ITIL 4 Specialist Create, Deliver and Support: from demand to value

IT service manager's hand in warehouse holding up camera on smartphone with rings of circular icons including phone, globe and cogs in front

Delivering services that equally meet consumer demand while remaining stable and reliable has become even more critical with the speed of IT change today.

Every service organization needs to create, deliver and support services and understand the skills and competencies that requires.

The new ITIL® 4 Specialist Create, Deliver and Support (CDS) module provides universal guidance that further explores the concepts introduced in ITIL 4 Foundation, while talking about challenges that modern enterprises face – from professionalism, team culture and collaboration, to outsourcing work and managing multiple suppliers.

CDS is not about technical aspects of IT service management. Instead, it takes a higher-level view of what needs to happen across all four dimensions of service management to create and manage effective and streamlined services. Accordingly, this module is geared towards the needs of more experienced ITIL practitioners (for example, team leads, managers, and consultants) responsible for the design, development, delivery and support of IT-enabled and digital products and services.

If you’re coming from an ITIL v3 perspective, similar concepts were explored in service design, transition and operation guidance. But while ITIL v3 guidance was concerned with “how” organizations executed work (e.g. how incidents should be managed), the CDS guidance is concerned with “what” the organization does (e.g. what activities the organization carries out while managing an incident).

In the new architecture of ITIL, the “how” is published as a practice, and the “what” is the value stream that draws upon the practice.

Flow, value streams and optimized outcomes

A major element within CDS are the value streams – the series of steps that an organization takes to create and deliver products and services to a service consumer. It’s a journey through the service value chain that depicts the flow of work, value and information across the organization as it converts demand to value.

For example, if you receive a service request, what is the flow of activities necessary to fulfil to that service request? What does the organization do to engage with the user, to plan the work and complete the service actions needed to fulfil the request?

In practical terms, this asks you to consider what resources (skills, funding, decision-making, information, tools, suppliers, processes, etc.) you need every step of the way. These resources come from the organization’s practices. So, in the example of the service request, the organization might need a standard way of describing what can be requested (service catalogue management practice), a channel of communication (service desk practice), information about how quickly a request can be fulfilled (service level management practice), and so on.

New ways of working require new ways of integrating them

As service organizations map the end-to-end flow of work, they will realize a need to work across multiple methodologies and frameworks, including Agile and DevOps, BRMi, ISO, COBIT, IT4IT, etc.

For this reason, the guiding principles – such as focus on value and collaborate and promote visibility – are a “universal backbone” to help service organizations align various ways of working. For example, “focus on value” helps organizations in understanding what value means for key stakeholders, from customers to suppliers and even employees, or society at large.

This in turn aligns various functions and skills to a common set of goals and objectives, including:

The CDS book is one of the must-haves in any service management professional’s library, and logical continuation to the learning journey that started with ITIL Foundation.

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