not adding any value, there is no need to do it or invest time and money on it. Everything that is performed in the organization must map, directly or indirectly, to some value for customers/stakeholders. 
      2. Start Where You Are: Generally, the organizations which are building new infrastructures tend to scrap the existing ones for creating or improving the system. In this process, usually, the organizations tend to lose out on the opportunities of leveraging in the present environment, practices, technologies that are necessary for establishing the new systems or improving the existing ones. Thus it is always recommended that first you should leverage on the existing service then only consider anything further.
      3. Progress Iteratively With Feedback: Each and every service that is established is in a step by step approach. This type of approach is more systematic and practical and accomplish tasks in an iterative manner rather than in one go. Through this approach, the entire work is broken down into smaller and manageable pieces that can be controlled better and executed in order.
      4. Collaborate and Promote Visibility: An organization takes up initiatives with a decided goal where appropriate people are involved in the decision-making process. This entire process consists of gathering the right information which will help in the development of the initiative towards success in the long run.
      5. Think and Work Holistically: While establishing and managing any IT service, one must have a clear understanding of the overall service and service management system. A thorough understanding of the organization, mutual integration, and working of all the service organization components is required. This is required to determine the basic functioning of the system and various impacts of the performance variance of a component that is used in the services.
      6. Keep it Simple and Practical: This principle is applicable to almost all the process, practice, approach, solution, etc., which are defined for a service. This stresses on the principle of using minimum steps for achieving the result without compromising the quality. Thus the solution produced should be workable, practical, understandable and capable of delivering value service to the customers by meeting their requirements.
      7. Optimize and Automate: The process of optimization is something that must be performed for all the services, systems, processes, products, etc. that will be performed in an organization. This makes the services more effective and improves their usage as well.
  1. Governance

In order to successfully achievement of goals and objectives, an organization needs to have proper guidance and establish a proper control system. In the new ITIL® 4 frameworks, the role of governance for a successful IT Service Management has been stressed on and has been highlighted as one of the most critical components of a service value system. Governance in ITIL basically refers to the Evaluation, Direction & Monitoring of the activities in a governing body of any ITSM framework.

  1. Service Value Chain (SVC)

The Service Value Chain (SVC) lies at the core of the Service Value System (SVS) consists of all the key activities that must be performed for achieving the service value through the service outputs & outcomes. Since in any IT service lifecycle, value creation and realization is a continuous process that requires a set of activities to be performed by the organizations providing the services. This helps any organization in delivering the best product and services to its customers which generates value for its customers and facilitates them in realizing it.

The ITIL service value chain is defined by six key activities that can be combined in multiple ways resulting in multiple value streams. These six service value chain activities are:

    1. Plan
    2. Improve
    3. Engage
    4. Design & Transition
    5. Obtain / Build
    6. Delivery & Support

These components make the service value chain to be flexible enough for being implemented by multiple approaches such as DevOps and centralized IT, in order to address the needs of multiple service management models. This helps the organizations in reacting and adjusting to the frequently changing demands of the stakeholders in the utmost ways.

  1. Practices

ITIL V4 has changed the Processes to the Practices which are nothing but a set of organizational resources intended specifically for accomplishing the objectives of the organization. There are 34 practices that have been introduced in ITIL V4 framework which have been listed below:

General Management Practices (14)

    1.     Architecture Management
    2.     Continual Improvement
    3.     Information Security Management
    4.     Knowledge Management
    5.     Measurement and Reporting
    6.     Organizational Change Management
    7.     Portfolio Management
    8.     Project Management
    9.     Relationship Management
    10.  Risk Management
    11.  Service Financial Management
    12.  Strategy Management
    13.  Supplier Management
    14.  Workforce and Talent Management

Service Management Practices (17)

    1.  Availability Management
    2.  Business Analysis
    3.  Capacity and Performance Management
    4.  Change Control
    5.  Incident Management
    6.  IT Asset Management
    7.  Monitoring and Event Management
    8.  Problem Management
    9.  Release Management
    10.  Service Catalog Management
    11.  Service Configuration Management
    12.  Service Continuity Management
    13.  Service Design
    14.  Service Desk
    15.  Service Level Management
    16.  Service Request Management
    17.  Service Validation and Testing

Technical Management Practices (3)

    1.  Deployment Management
    2.  Infrastructure and Platform Management
    3.  Software Development and Management
  1. Continual Improvement

This process was earlier known as Continual Service Improvement and has been renamed as Continual Improvement in ITIL V4 framework. This is the process of improving the services, service performance, the performance of service components, etc., in a continuous manner for sustenance and growth of any organization. If any organization turns away from such efforts it would fail to sustain in today’s market which is in continuous flux. Also, this process is required to ensure that the organization is keeping up with all the stakeholders’ expectations.

In the next section of this ITIL® Tutorial, I will be discussing the four-dimensional model of the ITIL V4 framework.

Four Dimensions of ITIL

The main focus of any organization is to achieve its objective continuously without any fail. Although neglected, but the organizational environment brings in a lot of dynamics that must be considered for the organization to give its utmost performance. So, you can say, ITIL V4 follows a holistic approach to service management where various aspects of service management and achievement of service objectives work in unison. Thus the framework defines four dimensions that are crucial to creating value for customers and stakeholders. An organization needs to focus on each of these dimensions in order to keep the SVS balance and increase its effectivity.

ITIL 4 depicts the four-dimension model which comprises of the following:

  1. Organizations and People
  2. Information and Technology
  3. Partners and Suppliers
  4. Value Streams and Processes

This brings us to the end of this article on ITIL® Tutorial.

If you found this ‘ITIL® Tutorial‘ article relevant, check out the ITIL® Certification Training by Edureka, a trusted online learning company with a network of more than 250,000 satisfied learners spread across the globe. This course is designed to give you the right expertise and skills that provide a modular approach to the ITIL® framework and consists of various aspects of ITIL® best practices like ITIL® service operation and design.

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