Demystifying the ITIL Service Life Cycle: A Comprehensive Guide

Demystifying the ITIL Service Life Cycle: A Comprehensive Guide


ITIL Service Management supports business transformation through a service life cycle: Service Strategy focuses on governance and cost, Service Design maintains value, Service Transition bridges operations and projects, Service Operation ensures stable services, and Continual Service Improvement aligns and enhances services.

To sustain high levels of business performance, organizations need to offer competitive products and services that customers will value, buy and use. The organization should adapt to the changes in economic climates. All the practices used should help for business transformation and development.

This transformation is supported by ITIL service Management through the Service life cycle. The stages of this life cycle are:

  • Service Strategy

  • Service Design

  • Service Transition

  • Service Operation

  • Continual Service Improvement

Service Strategy

It is the core part of the life cycle. This is guidance for Executive managers on operating accordingly to corporate governance, Legislation, and cultural aspects of organizational transformation.

Service Strategy is all about ensuring the organizations which are supporting the business units are in a good position to handle the costs and risks, and they work for service improvement.

Service Design

The scope of service design is not limited to new services. It includes changes and necessary improvements to maintain the value to customers over the life cycle of services. Changes required because of new conformance standards and regulations are also relevant, as are services bought off the shelf from suppliers.

Service Transition

After completing the design and development activities, the period is for service transition. The key purpose is to bridge the gap between operations and projects. All the assets within a service are brought together and ensure that they are integrated and tested together. Giving sufficient time and effort at this stage of life cycle will reduce unexpected variations in the delivery of life services.

Service Operation

The operation teams ensure there are end-to-end practices that support responsible and stable services. The operational team has a service desk that owns and supports incident management and request fulfillment for users, and feedback on user satisfaction. The service desk also supports business support and administration teams. For IT, there are application management and tech supports teams.

Continual Service Improvement

Continual service improvement works with all the other four stages of the life cycle to align the services with business needs, and recognize improvement opportunities and changes.

Author : Lisa Findlay


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