ITIL/Foundation/Service Management/Processes functions and roles

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This lesson introduces the main definitions about processes, functions and roles used by Information Technology Infrastructure Library 2011.

Nuvola apps package utilities.png Objectives and Skills[edit | edit source]

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

Nuvola apps korganizer.svg Activities[edit | edit source]

  1. Review the key terms, then the questions below.
  2. Use the Discuss page to post comments and questions regarding this lesson.

Nuvola apps kdict.png Key Terms[edit | edit source]

Process[edit | edit source]

"ITIL® 2011 glossary and abbreviations - English". December 11, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014.

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.[1]

Procedure[edit | edit source]

"ITIL® 2011 glossary and abbreviations - English". December 11, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2014.

Work Instruction[edit | edit source]

"ITIL® 2011 glossary and abbreviations - English". December 11, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2014.

Process model[edit | edit source]

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.[2] [3]

Process characteristics[edit | edit source]

An ITIL process should also comply with the following rules:[4]

  • 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.

Process automation[edit | edit source]

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.[5]

Functions[edit | edit source]

"ITIL® 2011 glossary and abbreviations - English". December 11, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014.

The functions depict all internal support team in charge of the various IT components.[6]

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.[7]

Role[edit | edit source]

"ITIL® 2011 glossary and abbreviations - English". December 11, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014.

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.[8]

RACI[edit | edit source]

"ITIL® 2011 glossary and abbreviations - English". December 11, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014.

A RACI matrix[9] describes the participation by various roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process.[10] It is especially useful in clarifying roles and responsibilities in cross-functional/departmental projects and processes.[11]

RACI is acronyms derived from the four key responsibilities most typically used:[12]

  • R (Responsible): those who do the work to achieve the task.[13] 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.[13] 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.[10]
  • C (Consulted): those whose opinions are sought, typically subject matter experts; and with whom there is two-way communication.[13]
  • 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.[13]

Service owner[edit | edit source]

"ITIL® 2011 glossary and abbreviations - English". December 11, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014.

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.[14]

Process owner[edit | edit source]

"ITIL® 2011 glossary and abbreviations - English". December 11, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014.

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.[15]

Process manager[edit | edit source]

"ITIL® 2011 glossary and abbreviations - English". December 11, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014.

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.[16]

Process practitioner[edit | edit source]

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.[17]

Competence and skills framework[edit | edit source]

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.[18] [19]

Nuvola apps package editors.png Review Questions[edit | edit source]

Enable JavaScript to hide answers.


1 What are the main components of a process?

Business case.

2 What should show a process model?

The assigned resources and infrastructure.
The input data.
The market analysis.
The metrics to check process efficiency.
The output data.

3 What main requirements should meet a process to be efficient?

The process has to be focused on value.
The process has to be manageable.
The process should be easy to modify.
The process should be easily reproducible.
The result should be measurable.
The triggers must be predictable.

4 Which of the following statements apply to an ITIL function?

If well defined, no need to do coordination with other process functions.
One department could perform several functions.
This covers at least all ITIL component internal supports activities.
This defines the relationship between the process input and the process output.

5 What covers a generic role compared to a specific role?

A generic role could be performed by several functions; a specific one has to be done by a specific function.
Generic role describes the tasks to be done; specific roles who will perform them.
Generic roles are needed at all lifecycle stage of a service; specific roles not.
Specific roles are only involved on the core service or some of the enabling or enhancing services.

6 Who has to report to whom in a process?

None of those
listed below
has to report to Business leaders
has to report to Process Manager
has to report to Process Owner
has to report to Process Practitioner

7 To which role is assigned the following tasks?

responsible for carrying out one or more process activities
responsible for process realization
responsible for process results
responsible for process structure

8 To which role is assigned the following tasks?

accountable for operational management of the process
accountable for process being performed to agreed standards
carrying out the process activities
creating or updating records to show that activities have been carried out correctly
documenting the process
ensure the process fit for purpose
meeting the required Key Performance Indicators

9 What is SFIA?

A functionality not needed by the customer, anyway provided but not documented (Superfluous Feature of an Installed Application)
A method used to increase service performance (Search For Improvment and Adjustment)
A model for describing and managing competencies (Skills Framework for the Information Age)

10 What means the R in RACI?


11 What means the A in RACI?


12 What means the C in RACI?


13 What means the I in RACI?


14 Which of the following addresses only one role?

Work instruction.

Nuvola filesystems folder orange.png References[edit | edit source]

  1. "ITIL Processes". December 9, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  2. Colette Rolland and Pernici, C. Thanos (1998). A Comprehensive View of Process Engineering. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference CAiSE'98. B. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1413. Springer.
  3. "Process modeling". Wikipedia. November 17, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  4. "TechExcel ITIL Process Guide" (PDF). Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  5. Margaret Rouse; Christina Torode (September 2011). "business process automation (BPA)". Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  6. Hoving, Wim; van Bon, Jan. "Functions and Processes in IT management" (PDF). Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  7. "ITIL Processes". Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  8. Noel-Davies, David. "ITIL v3 Functions, Roles and Processes and some other stuff too". Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  9. Jacka, Mike; Keller, Paulette (2009). Business Process Mapping: Improving Customer Satisfaction. John Wiley and Sons. p. 257. ISBN 0-470-44458-4.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Margaria, Tiziana (2010). Leveraging Applications of Formal Methods, Verification, and Validation: 4th International Symposium on Leveraging Applications, Isola 2010, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 18-21, 2010, Proceedings, Part 1. Springer. p. 492. ISBN 3-642-16557-5.
  11. Brennan, Kevin (2009). A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide). International Institute of Business Analysis. p. 29. ISBN 0-9811292-1-8.
  12. Blokdijk, Gerard (2008). The Service Level Agreement SLA Guide - SLA Book, Templates for Service Level Management and Service Level Agreement Forms. Fast and Easy Way to Write Your SLA. p. 81. ISBN 1-921523-62-X.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Smith, Michael (2005). Role & Responsibility Charting (RACI) (PDF). Project Management Forum. p. 5.
  14. "Service Owner Definition". North Carolina State University. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  15. "Business process improvement / Process owner". Wikipedia. February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  16. Alexander, Stephen (March 11, 2013). "Process Owner, Process Manager or Process Engineer". Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  17. "The Role of Process Practitioner". March 27, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  18. Goodwin, Bill (November 6, 2006). "Firms see benefits of IT skills matrix". Computer Weekly. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  19. "Skills Framework for the Information Age". Wikipedia. July 29, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
ITIL 2011 Foundation Service Management
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