Understanding 4 P’s of ITIL Service Strategy | ITIL Foundation | ITSM

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In this tutorial, we will discuss the ITIL 4 P's of Service Strategy. According to ITIL, these 4ps are the building blocks of service strategy stage. Here in this chapter, you will learn the definition, scope, and the working of 4 Ps of ITIL service strategy.

[Note: Do not get confused with 4 P's of Service Design]

What are the 4 P's of Service Strategy Stage?

As define in ITIL V3, the 4 Ps of the ITIL Service Strategy Stage are as follows:

  • Perspective
  • Position
  • Plan
  • Pattern

The 4P's of service strategy are a critical part of the ITIL Service Strategy module. If any one of the 4P's is absent from the system, the activities of service strategy stage cannot be completed successfully.

The IT service managers must emphasize on the true value of the ITIL 4Ps in the context of ITIL Service Strategy. Now, let’s discuss the ITIL 4 P's to see how they help in strategic management within the ITIL Service Management Lifecycle.

[See Also: What is ITIL Service Management Lifecycle?]

ITIL 4 Ps of service strategy

ITIL 4Ps of Service Strategy: Perspective

The "Perspective" word in the ITIL 4P's of Service Strategy refers to your vision and direction toward the services you provide. It also describes the intent of how you want to communicate with stakeholders to achieve this.

In short, it’s the vision statement of your organization.

The perspective also describes the generalized plans and ideas that you have outlined for your organization’s future growth.

By having a clearly defined strategic perspective, the organization can create a distinctive image in the mind of customers and stand out from the competition. Further, this will also help those customers to remember the organization for its specialized services and products.

ITIL 4 Ps of Service Strategy: Position

The word “Position” defines how you are going to differentiate your organization from your competitors. That Means, answering the question: what is your unique value proposition? What is your company’s market position in all aspects of business?

As clear and well-defined position guides you in both: what to do and what not to do, based on your view of differentiating your organization from the competitors.

So that, before taking any serious steps, you decide the organization's standpoint on various issues, such as budget, types of service to be offered, what customer might expect from your service, and the selling point (utility, warranty etc) of your service.

Any company that has a defined market position, informs their customers about their policies and gives them a chance to decide on the uniqueness and value proposition of service offered.

ITIL 4 P's of Service Strategy: Plan

The word "Plan", in the 4 P's of Service Strategy, describes the actions you are going to take in order to achieve the established goals and objectives.

It mainly focuses on the financial budgets, your portfolio of services, plans for new service development or buying assets, and improvement of past plans.

Through this ITIL ensures that a detailed plan exists for each and every decision you take for the organizational benefits.

[See Also: What is a Service Portfolio in ITIL?]

ITIL 4P's of Service Strategy: Pattern

The "Pattern" represents consistent decisions and actions you plan to take over time; this means the organization's fundamental way of doing things.  A pattern can also be thought of a series of ongoing actions and alterations that the organization possesses, which enables the organization to run smoothly.

The Organization should decide which policies, features, service providers, technology applications, and training procedures are perfect to support the company's position and vision.

[See Also: what is "pattern of business activity" in ITIL Demand Management?]

The scope of "Pattern" includes the activity pattern of management systems, organization, policies, processes, schedules, and budgets.

For any organization, the activity patterns can be a source of competitive advantage.

ITIL 4 P's of Service Strategy - Final Thoughts 

ITIL provides the freedom to the company on how they manage and shape these 4 P's according to their own business needs.

In order to successfully execute the ITIL Service Strategy stage, the organization must have a clear understanding of each of these four P's. And in case, any one of the 4P's of service strategy is not in order, it must be fixed before commencing any strategic activity.

To achieve the best outcome, it is advised that all 4 P's should be maintained throughout the entire lifecycle of IT Service Management.


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I'm passionate about Information Technology & spreading my knowledge makes me happy. I Have MBA(IS), ITIL, PRINCE2, CCNA, CCNP, MCSA, MS Hyper-V Certifications, and Trained in PMP, CCIE. And also have 10+ Yrs of Work Experience.
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