Ready to Start Your Career?

ITIL v3 Foundations Summary & Outline

cdoyle 's profile image

By: cdoyle

October 15, 2016

(outline as of 9/20/2016)

Course Title:ITIL Foundation

Module 1 - What is ITIL

Information Technology Infrastructure Library

"A globally recognized best practice for quality IT Service Management (ITSM)"


ITIL v1 (1989-1990) ~approximately 50 books

Best practices, planning, implementing, auditing IT processes and vendor neutral.

Note:Vendor neutral, non-prescriptive, best practices

ITIL today is a readily and publicly available framework of best practices. Currently, 5 volumes covering 5 Lifecycle Phases


5 Lifecycle Phases

  • SS - Service Strategy
  • SD - Service Design
  • ST - Service Transition
  • SO - Service Operation
  • CSI - Continual Service Improvement

What can ITIL do for me?

Best Practice Framework to Deliver Quality, Manage Risk, Manage Intellectual Property, Standard Approach, Optimize Costs, Improve Communication


Module 2 - Lifecycle Phases

SS - Service Strategy - This is where you will create the strategy, policies, guidelines, and processes for your service.

SD - Service Design - here is where your strategy becomes a design that will become operational further down the line.  The focus is purely on the design of your service.

ST - Service Transition - this phase is transitional from design to operation.

SO - Service Operation - this is where your service is managed day to day. It's live and in production.

CSI - Continual Service Improvement - this is where you gain a retrospective on your deployment, gather feedback from your client, look for ways to improve your service

Components of the Service Lifecycle

Begin with SS, circular improvements through SD, ST, SO which all includes CSI.

SS - Service Strategy

Phase Objectives

  • -Understanding of the strategy
  • -How customers will use the service
  • -Defining customer perceptions

Processes Involved

  • -Service portfolio management
  • -Demand management
  • -Financial management
  • -Business Relationship Management

Key Concepts

  • -Value-Service Catalog
  • -Service Portfolio
  • -Risk Management

SD - Service Design

Phase Objectives

  • -Quality design of services
  • -Minimize the amount of improvements necessary

Processed Involved

  • -Design coordination
  • -Service Level Management
  • -Supplier Management
  • -Information Security Management

Key Concepts

  • -4 P's of Service Design
  • -RACI Model

ST - Service Transition

Phase Objectives

  • Ensure services can be managed
  • Set expectations that are in line with reality
  • Share information/knowledge on service and service assets

Processes Involved

  • Knowledge Management
  • Change Management
  • Transition Planning and Support

Key Concepts

  • Details knowledge management through the use of the Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS)

SO - Service Operation

Phase Objectives

  • Manage the impact of service events
  • Use of the services and activities
  • Processes Involved
  • Access Management
  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Request Fulfillment
  • Key Concepts
  • Communication
  • Training
  • Desktop Support
  • IT Operations
  • Datacenter/Facilities Management

CSI - Continual Service Improvement

Phase Objectives

  • Reviewing all lifecycle phases and recommending improvements
  • Look for ways to improve cost effectiveness
  • Review and analyze SLA's

Processes Involved

  • The main process within CSI is the 7-Step Improvement Process

Key Concepts

  • CSI Register
  • PDCA - Plan-Do-Check-Act
  • RACI Model

Deming Cycle or PDCA (*Deming was an engineer)

Plan - Establishing objectives and processes that are necessary to deliver the results that were defined by the customer and expected.

Do - Implement your plan, put the process into action, execution

Check - Study the results and compare against planned objectives.

Act - Take corrective action on items that need to change going forward.

Is ITIL the only industry best practice?

No, complementary guidance:

ISO - such as ISO 9001 (UK)

CMMI - such as Level 3

PMI - such as PMP Project Management Professional

Scrum Alliance - Certified Scrum Master (Agile) (now


Module 3 - Service Management

A service is basically a means of delivering value to customers by providing results your client(s) want to gain without owning the costs and risks.


Value is made up of:

  • Utility or "fit for purpose"
  • Warranty or "fit for use"

Results are delivered by:

  • Enhancing the performance of tasks
  • Reducing the effect of constraints

The main point to take away from the definition of a service is value.  Value is made up of two key components:

Utility - the utility is what the client is going to get, or a service that meets a certain client need.  The utility could be something as simple as cable TV, phone service, electricity, help desk service, remote desktop support, etc.

Warranty - the warranty is ensuring that the service you are providing is available as needed, with continuity and security.  This is where SLA definitions would reside, business continuity plan, disaster recovery plan, etc.


Service Classifications

Core Service

  • Basic fundamental service type
  • What the customer wants and is willing to pay for

Enabling Service

  • This is needed in order for a core service to be delivered
  • Allows the customer to receive the core service

Enhancing Service

  • Added to the core service in order to entice customers
  • This is not an essential need for the delivery or reception of the service
  • Provided as a "wow factor" to get the customer to use the service more

Service Classification Example

Core Service - Comcasts, Verizon, Netflix, etc.

Enabling Service - Coax Cable to Cable Box, Apple TV, TV, etc.

Enhancing Service - Dish Hopper, Genie, HDTV, 100 Mbps (we don't need this, but it enhances).


IT Services - servers, desktops, laptops, smartphones

  • -a service provided to one or more clients
  • -delivered by an IT service provider
  • -defined by a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • -comprised of a combination of, people, processes, products, partners

Types of IT services you see today:help desk, remote support, desktop support, server support, mobile support, software development, endpoint protection, cloud storage, managed services, multi-tenancy, hardware support.


The 4Ps of IT Service Management

  1. People
    • the staff is qualified to deliver the service
    • there is enough staff to man the service
    • the staff is "fit for purpose"
  2. Process
    • each process will have a process owner, manager, and practitioner
    • what are organization does through structure activities
  3. Products
    • this is how goals are met, automation ,support tools, communication tools, the methods and different technology used to get the job done.
  4. Partners
    • these are the suppliers, the people or businesses that help you achieve your goals and deliver the goods needed to run the IT service.

Module 4 - Key Principles, Models, and Concepts

The RACI Model

Responsible - this is the person or group that is on the hook to get the job done.

Accountable - the one person that is held accountable for the quality of the outcome.

Consulted - individuals that give feedback on the process activities (this is a two-way conversation).

Informed - the people kept up to date on the progress of the activities.


Sample RACI Matrix

Left side column (steps), top row (who)

Fill in the RACI assigned to steps/who.

*Useful in defining roles within service delivery*


Risk Management

Defining Risk Management - the forecasting and evaluation of financial risks together with the identification of procedures to avoid or minimize their impact.


The basic stages in managing risk:

Identifying - what is the risk? What will it look like?

Analyzing - what is the impact? What's the probability it will affect me?

Managing - develop a risk management plan.  How is the risk going to be mitigated?  What countermeasure will be put in place?


Knowledge Management

What you need to know about KM - data to information to knowledge to Wisdom (DIKW)

KM is a lifecycle-wide process that is relevant to all phases and DIKW helps to define a framework for KM.  Data is captured generally in databases, where the data is kept accurately and integrity is maintained.  Information is stored in an email or documents.  Knowledge is fathered from real world experiences, and insights.  Wisdom takes the knowledge and other concepts into consideration in order to make an educated judgment.


Service Knowledge Management System

This is probably the single most important piece of ITIL that a service desk or customer knowledge databases that gather all pertinent information needed to maintain operations at a high level.  Those items are the CMS, DML and KEDB.


Key items within the SKMS:

  • Configuration Management System (CMS) - this is a set of tools that is utilized for the collection and management of data about all of the configuration items and their associated relationships.
  • Known Error Database (KEDB) - this is the most important of all the KM items that a help desk or service desk could manage.  The KEDB is a database full of known errors that have taken place in the past and have been recorded for future reference.
  • Definitive Media Library (DML) - this is where an IT organization's collection of software is stored and protected.  The DML should contain all software that is ready to be deployed and all master copies of that software.

Service Portfolio

The service portfolio acts as a container for all of the services that you are offering to the client.  Not all of the services may be visible to the client, and some of them may be in a development stage or as a result of the CSI process, in review for updates.


Some other items included in the service portfolio:

  • List of present contractual commitments
  • New service development
  • Ongoing improvement plans initiated by CSI

Service Pipeline

Service Catalog

Retired Services



What do you think about when you hear the term prioritization?  How would ITIL define priority?

Priority = Impact + Urgency


Impact Key Points

  • How many users were affected?
  • How many applications were affected?
  • What time did the issue occur?
  • What is the impact to your service reputation?
Urgency Key Points
  • How quickly do you need a resolution?

Risk Management Activity

Example:A software program has been developed that will make the processing of evidence at Amityville Police Department much easier to handle.  One of the most important requirements is the evidence that is being processed within this application must not contain any sensitive information about the accused. Names cannot be recorded, SSNs, any descriptors or PII can be updated to this software program.  Your company has created the software program and it has been welcomed with much excitement as the department has been using paper processes for 30 years and it's been sloppy at best. During the first week of going live with the software application, one of the O&M staff has come across an entry that contains not only an SSN but also the accused's first and last name.

What would you do?

Contain the data spill, find out where it came from, remove data or mask it, escalate it, let project management team know, put it in the database, put it in the known error database, steps you took to contain spill, communicated it with, who you advised, who was the point of contact and steps taken to mitigate the risk.



What is a process?

A process can be defined as activities that are structured and designed to achieve a specific goal.

Key Points
  • When requirements are laid out for the service requested, a process will define what tools and procedures will be used as well as provide guidelines and policies that are needed to deliver the service.
  • A process will have an owner, a set of procedures, a policy, and objects that will all provide input to aid in delivering output to the customer.

Key Process Roles:

Process Owner

  • Defines the mission of the process, KPIs, and goals.
  • Monitors the process performance and progress
  • Ensures process improvement plans are synced with other process owners
  • Keeps process documentation up to date and available
  • Implements changed and improvement upon approval of CCB (change control board)

Process Manager

  • more focused on operations than the process owner
  • there may be more than one process manager (never more than 1 process owner)
  • delegate work among various process roles and manage activities
  • monitor and report on process progress.

Process Practitioner

  • tasked with one or more process activity
  • works with stakeholders to ensure expectations are met and communication is effective
  • can be internal/external staff, suppliers or consultants
  • classified as the "doers" of the process
  • they have a clearly defined set of responsibilities for activities within their process.
Service Owner
  • owns a service
  • exists within a provider organization
  • attends the CCB meetings as the representatives f the service
  • key role in the CSI portion of the service
  • ensures the service is meeting the needs of the client
  • maintains effective and consistent communication with the customer


What is a function? A function is a team or group specialized to perform certain types of work who are responsible for specific outcomes.  It can also be defined as an organizational entity, typically  characterized by a special area of knowledge or experience.


Key Points

  • functions are defined in the Service Operation (SO) lifecycle phase; however, they can be attributed to all other lifecycle phases as well.
  • multiple functions must coordinate with one another at times to carry out the responsibilities of certain processes.
 Examples of ITIL Functions

Service Desk - probably the most common example of an ITIL function.  This function is responsible for handling incidents and requests, acting as a single point of contact and present an easy interface for customers to communicate with.

Application Management - this function contains a set of best practices to improve the overall quality of IT software development and support through the development lifecycle.  This function would be responsible for tracking software licenses, inventory and use, and guidelines on the deployment , configuration and use of the software assets.IT Operations Management - this function is made up of managers that oversee operations management.  guide the day in day out operations activities.Incident Management - this group of individuals is responsible for the restoration of normal service operation as the quick as possible and they focusing on minimizing the impact an incident on business continuity.Example:Service Desk
  • What are some activities that take place in a service desk?
  • What are some of the roles?
  • How does the service desk interact with other ITIL functions?

Module 5 - The Exam

40 Multiple Choice Questions (only 1 correct answer)

Must achieve a score of 65% (26/40)

1 hour time limit (75 minutes and the use of a dictionary for testers taking the exam in a language other than their own)

Completely computer based, no #2 pencils or bubble sheets required!

Successful candidates will receive a shiny new ITIL Foundation pin and certifcate suitable for framing (suit &tie separately)

Study Tips
  • Cut distractions such as Phone
  • Quiet Place
  • Support System (kids, wife, husband, significant other)

Top 10 Tips

#10 Review &Study any weak areas

#9 Research &read other ITIL documentation on the web (see module 6)

#8 DON’T study the night before the exam or the day of the exam

#7 Calm down, relax, breathe, meditate, don’t stress out!

#6 Arrive at the test facility at least 30 mins early

#5 Eat a good breakfast, or light lunch depending on your exam time

#4 Don’t memorize any brain dumps

#3 Do make flash cards, and memorize those

#2 Get a good nights rest the night before the exam

#1 Be confident!!!


Sample Exam Questions

1. Which of the following best describes the goal of Service Level Management?

  1. To maintain and improve IT service quality in line with business requirements.

  2. To provide IT services at the lowest possible cost by agreeing with customers, their minimum requirements for service availability and ensuring performance does not exceed these targets.

  3. To provide the highest possible level of service to customers and continuously improve on this through ensuring all service operate at maximum availability.

  4. To ensure that IT delivers the same standards of service at the least cost.

Correct Answer:A.


2. Which of these is a DIRECT benefit of having a Service Desk?

  1. Customer Service Level Requirements are established.

  2. Changes taking place are properly coordinated.

  3. All the information in the CMDB is kept up to date.

  4. Technical support staff are less likely to be interrupted to deal with user’s calls.

Correct Answer:D


3. A ____ is a means of delivery value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.

  1. Service

  2. Survey

  3. Society

  4. Sigma

Correct Answer:A

More Sample questions:

Module 6 - Other Resources

Official ITIL Website: (not

Project-in-a-Box website:

Free practice exams:

ITIL Apps:

  • App Store
    • ITIL by ilmasoft
    • Official AXELOS ITIL Foundation Exam App
    • ITIL Foundation Exam Prep
  • Google Play
    • ITIL Exam Prep Free
    • QA ITIL Learning Aid
    • My ITIL+
Schedule Demo