ITIL 4 Foundation: Manage IT excellence

An international lead architect team with a diverse background and extensive practical experience took part in the creation of ITIL 4. A team of experts (160+) and enthusiasts (2000+) were involved, and of course the AXELOS team accompanied and helped all the way. And yes, ITIL 4 was built on “Agile”. Indeed, it is the work of several thousand people! The results include ITIL 4 Foundation – PDF version available – a definitive introductory book on ITIl v4.

Table of contents

  • A holistic approach in ITIL 4
  • Four dimensions of value creation
  • The service value system
  • The Service Value Chain
  • Seven guiding principles of ITIL 4
  • ITIL 4 Practices

A holistic approach in ITIL 4

ITIL 4 is a holistic approach to product and service management. It identifies four dimensions that are critical to creating value for stakeholders, including customers.

Figure 1. The service value system

Four dimensions of value creation

For example: An incident management practice includes its description structured around these 4 dimensions.

In order to effectively manage incidents it is necessary:

  1. Build a work flow (process). (4) value streams and processes
  2. Determine what competencies are needed, how the organizational structure is arranged, how we provide communication between the participants. (1) organizations and people
  3. To understand what information passes through this practice, where we get it from, what it consists of, how it is structured, what information objects we use, where and how we store information. It is also important for us to understand how to automate incident management activities: from ticket accounting systems to artificial intelligence that “heals” these incidents. (2) information and technology
  4. Determine how we interact with partners and suppliers to resolve incidents, how we can make seamless integration, how we exchange information, what competencies are brought out. (3) partners and suppliers

And this is how all 34 practices are considered.

The service value system

The value creation system is a key part of ITIL 4. It shows how all the components and activities of an organization work together to create value. SVS forms an ecosystem through which it can create value for these organizations, their stakeholders and customers.

The service value chain

The service value chain is the heart of SVS. It is a flexible operating model for creating, delivering, and continuously improving services.

The value creation system is a process of converting opportunities or needs (opportunity / demand) into value for the customer, supplier / partner or for the organization itself (value), expressed in the consistent application of the inspiring principles and in continuous improvement via management (Governance) and practices applied to the service’s value chain.

In the middle of the Service value system is the service value chain. This is what the service lifecycle model has evolved into. The main difference is not a cycle, there is no prescribed order. Six activities that can be performed in any order.

Service Value Stream example:

The specific paths through this chain in ITIL 4 are called Service Value Streams and look similar to the following figure.

For example, when we need a new service, we start by matching the source of the requirement, planning, designing, buying or developing, assembling, transferring, delivering, supporting. This is the traditional design – build – transition – operation cycle. There is no single correct cycle. There are a number of activities tailored to a specific case.

Another example is the Value Stream of user support, which starts when the user asks for something, we provide support, support requires development, purchase and installation, these incidents are resolved, and there is also a process for continuous improvement. The order of actions is not imposed, the organization itself generates value streams.

Figure 2. The ITIL service value chain

Practices in ITIL 4

Basically, the ITIL v3 processes are replaced by the practices in ITIL 4. ITIL v3 describes the management of the service by 26 “processes” + 4 functions, which are part of the 5 phases of the service life cycle: service strategy, service design , service transition, service operation and continuous service improvement. ITIL 4 extends the processes to “practices”.

They have the same value and meaning as current ITIL v3 processes. They are displayed via the Service Value Stream (SVS). Several processes can be considered in one practice. SVS includes 34 management practices. These are groups of organizational resources to get a job done or to achieve a goal.