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ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support (CDS) in 1,000 words White Paper

White Paper

ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support (CDS) in 1,000 words White Paper

White Paper

  • White Paper
  • Service management
  • Value
  • ITIL

Author  Axelos

February 29, 2020 |

 5 min read

  • White Paper
  • Service management
  • Value
  • ITIL

Many city landmarks offer panoramic views from their observation decks. From a high viewpoint, the distances between some buildings might be closer and others further apart, than at first glance. Perspective is key and necessary component for the successful delivery of mature technology-enabled services.

In service management, two vital elements for success are perspective and flexibility:

  • Perspective: understanding the overall picture of what a service does and how it is delivered. This involves a wide variety of skills, processes, knowledge, tools, and technologies to deliver business and customer value.
  • Flexibility: involves using the portfolio of tools and artefacts appropriately within complex environments. Service management is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The expectations around the customer experience and business value cannot be met with a single and isolated view.

What is CDS?

The ITIL® 4 Managing Professional contains four books, one of which is ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support (CDS). CDS is a practical compendium of knowledge and guidance for those involved in all aspects of developing and managing services, with a professional perspective and flexibility.

CDS provides a holistic view of all service delivery activity, from idea to reality, from demand to value, and from design, build, and test through to management and support. The book and the associated training course provides a broad spectrum of practical knowledge and guidance, within a holistic framework.

In CDS, perspective is provided through the lens of professionalism, where a number of chapters and areas of content lay out the broad range of practices, skills, and areas of knowledge that are required to achieve success in service management. This covers areas such as: people, organization, culture, teamwork, employee satisfaction, tool awareness, commercial practice, and so on.

Flexibility is delivered through guidance for building and managing value streams, combining processes, practices, and other elements together. This takes ITIL 4 to a new level, where a flexible and responsive approach is valued.

The guiding principles highlight how service management must be flexibly applied and modified as required in different contexts. This enables the delivery of business goals and expected value, not just the execution of a series of isolated and one-dimensional activities.

Who is CDS for?

CDS covers the entire lifecycle of technology-enabled products and services. It is essential reading for development and operational practitioners alike.

CDS provides information on collaboration, culture, and team working, that is relevant to all parties. The content also provides practical ideas and tools for value stream working, making practices, and processes work together as a service and a customer experience. The content is valuable and useful to developers, testers, BRMs, technicians, managers, business analysts, and all those in the digital workspace, as well as service management practitioners.

What is in CDS?

The content in CDS expands on that discussed within ITIL 4 Foundation, particularly around value streams. There are also several new topics discussed including: shift-left, employee satisfaction, procurement, and the ITSM tools market.

The wide variety of information and details provided follows the four dimensions of service management, as initially defined in the ITIL 4 Foundation:

  • organizations and people
  • information and technology
  • value streams and processes
  • partners and suppliers.

Diagram showing the four dimensions of service management in ITIL 4

The four dimensions provide a broad framework to apply the practices and ways of working. Each of the four dimensions must be considered when building new services or ways of working. Therefore, simply implementing technologies or processes without considering the impact on the people and the organizations would be ineffective. Partners and suppliers should be involved in defining and agreeing new practices, as they are a part of the value stream. Individual areas of knowledge and excellence can only deliver value, if they are viewed with perspective and applied with flexibility. The key areas are discussed overleaf.

Organizations and people

This includes sections on different types of organizational structures, and when they are best applied. It includes guidance on teamwork and defining customer-oriented culture, servant leadership, and collaborative culture.

Team building and employee satisfaction are highlighted, clarifying that ITIL 4 has a strong focus on people and culture. CDS includes a section on communication skills and competencies, which has always been crucial for service management.

Information and technology

CDS contains a section that details a variety of the available technologies that can be used in modern service environments. It is important that professionals maintain a good level of knowledge and understanding of the options on the market and its potential, for example: service improvement, efficiency, people management, cost savings, competitive edge, and so on.

Value Streams and processes

DS focuses on the importance of adaptability and agile ways of working. For example, it explores how practitioners map and design value streams for different activities, specifically for incidents or new services.

Customer experience and business value are the drivers; work should include journey mapping (the external experience) as well as value stream mapping (work completed internally to deliver service). Most service activities will involve several practices and processes, using different stakeholder groups and tools, and for varying outputs. Value streams should reflect this diversity. This guidance enables practitioners to coordinate existing ways of working.

Partners and suppliers

It is important that organizations are inclusive in its approach to building and delivering value streams. This includes viewing partners and suppliers as key elements. Collaboration is not simply an internal capability. External partners are vital links in the value stream, who should be included as valued partners, not simply resources. ITIL 4 and CDS recognize this and provide useful guidance.

As professionals it is important to know how to procure and work successfully with external companies, for example in specification, procurement and, contract management.


CDS is for all employees who collaborate and work with colleagues, partners, and customers to deliver value through technology. This is an ongoing activity, which requires a flexible approach that is driven by customers and business needs alike.

In other words, if you are delivering services, it is vital that you work with people and recognize the connected nature of this, and work accordingly. CDS provides both the high-level view and the practical detail across the landscape, to help you effectively navigate your organization.

ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support (CDS) in 1,000 words