Allgemein, DevOps

ITIL® Foundation; ITIL® 4 Edition – A personal overview

The ITIL Foundation book of the ITIL 4 Edition was release at February 18th 2019. It’s introduce some new concepts and evolves existing knowledge. This text will be a personal summary of this book to have an overview. Main point of view is, there’re two key components of the ITIL 4 framework

  • ITIL service value system (SVS)
  • Four dimensions model

Depending on the fact that the released – first? – book is a foundation selection, the little more than 200 pages will give at itself only something like a first step. To understand an entire IT service management you need much more to know.

A) ITIL service value system

ITIL 4 Edition defines as first key component the service value system (SVS). ITIL named five core components of the ITIL SVS:

  • ITIL service value chain
    The service value chain provides an operation model with six activities:

    • plan
    • improve
    • engage
    • design and transition
    • obtain/ build
    • deliver and support.
  • ITIL practices
    The well known ITIL processes are now named as practices. They are grouped as14 general management practices, 17 service management practices, and three technical management practices.
  • ITIL guiding principles
    They’re the core messages of ITIL 4 and of service management in general, seen in many other frameworks, standards or methods like Lean, Agile, DevOps, COBIT, PRINCE2 and more.

    • Focus on value
      Generate directly or indirectly value.
    • Start where you are
      Preserve good capabilities and improve where needed.
    • Progress iteratively with feedback
      Improve often in small steps and measure your way forward.
    • Collaborate and promote visibility
      Transparent work in the teams, with the stakeholders and partners.
    • Think and work holistically
      It’s an End-to-End responsibility – the service and the SVS.
    • Keep it simple and practical
      The right size and use of processes, tools, resources matters.
    • Optimize and automate
      Manual work is a bug. Reserve human intervention only for really needed activities.
  • Governance
    The system, which direct and control the organization.
  • Continual improvement
    In the ITIL SVS are three levels of continual improvement:

    • the ITIL continual improvement model, which is well known form the previous versions of ITIL.
      • What is the vision?
      • Where are we now?
      • Where do we want to be?
      • How do we get there?
      • Take action
      • Did we get there?
      • How do we keep the momentum going?
    • the improve service value chain activity, which is introduced there (see above)
    • the continual improvement practice, which covers the day-to-day activities and is described with the other ITIL practices (see above)

In total there is a large part of known elements – out of former ITIL editions or of other sources. The ITIL 4 touches some general knowledge like governance in one small chapter – not really more than one page. The guiding principles set a common sense to establish in your own organization the right level of service management – not the most extended level.

B) Four dimension model

The second key component in ITIL 4 Edition is the four dimension model. The four dimension model ensures a holistic approach to service management. Each component of the SVS should considered this four dimensions, which are:

  • organizations and people
    People are key in this dimension and every person should have a clear understanding of their contribution in the SVS. The organization covers as well as formal structure, culture and the fitting level of capacity and competence.
  • information and technology
    This is the information managed in the service and any supporting information and knowledge including protect, manage and archive it. Technology is main driver for benefit in service management. This may be artificial intelligence, machine learning, the use of mobile platforms, cloud solutions, collaboration tools, automated testing and operations as well as continuous integration / continuous development / continuous deployment solutions.
  • partners and suppliers
    Every service provider uses other organizations to create his own value. The strategy for the decisions about the use of others is influenced by the own strategy focus, corporate culture, resource scarcity, cost concerns, subject matter expertise, external constrains and demand patterns.
  • value streams and processes
    Value streams are a series of steps, which creates value as product or services. For each product or service in an organization shall be a definition of the value stream.
    Processes transforms with a set of activities input in output. The processes underpin the value streams. There are political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors, which influence a service provider.

The four dimensions remember the former 4 P’s of ITIL – people, products, partners, processes – as slightly adjusted point of view.

C) Practices

The well known ITIL processes are now named as 34 practices. They’re part of the ITIL SVS. Each practice is in relation with the six activities of the ITIL service value chain: plan, improve, engage, design and transition, obtain/ build as well as deliver and support.

I gave all the practices a different sorting in divergence of the ITIL Foundation book, which arrange them in alphabetical order.

a) General management practices

The 14 practices with a not service management specific focus are named general management practices.

  • Strategy management
    The part with an interesting life cycle across the different versions of ITIL. First not mentioned, than an entire book as Service Strategy and now a practice with not more as one page in the book.
  • Portfolio management
  • Architecture management
  • Service financial management
  • Workforce and talent management
  • Continual improvement
    The operational, day-to-day part of continual improvement along with the strategic view and the improvement of the service value chain.
  • Measurement and reporting
  • Risk management
    A link to ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management as a summary to have a step in.
  • Information security management
    Wondering about the missing link for ISO 27000
  • Knowledge management
  • Organizational change management
    ITIL 4 close the gap in naming “change management” with the newly gripped organizational change management.
  • Project management
    The fun in this one pager about project management is that there is no link to PTINCE2 or any other project management framework.
  • Relationship management
  • Supplier management

A nice collection; at time only useful if taken as guideline for reading in the older books.

b) Service management practices

ITIL 4 Edition names 17 service management specific practices:

  • Business analysis
  • Service catalogue management
  • Service design
    Like strategy management an interesting life cycle across the different versions of ITIL.
  • Service level management
  • Availability management
  • Capacity and performance management
  • Service continuity management
  • Monitoring and event management
  • Service desk
  • Incident management
  • Service request management
    It comes with a better alignment to incident management and change control for the differentiation of being an incident, change or service request.
  • Problem management
  • Release management
    Includes an explanation about releases in waterfall driven environments and DevOps driven organizations.
  • Change control
    The renaming after 30 years – change management becomes change control.
  • Service validation and testing
  • Service configuration management
    My favourite sentence: “It is important that the effort needed to collect and maintain configuration information is balanced with the value that the information creates.”
  • IT asset management

Over more than 30 years of core IT service management the main knowledge gets confirmed.

c) Technical management practices

The three technical management practices are:

  • Deployment management
    In alignment with release management and change control for the administrative activities deployment management carries out all real doing on systems and clouds. Including a nice list of different approaches of deployment.
  • Infrastructure and platform management
    It comes with a wide alignment for cloud computing.
  • Software development and management
    The entire software life cycle including a look on waterfall and agile in one page.


All content of this text refers to the book “ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4 Edition”; First edition 2019 ISBN 9780113316076 by AXELOS.

AXELOS, the AXELOS logo, the AXELOS swirl logo, ITIL ®, MoP ®, M_o_R ®, MoV ®, MSP ®, P3M3 ®, P3O ®, PRINCE2 ®, PRINCE2 Agile ®, RESILIA ®, and AgileSHIFT ® are registered trade marks of AXELOS Limited.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.