ITIL v3 (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)/Service Operation

Operation is where service value is realized. This view handles a service after it has been deployed and is active to the customer. It is mainly about handling user requests, fixing services carrying operation problem tasks. Service Operations consists of 5 Processes and 4 Functions

  • Event Management
  • Incident Management
  • Request Fulfillment
  • Access Management
  • Problem Management


  • Service Desk
  • IT Operations Management
  • IT Facilities Management
  • Application Management

Service OperationEdit


  • Internal view x external view: internal IT view is the way components are managed to deliver a service. External business view is the way a client sees a service. There is an eternal conflict between this two views in a company and there is a need to try to achieve a balance between them.
  • Stability x responsiveness: no matter how a good service is provided, there will be always a need to change something. Considering that every change is a potential risk in service stability, a change would not be good. But business needs changes, and they are going to happen anyway. Balance here is to change services without losing stability. These changes may be at several levels, as technology, capacity management, grow strategy, problems experienced.
  • Quality of service x cost of service
  • Reactive x proactive: management that is solely reactive is not effective, but management that is overly proactive is not effective either. When staff are too proactive, this may result in increased expense and distracted staff.

Key termsEdit

Some key terms needed for Service Operations:

  • Event or Alert: a change in state that has significance for management.
  • Incident: an unplanned interruption in service or loss of quality.
  • Failure: a loss of ability to operate service. Normally a failure results in an incident.
  • Error: a design malfunction that causes a failure.
  • Problem: A cause of one or more Incidents. The cause is not usually known at the time a Problem Record is created
  • Known error: a problem that has documented root cause or a workaround.
  • Request For a Change (RFC): formal request for a change to be made.


Event managementEdit

Event or alert is any change in state that may have implications in how service is perceived by customer. These events are a signal that service has been interrupted or there is a loss of quality. Since warranty is one of two axis for service quality, this processes is one of most important of ITIL.

The process works on filter and categorization of events and to decide on appropriate actions.

Sub processes are:

  • Maintenance of Event Monitoring Mechanisms and Rules
  • Event Filtering and Categorization
  • Event Correlation and Response Selection
  • Event Review and Closure

Incident ManagementEdit

Objective of this process is to manage the lifecycle of all Incidents. Incident Management ensures that normal service operation is restored as quickly as possible and the business impact is minimized.

Incident management may be used to handling of failures, providing answers to users questions/queries (usually by Helpdesk/Service Desk). It is questions or queries made by users (many times by service desk). Its important to realize that not all events are incidents.

When correction of an incident by second level a Problem Record is created and the error-correction transferred to Problem Management.

Subprocesses are:

  • Incident Management Support
  • Incident Logging and Categorization
  • Immediate Incident Resolution by 1st Level Support
  • Incident Resolution by 2nd Level Support
  • Handling of Major Incidents
  • Incident Closure and Evaluation
  • Incident Monitoring and Escalation
  • Pro-Active User Information
  • Incident Management Reporting

Request FulfilmentEdit

Process Objective: To fulfil Service Requests, which in most cases are minor (standard) Changes (e.g. requests to change a password) or requests for information.

In ITIL 2011, Request Fulfilment has been completely revised. To reflect the latest guidance Request Fulfilment now consists of five sub-processes, to provide a detailed description of all activities and decision points. Request Fulfilment now contains interfaces with Incident Management - if a Service Request turns out to be an Incident and with Service Transition - if fulfilling a Service Request requires the involvement of Change Management.

The Sub-Processes are;

Request Fulfilment Support Process Objective: To provide and maintain the tools, processes, skills and rules for an effective and efficient handling of Service Requests.

Request Logging and Categorization Process Objective: To record and categorize the Service Request with appropriate diligence and check the requester's authorization to submit the request, in order to facilitate a swift and effective processing.

Request Model Execution Process Objective: To process a Service Request within the agreed time schedule.

Request Monitoring and Escalation Process Objective: To continuously monitor the processing status of outstanding Service Requests, so that counter-measures may be introduced as soon as possible if service levels are likely to be breached.

Request Closure and Evaluation Process Objective: To submit the Request Record to a final quality control before it is closed. The aim is to make sure that the Service Request is actually processed and that all information required to describe the request's life-cycle is supplied in sufficient detail. In addition to this, findings from the processing of the request are to be recorded for future use.

Access ManagementEdit

Process Objective: To grant authorized users the right to use a service, while preventing access to non-authorized users. The Access Management processes essentially executes policies defined in IT Security Management. Access Management is sometimes also referred to as Rights Management or Identity Management.

Problem ManagementEdit

Process Objective: To manage the lifecycle of all Problems. The primary objectives of Problem Management are to prevent Incidents from happening, and to minimise the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented. Proactive Problem Management analyses Incident Records, and uses data collected by other IT Service Management processes to identify trends or significant Problems.

IT Operations ManagementEdit

Process Objective: To monitor and control the IT services and IT infrastructure. The process IT Operations Management executes day-to-day routine tasks related to the operation of infrastructure components and applications. This includes job scheduling, backup and restore activities, print and output management, and routine maintenance.

IT Facilities ManagementEdit