ITIL Service Lifecycle Structure

ITIL Service Lifecycle is the main brick of ITIL Foundation, which is one of the most popular frameworks for IT service management. ITIL Framework lies back on these ITIL Service Lifecycles and ITIL certification exam relies on ITIL Service Lifecycle structure. In this article, we will go over ITIL service lifecycle structure.

Following figure shows the high-level structure of ITIL Service Lifecycle. Mainly, there are four service lifecycle stages in ITIL:

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation respectively.

As you see in the figure, Service Strategy is at the heart of the ITIL structure. Because services and processes of an IT Service Provider Organization is initiated with strategies and vision of the organization. For instance, if your organization wants to be the fastest complaint handling telecom operator in the market, or the fastest transaction hander bank in the market, this is actually business vision of the organization. And this business vision needs to be supported with regarding IT strategies. For example, you might need to renew your IT infrastructure, implement new technologies, new tools and equipment etc.

At this point, ITIL framework has the “Service Strategy” Lifecycle stage. Depending on the business strategy of an organization, existing services might need revisions, new services might need to be implemented, or services which won’t be used anymore need to be retired. All these strategies and planning of services are done at this ITIL Service Lifecycle Stage: Service Strategy.

And then, after service strategies have been determined, regarding services are designed at “Service Design” Service Lifecycle stage of ITIL framework. Services provide value to customers. And depending on the service strategies, technical requirements and specifications of the services that will be created and provided to customers are designed in “Service Design” stage. For instance, in order to be the fastest complaint handling telecom operator in the market, you might need 20 call center representatives, call offload machine distributing received calls to an available call center representative, or software that masks the customer personal information and provides to call center representative.

These kinds of requirements and specifications to avail regarding services are designed at Service Design Service Lifecycle stage of ITIL framework.

After Service Design stage, if services meet the targeted levels after evaluations and tests, designed services are transitioned to “Live” at “Service Transition” Service Lifecycle stage of ITIL framework. So, this is actually the stage where your business strategy starts to be live with the services you created and served for the use of the customers.

And the last stage of ITIL service lifecycle is “Service Operation”. After a service is provided for the use of customers in a live environment, operation of the service should be done. Problems, events or requests about a service are managed at the “Service Operation” service lifecycle stage of ITIL framework.

Apart from these four service lifecycle stages, you see that these stages are covered with “Continual Service Improvement” at the outer circle. As you should know already, if you do not renew what you provide to your customers in a market, even if you are the best for the moment, your services and what you provide will be beaten by your completion. Therefore, improvement is inevitable for an organization. You need to have targets and plans to reach those targets. After you reach those targets, you need to renew your targets to a higher level and improve your services and processes to provide better value to customers respectively.

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