Understanding ITIL® Service Strategy

1-Understanding-ITIL-Service-Strategy-AA050529BlogThe “ITIL® Service Strategy” book is likely the most important of the five ITIL core books, however, it is also chock full of things that most organizations and service management professionals will never encounter. In this blog post I describe the three most important aspects of the “ITIL Service Strategy” book.

Perception is Reality
The “ITIL Service Strategy” book points out the value is how customers make decisions about buying a service. Value is created by effectively managing three things:

  • Preferences
  • Business Outcomes
  • Perception

Preferences refers to customer requirements for a services, business outcomes refers to how customers will use the value of a service, and perception refers to how a customer views a service as well as their feelings about it.

While this model correctly points out that preferences, or requirements, and business outcomes are important components of value, it also says that perceptions influence value. In other words, as a service provider you could be meeting requirements perfectly and helping the customer achieve business outcomes, but they could still be dissatisfied with a service. This is because of the effect of perception, which ITIL clearly indicates that service providers must effectively manage.

Service providers that correctly anticipate that perception will influence the ultimate value of a service, and that ultimate value of a service will affect how it performs in a market, will make adequate arrangement to manage perception. Only by managing perception effectively is the value of a service maintained over time.

Defining Services
Some of the most important content in all of the five ITIL core books is in the “ITIL Service Strategy” book around defining service. Unfortunately, it is also some of the most commonly ignored material. The reason this material is so important is that it describes how service providers can identify services. Identifying services should be a fairly quick activity, but unfortunately many organizations spend an inordinate amount of time working on this.

ITIL discusses service archetypes, which are a high-level way of categorizing common types of services that organizations deliver. In my experience, when I’ve seen an organization fail at defining services, it was often because they spent too much time “reinventing the wheel”, and ignored the content in the “ITIL Service Strategy” book about how to define services, specifically how to employ service archetypes as an organizing concept.

The Service Portfolio
The concept of a service portfolio is important because it helps an organization understand its future, present and past.

A service portfolio consists of 3 components:

  • Service Pipeline
  • Service Catalogue
  • Retired Services

The future is represented by the service pipeline. The present is represented by the service catalogue and the past is represented by retired services. Simply put, ITIL is saying that organizations that have and understanding of and control over their future, present and past are able to deliver higher quality outcomes for their customers.

There are many things that are useful and important about the “ITIL Service Strategy” book. This post discussed perception, definition of services and the service portfolio, which are three of the most important concepts discussed in the “ITIL Service Strategy” book.

Related Courses
ITIL Foundation
ITIL Awareness

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