The ITIL® 4 framework includes 34 management practices, which are split up into three different categories. We’ve already explored the general management practices, so in this blog we’ll be focusing on the service management practices.
Learn more about the general management practices in our blog.
What are the service management practices?
These 17 practices encompass those which have been developed in the service management and ITSM industries, and focus on managing and providing services and products.
Availability refers to the ability of an IT service to provide its agreed function. The availability management practice aims to ensure that services deliver this availability and meets the needs of customers and users.
The business analysis practice encourages an organisation to analyse its business, or a specific element of it, and define the areas where it can be improved with the aim to help address these issues and facilitate greater value creation for the organisation and its customers.
Capacity and performance management
Focused on service performance, the capacity and performance management practice aims to ensure that services are cost-effective, remain within budget, and achieve the agreed needs of the customer.
Unlike change management, the change enablement practice is centred around adjustments made to products and services. The purpose of this service is to maximise the success of these changes by effectively identifying and assessing potential risks, and managing the change schedule.
An incident refers to an unplanned interruption to a service or reduction in its quality, as such the incident management practice aims to reduce the negative impact of these incidents by ensuring they are identified, logged and resolved efficiently.
IT asset management
The IT asset management practice covers the management of the full lifecycle of all IT assets, including software, hardware, networking, cloud services, client devices and more.
Monitoring and event management
Events are defined as any change of state that has an impact on the management of a service or other configuration item. This practice aims to manage events through their lifecycle to limit their impact on the wider business and service delivery.
Problems refer to the vulnerabilities, errors and flaws that may result in an incident. The problem management practice encompasses three phases: problem identification, problem control and error control, all used to help avoid a problem turning into an incident.
The release management practice handles any new launches or service changes that are being made available for use. It ensures that all components are compatible and ready for use before being shared with users.
Service catalogue management
The service catalogue management encourages organisations to create a single source of information about all services and service offerings provided by an organisation. This can take multiple forms including a document, online portal or other tool, but it needs to provide a scope of the list of services that are currently available.
Service configuration management
The service configuration management ensures that accurate information about services, and the configuration items (CIs) that support them, is available when needed. The value of this is largely indirect, but it enables many other practices to work effectively.
Service continuity management
The purpose of the service continuity management practice is to produce an effective response to disaster to maintain the availability and performance of services if any of these scenarios were to occur. To do this, each organisation needs to consider what constitutes a disaster in its context, and build an appropriate response.
Products and services need to be designed properly to enable value creation. The service design practice ensures that all products and services are designed so they are fit for purpose, fit for use, and the organisation is well equipped to deliver them.
The service desk is the entry point for customers to raise concerns or queries regarding incident resolution and service requests. It is crucial that the service desk works with the support and development teams to resolves these raised issues efficiently.
Service level management
A service level is the metrics against which service quality is defined. The purpose of the service level management practice is to ensure the delivery of a service is properly assessed, monitored, and managed against business targets.
Service request management
A service request is a user request which initiates an action as part of the service delivery. The purpose of the service request management practice is to ensure these service requests are handled effectively.
What are the benefits of successfully implementing the service management practices?
Establishing competence in these areas can bring several benefits for an individual and organisation, including:
- Enhanced service quality
- Improved efficiency
- Improved incident and problem management
- Increased focus on continual improvement
- Optimised service desk operations
- Stronger service level management
- Streamlined service request fulfilment
- And more!
If you’re interested in developing these skills, then training in ITIL 4 is a great place to start. View our full list of ITIL 4 courses now.