Purposes of the 34 ITIL 4 Management Practices for IT Service Management

The 34 ITIL 4 Management Practices

Let’s talk about the ITIL 4 management practices as an evolution of ITIL processes. A lot changed in the move from ITIL v3/2011 to ITIL 4 version of the ITIL framework. The changes included the move from IT service management (ITSM) processes to service management practices, and the way the latter are described changed from objective statements to purpose statements.

This article shares all 34 of the ITIL 4 management practices and their purposes (high-level definitions). Some of the ITIL 4 management practice purpose statements have been truncated when longer than others.

A lot changed in #ITIL4. Not only the move from #ITSM processes to service management practices, but also the purposes of the latter are described. This article by @SophieDanby shares all of ITIL 4’s 34 management practices and their… Click To Tweet

General management practices

There are 14 general management practices:

  1. Architecture management – “The purpose of the architecture management practice is to explain the different elements that form an organization. This practice explains how the elements interrelate to enable the organization to effectively achieve its current and future objectives.”
  2. Continual improvement “The purpose of the continual improvement practice is to align the organization’s practices and services with changing business needs through the ongoing improvement of products, services, practices, or any element involved in the management of products and services.”
  3. Information security management “The purpose of the information security management practice is to protect the information needed by the organization to conduct its business. This includes understanding and managing risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information, as well as other aspects of information security such as authentication and non-repudiation.”
  4. Knowledge management “The purpose of the knowledge management practice is to maintain and improve the effective, efficient, and convenient use of information and knowledge across the organization.” A knowledge base is usually employed here.
  5. Measurement and reporting“The purpose of the measurement and reporting practice is to support good decision-making and continual improvement by decreasing the levels of uncertainty. This is achieved through the collection of relevant data on various managed objects and the valid assessment of this data in an appropriate context.”
  6. Organizational change management (OCM) “The purpose of the OCM practice is to ensure that changes in an organization are implemented smoothly and successfully, and that lasting benefits are achieved by managing the human aspects of the changes.”
  7. Portfolio management – “The purpose of the portfolio management practice is to ensure that the organization has the right mix of programmes, projects, products, and services to execute the organization’s strategy within its funding and resource constraints.”
  8. Project management – “The purpose of the project management practice is to ensure that all projects in the organization are successfully delivered. This is achieved by planning, delegating, monitoring, and maintaining control of all aspects of a project, and ensuring motivation for the people involved.”
  9. Relationship management “The purpose of the relationship management practice is to establish and nurture the links between the organization and its stakeholders at strategic and tactical levels. It includes the identification, analysis, monitoring, and continual improvement of relationships with and between stakeholders.”
  10. Risk management – “The purpose of the risk management practice is to ensure that the organization understands and effectively handles risks. Managing risk is essential to ensuring the ongoing sustainability of an organization and co-creating value for its customers. Risk management is an integral part of all organizational activities and therefore central to the organization’s service value system (SVS).”
  11. Service financial management – “The purpose of the service financial management practice is to support the organization’s strategies and plans for service management by ensuring that the organization’s financial resources and investments are being used effectively.”
  12. Strategy management – “The purpose of the strategy management practice is to formulate the goals of the organization and adopt the courses of action and allocation of resources necessary for achieving those goals.”
  13. Supplier management – “The purpose of the supplier management practice is to ensure that the organization’s suppliers and their performances are managed appropriately to support the seamless provision of quality products and services. This includes creating closer, more collaborative relationships with key suppliers to uncover and realize new value and reduce the risk of failure.”
  14. Workforce and talent management – “The purpose of the workforce and talent management practice is to ensure that the organization has the right people, with the appropriate skills and knowledge, in the correct roles to support its business objectives.”

Service management (not just ITSM) practices

14 general management practices, 17 service management practices, & 3 technical management practices. Here @SophieDanby takes a look at them all. #ITSM #ServiceDesk Click To Tweet

There are 17 service management practices:

  1. Availability management “The purpose of the availability management practice is to ensure that services deliver the agreed levels of availability to meet the needs of customers and users.”
  2. Business analysis – “The purpose of the business analysis practice is to analyze a part or the entirety of a business, define its needs, and recommend solutions to address these needs and/or solve a business problem. The solutions must facilitate value creation for the stakeholders. Business analysis enables an organization to communicate its needs in a meaningful way and express the rationale for change.”
  3. Capacity and performance management – “The purpose of the capacity and performance management practice is to ensure that services achieve the agreed and expected levels of performance and satisfy current and future demand in a cost-effective way.”
  4. Change enablement“The purpose of the change enablement practice is to maximize the number of successful service and product changes by ensuring that risks have been properly assessed, authorizing changes to proceed, and managing the change schedule.”
  5. Incident management “The purpose of the incident management practice is to minimize the negative impact of incidents by restoring normal service operation as quickly as possible.”
  6. IT asset management“The purpose of the IT asset management practice is to plan and manage the full lifecycle of all IT assets, to help the organization: maximize value; control costs; manage risks; support decision-making about the purchase, re-use, retirement, and disposal of IT assets; and meet regulatory and contractual requirements.” This includes software license management.
  7. Monitoring and event management – “The purpose of the monitoring and event management practice is to support the normal operation of service components by observing, analyzing, and appropriately responding to changes of state in those components.”
  8. Problem management “The purpose of the problem management practice is to reduce the likelihood and impact of incidents by identifying actual and potential causes of incidents, and managing workarounds and known errors.”
  9. Release management – “The purpose of the release management practice is to make new and changed services and features available for use.”
  10. Service catalog management – “The purpose of service catalogue management practice is to provide a single source of consistent information on all services and service offerings, and to ensure that it is available to the relevant audience.”
  11. Service configuration management“The purpose of the service configuration management practice is to ensure that accurate and reliable information about the configuration of services, and the configuration items that support them, is available when and where it is needed. This includes information on how configuration items are configured and the relationships between them.”
  12. Service continuity management – “The purpose of the service continuity management practice is to ensure that the availability and performance of a service are maintained at sufficient levels in case of a disaster. The practice provides a framework for building organizational resilience with the capability of producing an effective response that safeguards the interests of key stakeholders and the organization’s reputation, brand, and value-creating activities.”
  13. Service design “The purpose of the service design practice is to design products and services that are fit for purpose and use, and that can be delivered by the organization and its ecosystem.”
  14. Service desk“The purpose of the service desk practice is to capture demand for incident resolution and service requests. It should also be the entry point and single point of contact for the service provider for all users.”
  15. Service level management – “The purpose of the service level management practice is to set clear business-based targets for service levels, and to ensure that delivery of services is properly assessed, monitored, and managed against these targets.” This governs the creation of service level agreements (SLAs) and the measurement of service performance.
  16. Service request management – “The purpose of the service request management practice is to support the agreed quality of a service by handling all predefined, user-initiated service requests in an effective and user-friendly manner.” This includes service portal use.
  17. Service validation and testing – “The purpose of the service validation and testing practice is to ensure that new or changed products and services meet defined requirements. The definition of service value is based on input from customers, business objectives, and regulatory requirements and is documented as part of the design and transition value chain activity.”

Technical management practices

There are 3 technical management practices:

  1. Deployment management – “The purpose of the deployment management practice is to move new or changed hardware, software, documentation, business processes, or any other component to live environments. It may also be involved in deploying components to other environments for testing or staging.”
  2. Infrastructure and platform management – “The purpose of the infrastructure and platform management practice is to oversee the infrastructure and platforms used by an organization.”
  3. Software development and management – “The purpose of the software development and management practice is to ensure that applications meet internal and external stakeholder needs, in terms of functionality, reliability, maintainability, compliance, and auditability.”

All the above ITIL 4 management practices definitions are taken from the relevant ITIL 4 management practice PDFs available on the PeopleCert Axelos website. These documents also outline other areas related to the management practices, such as team members (including for support teams), how teams manage work, and the roles and responsibilities. As with most of ITIL, the management practices are designed to improve the user experience for defined services and facilitate informed decisions.

If this management practices article was helpful, the following ITSM articles might be of interest:

Sophie Danby

Sophie is a freelance ITSM marketing consultant, helping ITSM solution vendors to develop and implement effective marketing strategies.

She covers both traditional areas of marketing (such as advertising, trade shows, and events) and digital marketing (such as video, social media, and email marketing). She is also a trained editor.

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