Quality service delivery depends on people and the roles they play, regardless of the type of organization. Creating roles and responsibilities is especially important in IT organizations.

Roles include a set of responsibilities, activities, and authorities granted to a person or team, defined in a process or function. One person or team may wear many hats by playing multiple roles—for example, incident management and problem manager roles may be performed by a single person. 

A role is often confused with a job title; however, they aren’t always the same. Different organizations use different job titles and job descriptions that suit their needs, and the people holding these job titles may perform one or more roles.

There’s a new wrinkle today since there is now a new version of ITIL called ITIL 4 2018. The new version doesn’t focus so much on new information as it does redefine ITIL’s approach.

In this article, we’ll describe the various ITIL 4 job profiles and ITIL roles that are available, along with the responsibilities associated with these jobs in IT firms across the globe. This information will be useful in determining if you want to pursue the latest ITIL 4 course in ITIL 4 Foundation.

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ITIL 3 Service Strategy Roles

Service Strategy provides guidance on clarifying and prioritizing a service provider’s investments in services. Here are the major Service Strategy roles:

IT Steering Group (ISG)

The IT Steering Group (ISG) sets the direction and strategy for IT services. It includes members of senior management from business and IT. This group reviews business and IT strategies in order to make sure that they are aligned. The ISG also sets priorities of service development programs/projects.

Financial Manager

The Financial Manager is an ITIL role responsible for managing an IT service provider’s budgeting, accounting, and charging requirements.

Service Portfolio Manager

The Service Portfolio Manager decides the strategy that needs to be used to serve customers in cooperation with the IT Steering Group and develops the service provider's offerings and capabilities.

ITIL 4 Service Design Roles

Service Catalogue Manager

The Service Catalogue Manager is responsible for maintaining the service catalogue, ensuring that all information within the service catalogue is accurate and up-to-date.

Service Level Manager

The Service Level Manager is responsible for negotiating service level agreements (and making sure they are met), along with IT Service Management processes, operational level agreements, and underpinning contracts are appropriate for the agreed service level targets. The SLM also monitors and reports on the service levels.

Service Owner

The Service Owner is responsible for delivering a particular service within the agreed service levels. The owner typically acts as the counterpart of the Service Level Manager when negotiating Operational Level Agreements (OLAs). Often, the Service Owner will lead a team of technical specialists or an internal support unit.

Service Design Manager

The Service Design Manager’s ITIL role includes responsibility for producing high-quality, secure, and resilient designs for new or improved services. This includes producing and maintaining all design documentation.
Applications Analyst/ Architect

The Applications Analyst/Architect is responsible for designing applications that are required for a service; this includes the specification of technologies, application architectures, and data structures as a basis for application development or customization.

Technical Analyst/ Architect

The Technical Analyst/Architect is responsible for designing infrastructure components and systems that are required for a service, including specifications for technologies and products as a basis for their procurement and customization.

Risk Manager

The ITIL 4 version of a Risk Manager is responsible for identifying, assessing, and controlling risks. This includes analyzing the value of assets to the business, identifying threats to those assets, and evaluating how vulnerable each asset is to those threats.

Capacity Manager

The Capacity Manager is responsible for ensuring that services and infrastructure are able to deliver the agreed capacity and performance targets in a cost-effective and timely manner. The manager considers all resources required to deliver the service, and plans for short, medium, and long-term business requirements.

Availability Manager

The Availability Manager is responsible for defining, analyzing, planning, measuring, and improving all aspects of the availability of IT services. He or she is responsible for ensuring that all IT infrastructure, processes, tools, roles, etc., are appropriate for the agreed service level targets for availability.

IT Service Continuity Manager

The IT Service Continuity Manager is responsible for managing risks that could seriously impact IT services. This person ensures that the IT service provider can provide minimum agreed service levels in cases of disaster, by reducing the risk to an acceptable level and planning for the recovery of IT services.

IT Security Manager

The IT Security Manager is responsible for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of an organization’s assets, information, data, and IT services. They are usually involved in an organizational approach to Security Management which has a wider scope than the IT service provider, and includes handling of paper, building access, phone calls etc., for the entire organization.

Compliance Manager

The Compliance Manager’s responsibility is to ensure that standards and guidelines are followed, and that proper, consistent accounting or other practices are being employed. This role includes making sure that external legal requirements are fulfilled.

IT Architect

The IT Architect defines a blueprint for the future development of the technological landscape, taking into account the service strategy and newly available technologies.

Supplier Manager

The Supplier Manager is responsible for ensuring that value for money is obtained from all suppliers. They ensure that contracts with suppliers support the needs of the business, and that all suppliers meet their contractual commitments.

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ITIL 4 Service Transition roles and boards

Change Manager

The Change Manager authorizes and documents all changes in the IT Infrastructure and its components (Configuration Items), in order to maintain a minimum amount of interruptive effects upon the running operation. In the case of further-reaching changes, the role involves the Change Advisory Board (CAB).

Change Advisory Board (CAB)

The CAB is a group of people that advise the Change Manager in the assessment, prioritization, and scheduling of changes. This board is usually made up of representatives from all areas within the IT Service Provider, the business, and third parties such as suppliers.

Change Owner

The Change Owner is the person backing a change and holding a budget for its implementation. In most cases the Change Owner is identical with the RFC initiator. Typically, changes are owned by Service Management roles (e.g., the Problem or Capacity Manager) or members of IT management.

Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB)

As the name of the role suggests, the ECAB is a subset of the Change Advisory Board that makes decisions about high impact emergency changes.

Project Manager

The Project Manager is responsible for planning and coordinating the resources to deploy a major release within the predicted cost, time, and quality estimates.

Application Developer

The Application Developer is responsible for making available applications and systems which provide the required functionality for IT services. This includes the development and maintenance of custom applications as well as the customization of products from software vendors.

Release Manager

The Release Manager is an ITIL role responsible for planning, scheduling, and controlling the movement of releases to test in live environments. The primary objective is to ensure that the integrity of the live environment is protected and that the correct components are released.

Configuration Manager

The Configuration Manager is responsible for maintaining information about configuration items that are required to deliver IT services. He or she maintains a logical model, containing the components of the IT infrastructure (CIs) and their associations.

Knowledge Manager

The Knowledge Manager ensures that the IT organization is able to gather, analyze, store, and share knowledge and information. Their primary goal is to improve efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge.

Test Manager

The Test Manager ensures that deployed releases and resulting services meet customer expectations and verifies that IT operations are able to support the new service.

ITIL 4 Service Operation roles and groups 

Service Operation focuses on the principles, processes, functions, and operational activities that enable individual and organizations successfully manage how their products and services perform. You’ll likely find these roles in the Service Organization: 

1st Level Support

The responsibility of First Level Support is to register and classify received incidents and to undertake an immediate effort in order to restore failed IT Service as quickly as possible. If no ad-hoc solution can be achieved, First Level Support will transfer the incident to expert Technical Support Groups (Second Level Support). First Level Support also processes Service Requests and keeps users informed about their incidents' status at agreed intervals.

2nd Level Support

Second Level Support takes over incidents which cannot be solved immediately by First Level Support. If necessary, they will request external support, e.g., from software or hardware manufacturers. This role’s aim is to restore the failed IT service as quickly as possible. If no solution can be found, the Second Level Support passes on the incident to Problem Management.

3rd Level Support

Third Level Support is typically located at hardware or software manufacturers. Their services are requested by Second Level Support if required for solving an incident. The aim of 3rd Level Support is to restore the failed IT Service as quickly as possible.

Major Incident Team

A dynamically established team of IT managers and technical experts, usually under the leadership of the Incident Manager, created to focus on the resolution of a Major Incident.
Incident Manager

The Incident Manager is responsible for the effective implementation of the “Incident Management” process, and carries out the respective reporting procedure. They represent the first stage of escalation for incidents, should these not be resolvable within the agreed Service Levels.

Problem Manager

The Problem Manager is responsible for managing the lifecycle of all Problems. This manager’s primary objectives are to prevent incidents from happening and to minimize the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented. The Problem Manager also maintains information about known errors and workarounds.

Service Request Fulfillment Group

Service Request Fulfillment Groups specialize in the fulfillment of certain types of Service Requests. Typically, First Level Support will process simpler requests, while others are forwarded to the Specialized Fulfillment Groups.

Access Manager

The Access Manager grants authorized users the right to use a service, while preventing access to non-authorized users. The Access Manager essentially executes policies defined in IT Security Management.

IT Operations Manager

IT Operations Manager are required to take overall responsibility for all of the IT Operations Management activities, which include operations control and facilities management.

IT Operator

IT Operators are ITIL roles responsible for performing day-to-day operational activities. Typical responsibilities include performing backups, ensuring that scheduled jobs are performed, and installing standard equipment in the data center.

IT Facilities Manager

The IT Facilities Manager is responsible for managing the physical environment where the IT infrastructure is located. This includes all aspects of managing the physical environment, for example power and cooling, building access management, and environmental monitoring.

ITIL 4 roles within Continual Service Improvement

CSI Manager

The Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Manager is responsible for managing improvements to ITIL® 4 roles within Service Strategy IT Service Management processes and IT services. The CSI Manager continually measures the performance of the service provider and designs improvements to processes, services, and infrastructure in order to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness.

Process Manager

The Process Manager is responsible for planning and coordinating all process management activities. They support all parties involved in managing and improving processes, in particular, the process owners. This role also coordinates all changes to processes, thereby making sure that all processes cooperate in a seamless way.

Process Owner

A Process Owner is responsible for ensuring that a process is fit for purpose. The Process Owner’s responsibilities include sponsorship, design, and continual improvement of the process and its metrics. This role is often assigned to staff holding one of the major Service Management roles (e.g. the Incident Manager is the Process Owner of the Incident Management process).

ITIL 4 Role Outside the IT Organization

As you can probably guess, a Customer is someone who buys goods or services. The Customer of an IT Service Provider is the person or group who defines and agrees the service level targets.

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