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5 Stages of ITIL Lifecycle for Services

ITIL is an industry standard for IT service management. The ITIL modules help an organization ensure quality-driven and cost-effective client services.

The latest version of the available ITIL framework is ITIL v4 which is comparatively better than its previous versions. You can sign up for an ITIL course or any other ITSM course online to improve ITSM courses as an IT professional.

Read the blog to learn the basic definition of the ITIL course and the various stages of an ITIL lifecycle for services. 

What is ITIL?

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a standardized framework that helps IT professionals deliver IT services efficiently.

Businesses should adopt the ITIL framework because it builds a structure for a company at an organizational level and individual level. The ITIL course principles are the following:

  • Delivery of quality services.
  • Optimizing the skills and resources of an organization.
  • Delivery of quality services that are reliable and useful.
  • Planning the processes for specific objectives.
  • Defining each task and activity clearly.

Stages of ITIL Lifecycle for Services

The ITIL framework includes five stages for the improvement of ITSM courses. The five stages mentioned below can be followed in any order:

  • ITIL Service Strategy
  • ITIL Service Design
  • ITIL Service Transition 
  • ITIL Service Operation
  • ITIL Continual Service Improvement

The service design, transition, and operation stages are carried out as a cycle with multiple teams in rotation. While the service design and continuous improvement stages assist and surround the other stages. Let’s learn about these stages of the ITIL lifecycle in detail:

Service Strategy

This is the first stage of the ITIL Lifecycle. This stage involves researching and collecting detailed information about the business goals, end-user requirements, cost of the service provider, and client cost to establish a service strategy. Some of the processes involved in service strategy are as follows:

  • Service Strategy Management: This process evaluates the ability of an organization to develop a service strategy.
  • Service Portfolio Management: An organization can strive to deliver multiple kinds of services. This process deals with managing the service portfolio to determine the best quality services for the clients.
  • Demand Management: This process tells us about the demand for the services by the client. IT professionals must ensure that service providers can efficiently fulfill those demands.
  • IT Financial Management: Budgets and resources are allocated for the efficient management of projects. These budgets and resources are managed by the IT professional to maximize the efficiency and quality of the services. This process helps in the identification and definition of the needs of your clients and the relevant services that can be delivered.
  • Business Relationship Management: This process involves maintaining positive relationships among the project’s IT professionals, clients, and various stakeholders.

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Service Design

After developing a service strategy, the next stage of the ITIL lifecycle is to design the service infrastructure. This step ensures that all the tools, systems, processes, and resources work towards delivering quality service to the clients.

This stage aligns the business strategy with the actual implementation of the plan. Some of the processes involved in the Service Design stage are as follows:

  • Supplier Management: This process involves the management of contracts with various suppliers to make sure timely delivery of services.
  • Service Level Management: This process involves ensuring that the internal IT service providers and the external suppliers agree on using tools such as Underpinning Contracts (UCs) and Operational Level Agreements (OLAs).
  • Service Catalog Management: This process involves maintaining a service catalog essential for business operations: the service catalog logs service delivery statuses, details, and interdependencies. 
  • Availability Management: This process involves ensuring that the delivery operations are functional and indicating the steps to be taken if the delivery operations are not functioning.
  • Capacity Management: This process helps determine the service lifecycle’s short-term and long-term needs to achieve business goals.
  • Service Continuity and Security Management: This process involves the management of risks that are hindering service operations. This step promotes the definition of service level agreements (SLAs), and service level targets (SLTs)

Service Transition

Even the best customer services need to be updated depending on customer feedback, new technologies, market updates, etc. This update or change also brings an element of risk.

To maintain the reliability of the service after the change, it is essential to ensure that all transitional changes are carried out smoothly. After the transition, it is also crucial to check the operational activity of the new service.

Even though the ITIL framework promotes flexibility in operations, it recommends a predefined process for transitioning to a new service. This service transition stage has the following objectives:

  1. Maintaining the fundamental functionality of the product or service
  2. Make sure of a smooth transitioning process with proper documentation for repeatability in future transitions
  3. Managing service assets like configuration management database, service portfolio, supplier contract database, etc.

Some of the processes involved in the Service Transition stage are as follows:

  • Planning and Support of the Transition Process: This process involves managing multiple projects as they enter the service transition stage of the ITIL lifecycle.
  • Management of the Transition Process: This process aims to minimize the risk involved with the transition process.
  • Service Asset and Configuration Management: Asset management accounts for the assets used in the delivery of the services, while configuration management helps monitor the relationship between the various elements of products or services.
  • Release and Deployment Management: This process ensures the timely and proper release and deployment of the updated service.
  • Service Validation and Testing: This process is carried out to test the updated services to evaluate their efficiency.
  • Evaluation of the Transition Process: After an update is released, evaluating the new service’s performance and efficiency is mandatory before moving to the next ITIL phase.
  • Knowledge Management: This process ensures the management of proper documentation and service assets like configuration management database, service portfolio, supplier contract database, etc.

Service Operation

After passing the ITIL lifecycle’s strategy, design, and transition phase, the services are ready to be operational. For this phase, the ITIL framework recommends a structured process to ensure the quality of the services. Some of the processes involved in the Service operation stage that ensure the prevention and restoration of critical issues are:

  • Event Management: This process involves continuously tracking and classifying configuration items to make an action plan.
  • Incident Management: Incidents are not the same as events. IT services should not be hindered for a prolonged period when incidents occur. This process helps restart the service delivery after an incident has occurred.
  • Problem Management: This process involves monitoring and analyzing the logs of incidents to reduce the recurrence of problems.
  • Service Request Fulfillment: This process deals with handling changes and requests for information. Most of the requests are minor requests, such as password changes.

Continual Service Improvement

The last stage of the ITIL lifecycle is to monitor and measure the performance of the service delivery system. It also involves the identification of areas of improvement.

This last stage is a never-ending process that strives to boost effectiveness, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. All the steps of the ITIL framework are mentioned below:

  • Defining business objectives
  • Determining the metrics and indicators
  • Collection of data
  • Processing of data
  • Analysis of data
  • Visualization and interpretation of the data
  • Implementation of continuous improvement


Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) helps organizations to build and manage an efficient ITSM course system. It is a global framework that allows businesses to be flexible with changing customer requirements. It also ensures the continuous improvement of IT services and quality-driven client service.

Enroll in the KnowledgeHut ITIL course to boost your knowledge in IT service management. You can also pursue one of the other ITSM courses to advance your career as an ITIL professional.


1. What are the levels of ITIL certification?
  • ITIL Foundation module,
  • ITIL Practitioner module, 
  • ITIL Intermediate module, 
  • ITIL Expert module, and 
  • ITIL Master module
2. What are the benefits of completing an ITIL course?

The benefits of the ITIL course are as follows: 

  • Efficient alignment between the core business teams and the IT teams.
  • Efficient delivery of products & services and improved customer satisfaction.
  • Better tracking of costs and assets.
  • Cost reduction via efficient utilization of budget and resources.
  • Better management of business risks and disruption in shrive delivery.
3. What job positions can you apply for after completing an ITIL course?

After completing an ITIL course, you can apply for the job position as a Security Administrator/Manager, Service Transition Expert, Service Level Manager, IT Manager, Continuous Improvement Engineer, or Process Engineer.

4. What do you mean by a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?

A Service Level Agreement or an SLA is the contract that binds the service provider and their client.

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