ITIL Certifications

The ITIL® abbreviation stands for IT Infrastructure Library. Originally, ITIL was developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) as a set of comprehensive and inter-related codes of practice. In IT community such a code of good practice was very useful in terms of achieving the efficient support and delivery of high quality, cost effective IT services. CCTA, renamed the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) maintains the library and releases all updates related to ITIL.

The OGC is an office of HM Treasury (UK). It acts as independently of any commercial interests involved in ITIL (independent from software companies, software vendors, integrators and training protocols). This is why the ITIL is so widely used – its main asset is its independence.

ITIL is accredited by the Information Systems Examinations Board (ISEB). ISEB is an organization which prepares delegates for the ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management. The ISEB was formed in 1967 and currently functions under the auspices of the British Computer Society (BCS). The ISEB aims to provide industry-recognized qualifications that measure competence, ability and performance in many areas of information systems, with the aim of raising industry standards, promoting career development and providing a competitive edge for employers.

Another organization which provides ITIL examination is EXIN. EXIN is an independent, Dutch-based IT examination provider. EXIN esablishes educational requirements, and develops and organises examinations in the IT field. The main goal of EXIN is to promote the quality of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector and the ICT professionals working in this sector by means of independent testing and certification.


The starting point is ITIL Foundation for Service Management, which is worth 2 points. There are 5 modules discussed during this training which are Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. The exam focuses on these five modules, and comprises 40 questions. All questions must be answered in 60 minutes. The exam is multiple choice with only one correct answer. All those who pass the ITIL Foundation Exam (2 points) move forward to the Lifecycle or Capability Modules. The attendee has the option of receiving 3 points for each exam in Lifecycle path (left side of the picture), or 4 points from Capability Path (right side).

ITIL Foundation acts as a comprehensive framework on which IT processes can be formed within an IT system. The Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management (ITIL Foundation) provides an understanding of the various processes and relations between them. There are 12 main areas that the ITIL Foundation is focused on. These areas are divided between Service Support and Service Delivery.


Service Delivery processes / functions are:

  1. Service Desk as the only function in Service Delivery
  2. Incident Management
  3. Problem Management
  4. Configuration Management
  5. Change Management
  6. Release Management

Service Support consists of the following processes:

  1. Service Level Management
  2. Availability Management
  3. Capacity Management
  4. Financial Management
  5. IT Service Continuity Management
  6. Security Management

Once you receive 22 points you can attend Managing through the Lifecycle training and receive ITIL Expert certification.

ITIL Service Lifecycle Modules are:

  1. Service Strategy (SS)
  2. Service Design (SD)
  3. Service Transition (ST)
  4. Service Operation (SO)
  5. Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

ITIL Service Capability Modules are:

  1. Planning, Protection and Optimization (PP & A)
  2. Service Offerings and Agreements (SO & A)
  3. Release, Control and Validation (RC & V)
  4. Operational Support and Analysis (OS & A)

When working in an ITIL environment, you may feel lost when reading emails full of abbreviations. For this reason, we have created a list of commonly used abbreviations below.

Acronym Term
ACD Automatic Call Distribution
AM Availability Management
AMIS Availability Management Information System
ASP Application Service Provider
BCM Business Capacity Management
BCM Business Continuity Management
BCP Business Continuity Plan
BIA Business Impact Analysis
BRM Business Relationship Manager
BSI British Standards Institution
BSM Business Service Management
CAB Change Advisory Board
CAB/EC Change Advisory Board / Emergency Committee
CAPEX Capital Expenditure
CCM Component Capacity Management
CFIA Component Failure Impact Analysis
CI Configuration Item
CMDB Configuration Management Database
CMIS Capacity Management Information System
CMM Capability Maturity Model
CMMI Capability Maturity Model Integration
CMS Configuration Management System
COTS Commercial off the Shelf
CSF Critical Success Factor
CSI Continual Service Improvement
CSIP Continual Service Improvement Programme
CSP Core Service Package
CTI Computer Telephony Integration
DIKW Data-to-Information-to-Knowledge-to-Wisdom
eSCM-CL eSourcing Capability Model for Client Organizations
eSCM-SP eSourcing Capability Model for Service Providers
FMEA Failure Modes and Effects Analysis
FTA Fault Tree Analysis
IRR Internal Rate of Return
ISG IT Steering Group
ISM Information Security Management
ISMS Information Security Management System
ISO International Organization for Standardization
ISP Internet Service Provider
IT Information Technology
ITSCM IT Service Continuity Management
ITSM IT Service Management
itSMF IT Service Management Forum
IVR Interactive Voice Response
KEDB Known Error Database
KPI Key Performance Indicator
LOS Line of Service
MoR Management of Risk
MTBF Mean Time Between Failures
MTBSI Mean Time Between Service Incidents
MTRS Mean Time to Restore Service
MTTR Mean Time to Repair
NPV Net Present Value
OGC Office of Government Commerce
OLA Operational Level Agreement
OPEX Operational Expenditure
OPSI Office of Public Sector Information
PBA Pattern of Business Activity
PFS Prerequisite for Success
PIR Post Implementation Review
PSA Projected Service Availability
QA Quality Assurance
QMS Quality Management System
RCA Root Cause Analysis
RFC Request for Change
ROI Return on Investment
RPO Recovery Point Objective
RTO Recovery Time Objective
SAC Service Acceptance Criteria
SACM Service Asset and Configuration Management
SCD Supplier and Contract Database
SCM Service Capacity Management
SFA Service Failure Analysis
SIP Service Improvement Plan
SKMS Service Knowledge Management System
SLA Service Level Agreement
SLM Service Level Management
SLP Service Level Package
SLR Service Level Requirement
SMO Service Maintenance Objective
SoC Separation of Concerns
SOP Standard Operating Procedures
SOR Statement of requirements
SPI Service Provider Interface
SPM Service Portfolio Management
SPO Service Provisioning Optimization
SPOF Single Point of Failure
TCO Total Cost of Ownership
TCU Total Cost of Utilization
TO Technical Observation
TOR Terms of Reference
TQM Total Quality Management
UC Underpinning Contract
UP User Profile
VBF Vital Business Function
VOI Value on Investment
WIP Work in Progress

The purpose of ITIL Service Strategy

The purpose of ITIL Service Strategy

Before we move to service strategy, a quick consideration of its purpose.

Service providers have to remember that the success in a business comes from deep understanding of what the customers′ expectations are and where to look for possible improvements in those needs. Customers love buying not products, but satisfaction of particular needs.

Therefore, to provide services with the highest possible satisfaction to the customer we first have to answer several questions such as: what the needs are, where to look them for, what′s the real reason they occur and many other questions. This requires a long investigation.

Moving forward we discover that this wider context forces us to clearly define our market place and our borders between which our services are provided and between which we operate in. What is worth to underline is that service strategy has never succeded when it was created in isolation of the general strategy and culture of the organisation that the service provider belongs to.

The strategy adopted by the service provider has to be compliant with the over-arching strategy the provider operates in. Also the selected service strategy should provide sufficient value to all the customers we do business with and, of course, meet stakeholders expectations. Regardless of the scope of services provided, the strategy is a must and all providers need it to be in the business.

In ITIL version 3, the Service Strategy part is in the core of the ITIL V3 lifecycle. It acts as a guide to all IT service providers in terms of helping them to determine:

  1. What kind of services should be offered and who should they be offered to
  2. How to measure service performance and productivity
  3. How visibility and control over value creation can be achieved by applying financial management
  4. How stakeholders and customers perceive value and how this value can be created

Key Concepts in Service Strategy

Publication for Service Strategy defines various key ITIL concepts. All of them can be listed as four different “P”s of strategy.

The four Ps of Strategy

  1. Perspective, which is a distinctive vision and direction
  2. Position defines the basis on which the service provider will compete with others
  3. Plan is an extremely important factor defining on how the provider is going to / will achieve its vision
  4. Pattern – The fundamental way of dealing with circumstances, problems and simply doing things, based on the distinctive patterns in actions and decisions made over time

Service Value

Service Value relates to the customer′s perception of the business outcomes and comprises two main elements – Service Utility and Service Warranty.

In the ITIL V3 publications, Service Utility is what the customer gets in terms of outcomes supported and/or constraints removed whereas Service Warranty defines how the service is delivered and its fitness for use, in terms of availability, capacity, continuity and security.

Service Value also incorporates the referenced concepts of services such as Assets, Value Creation, Value Networks and Value Capture.

Service Provider Types

Because there are many different strategies and service providers within the organization, it was agreed to divide service providers into separate types. There are 3 main types of service providers which are:

  1. Type I: this type of service provider exists or can exist within an organization solely in order to deliver service to one specific business unit
  2. Type II: dedicated to service multiple business units in the same organization
  3. Type III: this service provider is the wider one and operates as an external service provider serving multiple external customers.

The purpose of IT Infrastructure Library Service Design

Service Design can be described as one of five stages in the overall Service Lifecycle module. It has a close relationship with change and transition business processes. Its role within the business change process is quite simple and is defined in the ITSMF (The IT Service Management Forum) in the following way:

“The design of appropriate and innovative IT services, including their architectures, processes, policies and documentation, to meet current and future agreed business requirements.”

Such a definition has several implications for the goals and objectives of the Service Design. The main goals and objectives can be:

  1. Prepare and deliver design for services to meet business outcomes that were previously agreed
  2. Responsibility for design processes to support the overall service lifecycle
  3. To identify risks and manage them if possible. If not possible to notify appropriate groups about the risks
  4. Produce and maintain documentation especially plans and design for processes, all standards used within the organization, policies, architectures and frameworks, operational documents to support all activities closely related to the design of IT solutions
  5. To develop skills especially with in the workforce and capability to support organization in IT areas
  6. To make sure IT service quality is on the approvpriate level by contributing to the overall improvement in IT service quality
  7. To design secure IT infrastructures (networks, datacenters, work environments etc.), software applications
  8. To prepare (design) methods and metrics for measurment purposes

Key Principles

Service Design begins when discussing business requirements with those from the business side. Following through meetings on which design aspects are discussed, ends with ready to implement service solutions dedicated to meet business needs and expectations. It is very important to notice that all those business needs have to be properly documented in order to avoid mistakes at the finishing stages. Service Design Package is a set of documentation, service solution that meets business requirements and is a starting point for Service Transition.

Aspects of Service Design

In Service Design publication authors distinguished five different aspects:

  • Primarily new or modified/changed service solutions that meet business needs
  • Set of service management tools and information systems e.g. the Service Portfolio
  • Something that is more abstract: technology architectures and management systems based on those architectures
  • Several processes, capabilities and roles
  • Measurement methods and metrics

Four Service Design “P”s

To ensure consistent and integrated environment in IT processes and activities and basically in the whole organization a holistic approach should be implemented and adopted in Service Design. Such attitude will ensure high quality of the services provided as well as end-to-end business continuity. To make sure the service design is properly adopted there are four Ps that should be considered when dealing with service design:

  1. People have to have proper skills and possess competencies in order to get involved in the provision of IT services
  2. Products which are technology management systems utilized in the process of IT service delivery
  3. Processes roles and activities have to be in close relation to each other
  4. Partners who are primarly vendors, 3rd software companies, manufacturers, suppliers involved in the provision of IT services

Service Design Package (SDP) already mentioned in the Service Design purpose article defines the general aspects of an IT service and the requirements within all stages of its lifecycle. SDP is generated for major changes in IT infrastructure (including software and hardware), IT services or even service retirement.

Key Processes within ITIL Service Design

In Service Design publication there are several processes and activities defined. All of them co-operate with each other. It is important to keep all of them in mind when taking service design into consideration.

Service Catalogue Management (SCM)
According to ITSMF the purpose of Service Catalogue Management is to provide a single, consistent source of information on all the agreed services, and ensure that it is widely available to those who are approved to access it. It is very simillar to the change management database from itil v3, because SCM is a central source of information about services delivered by a service provider.

Service Level Management (SLM)
This process is to ensure that all the services provided are on the appropriate level of quality. The main role for this process is to negotiate and then document with business measurable service targets. Also it monitors and presents reports on delivery performance and the level of service. Service Level Agreements (SLA) as well as Operational Level Agreements and Service Improvement Plans are the part of Service Level Management process.

Capacity Management
Its main goal is to ensure that IT capacity resources meet demand for services provided. Capacity Management includes service and component capacity management across service lifecycle.

Other processes within ITIL Service Design are:

  • Availability Management
  • IT Service Continuity Management
  • Information Security Management
  • Supplier Management

Purpose of Service Transition

Service Transition is dedicated to deliver required by business side all necessary services. Service Design Package is produced at a Service Design stage and this is the starting point for Service Transition. Very often due to unpredictable circumstances business requirements change. Then corresponding changes into the package are required in order to provide the service. The role of service transition is not to focus on just one or two application implementations but it is rather focused on the wider aspects of implementing the service. Basically the Service Transition is responsible for the implementation of all aspects of the service. People involved in service implementation have to be concious of the following things:

  • Who is the requestor of the service? There′s a huge possibility that this person/persons will judge the quality of the service. Also it is always good to remember or find out (if possible) what is the business value for the service delivered
  • To investigate and identify all staheholders within supplier, your customer and his/her cutomers who may be sponsors of the service
  • Be prepared for design modifications when implementing the service because as it′s already been mentioned in this article business requirements can change. Two golden rules usually help in such situations: 1. Patience is a virtue and 2. Customer FIRST!

Key Processes and Activities in Service Transition

Service Transition is one of the most important parts of ITIL lifecycle modules because this part of the lifecycle has huge impact on service design and operations. Within Service Transition we can distinguish the following processes:

  • Change Management – its purpose is to ensure all changes are handled by standardized procedures and methods. Also takes responisbility for recording all changes in the Configuration Management System
  • Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM) – protects and ensures configuration items (CI) within the service lifecycle.
  • Knowledge Management – basically it focuses on people and knowledge by ensuring the right people have the right knowledge at the right time. Such a combination of people, time and knowledge help support services requested or required by the business side.
  • Transition Planning and Support – this process simply controls, manages and identifies possible risk of failures across transition activities.
  • Release and Deployment Management – main goal of this process is to deal with positioning all aspects of services provided to the business. It deals with services that are already in production and establishes effective use of changed or new services
  • Service Validation and Testing – deals with validation and testing services that are new or changed in the IT infrastructure. Also it verifies if if the new/changed services meet business requirements.
  • Evaluation – another ongoing process that considers the input to Service Transition, addressing the relevance of the service design.

ITIL Service Transition Key Principles

Service Transition has a deep impact on other processes within the lifecycle, that is why it has to be supported by principles which help utilize effective and productive use of changed or primarily new services. To those principles we can include:

Keeping in mind that knowledge transfer between different supporting units or people working within those units is a key factor in terms of providing support to services.

Formal Policy
Set up the formal policy and common standards for framework to implement all requested and required by business changes.

Utility and Warranty
Understanding utility and warranties for all services. It is impossible to transition a service without knowing what is the nature and purpose of the service, epecially in terms of the outcomes and removed business constraints.

Course corrections
Managing and anticipating course corrections which simply means to be proactive and determined likey course correction requirements, and when elements of a service do need to be adjusted, this is undertaken logically and is fully documented.

Purpose of Service Operation

Purpose of Service Operation is to make sure services are delivered at agreed levels. Its purpose is to also to manage the technology, infrastructure and applications implemented in an organization in order to meet cutomers′ needs.

In fact this is the stage in the whole lifecycle where services basically deliver the value to the business because from the business point of view this stage has the highest visibility. It is the Service Operation staff′s responsibility to ensure that the value to the business is delivered.

At this stage there may be some conflicting goals appearing and it is important to know how to balance this. Some examples are:

  • Technological, internal IT perception vs external business point of view.
  • Stability vs responsiveness.
  • Quality versus time to deliver vs cost of service.
  • Reactive attitude to supprt services vs proactive activities.

All the conflicts mentioned above are just examples. In practice there are much more of them and each one has to be balanced and maintained by the Service Operation staff. Excessive focus on one side without balancing another side will result in poor service.

Advanced Training is a Licensed Affiliate of Solisma Pty Ltd, which is the Accredited Training Provider (ATO) for all ITIL courses.

ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Cabinet Office

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