Foundations training is focused on the key concepts and terminology of ITIL. The ITIL library is a collection of publications that document the best practices for the management of IT enabled services. This ITIL framework provides guidance and a common language for the management of IT supported services.
The ITIL framework provides flexibility to organizations. It allows them to determine what components to implement and how to prioritize and proceed based on how they view ITIL and service management in general within their operations. Guidance is provided across the spectrum from strategic considerations to tactical, operational details and processes.
New business initiatives continue to leverage IT and technology supported services. There are new markets, new products and new services created everyday and tech and IT seem central to it all.
The ITIL framework supports this evolution and progress and ITIL 4 is the latest description of how IT service management is fully adopted to these modern technologies and ready for what will come in the future.
There are significant diﬀerences in ITIL 4 as an evolutionary step from ITIL 3. Let’s examine some of the major changes.
In this comparison we will look only at the key concepts at the foundations level. ITIL 3 describes the 5 stages of the service lifecycle, 5 aspects of service design, the 4 Ps considerations, processes, functions and key service management terms. Extensive focus is put onto the service lifecycle stages, the processes and the functions with the unifying concept that everything is done in an eﬀort to provide value to the customer in the form of services.
In ITIL 3 Foundations we described how the processes and functions worked to create and support a service at any stage in its lifecycle and we had a comprehensive framework to describe a service throughout its lifecycle. Individuals involved in IT service management activities could define interactions, ensuring that all activities were tied to the provision of value for the stakeholders. The adoption of the generic service lifecycle model for IT service management also assisted integration and cultural acceptance in many large organizations.
ITIL 4 has a shift in focus. The key concepts are identified as the service value system, service value chain, 4 dimensions of service management, the ITIL guiding principles, practices and key service management terms. The unifying concept is the co-creation of value in the relationship between the service provider and the consumer.
ITIL 4 Foundation does not really discuss the service lifecycle but instead focuses on the activities involved in the service value chain. Activities to create products and services that are part of the co-creation of value can be documented and described as value streams. When you look at how the service value chain integrates activities from the ITIL practices to create value streams the results are very similar to our demand to value diagram from ITIL 3, where the processes are integrated across the service lifecycle.
In ITIL 4 Foundation, we describe how the practices work within the service value chain activity stages to create and support a product or service. Individuals involved in IT service management activities can define interactions, ensuring that all activities are tied to the co-creation of value with the stakeholders. The focus is on the integration of activities, documented as value streams.
An organization will have multiple value streams since each value stream is a series of actions taken to create and deliver a service component. The challenge with value streams is that they are unique to each organization because they are based on each organization’s service value chain and their resources, capabilities and practices. By example, the value stream for incident resolution in my organization will be diﬀerent from value stream for incident resolution in your organization. This means that eﬀectively, value streams are post activity descriptions vs prescribed activity templates.
Their value to service management and to the organization as a whole is that, through value stream mapping, they can all be thoroughly documented, maintained and improved to fully support new ways of working and organizational agility.
Summary of Diﬀerences in ITIL 4
- Focus is on the service value system and the service value chain and not on the service lifecycle.
- Concept of value streams is introduced and will be the subject of future publications under ITIL 4
- Four dimensions of service management replaces the 4 Ps of service management
- ITIL guiding principles replace the 5 aspects of service design
- Processes and functions have been redefined as practices
- Concept of value co-creation
- Consumer roles described with an excellent definition of the “customer” that fully supports the value co-creation concept.
About the Author
Jim Jackson is the Managing Director of Blue Sky AFC Associates LLC. Jim holds the ITIL Expert Certificate (V3) and has also completed ITIL 4 Foundations certification. Jim is a service management professional and has been an accredited instructor of ITIL Foundations since 2005. He has shared his open, non-restricted view of the ITIL framework as he has trained and assisted hundreds of candidates to prepare for and pass the ITIL Foundations examinations. Jim has also written accredited courseware for earlier versions of ITIL Foundations and he contributed to ITIL 4 accredited course materials for Thought Rock in 2019.
ITIL is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited.
Diagrams and images contained in this article have been created by Jim Jackson and remain the property of Blue Sky AFC Associates LLC, Copyright 2019.