ITIL V4 Framework

ITIL V4 Framework

Service system value

One of the key concepts that ITIL v4 introduces is that of a service value system. As well as the services currently being delivered, an organization should develop a range of potential services to meet future needs. This ensures they remain competitive in the marketplace. These are called transformation projects.

Transformational projects

A transformational project starts with a business need or opportunity, which is then translated into measurable benefits and objectives through the use of a gap analysis. It will often start as an idea or concept within one part of an organization before seeking sponsorship from other areas of the business. Transformational projects usually have multiple sponsors, where each sponsor represents different parts of the business looking for new ways to deliver outcomes important to them such as increased sales revenue or reduced costs. The success or failure of a transformational project tends to be determined by its ability to deliver these outcomes.

Services and service catalogues

The use of services and service catalogues is one way for an organization to help deliver transformation projects. In ITIL v3 the term traditional project was used, but in ITIL v4 it has been replaced with transformational project.  A key difference between the two concepts is that a traditional project focuses on delivering a solution, while a transformational project will focus on sustaining the benefits from that solution. This is through the provision of services that meet specific needs or address issues identified during gap analysis. Additionally, ITIL v4 introduces specific roles involved in supporting these kinds of projects: Business Relationship Manager ( BRM ), Product Owner and Service Catalogue Manager. The role of each is covered in more detail later.


A brief summary of the steps involved in managing a transformational project is shown below:

1. Determining requirements

2. Business case development

3. Marketing transformation projects to internal and external stakeholders.

a) Creating a business case

b) Writing marketing information such as brochures, social media posts etc

c) Working with sales teams to identify opportunities, demonstrate value etc

d) Planning the launch event

e) Conducting pilot projects to test ideas under real-world conditions

f ) Selecting pilots most likely to succeed

4. Communicating progress at regular intervals

5. Managing change through communication channels (e.g., blog posts, audio podcasts, webinars and videos)

6. Implementing new services

a) Creating a service portfolio

b) Planning change management activities

c) Defining the need for project-specific roles ( Product Owner, Service Catalog Manager etc.)

d) Developing a communication plan

e ) Identifying and mitigating risks

f ) Ensuring transformational projects are aligned with business objectives

7. Transition to operation

8. Continuously monitoring “value” of services being provided

9. Measuring success and identifying new opportunities for improvement

Service catalogues

Service catalogues can be used in ITIL v4 as one way of marketing transformation projects. Although they are certainly not the only means by which this could be achieved. A traditional service catalogue would list all of the services currently being offered, including those ongoing support and maintenance services.

Information on a transformational service catalogue is likely to be more detailed and use the same business language as the business stakeholders who will be evaluating these services in terms of their impact on the bottom line. It would include information such as what problem or need of the stakeholder it meets, how much revenue this is expected to generate, why the project was initiated and details of any pilot projects that have been run. It should also give a breakdown of all activities required to implement each new service (such as where they are implemented, by whom and when), along with their estimated costs.

This greater level of detail allows line managers and other stakeholders to provide better insights into value for money from IT releases, which means there is less chance of projects getting cut before completion if they don’t deliver value for money.

Service catalogues may be developed using ITIL v3 or ITIL v4, and are not specific to transformational projects. However, the use of ITIL v4 will simplify this process by ensuring a consistent approach is used across all services being provided.

Generic capabilities needed for successful service transformation projects include:

1) The ability to communicate more effectively with business users (e.g., virtual conversations via online chat, video conferencing etc.)

2) The ability to prioritise requirements based on their impact on the bottom line (e.g. customer satisfaction surveys)   – The capability for IT operations teams to respond to changing demand patterns within agreed lead times

3) The ability to identify the cost of services provided (e.g., using real-time billing systems)

4) The capability to deliver the service within an agreed SLA

5) The ITIL v4 framework supports this by allowing transformation projects to be aligned more closely with business objectives and line management, as well as driving change via Marketing Teams. There is also a greater emphasis on outcomes rather than outputs. This means transformational projects are able to take advantage of new ways of working such as Lean, Agile and DevOps. Indeed it is possible for a single project manager to manage multiple transformational projects at once using these approaches. However, in order for line managers and other non-technical stakeholders to work effectively with IT, they need training in how to use ITIL v4 to their advantage.

The more holistic nature of the ITIL v4 framework (in particular, its focus on value for money ) means that it is a perfect fit with modern approaches such as LEAN, Agile and DevOps.

6) Implementing new services

a) Creating a service portfolio

b) Planning change management activities

c) Defining the need for project-specific roles ( Product Owner, Service Catalog Manager etc.)

d) Developing a communication plan

e ) Identifying and mitigating risks

f ) Ensuring transformational projects are aligned with business objectives.

7) Transition to operation.

8) Continuously monitoring “value” of services being provided.

9) Measuring success and identifying new opportunities for transformation.

The ITIL v4 framework supports this by allowing new services to be defined using the same business language as the stakeholders who commission them, making their potential value more clear. New services can also be aligned with existing projects being run across an organisation (e.g., training courses and apprenticeships which can help increase IT skills in future) so they are delivered as part of a larger programme of change.

As well as giving line managers and other non-technical users greater insights into what is happening within IT operations departments, ITIL v4 should also make it easier for them to identify transformational projects that provide real value for money. In addition, it promotes better use of resources by grouping together related support and maintenance services so they can be run as a single project, reducing the need for a large number of disparate projects to be managed by IT.

The ITIL v4 framework also makes it much easier to define and run virtualised services since they are not governed by specific technical components or devices. Indeed doing this will become mandatory on 1 January 2017 (see below) so it is becoming essential that organisations get training in ITIL v4 if they want to know how to do this effectively.

If you work for an organisation that uses LEAN, Agile or DevOps practices then implementing ITIL v4 should help make your teams even more effective than before. If you work for an organisation that used version 3 of the ITIL framework but does not currently use any other approaches then ITIL v4 should make it easier for you to implement these approaches, as well as make your teams more effective.

If you work in IT operations then there is a good chance that ITIL v4 will make it much easier to deliver services on time and within budget (and therefore help increase your pay). The fact that the framework is based around value means that you have an opportunity to demonstrate how valuable the service being provided really is. This can be done by improving processes and demonstrating real improvements in business outcomes. In other words, it’s all about what people get rather than how they are doing stuff.

As mentioned above any changes or projects undertaken must align with a business strategy in order to be successful, so ensure yours includes a specific ITIL v4 strategy. This should involve the key stakeholders who will be commissioning IT services, to make sure they have a clear view of what is being delivered and why.

Please call us if you need advice or ongoing training on ITIL v 4

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