Here are my ITIL Foundation exam notes. They where very useful for me!


ITIL Foundation

ITIL® is best practices guidance. ITIL® should be used with other best-practice approaches, e.g. standards, industry practices and proprietary knowledge to tailor for the particular needs of an organization.
Why ITIL® is successful: ITIL® is based on the approach of “adopt and adapt.” ITIL® is successful because it is nonprescriptive, vendor-neutral best practices for service lifecycle.
Services groups: i) core (business-critical services); ii) enabling (support the core services); iii) enhancing (add value to the core).
Types of customers: i) internal customers (based in the same organization as the service provider); ii) external customers (outside of the organization of the service provider).
Service Providers types: i) Type I (internal, within individual business units); ii) Type II (shared, providing services shared across a number of business units); iii) Type III (external, providing services to external customers).
Stakeholder types: i) customers (individuals or groups that buy goods or services); ii) users (use the services on a daily basis); iii) suppliers (external parties providing services that support / enable IT services).
Characteristics of processes: measurable, respond to a trigger, deliver a specific result and deliver to a customer or stakeholder
Automation improves efficiency and effectiveness. Automation and the use of technology enable process enhancement and improvements.
Core stages of the service lifecycle: i) service strategy, ii) service design, iii) service transition, iv) service operation, v) continual service improvement.
ITIL® core publications are supplemented with complementary guidance. The complementary guidance can be specific to particular industries or provide context for adoption.


ITIL Definitions

ITIL: IT Infrastructure Library
IT Service Management: The implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of the business. IT service management is performed by IT service providers, through an appropriate mix of people, process and information technology.
Services: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs or risks
IT Service: Is made up of a combination of Information Technology, people and processes.
Processes: A structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs.
Outcome: The result of carrying out an activity, following a process, or delivering an IT service etc.
Configuration item (CI): Any component or other service asset that needs to be managed in order to deliver an IT service. Information about each configuration item is recorded in a configuration record within the configuration management system and is maintained throughout its lifecycle by service asset and configuration management (SACM).
Stakeholder: A person who has an interest in an organization, project, IT service etc. Stakeholders may be interested in the activities, targets, resources or deliverables. Stakeholders may include customers, partners, employees, shareholders, owners etc.
Definitive Media Library (DML): Is the secure logical library in which the definitive authorized versions of all media CIs are stored and protected.


ITIL Service Lifecycle

Core Library – the five Service Lifecycle publications:
• Service Strategy.
• Service Design.
• Service Transition.
• Service Operation.
• Continual Service Improvement (CSI).

ITIL Service Lifecycle

ITIL Service Lifecycle

The table below shows the processes for each stage within the ITIL service lifecycle:

Service strategy Service design Service transition Service operation CSI
  • Business relationship management
  • Service portfolio management
  • Financial management
  • Demand Management*
  • IT Strategy*

* Not required at foundation level

  • Design coordination
  • Supplier management
  • Information security management
  • Service catalogue management
  • IT service continuity
  • Availability management
  • Capacity management
  • Service level management
  • Transition planning
  • Knowledge management
  • Release and deployment management
  • Service asset and configuration management
  • Change management
  • Change Evaluation*
  • Service Validation and Testing*

* Not discussed in detail at foundation level


  • Event management
  • Request fulfilment
  • Access management
  • Problem management
  • Incident management


  • Service desk
  • IT operations
  • Application management
  • Technical management

7 step improvement plan


Service Strategy

Purpose, objectives and scope for the Service Strategy: purpose – provide the strategy for the service lifecycle; objectives – the definition of strategy and governance control; scope – define a strategy to meet the customer’s business objectives and to manage services.
Definition of utility and warranty: utility – ensures that the service is fit for purpose; warranty – ensures that the service is fit for use. Both are important to ensure delivery of value to customers. Utility + Warranty = Value.
Definition of resources and capabilities: resources – used in the delivery of a service (e.g. financial capital, human resources); capabilities – the organization’s ability to perform and achieve value (e.g. processes, tacit knowledge).
Ability to carry out activities (functions and processes)
Role of governance: provides the structure and standardization for management of services
Role of risk management: ensures a repeatable and manageable process for dealing with risks (risk management is to identify, document, analyze and mitigate against the likelihood of risks to a project / service).
Patterns of business activity (PBA): important to understand the strategic and tactical approaches for the management of resources and capabilities efficiently and cost-effectively to realize organizational goals.
Service portfolio management process: ensures an appropriate mix of services being delivered and developed.
Components of service portfolio: i) service pipeline (services in the making); ii) service catalogue (customer-facing view of the live operational services); iii) retired services (decommissioned services).
Financial management process: i) budgeting (plans IT services expenditure); ii) IT accounting (account for the expenditure on IT services); iii) charging (charges the customer for IT services). Financial management is central to understanding value for services.
Business case: a tool for planning and decision support on whether an IT service is to be developed. A justification for spending money (planning tool):
– Costs.
– Benefits.
– Risk.
– Potential problems.
Business relationship management: connects customer and service provider at a strategic level.
Business relationship management vs service level management: business relationship management focuses on strategic relationship with the customer whereas service level management is operational.
Business Relationship Management: The process responsible for maintaining a positive relationship with customers. Business relationship management identifies customer needs and ensures that the service provider is able to meet these needs with an appropriate catalogue of services. This process has strong links with service level management.
Service Level Management deals with service level agreements (SLAs). BRM is concerned with understanding business needs – goal is customer satisfaction for both but measured in different ways. For BRM measured in improvement or recommendation of services. BRM is about a positive relationship and defines the service catalogue.
Different types of relationship:
1) Internal service provider.
2) Shared service provider – to more than one business unit (still internal).
3) External service provider – to external customers. Business Relations Manager talks to clients.
Service Assets: Any resource or capability of a service provider.
– Resources are tangible (e.g. inputs to a process) – boxes, method of taking payment, etc.
– Capabilities are intangible – people with knowledge, behaviours, processes, etc.
ITIL defines the following Service Strategy processes:
– Service portfolio management.
– Business relationship management.
– Financial management.
There are two more processes that are not discussed at ITIL foundation level:
– Demand management.
– IT strategy.


Service Design

Purpose, objectives, and scope of service design: consider how the service will be run and managed when it is operational for both new and changed services.
Service Design processes: Design coordination, Service level management, Service catalogue management, Supplier management, Availability management, Capacity management, IT Service continuity management and Information security management
Design coordination: provides a single point of coordination and control for all service design activities and processes, compiles the service design package (SDP) and ensures quality and consistency across designs and conformance of designs to governance requirements. It also ensures the successful handoff of a service from strategy to design / transition.
Service level management: builds a relationship with the business units by understanding their requirements and how it delivers a service that meets these requirements (note: service level manager and the business relationship manager build relationships with the business on different levels). SLM tracks customer satisfaction levels and takes action to improve them.
Service Catalogue Management: The process responsible for providing and maintaining the service catalogue and for ensuring that it is available to those who are authorized to access it.
Supplier management: understand the link between underpinning contracts as part of service level management and the management of suppliers.
– Supplier – any third party supplying goods or services required to deliver services.
– Supplier and Contract Management Information System (SCMIS) – tools used to support supplier management, integrated with the Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS).
– Underpinning Contract – contracts with third parties for supply.
Availability management: To ensure that the level of availability delivered in all IT services, that meets the agreed availability needs and/or service level targets in a cost-effective and in a timely manner.
Help diagnose and resolve problems:
Respond with:
Reactive activities:
– Monitoring.
– Looking back at past incidents.
Proactive activities:
– Planning, designing, updating.
Capacity management: provides the current and future capacity and performance that the business requires, when it requires it, and at a cost it can afford.
IT service continuity management (ITSCM): responsible for providing an agreed level of service in the event of a major disruption to normal working conditions as part of business continuity management and prevent or reduce the impact of such an event.
Information Security Management: The process responsible for ensuring that the confidentiality, integrity and availability of an organization’s assets, information, data and IT services match the agreed needs of the business.
There are five aspects of service design:
– Service solutions – for new or changed services – from the service portfolio.
– Management information solutions – able to support new or changed services.
– Technical architectures – frameworks used to make sure service solutions are designed, implemented and consistent across the entire organisation.
– Processes – skills, processes, responsibilities to roll out new or changed services.
– Measurement methods and metrics.
Good service design is valuable to business: ensures services fulfill the business requirements of capacity, continuity, availability and security. Good design also ensures smooth transition to operation.
Key output – service design package
Service Design Package (SDP): This is the output of Service Design which feeds into Service Transition. A SDP details all aspects of the service and its requirements during the design stage through all of the subsequent stages of its lifecycle. Service solution, together with its SDP, is then passed to service transition to evaluate, build, test and deploy the new or changed service or to retire the service, if this is the change required.
Four p’s – people, processes, products and partners
Five key aspects of service design – STAMP: i) Solution (fulfills the business requirement and enables the business process); ii) management information systems and Tools (ensure that the right information is available when required); iii) technical Architecture; iv) Measurements (ensure the service is functional as intended); v) new and changed Processes (that need to be developed, including both business processes and service management processes).
Purpose, objectives, and scope of service level management (SLM): SLM ensures that new and current IT services are (to be) delivered to agreed specific and measurable targets
Basic concepts of service level management: definition of service level requirements and the role of targets in assessing the level of service being delivered
SLM activities: definition and documentation of service level targets and negotiation with the business and with stakeholders to agree on targets that are both challenging and yet achievable.
Underpinning contracts and operational level agreements: to ensure that targets are achievable
SLAM report (RAG report): monitor, measure and review service level achievements
SLA structures:
– Service-based (SLA to provide a single service).
– Customer-based (SLA for all services used by a customer – e.g. by geography).
– Multi-level (SLA for Corporate, Customer and Service levels).
Interface between SLM and other process: e.g. business relationship management, incident and request management, supplier management and continual service improvement.
Service catalog: a database or structured document for all live IT services, including those available for deployment, forming one of the three service portfolio elements. Two types / views of services – customer-facing services and supporting services.
Service catalog service information: service details, status, interfaces, and dependencies and the way in which this information is used by other processes, such as service level management.
Availability: end-to-end availability, measurement of availability takes into account only agreed service time (excluding agreed downtime and out-of-hours availability).
Availability concepts: reliability (how long a service functions without interruptions); resilience (component failures without affecting service); maintainability (how quickly a service can restore); serviceability (how quickly a third party can response and fix the failure)
Information security policy: it is the responsibility of the information security manager to then ensure the required level of protection (as determined by business) is provided
Confidentiality (restricting access to data to authorized users), integrity (maintaining data free of any corruption or unauthorized change) and availability (able to be accessed when required) of data.
Different categories of suppliers: strategic, tactical, operational and commodity
Roles and responsibilities of service owner: accountable for ensuring the delivery of the service and liaise with process owners to ensure service standard
The roles and responsibilities of the process owner, the process manager and the process practitioner: i) process owner (only one) – accountable for ensuring the successful delivery of a process across all services and takes a lead role in ensuring that the process outcomes match the objectives; ii) process managers (can be several) – responsible for managing the day-to-day implementation of the process by the process practitioners; iii) process practitioner – responsible for carrying out the process tasks under the direction of the process manager(s).
Purpose of the RACI model (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed): define roles and responsibilities within processes, only one person can be accountable for each activity and every activity must have at least one responsible and one accountable person.


Service Transition

Purpose, objectives and scope of service transition: purpose – ensure new, modified or retired services meet the expectations of the business as agreed; objectives – to plan and successfully manage releases into production, ensuring good knowledge transfer and expectation setting for the delivery of the new or modified service; scope – includes planning, build, testing, evaluation, implementation and deployment of new or modified services into operation or the retirement of services.
Service transition provides value to the business: deliver changes that are planned, built, tested, evaluated, implemented and deployed according to expectation and specification
Purpose, objectives and scope of change management process: purpose – to provide controlled change; objectives – to manage changes in a controlled manner, manage risk and meet the needs of the business; scope – only IT changes
Change model: used to assist with management of the process by providing a set of predefined steps for commonly identified situations.
Standard change: follows a change model that responds to a predefined trigger and has low risks. (pre-approved, rarely need additional authorization); common procedure (work instruction) – e.g. new employee account, laptop, etc.; password reset; etc.
Normal change: follows the normal procedure, brought before Change Advisory Board (CAB).
Emergency change: follows an adjusted process flow, assessment and authorization may include ECAB, testing may be reduced and documentation may be completed later on.
All changes should be documented in an RFC, and this should be logged in a change record, which is captured as part of the CMS.
A change proposal is needed if the change has a major impact on business in terms of risk, cost, or resources.
Assessment of changes: include benefits, costs, risks, resources and relationships for the change.
Output of change process: change schedule (CS) and projected service outage (PSO) – used to communicate change timescales and impact with stakeholders.
Remediation plan: allows mitigation against potential failure and return to normal if a change fails.
Changes authorization: changes are authorized by the change authority with consideration of the size, risk, cost and business impact of the change.
Change management: responsible for the coordination of the deployment of the change; need to work with release and deployment management.
Once a change has been deployed, it would be reviewed. The change record is closed if it meets the acceptance criteria for success.
Change advisory board (CAB): responsible for assessing changes and making recommendation for authorization.
Emergency CAB (ECAB): CAB for emergency changes.
Purpose, objectives and scope of the transition planning and support process: ensures that all transitions are managed efficiently.
Purpose, objectives and scope of the service asset and configuration management (SACM) process: ensures accurate and reliable information about the assets are captured.
Configuration management system: integrates information about the infrastructure and provide a comprehensive view of the configuration items (CI) and their relationships
Configuration model: provides a model of the services, assets, and infrastructure by capturing the details of each configuration item and their relationships; Configuration baseline: the state of the infrastructure at a specific point that is reviewed and agreed upon, to be used for trending, comparison and planning (used for remediation/back-out from change.) Snapshot: capture of the infrastructure at a point in time.
Definitive Media Library (DML): a specific secure area set aside for managing software media (including physical and electronic stores for master copies and documentation)
Purpose, objectives and scope of knowledge management: ensures knowledge is available in the right place at the right time to enable informed decisions, reducing the need for knowledge rediscovery.
DIKW model: Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom is used to transition from data to information to knowledge to wisdom
Service knowledge management system (SKMS): an overarching system for managing knowledge relating to service management by integrating all the existing data sources from service management processes
Purpose, objectives and scope of the release and deployment management process: ensures that releases are planned, scheduled and controlled for successful deployment of services into production.
Release policy: describes the manner in which releases will be carried out and provides definitions for release types
Four phases of the release and deployment management process: i) release and deployment planning, ii) release build and test, iii) deployment and iv) review and close.


Service Operation

Purpose of the service operation: to deliver the services that have been designed and transitioned as efficiently as possible. Escaped faults will be identified and resolved and service will be optimized and in line with the SLAs agreed previously.
Service operation ensure that the business benefits from the service as planned by delivering the services efficiently and within service targets.
Service operation functions: technical management, application management, IT operations management, and the service desk.
Service operation has both processes and functions:
Processes (the “how”):
– Event Management.
– Incident Management.
– Problem Management.
– Request Fulfilment.
– Access Management.
Functions (the “who”):
– Service Desk.
– Technical Management.
– IT Operations.
– Application Management.
Technical and application management functions: provide resources to the other lifecycle stages and specify the operational tasks that service operation staff members should carry out.
Operations management: operations control (e.g. console management) vs facilities management (e.g. monitoring environmental conditions).
Service desk function: skills and attributes that service desk staff members should possess – business awareness, technical awareness, customer focus, etc.
Service desk structures: local, central, virtual, and follow the sun
Purpose and objectives of incident management: a reactive process to reduce downtime by resolving incidents quickly (to restore service but not to identify the cause). Definition of terms: major incidents, incident models, an incident, a problem and a service request.
Priority = business impact x urgency
Purpose, objectives and scope of problem management: a problem is the unknown, underlying cause of one or more incidents; problem management is to find the root cause of incidents and remove it to prevent recurrence
Workaround and a known error: some problems might not have resolved if it is not cost-effective to implement the fix (known error as stored in known error database), workaround would be created to bypass the errors
Even vs alert: events (a change of state that has significance for the management of a CI) and alerts (a failure or a breach of a threshold)
Role of event management in automation: passive and active monitoring to reduce downtime
Purpose objectives and scope of access management: not just granting access but also restricting or removing it as required.
Technical, IT Operations and Application Management
Technical Management: The function responsible for providing technical skills in support of IT services and management of the IT infrastructure. Technical management defines the roles of support groups, as well as the tools, processes and procedures required.
– IT Operations Management: The function within an IT service provider that performs the daily activities needed to manage IT services and the supporting IT infrastructure. IT operations management includes IT operations control and facilities management.
– Application Management: The function responsible for managing applications throughout their lifecycle.
Event and Access Management:
Event Management: The process responsible for managing events throughout their lifecycle. Event management is one of the main activities of IT operations.
– Informational events
– Warning events
– Exception events
Access Management: The process responsible for allowing users to make use of IT services, data or other assets. Access management helps to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of assets by ensuring that only authorized users are able to access or modify them. Access management implements the policies of information security management and is sometimes referred to as rights management or identity management.
Request fulfilment: The process responsible for managing the lifecycle of all service requests.


Continual Service Improvement

Purpose, objectives, and scope of Continual Service Improvement: to ensure IT services are in line with business needs and not simply to meet service targets, to be carried out on a regular basis for all service areas.
Steps of the CSI and Deming cycle: CSI – identify the approach taken to manage a service improvement initiative and ensure it to meet the objectives of the business. Deming Cycle – Plan, Do, Check, and Act.
Purpose of the CSI register: to track and manage improvement initiatives taken by the IT service provider, maintained by the CSI manager.
Types of measures: critical success factors and key performance indicators
Service management areas can benefit from automation:
– Design and modelling
– Service Catalogue
– Pattern recognition and analysis
– Classification, prioritization and routing
– Detection and monitoring
– Optimization
Baselines: function as a comparison basis to verify improvement. Starting points/reference point. Used to look back or get back:
– ITSM Baseline – measure service improvement plan (SIP).
– Performance Baseline – response before made service improvement.
Seven-step improvement process: used to manage gathering, analysis and presentation of data.
Continual Service Improvement: A stage in the lifecycle of a service. Continual service improvement ensures that services are aligned with changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to IT services that support business processes. The performance of the IT service provider is continually measured and improvements are made to processes, IT services and IT infrastructure in order to increase efficiency, effectiveness and cost effectiveness.
CSI metrics:
– Technology metrics: These metrics are often associated with component and application based metrics such as performance, availability soon.
– Process metrics: These metrics are captured in the form of critical success factors (CSFs), KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and activity metrics for the service management processes. They can help determine the overall health of a process. KPIs can help answer four key questions on quality, performance, value and compliance of following the process.
– Service metrics: These metrics are a measure of the end-to-end service performance. Individual technology and process metrics are used when calculating the end-to-end service metrics.


Seven-step Improvement Process:

– Identify the strategy for improvement.
– Define what you will measure. (Because you can’t control what you can’t measure!)
– Gather the data.
– Process the data. Turn it into information.
– Analyse the information and data. Identify actions.
– Present and use the information. Changes to be made.
– Implement improvement.


Deming cycle:

– Plan.
– Do.
– Check.
– Act.


The CSI Approach: (6 questions)

– What is the vision? Business goals, etc.
– Where are we now? Establish baselines.
– Where do we want to be? Set target (measurable).
– How do we get there? Process improvement – gap analysis, defined goals.
– Did we get there? Measure and check metrics.
– How do we keep up the momentum? Look to go around again…



ITIL Abbreviations list

ITIL Glossary terms and definitions


Online exam planning: PeopleCert

Here are some great sources:

ITIL Foundtion Course Pluralsight

AXELOS – ITIL Foundation app