ITIL Service Design

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The Service Design stage of the ITIL Service Lifecycle provides guidance for the design and development of services and Service Management processes. It covers design principles and methods for converting strategic objectives into portfolios of services and service assets. The scope of Service Design is not limited to new services. It includes the changes and improvements necessary to increase or maintain value to customers over the lifecycle of services, the continuity of services, achievement of service levels and conformance to standards and regulations. It guides organizations on how to develop design capabilities for Service Management. The Service Design stage of the lifecycle starts with a set of new or changed business requirements and ends with the development of a service solution designed to meet the documented needs of the business.

Purpose, Objective Scope and Value of ITIL Service Design[1]

Purpose of ITIL Service Design
The purposes of service design in ITIL are to do the following:

  • Design IT services, governing IT practices, processes, and policies.
  • Realize the strategy of the service provider.
  • Expedite the introduction of services
  • Make sure that service delivery is of high quality, the customers are satisfied, and the service provisions are cost effective.

Objectives of ITIL Service Design
The objectives of ITIL service design are:

  • To design IT services which are so effective that only minimum improvement will be needed during their entire lifecycle.
  • To embed CSI in all the activities of service design to make sure that the solutions become more effective over time.
  • To keep a look out for investment opportunities by identifying changing trends.

Scope of ITIL Service Design
Service design starts with a set of business requirements which are new or changed and it ends with the development of a service solution to meet those requirements. There are five aspects of service design which cover the design of:

  • Service solutions for new or changed services
  • Systems and tools for management information
  • Technology and management architectures
  • The required processes
  • Methods and metrics for measurement

Value of ITIL Service Design
If service design is good, it is possible to deliver services which are of high quality and very cost-effective. It is also possible to ensure that the business requirements are being met. The following benefits are provided by a design approach which is standard and consistent:

  • It reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • It significantly improves the quality, reliability, and performance of service.
  • It makes the implementation of new services or changing of existing services easy.
  • It helps to improve the IT Governance
  • It increases the effectiveness of service management and IT processes.
  • It improves decision-making capabilities.

The overall scope of Service Design and the five aspects of design and how they interact are illustrated in the figure below

Scope of Service Design

Principles of ITIL Service Design[2]

The overall approach of ITIL Service Design is to represent the fundamentals of designing services. The five key aspects of Service Design process are as follows –

  • Designing Service Solution: At the planning stage, the service team chalks a plan of producing services with balancing cost, deadline, budget and business requirements.
  • Designing Management Information Systems and Tools: ITIL service design defines some important Management Information System (MIS), such as service portfolio, configuration management system, capacity management information system and security management information system.
  • Designing of Technology and Architecture: Designing technology brings in technological competencies which take care of designs, plan, and processes aligning with IT policies and strategies.
  • Designing Processes: The process model is one of the elaborate paradigms in ITIL and it helps in the transition, operation, and improvement of services.
  • Designing Measurements and Metrics: Process metrics must be aligned with organizational goals and drilled down to each individual role as in balanced scorecard metrics.

ITIL Service Design Processes[3]

According to official ITIL v3 Documents, there are Eight Well-Defined processes under ITIL Service Design module. Along with that, there are Three Processes which are implicitly-defined by ITIL Documents but those are needed or need to be used throughout this process group.

  • 1) Design Coordination (ITIL Defined): Responsible for proper coordination between all service design activities, processes, and resources. Design coordination ensures the reliable and effective design of new or changed IT services, service management information systems, architectures, technology, processes, information, and metrics.
  • 2) Service Catalogue Management (ITIL Defined): Used to ensure that a Service Catalogue is produced, maintained, and the catalogue contains accurate information about all operational services along with those being prepared to be run operationally.
  • 3) Service Level Management (ITIL Defined): Responsible to negotiate Service Level Agreements with the customers and to design services in accordance with the agreed service level targets. Service Level Management also responsible for monitoring, reporting all Operational Level Agreements and Underpinning Contracts to ensure their appropriateness.
  • 4) Capacity Management (ITIL Defined): Ensures that the capacity of IT services and the IT infrastructure is adequate to deliver the agreed service level targets in a cost-effective and timely manner. Ideally, Capacity Management considers all resources required to deliver the IT service, and plans for short, medium and long-term business requirements.
  • 5) Availability Management (ITIL Defined): Used to define, analyze, plan, measure and improve all aspects of the availability of IT services. It is also responsible for ensuring that all IT infrastructure, processes, tools, roles etc. are appropriate to meet the SLA.
  • 6) IT Service Continuity Management (ITIL Defined): To manage risks that could seriously impact IT services. ITSCM ensures that the service provider, in any situation can meet the minimum agreed Service Levels.
  • 7) Information Security Management (ITIL Defined): Responsible for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of an organization's information, data and IT services.
  • 8) Supplier Management (ITIL Defined): It ensures that all contracts with suppliers aligned with the business requirement, and that all suppliers meet their contractual commitments.
  • 9) Risk Management: To identify, assess, and control risks. This includes analyzing the business assets, identifying threats to those assets, and evaluating the vulnerability of each asset is to those threats.
  • 10) Compliance Management: To ensure IT services, processes and systems comply with organization policies and legal requirements.
  • 11) Architecture Management: To define an outline for the future development of the technology, taking into account the Service Strategy and newly available technologies.

The diagram below illustrates the process flow and connection between each of the processes mentioned above:

ITIL Service Stage Design Process Flow

ITIL Service Design Roles

The following are all the important roles that are defined within the ITIL service design module.

  • Service Design Manager: The Service Design Manager is responsible for developing quality, secure and resilient designs for new or improved services. This Role is also responsible for producing and maintaining all design documentation.
  • Service Catalogue Manager:: The Service Catalogue Manager is responsible for maintaining and timely updating the Service Catalogue. This role also ensures that all information within the Service Catalogue is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Service Level Manager: The Primary responsibility of Service Level Manager is to negotiate Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and ensuring that they are met. S/He makes sure that all IT Service Management processes, SLAs, Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) and Underpinning Contracts (UCs) are tailored to meet service level targets. The Service Level Manager also monitors service levels and produces periodic reports on service level achievements. S/He also ensures that breaches of SLA targets are highlighted, investigated and appropriate actions are taken to prevent their recurrence.
  • Service Owner: The Service Owner is a counterpart of Service Level Manager, and responsible for delivering a particular service within the agreed service level targets. S/He also assists Service Level Manager in negotiating Operational Level Agreements (OLAs). Usually, the Service Owner leads a team of technical specialists or an internal support unit.
  • Capacity Manager: The Capacity Manager is responsible for ensuring that services and infrastructure have adequate capacity to deliver quality services and meet performance targets in a cost-effective and timely manner. This role considers all resources required to deliver a service, and plans for achieving short-term, medium-term and long-term business objectives.
  • Availability Manager: The Availability Manager is responsible for defining, analyzing, measuring, planning, and improving all aspects of the availability of IT services. This role also ensures that all IT infrastructure, processes, tools, roles are appropriate for the achieving agreed service level targets for availability.
  • IT Service Continuity Manager: The IT Service Continuity Manager is responsible for managing and reducing risks that could seriously impact IT services. S/He ensures that the IT service provider can continue to provide service at minimum agreed service levels in cases of disaster, by reducing the risk to an acceptable level and planning for the recovery of IT services.
  • Information Security Manager: The Information Security Manager is responsible for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and security of an organization’s information, data and IT services. This role is usually involved in an organizational approach to Security Management which includes handling of paper, building access, phone calls etc. for the entire organization, and has a wider scope than the IT service provider.
  • Supplier Manager: The Supplier Manager is responsible for making sure that value for money is obtained from all suppliers. S/He also ensures that contracts made with suppliers are in line with the business requirement and that all suppliers meet their contractual commitments.
  • Risk Manager: The Risk Manager is responsible for identifying, assessing, controlling, and mitigating risks. The scope of this role includes analyzing the value of assets to the business, identifying threats to those assets, and evaluating how vulnerable each asset is to those threats.
  • Compliance Manager: The Compliance Manager has the responsibility to ensure that all the industrial standards and guidelines are being followed. This role also ensures that proper & consistent accounting and/or other practices are being employed. This Role also makes sure that all external legal requirements are being fulfilled.
  • Enterprise Architect: The Enterprise Architect has the responsibility of maintaining the Enterprise Architecture (EA), a description of the necessary components of a business, including their interrelationships. Larger organizations may also employ specialist EA roles like Business Architect, Infrastructure Architect, Application Architect, or Information Architect.

See Also


  1. Purpose , Objective Scope and Value of ITIL Service Design Invensis
  2. What are the Principles of ITIL Service Design? EduCBA
  3. ITIL Service Design Processes Certguidance