How ITIL roles help to define more important responsibilities


If you’re an IT manager, you already know how important it is to have an IT team that fully understands what needs to be done, and in particular what each member needs to primarily focus on. If you are not involved in IT management, (and keeping in line with the former statement) it’s extremely likely that you will be designated specific tasks, or roles which you must fulfill (which will hopefully synch-up in tandem with the other members of your team). This is simply the best way of conducting operations, regardless of whether or not ITIL is factored into the equation. However, it should be noted, that if utilized properly, ITIL can be used to “super-charge” any IT department, and of course, define ever-increasingly detailed and important responsibilities as well.

There are six sections which comprise all the roles associated with ITIL v3, they are:

  1. Service Strategy
  2. Service Design
  3. Service Transition
  4. Service Operation
  5. Continual Service Improvement
  6. ITIL roles outside the IT organization

Service Strategy
Service strategy essentially deals with formulating a “game plan” if you will, which seeks to outline the goals, desires, capabilities, and components of specific services, along with a dedicated business plan for creating additional value for customers.

Service Design
When we talk of service design, we are really talking about one of the most important aspects of IT infrastructure management (and defining ITIL roles). Your organization may either flourish or flounder depending upon how well-designed your services are. As you might expect, there are a number of areas which fall under this heading including; security, applications, capacity, compliance, continuity, architecture, risk assessment, and many others. Those involved in roles related to service design are arguably involved in the most time-consuming of the six stages / steps of ITIL adoption.

Service Transition
Once the concerns of design are laid to rest, an organization can then begin actually putting their ITIL strategy into place; this is also called service transition. If everything has been carefully considered before arriving at this step, then the difficulty of the roles associated with service transition should be relatively simple or care-free.  This does not imply that this is always the case however. In fact, one of the most important duties of those operating under the banner of service transition is the emergency change advisory board (ECAB), which is tasked with creating contingencies in the event of a disruption, for instance.

Service Operation
Now everything is in place, your ITIL operation is up-and-running; those individuals dealing with this stage of activity are under the heading of service operation. As the name clearly implies, service operation is basically how an IT department realistically deals with the operation of their services on a daily basis. Inside of ITIL service operation there are various levels which are tasked with responding to specific types of issues.  For example, the first level of support deals with all issues as they are encountered, the second level, those issues which cannot be handled by the first, and of course the third dealing with manufacturer-related issues, etc…  Regardless of the specific role that a person is dealing with under the service operation heading, it is the goal of everyone involved in it to ensure that everything is constantly and consistently operational.

Continual Service Improvement
Even if you think that your IT infrastructure is perfect (maybe because you’ve encountered very few issues and you are able to deliver quality services to satisfied customers), you’re still going to have to perform upgrades and maintenance from time to time. Everyone engaging in roles under continual service improvement (CSI) is preoccupied with how they might be able to improve any aspect or component of their services and operation.

ITIL roles outside the IT organization

  • Service users / subscribers
  • Consumers / customers

Within each one of the aforementioned six sections there are a bevy of additional roles which deal with the various aspects needed to deliver a quality service (in each area). They are typically assigned or allotted to individuals who might specialize in these key areas. As you might expect, it is imperative that all individuals who operate under one area should be able to work as a cohesive team as well as individually (if an IT operation is to be successful in the long-term).


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