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ITIL v3 Service Design: FAQs on Book 2

ITIL expert Moira Stepchuk answers common questions regarding the ITIL v3 Core Practice Book 2 on Service Design.

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Core Book 2 on Service Design translates plans and objectives and creates designs and specifications for execution through service transition and operations. Following a live expert webcast on, Moira Stepchuk answered the following user questions related to the book:

Is the Service Design book a collection of process descriptions, or does it just show how they are layered and connected?

The Service Design book goes beyond process descriptions and into details on how each of the processes are dependent on other Service Design processes, as well as on other service lifecycle processes. In addition, guidance on service sourcing alternatives and tooling is included.

Are there specific certifications for the Service Design book? Where can I get them?

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ITIL v3 Core Practice Book 2: Service Design -- Expert Webcast

ITIL v3 Core Practice Book 2: Service Design -- Expert Podcast
ITIL version 3 will have a course and certification around each of the service lifecycle modules, including Service Design and Service Capabilities Modules, but no release date has been announced yet for these courses. If you would like to get practitioner-level training on Service Design today, your best available option is to take the v2 practitioner courses on each of the Service Design processes, such as Service Level, Capacity, Availability and IT Service Continuity Management. Clustered v2 practitioner courses are also a good option, such as that of Practitioner Plan and Improve.

Can you elaborate on the difference between operational-level agreements (OLAs) and service-level agreements (SLAs)?

SLAs are the committed service levels to the business customers -- what the users of IT see. In order to achieve these service levels, these services usually rely on underlying services provided by internal IT functions or suppliers, and those underlying services have to be governed by OLAs. OLAs are not visible to the users of IT, but indirectly their achievement will impact the achievement of the SLA targets. OLAs ensure that underpinning services support the business/IT SLA targets, focusing on the operational requirements that the services need to meet.

In simple terms, how do you differentiate the IT Service Portfolio from the Service Catalog?

The Service Portfolio is composed of all services committed to IT customers -- current, under development and future -- as part of continual service improvement. The Service Catalog is that portion of the Services Portfolio that is currently available to IT customers, so it's a subset of it.

Is there a difference between who should use the business version vs. the technology version of the Service Catalog?

The Business Service Catalog contains details of all the IT services delivered to the customer, including their relationships to the business units and the business processes that rely on them. It provides the customer view of the Service Catalog, and is thus more suited for use by business customers and those who need to interface with them. The Technical Service Catalog also contains details of all the IT services delivered to the customer, but includes their relationships to the supporting services, shared services, components and configuration items necessary to support them. It is therefore more suited for use by the IT organization staff to facilitate the management of the services provided, especially since it usually contains details that are not important to business customers.

Moira Stepchuk is a senior consultant at Pultorak & Associates Ltd. in Seattle.

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