IT Service Management

The information below and on related pages are descriptions of IT Service Management (ITSM) processes and functions for educational purposes, and do not represent a complete list or describe all the possible links between these systems. These are examples of real-word processes based on the combined decades of experience of the team at LAN Connections Information Services, Inc. (LCIS). Our hope is by sharing this information, more IT professionals will gain a better understanding of, and embrace these best-practices. If you would like to discuss how to implement ITSM in your organization, feel free to contact us. We also advocate ITSM and ITIL certification for IT professionals.

  1. Configuration Management is at the center of ITSM. The Configuration Item (CI) is the common key linking all the ITSM processes and functions. A CI can be anything from a hardware device to a process document, but for the purposes of this example, the CI is a software application. In ITSM, we’re concerned with “servicing” this software application, not just programming the code, so we refer to it as a “service” not “software”.
  2. Service Level Management allows organizations to manage the Service Catalog, including Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) which document agreed-upon response times, thresholds, escalation paths, etc.
  3. Availability Management is required to monitor the health of the service. Performance and Availability thresholds defined in SLAs and OLAs when exceeded may trigger Events (4). Availability Metrics are utilized to verify compliance with agreed-upon SLAs and OLAs.
  4. Event Management monitors Availability Management (3) and other resources and generates alerts (email, mobile, etc.) and/or Incidents based on workflow prescribed by Service Level Management (2).
  5. Service Desk is a function that captures interactions from external and internal users of the service. Up to 100% of the function can be automated. The interaction may result in an Incident (6) or Request (the Request Fulfilment process is not represented in this flow).
  6. Incident Management is arguably the most important and visible process in ITSM. Incidents document the break/fix activities of a service. Incidents generated by Event Management (4) and Service desk (5) are routed and prioritized based on workflow prescribed by Service Level Management (2).
  7. Problem Management is triggered by Incidents caused by service outages exceeding Availability thresholds, and/or Incidents requiring long-term solutions. The Problem record is linked to the source Incident, and subsequent Incidents impacted by the Problem.
  8. Knowledge Management includes FAQs, process documents, and Known Errors related to the supported service. Known Errors can be automatically generated for Problems (7), and can be entered by Service Management teams. Known Errors are linked to impacted Incidents (6).
  9. Change Management is required when a service defect or enhancement requires a code change to remediate. Known Errors (8) expected to be fixed by an upcoming change are linked to the Change Management record. Impacted Incidents (6) and Problems (7) are also linked to the Change.
  10. Release Management is the process of coordinating and communicating the release of changes to a service, as well as updates to the Service Catalog reflecting those changes.