Applying the ITIL Service Lifecycle to IT Projects

By Peter Farenden

Part of ITIL For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Understanding how ITIL works with real-world IT projects is crucial. Here’s a brief description of each activity of a typical project and its relation to the ITIL service lifecycle:

  • Business case and project initiation: You use a business case to justify the cost and effort involved in providing the new service or changing an existing service. The business case triggers the project initiation. These activities happen at the service strategy stage.

  • Requirements gathering and analysis: You identify and analyse the detailed requirements of the service or change. These activities happen in the service design stage.

  • Design: You produce a design of the service that meets the requirements. This is usually a paper-based design at this point. These activities take place in the service design stage.

  • Build: The physical bit where you acquire the solution, such as building the hardware, the servers and networks, or programming the software application. These activities happen in the service transition stage.

  • Test: Testing the service is essential to ensure it meets the needs of the business, works in the way you expected, and can be supported. These activities also take place during the service transition stage.

  • Implement or deploy: Launching the new or changed service into the live operational environment. This takes place during the service transition stage.

  • Deliver and support: The service is now in the live or production environment and is being used by the users. The IT organisation must make sure the service is working and fix it quickly when it goes wrong. These activities take place during the service operation stage.

  • Improve: After a service has been operated for some time, it’s often possible to optimise or improve the way it’s delivered. These activities are part of the CSI stage.