Requirements – The Missing ITIL Lifecycle Phase (Part 1)

Requirements – The Missing ITIL Lifecycle Phase  (Part 1)

The focus of ITIL is on delivering services to customers. ITIL defines a service as  “A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific cost and risks.” Most every organization that has adopted ITIL V3 wants to start by defining their IT services, creating service catalogs. and starting the process of business/IT alignment. Unfortunately, ITIL doesn’t offer much guidance on exactly how to accomplish these things, and many IT organizations stall as they work at defining their IT Services.

iStock_000017743417XSmall-resized-600One of the main reasons so many organizations are stymied at the IT service definition phase is precisely the lack of guidance on how to perform IT service definition. ITIL provides little useful information for defining services and does not help much with developing a sound IT service definition model.  Specifying a service requires an understanding of the environment in which the service is delivered. In particular, it is necessary to define attributes including:

  • who is the service provider;
  • who is the direct customer of the service; and
  • (possibly) who is the “end customer.”

Experience shows that answering these queries can be very challenging.  Defining application related services has been even more problematic for organizations.

Another major problem is that the ITIL service lifecycle goes from strategy to design, omitting a requirement phase.  Service Level Requirements are a special type of requirement but are not the functional requirements that are needed to define an IT Service. Requirements are needed to define, manage, and deliver IT services. This article is part 1 of a series of articles that will discuss how to plan and define and manage requirements for an IT service.

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of practices for IT Service Management  (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business. In its current form (known as ITILv3 and ITIL 2011 edition), ITIL is published in a series of five core publications, each of which covers an ITSM lifecycle stage. ITIL covers the following topics within each lifecycle stage.

Service Strategy

  • Strategy Management for IT Services
  • Service Portfolio Management
  • Financial Management for IT services
  • Demand Management
  • Business relationship management

Service Design

  • Design Coordination (Introduced in 2011 Edition)
  • Service Catalog
  • Service level management
  • Availability management
  • Capacity management
  • IT service continuity management
  • Information security management system
  • Supplier management

Service Transition

  • Transition planning and support
  • Change management
  • Service asset and configuration management
  • Release and deployment management
  • Service validation and testing
  • Change evaluation
  • Knowledge management

Service Operation

  • ITIL Functions
    •  Service desk
    • Application management
    • IT operations management
    • Technical management
  • Event Management
  • Incident Management
  • Request fulfillment
  • Problem management
  • Access management

Continual Service Improvement (CSI)


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