Service Management Blog

ITIL® Service Design

5 minute read
BMC Software

ITIL 4 Guide ›

(This article is part of our ITIL v3 Guide. Use the right-hand menu to navigate.)

What is service design?

Service Design covers the fundamentals of designing services and processes.

It provides a holistic design approach to help an organization deliver better services. The five key aspects of service design are:

  1. Designing the service solution
  2. Management information systems and tools
  3. Technology
  4. Processes
  5. Measurements and metrics

Approach all aspects with service oriented thinking and decision making.

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Designing a service to meet an organization’s strategic and customer needs requires coordination and collaboration. Aim for high service maturity when designing services rather than the completion of an IT project. The higher the service maturity the higher customer and user satisfaction will be.

Video: ITIL Service Design Capabilities

This video addresses capabilities needed for effectively consuming, designing and building services and systems. Relationship to service strategy, customer service focus, demand management, cloud computing and business intelligence to enable organization collaborative design capabilities are discussed. (11:46)

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Service level management

The service level management (SLM) process focuses on researching and understanding requirements. Areas include:

  • Defining, negotiating, agreeing upon and documenting IT service targets
  • Monitoring, measuring and reporting on how well the service provider delivered the agreed upon targets

When targets are appropriate and met, then the business and IT have a better chance of becoming aligned.

Agreed upon targets are often spelled out in service level agreements (SLAs). Monitoring, measuring and reporting on SLA’s in this way provides close links to Continual Service Improvement (CSI).

SLAs are agreements to provide specific services at a defined level of quality (warranty) for a specific price. SLAs typically need negotiation of agreements with other internal organizations (OLA’s) or external suppliers (Underpinning Contracts).

Negotiating SLAs to ensure service commitments are met, service level management works with the following warranty processes:

  • capacity management
  • availability management
  • security management
  • service continuity management

Service level management is accountable for monitoring conformance to the SLAs and take action if there is a breach of the SLA. This means working with the service desk, incident management, and problem management.

Customer satisfaction is not determined only by SLA performance. Therefore service level management should meet with customers face-to-face on a regular basis. This helps to maintain a positive relationship address any concerns the customer may have.

Service catalog management

Service catalog management ensures that an accurate and up-to-date service catalog is available to all parties authorized to see it. All parts of IT Service Management, as well as customers and users, use the service catalog. Accuracy and availability are essential.

Service catalog management must work closely with service portfolio management as new services move from the pipeline into the catalog and older services are retired. It also helps define how services can be requested and what options are available (gold/silver levels, for instance). The service catalog should document all defined services.

The service catalog generally comprises two views:

  • a business service view that is visible to the customer
  • a technical service view that is visible only to IT personnel.

This enables the customer to choose services based on their business requirements. At the same IT personnel can use their view to determine what technical services they need to support a given business service.

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Capacity management

ITIL Capacity Management Processes & Best Practices ›

Availability management

Availability management ensures that infrastructure, tools, roles etc. are appropriate for the agreed targets. It also works with the design teams to ensure that availability is designed into services.

Part of the process is to identify vital business functions (VBFs) which IT services support. This will help clarify which approach to availability to take:

  • prevention (making sure, as far as possible, that unavailability never happens)
  • recovery (developing plans to restore service rapidly in the event of an outage).

Availability management views availability from the user’s perspective, from end to end. This means identifying single points of failure and designing resilience into any infrastructure supporting the service. Availability management serves as a focal point for all issues in IT Service Management related to availability.

Availability management handles specifying which metrics to use to measure availability. And, monitors availability to ensure that the SLA targets are met.

IT service continuity management

IT service continuity management (ITSCM) focuses on supporting the overall continuity of the business. We define ITSCM as the process responsible for managing risks that could seriously impact IT services.

Risks so serious they could threaten the very survival of the business.

This activity is often referred to as disaster recovery (DR). But, the use of the term ITSCM should show that there is a corresponding business continuity management (BCM) process. ITSCM supports the BCM process.

ITSCM must work closely with BCM to perform risk analysis and business impact analysis (BIA). This analysis determines how different types of disruptions impact the business. The business areas determined to suffer the greatest impact need the most focus from the service continuity teams.

ITSCM is responsible for development and deployment of the service continuity plan. This includes regular testing and training of all personnel associated with the plan. ITSCM also works with change management to ensure that continuity plans are updated as the operational model changes.

There are four stages in the ITSCM lifecycle process:

  1. Initiation
  2. Requirements and strategy
  3. Implementation
  4. Ongoing operation

ITIL Information security management

ITIL Information Security Management Processes & Best Practices ›

Supplier management

Supplier management works with third parties, such as suppliers, to negotiate contracts for products or services. Supplier management monitor conformance to the contract conditions and address any breaches. At renewal, supplier management will determine whether to renew, renegotiate, or end the contract.

The objectives of supplier management is to ensure alignment of contracts with the needs of the business. It is also responsible for ensuring suppliers are meeting their commitments. The supplier and contract management information system (SCMIS) holds supplier and contract details.

Design coordination

The central principles in design coordination are balance, prioritization and integration with project management. Balance and prioritization address the utility and warranty of a service, as well as the needs of the service throughout its lifecycle.

Design coordination oversees all activity in the service design phase of the service lifecycle. Its aim is to ensure that a holistic, integrated approach is taken to the design of services. This is necessary because of the variety of disciplines involved in Service Design and the need to take a consistent approach.

Design coordination is accountable for the production of the service design package (SDP). The SDP is a comprehensive description of how a new or changed service is to be designed, built, tested, deployed, and operated. The SDP is the handoff from the Service Design phase to the Service Transition phase.

Design coordination handles managing resources needed by the Service Design phase of the lifecycle. This includes:

  • Planning to ensure that adequate resources are available
  • Scheduling access to resources among the many projects that may be in this phase at any one time

It is accountable for the performance and improvement of the Service Design phase of the lifecycle.

Video: ITIL Service Design Management

This video focuses on managing the development of a service product. Design coordination, cloud computing, other best practices are discussed as a component of an overall service management framework. (08:50)

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About the author

BMC Software

BMC works with 86% of the Forbes Global 50 and customers and partners around the world to create their future. With our history of innovation, industry-leading automation, operations, and service management solutions, combined with unmatched flexibility, we help organizations free up time and space to become an Autonomous Digital Enterprise that conquers the opportunities ahead.