ITIL 4 Guide

ITIL 4Practices

ITIL 4 Guide

ITIL 4Practices

ITIL 4 Practices

Practices make up a core element of the ITIL® 4 Service Value System. In ITIL 4, a practice is a set of organisational resources designed for performing or accomplishing objectives.

What are ITIL practices used for?

The ITIL 4 practices are a set of tools for managing services. Providing guidance on how to manage incidents, enable change, design, and much more.

No matter what your organisation’s operating model is, such as DevOps or a centralised technology approach. The ability to pick a practice that creates, delivers, supports and improves services helps satisfy the ultimate outcome: meeting user needs.

The full set of 34 ITIL 4 Practices

ITIL 4 includes 34 practices categorised into three categories: General Management Practices, Service Management Practices, and Technical Management Practices. Within each practice, ITIL provides various types of guidance, such as key terms and concepts, success factors, key activities, information objects, etc. Below you can find an overview of each practice as well as its purpose.

ITIL 4 General Management Practice

Architecture Management Understanding the different elements that make up an organisation, how they interact, and how to achieve its goals in the future. It provides the tools, principles, and standards that enable an organisation to manage complex changes agilely and structurally.
Continual Improvement It is essential that the organisation’s practices and services adapt to changes, in business needs through the identification and improvement of products, services, processes.
Information Security Management Organisations must protect information needed to conduct their business. Information security includes understanding and managing risks to information confidentiality, integrity, and availability as well as authentication and non-repudiation.
Knowledge Management Maintain and improve the effective, efficient, and convenient use of information and knowledge across the organisation.
Measurement & Reporting Support good decision-making and continual improvement by decreasing the levels of uncertainty. This is achieved through the collection of relevant data on various managed objects and the valid assessment of this data in an appropriate context.
Organisational Change Management Ensure that changes in an organisation are implemented smoothly and successfully, and that lasting benefits result from managing the human aspects of the changes.
Portfolio Management To ensure that the organisation has the right mix of programs, projects, products, and services to execute the organisation’s strategy within its funding and resource constraints.
Project Management To ensure that all projects in the organisation are successfully delivered. This is achieved by planning, delegating, monitoring, and maintaining control of all aspects of a project, and keeping the motivation of the people involved.
Relationship Management Nurture the links between the organisation and its stakeholders at strategic and tactical levels. It includes the identification, analysis, monitoring, and continual improvement of relationships with and between stakeholders.
Risk management To ensure that the organisation understands and effectively handles risks. Managing risk is essential to ensuring the ongoing sustainability of an organisation and creating value for its customers.
Service Financial Management Supporting the organisation’s strategies and plans for service management by ensuring that the organisation’s financial resources and investments are being used effectively.
Strategy Management To formulate the goals of the organisation and adopt the courses of action and allocation of resources necessary for achieving those goals. Strategy management establishes the organisation’s direction, focuses effort, defines or clarifies the organisation’s priorities, and provides consistency or guidance in response to the environment.
Supplier Management To ensure that the organisation’s suppliers and their performances are managed appropriately to support the seamless provision of quality products and services. This includes creating closer, more collaborative relationships with key suppliers to uncover and realise new value and reduce the risk of failure.
Workforce & Talent management To ensure that the organisation has the right people with the appropriate skills and knowledge and in the correct roles to support its business objectives through planning, recruitment, onboarding, learning and development, performance measurement, and succession planning activities.

ITIL 4 Service Management Practices

Availability Management To ensure that services deliver agreed levels of availability to meet the needs of customers and users.
Business Analysis Analyse a business or some element of it, define its associated needs, and recommend solutions to address these needs and/or solve a business problem, which must facilitate value creation for stakeholders.
Capacity & Performance Management To ensure that services achieve agreed and expected performance, satisfying current and future demand in a cost effective way.
Change Enablement To maximise the number of successful IT changes by ensuring that risks have been properly assessed, authorising changes to proceed, and managing the change schedule.
Incident Management To minimise the negative impact of incidents by restoring normal service operation as quickly as possible.
IT Asset Management To plan and manage the full lifecycle of all IT assets, to help the organisation maximise value; control costs; manage risks; support decision-making about purchase; re-use, and retirement of assets; and meet regulatory and contractual requirements.
Monitoring and Event Management To systematically observe services and service components, and record and report selected changes of state identified as events, through identifying and prioritising infrastructure, services, business processes, and information security events, and establishing the appropriate response to those events, including responding to conditions that could lead to potential faults or incidents.
Problem Management To reduce the likelihood and impact of incidents by identifying actual and potential causes of incidents, and managing workarounds and known errors.
Release Management To make new and changed services and features available for use.
Service Catalogue Management To provide a single source of consistent information on all services and service offerings, and to ensure that it is available to the relevant audience.
Service Configuration Management To ensure that accurate and reliable information about the configuration of services, and the configuration items (CIs) that support them, is available when and where it is needed. This includes information on how CIs are configured and the relationships between them.
Service Continuity Management To ensure that the availability and performance of a service is maintained at a sufficient level in the event of a disaster. The practice provides a framework for building organisational resilience, with the capability of producing an effective response that safeguards the interests of key stakeholders and the organisation’s reputation, brand, and value-creating activities.
Service Design Design products and services that are fit for purpose, fit for use, and that can be delivered by the organisation and its ecosystem. This includes planning and organising people, partners and suppliers, information, communication, technology, and practices for new or changed products and services, and the interaction between the organisation and its customers.
Service Desk To capture demand for incident resolution and service requests. It should also be the entry point and single point of contact for the service provider with all of its users.
Service Level Management To set clear business-based targets for service performance, so that the delivery of a service can be properly assessed, monitored, and managed against these targets.
Service Request Management To support the agreed quality of a service by handling all pre-defined, user-initiated service requests in an effective and user-friendly manner.
Service Validation & Testing To ensure that new or changed products and services meet defined requirements. The definition of service value is based on input from customers, business objectives, and regulatory requirements, and is documented as part of the value chain activity of design and transition. These inputs are used to establish measurable quality and performance indicators that support the definition of assurance criteria and testing requirements.

ITIL Technical Management Practices

Deployment Management To move new or changed hardware, software, documentation, processes, or any other component to live environments. It may also be involved in deploying components to other environments for testing or staging.
Infrastructure and Platform Management To oversee the infrastructure and platforms used by an organisation. When carried out properly, this practice enables the monitoring of technology solutions available to the organisation, including the technology of external service providers.
Software Development and Management Ensure that applications meet internal and external stakeholder needs, in terms of functionality, reliability, maintainability, compliance, and auditability.



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Kate Hamblin

Senior ITSM Consultant +44 0118 324 0620


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