Stages of ITIL Service Lifecycle
To sustain high levels of business performance, organisations need to offer competitive products and services that customers will value, buy and use. Adapting quickly to changes in the economic climate and in the market place is of real importance. All services offered should enable business transformation and growth. ITIL Service Management supports this transformation using the Service Lifecycle.
The complete framework of ITIL is based on service lifecycle. Each lifecycle defines certain processes for effective service management. Each stage relies on service principles, processes, roles and performance measures, and each stage is dependent on the other lifecycle stages for inputs and feedback. A constant set of checks and balances throughout the Service Lifecycle ensures that as business demand changes with business need, the services can adapt and respond effectively to them.
ITIL service is split into 5 distinct lifecycle stages:
- Service Strategy
- Service Design
- Service Transition
- Service Operation
- Continual Service Improvement
Let’s understand each of them in detail.
Service Strategy sits at the core of the Service Lifecycle and focuses on ensuring that our strategy is defined, maintained and then implemented. There is key guidance for Executive Managers’ around operating according to the business constraints, corporate governance and compliance, legislation, and some cultural aspects of organizational transformation. The focus will enable practical decision making, based on a sound understanding of the offered services, with the aim of increasing the economic life of all services.
Service Strategy is about ensuring that organizational units in support of the business are in a position to handle the costs and risks associated with their service portfolio, and that they are set up for service improvement.
The Service Design phase of the Service Lifecycle provides guidance on how to design and develop services and IT Service Management processes that will support the service strategies already developed. At this stage, the focus shifts to converting the strategy into reality, through the use of a consistent approach to the design and development of new service offerings:
- A consistent use of a common architecture
- Understanding and translating the business requirements
- Introducing the appropriate Support requirements upon implementation of the service
The scope of Service Design is also not limited to new services; it includes any changes and improvements necessary to increase or maintain value to customers over the lifecycle of services, such as improved continuity of a service, or improvements necessary to enhance service hours and service levels. Changes required because of new conformance standards and regulations are also relevant as are services bought off the shelf from suppliers.
Learning how to design service plans will prepare IT professionals and business leaders to address customer concerns in the most proficient manner.
The Service Transition phase of the Service Lifecycle teaches IT professionals and their business associates to manage changes in a productive manner. As design and development activities are completed, there is a period for Service Transition with its key purpose to bridge both the gap between projects and operations more effectively, but also to improve any changes that are going into live service, even if it is transferring the control of services between customers and service providers. The Service Transition stage brings together all the assets within a service and ensures these are integrated and tested together. Its focus is on the quality and control of the delivery of a new or changed service into operations. Giving sufficient time and quality effort to this stage of the lifecycle will reduce unexpected variations in delivery of the live services.
The Service Operation phase of the Service Lifecycle provides guidance on the practical aspects of day-to-day business operations. The goal is for the IT department to keep things running smoothly, reliably, efficiently and cost-effectively. The activities and processes in this phase ensure that services are delivered to customers at the agreed upon levels with minimal interruptions and disruptions. Service Operation focuses on providing value to both the customer and the service provider.
Continual Service Improvement
Even if nothing changes in an organization, there is always room for development and improvement in IT services. Continual assessment is the key to understanding where improvements can be made. ITIL training can help learners identify where these possibilities for progress are.
When each phase of the ITIL lifecycle for IT services is managed correctly, the organization can rest assured that their services will be aligned with their business strategies.Also, it guarantees that the service will progressively grow into a service that becomes more and more profitable over time.