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Tip 2: Read Carefully

Tip 6: Deliver Value

Everything must deliver value. If something doesn't deliver value, why are you wasting time and money on it?

  • All processes must deliver value (as well as their primary results) to a customer or stakeholder.
  • All services must deliver value to a customer. If a service is no longer delivering value, it's probably time to retire that service.

Tip 7: STAMP Your Service Design

In the Service Design phase, we learn about the Five Aspects of Service Design, which describe the five main "things" to be designed in the Service Design phase. Since these five aspects are part of the exam syllabus, you'll need to memorize them. Using the acronym "STAMP" is helpful:

  • S stands for "Designing the Service Solutions." In the Service Design phase, we design a service solution to meet the documented needs of the business, from soup to nuts. This includes all of the agreed-upon functional requirements, as well as all of the necessary resources and capabilities.
  • T stands for "Designing the Service Management systems and Tools." These are tools such as the Service Portfolio (to manage services through their lifecycle), the Service Catalogue (to manage operational services as well as services about to be released into production), and perhaps even the tool your Service Desk uses to track incidents and such. Any "big picture" tool that your organization uses to manage and coordinate the delivery of services and your information technology service management (ITSM) initiative overall must be carefully designed.
  • A stands for "Designing the technology Architectures and management systems." If we're designing an email service, this step is where we figure out which email platform we'll use, how many servers and how much disk space we'll need, how we'll connect to the internet, and how we're going to back it up, for example. We're figuring out the actual technology and architecture here; the geeky details.
  • M stands for "Designing the Measurement systems, methods and metrics." Has a manager ever asked you for a report that you couldn't provide because you didn't have the necessary data? This design aspect prevents that problem, by making us think about the types of reports and metrics we'd like to pull when this service eventually goes live in the Service Operation phase. It ensures that we've designed the ability to compile those metrics not just for the end-to-end service as a whole, but also for individual components of the architecture, and for process metrics.
  • P stands for "Designing the Processes needed." Not just the processes in the ITIL books (~24), but all of your organization's internal processes as well. Any process needed to design, transition, operate, and ultimately improve the services needs to be carefully designed here in the Service Design phase.

Tip 8: Don't Confuse the Service Portfolio and the Service Catalogue

Along with the Service Pipeline and the Retired Services, the Service Catalogue is part of the larger Service Portfolio. The Service Catalogue contains current operational services as well as those services that are just about ready to be launched into production for operational running. The Service Catalogue is maintained by a person/role called the Service Catalogue Manager.

The Service Portfolio is a larger tool that represents an organization's investments in IT. Through the Service Portfolio, we manage those investments for value. The Service Portfolio supports all processes, and it describes a provider's services in terms of business value.

The Service Portfolio allows us to answer marketing-type questions about our services, which is a hint that the Service Portfolio is introduced in the Service Strategy phase. (Remember tip #4: If it sounds like marketing lingo, policies and objectives, or other "big picture" ideas, it's related to Service Strategy.) The Service Catalogue is introduced in Service Design.

Tip 9: Know Your Business Value

Your ITIL instructor should have explained how each phase of the lifecycle, as well as certain key processes, provides value to the business. If not, refer to the five ITIL books and take some time to review it.

For example, the Service Design phase provides value to the business by helping reduce total cost of ownership (TCO)—assuming that the services, the supporting technology, and the processes were not only designed well, but then implemented according to the plan.

The process of Change Management provides value to the business by improving the productivity of both business and IT staff, improving your compliance with governance initiatives, and helping the business to stay flexible and agile, because IT can accommodate more changes with a higher success rate.

Tip 10: Connect Each Process with Its Book/Phase

You'll need to remember which processes are covered in which book/phase:

  • Service Strategy. Four processes (though some classes only introduce three, because Strategy Generation isn't part of the exam syllabus):
    • Strategy Generation
    • Service Portfolio Management
    • Financial Management
    • Demand Management
  • Service Design. Seven processes, as well as the Five Aspects of Service Design (refer to tip #7), as well as the Four P's (People, Process, Products, and Partners):
    • Service Catalogue Management
    • Service Level Management
    • Capacity Management (which goes hand-in-hand with Demand Management from Service Strategy)
    • Availability Management
    • Information Security Management
    • IT Service Continuity Management
    • Supplier Management
  • Service Transition. Seven processes, although students are required to know only the following four for the exam:
    • Change Management
    • Service Asset and Configuration Management
    • Release and Deployment Management
    • Knowledge Management
  • Service Operation. This book/phase is tricky, because it contains five processes and four functions. The five Service Operation processes spell out IPEAR:
    • Incident Management
    • Problem Management
    • Event Management
    • Access Management
    • Request Fulfillment
  • The four functions (teams/"self-contained units of organizations"):
    • Service Desk
    • Technical Management
    • Application Management
    • IT Operations Management (which has two subgroups: IT Operations Control, and Facilities Management)
  • Continual Service Improvement. A combination of one main process and two approaches:
    • Seven-Step Improvement Process
    • Deming Cycle (for slow, steady improvement)
    • Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Model
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