ITIL Intermediate v3 Service Operation – keeping the lights on

Group of 5 IT service managers sat around table working on laptops and tablets connected by a network of digital lines linking the devices via graphic images with icons of humans in centre of circles

Having worked in IT service operations for nearly 30 years, I think the most important ITIL Intermediate certifications are Continual Service Improvement and Service Operation (SO).

Training in SO has given me a better understanding of how things come together from beginning to end and a more effective way of doing things: having a plan, an approach to process improvement and a way to simplify processes.

Steve LevinsonI often tell my team that SO is the “heartbeat” of technology; it’s the “finger on the pulse” and the ability to “keep the lights on”. For example, when people call the service desk they are expecting a solution to their IT problem. And that requires service desk teams to be both knowledgeable and to have good interpersonal relationship skills. IT operations teams are both the “voice” and the “face” of the organization. They are the people who the customer speaks with over the phone and the ones who come to their desks to help them when things fail.

Adopting ITIL Intermediate best practice

Without having the right processes in place to guide you, it will take forever to figure out the right thing to do. So, having standard processes and procedures you can follow and teach others gives you a method to resolve incidents and problems.

Using best practice from ITIL’s SO knowledge also stops operations from overlooking the potential to simplify: there is often a tendency to look for complex resolutions and miss the basic things; ITIL best practice gives you clarity and a set of steps to help narrow down the field of what you need to make a difference.

Transferring value from SO principles

Using principles such as documenting standard operating procedures means you are transferring your knowledge and experience to other people in the team; this gives them a clear understanding of ITIL, of how and why to do things and it means they’re not “reinventing the wheel”.

For your organization, the benefit of applying SO approaches goes way past the service desk. For example, in the change management area you can ask: is the process efficient? How will it affect other areas of the business? What is the remediation plan? If successful, can it be extended further to create something that is even more efficient and effective? The impact of this is huge and means you can put processes in place along with the right resources to prevent any adverse effects elsewhere in the organization.

The relevance of SO today

Any time you can expand your best practice knowledge and continue to learn will benefit you and your organization. Through SO, having greater understanding of how a service is provided to customers and how they interact is critical.

Service Operation provides you with the approaches to plan, identify and mitigate risk and know how you can provide a better resource to the organization.

Read more Blog Posts in our series covering the ITIL Intermediate modules

ITIL Intermediate – Operational Support and Analysis (OSA): Combating chaos

ITIL Intermediate: Planning, Protection and Optimization (PPO)

ITIL Intermediate Service Transition – making IT change less painful

ITIL Intermediate: Service Strategy – towards better business and customer outcomes

ITIL Intermediate v3: Service Design – enabling value creation

ITIL Intermediate – Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA)

ITIL Intermediate: Release, control, validation – many happy releases

ITIL Intermediate: a pathway to ITIL 4 – Continual Service Improvement

Read more AXELOS Blog Posts from Steve Levinson

Built on ITIL: taking ITSM to the next level

ITIL Practitioner’s 9 Guiding Principles – part of my vision statement

The content of ITIL v3 Intermediate modules is key for professionals working in ITSM today due to the essential knowledge they contain, creating increased understanding and the ability to handle immediate work challenges more effectively.

Also ITIL-certified practitioners wanting to gain accreditation in the new ITIL 4 guidance can get a helping hand from the existing v3 credit system. By obtaining 17 credits from any combination of the ITIL Intermediate modules or ITIL Practitioner you can take the new Transition Module to achieve ITIL 4 Managing Professional. More information about ITIL 4 Managing Professional will be released throughout the second half of 2019.

Current rating: 4.5 (4 ratings)


3 Jun 2019 Roberto Enrieu
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I totally agre with the commnets about the Service Desk being the Face and Voice of the IT Support. I work within a University and we ar taking ITIL very serious and implementing the template of ITIL fundemetals into the everyday operations of the IT service dellivery and support, we have found that in the past the first line support isn't dealing with issues but simply shifting them to the next level, their personal dealing with customers and stake holders has left a bitter taste in the mouths of these people, but with the implimentations of new recomendations based around ITILSO things have started to change, and feedback from stake holders, users and third parties is now more positive and down time for kit, equipment and services is dropping with these new implementations.
1 Jul 2019 Anshoola Jaiswal
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I totally agree with the point of view shared in this article
3 Sep 2019 Marvin Watts
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I agree with the premise of the article. We outsourced our Tier 1 Service desk 2 years ago. It's an ongoing process to keep them on the same page as far as how we want tickets to be handled and processes to be completed.
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