The IT Infrastructure Library, or ITIL®, was originally developed in the 1980s as a series of books that recommended procedures and best practices for IT professionals, with the goal of standardizing IT management. ITIL is practiced and used worldwide, and is the most widely recognized best practice service management framework in the world.

ITIL® “advocates that IT services are aligned to the needs of the business and support its core processes. It provides guidance to organizations and individuals on how to use IT as a tool to facilitate business change, transformation and growth.” In this article, we summarize the process groups for ITIL 2011.

What is ITIL v3?

You may look at “ITIL 2011” and wonder, why 2011? There must be a newer version of ITIL than 2011. The answer is yes and no. No entirely new concepts have been added to ITIL 2011; however, incremental updates have resolved errors and inconsistencies across the whole suite. In other words, ITIL continues to be updated; there isn’t ITIL 2011, ITIL 2017, etc.

ITIL v3 was the third version of the ITIL. While ITIL v3 is no longer offered, it’s essentially the basis for ITIL 2011, which resolved errors and inconsistencies in the diagrams and text across the entire library. In other words, ITIL v3 has evolved into ITIL v3 2011, which itself has evolved since the year 2011.

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ITIL Processes

The five ITIL process groups map the whole ITIL service lifecycle. It starts with identifying customer needs and IT requirements, proceeds to defining and implementing the services, monitoring and improving the service. Let’s take a look at each one.

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Service Strategy

Defining an IT service strategy that operates efficiently and effectively within its business context is crucial. The service strategy stage of the ITIL lifecycle determines which IT services an organization needs to use, and which capabilities need to be offered. It provides guidance for clarifying and prioritizing IT service investments. The process helps IT organizations deliver and support services their internal and customers need. The service strategy process areas are:

  1. Strategy Management for IT services
  2. Service Portfolio Management
  3. Financial Management for IT services
  4. Demand Management
  5. Business Relationship management

Service Design

In the Service Design phase of the ITIL lifecycle, IT professionals plan how they will introduce a new or updated service to the current live environment. Strategically designing a service to meet the needs of both the organization and its customers requires big-picture thinking, coordination, and collaboration. The service design process areas are:

  1. Service Catalogue Management
  2. Service Level Management
  3. Supplier Management
  4. Capacity Management
  5. Availability Management
  6. IT Service Continuity Management
  7. Information Security Management
  8. Design Coordination

Service Transition

Managing risk for new, updated, and retired services also requires proper planning, including communication for awareness and compliance. Managing expectations and changing behaviors are big challenges in the service transition phase of the ITIL lifecycle. The service transition processes are:

  1. Transition Planning and Support
  2. Change Management
  3. Service Asset and Configuration Management
  4. Release and Deployment Management
  5. Knowledge Management
  6. Service Validation and Testing
  7. Change Evaluation

Service Operation

In the service operation phase of the ITIL lifecycle, IT organizations focus on coordinating and executing activities related to ongoing management and operation for products and services that were developed and implemented during the previous phases. Understanding the service operation best practices helps IT teams effectively maintain existing services. The service operation processes are:

  1. Event Management
  2. Incident Management
  3. Problem Management
  4. Request Fulfillment
  5. Access Management

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Continual Service Improvement

The purpose of Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is to create an ongoing process to continually align and realign IT services to changing business needs. CSI seeks ways to improve process efficacy, efficiency, and cost effectiveness. This is done by identifying and implementing IT service improvements that support current and upcoming business processes.

Seven Step Improvement

Apart from the above 26 processes distributed across five life cycles, there are four functions:

  1. Service Desk
  2. Application Management
  3. Technical Management
  4. IT Operational Management

These four functions fall under the Service Operation lifecycle module, which is the only module to have functions apart from processes.

About the Author


Chandana is working as a Senior Content Writer in She has done M.A. in English Literature from Gauhati University. A PRINCE2 Foundation certified, she has a unique and refreshing style of writing which can engross the readers to devour each sentence of her write-ups.

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