ITIL/Foundation/Service Management/Processes functions and roles
This lesson introduces the main definitions about processes, functions and roles used by Information Technology Infrastructure Library 2011.
Objectives and Skills
Objectives and skills for this processes, functions and roles section of ITIL Foundation include:
- Define processes and functions in service management context
- Describe the various roles involved in service management
- Review the key terms, then the questions below.
- Use the Discuss page to post comments and questions regarding this lesson.
|“||A structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs. It may include any of the roles, responsibilities, tools and management controls required to reliably deliver the outputs. A process may define policies, standards, guidelines, activities and work instructions if they are needed.||”|
Viewed from outside, a process could be seen with an output that will be the data produced by the process, an input of all what the process needs to be able to work and a trigger that will initiate the process. The output has to comply with the standards as well as the local regulations and can be used as the input of another process. The trigger could be any event, like the input arrival, that will cause the beginning of the process. Viewed from inside, the process contains all the roles, responsibilities, documentations and means needed to deliver the output in a reliable manner as well as tools that will measure and control the process efficiency in order for example to define where to improve it.
|“||A document containing steps that specify how to achieve an activity. Procedures are defined as part of processes.||”|
|“||A document containing detailed instructions that specify exactly what steps to follow to carry out an activity. A work instruction contains much more detail than a procedure and is only created if very detailed instructions are needed.||”|
A process model is a description of a process at the type level. The same process model is used repeatedly for the development of many applications and thus, has many instantiations. One possible use of a process model is to prescribe how things must/should/could be done in contrast to the process itself which is really what happens. A process model is roughly an anticipation of what the process will look like. What the process shall be will be determined during actual system development. 
An ITIL process should also comply with the following rules:
- Well defined metrics have to be enabled in order to measure the process efficiency. The measurement should cover the needs of several kinds of stakeholders. Managers will be for example interested by cost and quality while the practitioners will be more focused on productivity and execution time.
- The method to check the achievement of the expected outcome is clearly identified
- Someone has to ensure the process will meet the customer expectation whatever he is internal or external.
- The process should be traceable to specific triggers.
- At last, a process should easily be amended in order to reply to a specific requirement.
In order to reduce variations and, most of the time, costs, people try to automate the processes. Anyway, before doing so, the process should be simplified as soon as possible as well as activities well clarified. From another hand, this automation would not make so much sense for complex tasks that are not repetitive.
|“||A team or group of people and the tools or other resources they use to carry out one or more processes or activities; for example, the service desk.||”|
The functions depict all internal support team in charge of the various IT components.
In small organisations, people could run several functions while in a big one a function could be shared between several departments. Anyway, in this latter case, management needs to take appropriate care to ensure someone keeps an end to end view of the whole process.
|“||A set of responsibilities, activities and authorities assigned to a person or team. A role is defined in a process or function. One person or team may have multiple roles; for example, the roles of configuration manager and change manager may be carried out by a single person.||”|
A role defined what is expected by each of the various stakeholders involved in a process. The role and responsibilities matrix that details all of them is part of the process documentation.
|“||A model used to help define roles and responsibilities. RACI stands for responsible, accountable, consulted and informed.||”|
A RACI matrix describes the participation by various roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process. It is especially useful in clarifying roles and responsibilities in cross-functional/departmental projects and processes.
RACI is acronyms derived from the four key responsibilities most typically used:
- R (Responsible): those who do the work to achieve the task. There is at least one role with a participation type of responsible, although others can be delegated to assist in the work required.
- A (Accountable): the one ultimately answerable for the correct and thorough completion of the deliverable or task, and the one who delegates the work to those responsible. In other words, an accountable must sign off (approve) on work that responsible provides. There must be only one accountable specified for each task or deliverable.
- C (Consulted): those whose opinions are sought, typically subject matter experts; and with whom there is two-way communication.
- I (Informed): those who are kept up-to-date on progress, often only on completion of the task or deliverable; and with whom there is just one-way communication.
|“||A role responsible for managing one or more services throughout their entire lifecycle. Service owners are instrumental in the development of service strategy and are responsible for the content of the service portfolio.||”|
The service owner is the service representative within an organization. He is working with business representative in defining deliverables that will fit customer’s outcomes and is accountable of the service delivery.
|“||The person who is held accountable for ensuring that a process is fit for purpose. The process owner's responsibilities include sponsorship, design, change management and continual improvement of the process and its metrics. This role can be assigned to the same person who carries out the process manager role, but the two roles may be separate in larger organizations.||”|
The process owner is responsible for designing the processes necessary to achieve the objectives of the business plans that are created by the Business Leaders. The process owner is responsible for the creation, update and approval of documents (procedures, work instructions/protocols) to support the process. Many process owners are supported by a process improvement team. The process owner uses this team as a mechanism to help create a high performance process. The process owner is the only person who has authority to make changes in the process and manages the entire process improvement cycle to ensure performance effectiveness. This person is the contact person for all information related to the process. This person is accountable for the effectiveness of the process.
|“||A role responsible for the operational management of a process. The process manager's responsibilities include planning and coordination of all activities required to carry out, monitor and report on the process. There may be several process managers for one process; for example, regional change managers or IT service continuity managers for each data centre. The process manager role is often assigned to the person who carries out the process owner role, but the two roles may be separate in larger organizations.I||”|
The process manager is focused on the operational topics while the process owner is more dealing with questions around design. He will therefore manage the appropriate resources and infrastructure to ensure the process activities are carried out as expected.
The process practitioner is in charge of some of the task of the process. Even if he needs to have a view of the whole service, his main role is to ensure the task will be completed and will provide the results it is expected to give.
Competence and skills framework
Service management and human resources could use competence framework in order to ensure they have the skills required by the proposed services, allocate proper resources and developing new competences to follow the future business needs. One of the most common used in Information and Communication Technology world is the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) It maps out the range of skills as a two-dimensional table, by tagging each skill with a category and responsibility level. 
|ITIL 2011 Foundation Service Management|