8 ITIL Processes for First-Class IT Service Management

itil-processes

Data-driven.

This short statement could be used to accurately summarize the way big business wants to function in today’s world.

Its all about data; gathering it, processing it, analyzing it, and then leveraging insights to continuously improve business operations and customer experiences.

And yet, despite its importance, many companies are failing to do it very well.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework that enables organizations (mostly enterprises and government agencies) to efficiently perform this process of leveraging data.

Of course, this is a very simple, reductionist way of putting it. The framework is incredibly complicated and how exactly it delivers such a powerful service is not easily understood.

Here is a more comprehensive definition:

“ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a well-known set of IT best practices designed to assist businesses in aligning their IT services with customer and business needs. Services include IT related assets, accessibility, and resources that deliver value and benefits to customers. ITIL framework objectives include the delivery of valuable service offerings, as well as meeting customer needs, and achieving business goals of a given organization. Despite the individuality of each organization, ITIL provides guidelines for achieving these objectives and measuring success with KPIs.” – Jarod Greene, The Essential Guide to ITIL Framework and Processes

Thankfully, this vast framework can be simplified and broken down into 5 core stages, illustrated in the graphic below.

itil-framework

These categories make up the ITIL Service Lifecycle, which we here at Process Street have written an extensive post about:

I highly recommend reading this article if you would like to learn more about what exactly the ITIL service lifecycle is, how each stage relates to one another, and for valuable information on how you can apply ITIL to your business.

The article you are reading could be considered a follow up to the post linked above, as it provides you with 8 free ITIL processes in the form of practical checklists that you can integrate into your business right away.

Each of the 5 stages contains a certain number of standardized processes and functions. Processes make up the majority and are the focus of this post.

For example, within the Service Operations category, there are essential processes such as Incident Management, Problem Management, and Access Management.

We have gone ahead and adapted these and 5 other popular processes to fit the format of Process Street’s superpowered checklists so you can establish first-class IT service management.

The processes we have chosen to create checklist templates for are some of the most useful processes ITIL has to offer.

According to a study by Macquarie University, the three ITIL processes with the highest adoption rates among those organizations who have embraced ITIL were Incident Management (95% of respondents), Change Management (88%), and Problem Management (71 percent).

Whether you have already implemented the ITIL framework to your business or are looking to get started, these checklists are the perfect way to get going on the right foot and ensure each process is being executed in a way that will have a noticeable impact on business performance.

If you want to dive in and go straight to the checklists, there are quick links right below. Otherwise, scroll down for a brief intro to each one and access other useful resources.

Our 8 ITIL processes for streamlining IT service management

ITIL process #1: ITIL Incident Management Process Template

Simply put, the goal of the incident management process is to restore normal service operation as quickly as possible when an IT-related issue has caused disruption.

The process plays a vital role in the day-to-day operations of organizations, regardless of size.

If you do not already have a formal incident management process in place, adopting this checklist could transform how efficiently you resolve IT incidents, and in turn have significant benefits on productivity.

“The best incident management teams rely on a clear process with defined steps to work through each incident. The approach may vary slightly between organizations, teams, and how rigidly you follow the ITIL framework, but most follow the same basic path to resolution.”Lucidchart, How to Implement a Succesful ITIL Incident Management Process

The main benefits of establishing a clear, effective incident management process are:

  • Decreasing business and user downtime
  • Reduce IT service costs
  • Identify service improvement opportunities
  • Improve user satisfaction
  • Demonstrate the value of high quality IT management

Even if you have a formal process in place, this checklist can be integrated with your ITIL framework to gain greater visibility into each ticket, streamline collaboration, and simplify the tasks that require approval with our new approvals feature (more on this later in the post).

Click here to get the ITIL Incident Management Process Template!

ITIL process #2: ITIL Problem Management Process Template

ITIL problem management is often confused with incident management. Although they do overlap to some degree, there is a clear difference with can be understood very easily.

They have different goals.

Problem management focuses on preventing or minimizing the impact of one or more incidents by finding the root cause. In other words, every incident is caused by a certain problem. Perhaps several incidents are caused by the same problem. Solving a problem is a long-term solution that in turn resolves related incidents.

“Although Problem Management is its own process, it is dependent on an effective Incident Management process and the proper tools; tools that include a common interface, access to available knowledge, configuration management information, and interaction with other related ITIL processes.”Anthony Orr, The Essential Guide to ITIL Problem Management

This checklist is intended to be paired with the Incident Management Process Template to establish a comprehensive problem management process flow that will minimize service disruptions and business downtime.

Following these processes will ultimately support business agility, demonstrate IT-business strategy alignment, and enable the organization to compete on a high level.

Click here to get the ITIL Problem Management Process Template!

ITIL process #3: ITIL Change Management Process Template

Change management is another absolutely essential ITIL process that is part of the Service Transition stage.

The goal of change management is to establish standard procedures for managing change requests in an agile and efficient manner.

The process is closely linked to incident and problem management, in that a change may well be required to resolve certain incidents.

“Incidents are directly linked to a change when there is a need to roll out new implementations. For example, The IT team identifies that the recurring WiFi issues are due to a faulty router. In this case, the team replaces the old router with a new one through ITIL Change management process.”FreshService, ITIL Change Management Process

Even so, changes can be unrelated to problems or incidents, and be requested in order to proactively improve service operations.

This checklist will enable you to execute the change management process with great efficiency. It takes you through the process of receiving and approving a Request for Change (RFC) form (template below), all the way to implementing the change and conducting a post-implementation review (we have created a separate template for that too!).

Click here to get the ITIL Change Management Process Template!

ITIL process #4: ITIL Request for Change (RFC) Template

As I mentioned in the description of the change management process template, each IT change requires a formal RFC to explain various important details regarding the change that is being proposed.

For example, each change is backed by a change owner, who holds a budget for its implementation. It is the responsibility of this individual to make sure the change proposal has been evaluated properly in order to make the correct decision to either implement or reject the request.

The RFC contains information such as the change priority, description of the change, reason for its implementation, a risk analysis, time schedule, and estimation of resource requirements.

To ensure that all of this information is being provided in the proper fashion, a formal process is extremely useful and can make a significant difference in how efficiently important changes are approved and implemented.

This checklist guides you through the entire process, ensuring all information is provided so that change management can review and approve change requests without unnecessary delays.

Click here to get the ITIL Request for Change Template!

ITIL process #5: ITIL Release Planning Template

Releasing planning is the first, fundamental process within release and deployment management, which is then followed by scheduling, building, testing, and deployment.

Without a well-executed planning process, the whole release is at risk of falling apart later on in the process, resulting in a waste of time, money, and resources.

“The main aim of a release and deployment plan is to clearly illustrate a set of guidelines regarding what should be included in a release and how it will be deployed into production.”Invensis Learning, An Overview of Release and Deployment Management in ITIL

The release plan aims to address the following topics:

  • The changes that will be included in the release
  • The parties who will be affected by the release
  • The risks that may occur as a result of deploying the release
  • Clarifying a proper chain of approval including authorization at each stage of the release
  • Outlining team responsibilities
  • Outlining the strategy and schedule for deployment

This checklist walks you through each of these steps to ensure that you have set a solid foundation that will maximize the chances of success while executing the next stages of release and deployment management.

Click here to get the ITIL Release Planning Template!

ITIL process #6: ITIL Post Implementation Review (PIR) Template

A post-implementation review (PIR) is conducted to ensure that the change in question has achieved the desired goals.

This is the final stage of the change management process.

Soon after deployment, the change is monitored and various metrics are gathered as input for the PIR.

In addition to evaluating whether or not the change was successful, the review also looks at how the change was deployed, and whether or not it was implemented by the target date and within the approved budget.

“A PIR checks whether benefits have been achieved and identifies opportunities for further improvement. Without a PIR, you cannot effectively demonstrate that your investment was worthwhile.”MicroFocus, Post Implementation Review (PIR)

Some of the important questions that should be answered during the PIR are:

  • Was the change implemented as expected?
  • Is it doing what it was expected to do?
  • Does it meet the business goals for which it was implemented?
  • If the change was backed out, what was the reason, and did the back-out plan work as intended?

This template contains everything you need to conduct a thorough PIR for any change implemented in your IT services organization, including a summary of key metrics, customer impact, resource allocation, and time and budget management.

Click here to get the ITIL Post Implementation Review Template!

ITIL process #7: ITIL Access Management Process Template

This process is rather self-explanatory.

The access management process is concerned with evaluating and granting authorized users the right to use a particular service while preventing access to non-authorized users.

That’s simple enough.

However, do not let its simplicity overshadow its importance.

Access management is what enables an organization to safeguard the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of its data and intellectual property.

This is, of course, vital to any business, particularly large organizations that could face incredible hardship if sensitive data were to end up in the wrong hands.

In short, poor access management could lead to severe and irreversible damage, so it’s important to take it seriously.

As is the case with other ITIL processes like the ones mentioned in this post, access management has a clear, standardized process that should be carefully followed to ensure all bases are covered.

This checklist walks you through the process of receiving a request for access, verifying the identity of the user (and legitimacy of the request), and providing the rights to access. It also ensures that as a final step, you update your system of record to maintain data integrity.

Click here to get the ITIL Access Management Process Template!

ITIL process #8: ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Template

CSI is the fifth and final stage of the IT service lifecycle.

It is what you could refer to as, the icing on the cake.

“This is where the performance of new and ongoing IT services is assessed and improvements are made. Processes in this stage have been designed to continuously increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization’s IT services.”Amanda Greenwood, The Secret to IT Service Management: The ITIL Service Lifecycle

Although it is the final stage of the ITIL service lifecycle, this does not mean that it is not concerned with the other four stages. On the contrary, the CSI process is always interacting in some capacity with the other stages.

“The continuous improvement process is applied throughout all stages of the ITIL Lifecycle: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, and Service Operation. CSI feeds into these stages and information or data from these stages also feeds into the CSI process. CSI is important to ensure that all services keep adding value to the business and its customers.”Master of Project Academy, Seven Step Continual Improvement Process

CSI uses a standard, seven-step process that is metric-driven, that is to say, it can only be effective if important metrics are accurately monitored and processed to reveal rich insight and enable the identification of improvement opportunities.

The seven-step process is composed of:

  1. The strategy for improvement
  2. Definition of metrics
  3. Data collection
  4. Data processing
  5. Data analysis
  6. Presentation
  7. Implementation

By following this process, you will enable accurate assessments of the present situation against business requirements, and identify the opportunities available to improve operations and service to your customers.

Click here to get the Continual Service Improvement Template!

Reinforce accountability with our approvals feature

With our fantastic approvals feature, you can streamline the completion of any tasks that need authorization by another person.

A number of approval tasks have been built into the templates above, including the following:

  • ITIL Incident Management Process Template
    • Task 6 – Incident has been properly logged
    • Task 10 – Incident has been categorized properly
    • Task 19 – Incident has been escalated as necessary
    • Task 25 – Incident has been resolved
  • ITIL Problem Management Process Template
    • Task 10 – Problem record is logged properly
    • Task 17 – Workaround is ready for implementation
    • Task 22 – Tests have been successful 
  • ITIL Change Management Process Template
    • Task 5 – RFC completed
    • Task 14 – Deployment authorization
    • Task 19 – Ready for final deployment
  • ITIL Release Planning Template
    • Task 10 – Release plan is justified
    • Task 20 – Release plan is finalized
  • ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Template
    • Task 12 – All relevant data has been gathered
    • Task 17 – Data is ready for analysis
    • Task 22 – Data has been sufficiently analyzed
    • Task 31 – Improvement plans

Creating your own approval tasks is super simple. Here is a quick overview of how to do so.

To add an approval task, click on the approvals button on the bottom left-hand bar within the template editor, where tasks and task headers are usually added.

Once the approval task has been put in, you can then select which tasks are subject to approval.

adding approvals

After the tasks that are subject to approval have been completed, the assigned decision-maker can then open the checklist, see the information from the tasks, then either approve, reject, or reject with a comment.

With approvals, it’s not just a case of flat-out acceptance or rejection; comments can be sent to the submitter to provide the feedback necessary for the task’s completion.

You can approve (or reject) tasks directly from your phone

What’s even quicker than approving or rejecting items from a browser on your laptop is doing it via your phone’s email app.

This enables you to make important decisions while on the go, no matter if you’re walking to an important meeting, or in a cab on your way to catch a flight.

phone approval

4 key benefits of Process Street’s approvals feature

Here are four of the biggest benefits our approval feature can bring to your organization:

  1. Ensures critical tasks receive the necessary oversight.
  2. Managers and higher-ups can approve items and tasks quickly.
  3. Approval tasks can be used alongside pre-existing task features (e.g. conditional logic, dynamic due dates, task permissions)
  4. Fosters inter and cross-team collaboration.

With all the above benefits in mind, why not upgrade to the Professional pricing plan today and harness the power of a simplified approval flow yourself?

Other useful resources for managing ITIL processes

Here is a list of articles that are related to ITIL processes. All of them are well worth a read.

Below is a short video showing how TechMD, an award-winning IT solutions firm specializing in cloud solutions, cybersecurity services, and IT consulting, uses Process Street to create standardized processes that create accountability, provide visibility, track the accuracy of projects, and generate efficiencies.

I hope you find the templates included in this pack useful to improving the way you manage ITIL processes in your organization. Which processes do you think are the most critical, and why? Let us know in the comments below! We are always looking to provide the most valuable templates so your insight may just help us create even better checklists in the future. 💡

Get our posts & product updates earlier by simply subscribing

Alex Gallia

Alex is a content writer at Process Street who enjoys traveling, reading, meditating, and is almost always listening to jazz or techno. You can find him on LinkedIn here


2 Comments

I believe there’s a mistake on main illustration. Processes are not correctly linked to the good service stages.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.

Get a free Process Street account
and take control of your workflows today.

No Credit Card Required