The Service Lifecycle is an organizing framework that provides control between various functions and processes and how they inter-related with one another. The lifecycle acts as a guideline on how the organization’s lifecycle work and where functions and processes belong within and across the lifecycle.
Focus on a Service Lifecycle
The concept of the Service Lifecycle is fundamental to the refresh of ITIL® 2011 Edition. Previously in ITIL® v2, the focus of ITIL® was on the processes.
As a result of this previous focus on processes, version 2 of the ITIL® Framework provided best practices for ITSM and addressed the HOW questions. These included:
• How should we design for availability, capacity and continuity of services?
• How can we respond to and manage incidents, problems and known errors?
ITIL® now focuses on the WHY questions as well. These include:
• Why does a customer need this service?
• Why should the customer purchase services from us?
• Why should we provide (x) levels of availability capacity and continuity?
By first asking the WHY questions it enables a service provider to provide overall “strategic objectives” for the IT organization, which will then be used to direct HOW services are “designed, transitioned, supported and improved” in order to deliver maximum value to customers and stakeholders.
The Service Lifecycle may be viewed as a phased lifecycle, where phases are:
• Defining strategy for the IT Service Management (SS)
• Design the services to support the strategy (SD)
• Implement the services in order to meet the designed requirements (ST)
• Support the services managing the operational activities (SO)
• The interaction between phases are managed through the Continual Service
Improvement (CSI) approach, which is responsible for measuring and improving service and process maturity levels
The phases are further described as:
• Service Strategy
Defining strategy for the IT Service Management and defining strategies for the IT Services that are being provided.
The goal of Service Strategy is to specify the strategic objectives, direct and develop policies and plans, and allocate resources to achieve the organization’s objectives.
• Service Design
Design the services to support the strategy
The goal of Service Design is to design new or changed Services, by ensuring that there will be minimal issues that arise during the service lifecycle.
• Service Transition
Implement the services in order to meet the designed requirements
The goal of Service Transition is to introduce new services with appropriate balance of speed, cost, safety and focus.
• Service Operation
Support the services managing the operational activities
The goal of Service Operation is to carry out day-to-day operations and activities of Services.
• Continual Service Improvement
Implement and support improvement efforts on the services for better quality of services.
The goal of Continual Service Improvement is to align and realign IT services to changing Business needs.
The service lifecycle approach is an organizing framework designed for sustainable performance. The service lifecycle demonstrates values in terms of
“business contribution” and “profit”.
Business contribution is the ability of an IT organization to support a business process; managing the IT service at the requested performance.
Profit is the ability to manage cost of service in relation to the business revenue, also seen as ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI).
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