ITIL Service Design Processes Explained | ITIL Foundation | ITSM

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In this tutorial, we will discuss ITIL Service Design Process module. Here, in this chapter, You will learn the definition, best practices, objective, activities, roles, and main-processes of Service Design (ITIL V3). Moreover, we would get the primary concept of 4 P's and 5 aspects of ITIL V3 Service Design Process.

What is ITIL Service Design?  

Service Design (SD) is the second Process group of ITIL Service Management Lifecycle under ITIL Service Management Framework.

The ITIL Service Design process provides best-practice guidance on the design of new IT services, processes, and other aspects of the IT Service Management (ITSM). It covers design principles and methods for converting strategic business objectives into portfolios of services and service assets, hence providing great business values.

According to ITIL V3, Service Design defines how a planned service solution interacts with the larger business and technical environments.

Within ITIL, the whole work of IT Service Design Process is aggregated into a single output, called Service Design Package (SDP). The SDP is then fed into ITIL Service Transition for Implementation.

ITIL Service Design Objective: 

The primary objective of ITIL Service Design Process is to design new IT services, processes & other aspects of the ITIL Service Management.

The scope of the Service Design lifecycle stage includes the design of new services, as well as changes and improvements to existing ones.

ITIL V3 Service Design Purpose & Goals: 

According to ITIL V3, Service Design is applicable to organizations involved in the development, delivery or support of services, including both internal and external Service Providers.

It is also relevant to any professional involved in the management of services particularly like IT Architecture, IT Managers, IT Practitioners and IT Service Owners.

The Goals of ITIL V3 Service Design are:

  • Reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
  • Improve quality and consistency of services.
  • Make the implementation of new or changed services relatively easier.
  • Improve the service alignment with the business requirement.
  • Develop more effective IT governance.
  • Measure the effectiveness of System & Metrics.

4 P's and 5 Aspects of ITIL Service Design: 

The Service Design stage tries to increase the coordination between Process & Business. And it aims to provide us better preparation & management capabilities.

To obtain the benefits of this design phase, one must concentrate on the Rule of Four P’s of ITIL Service Design; those are People, Process, Products, and Partners.

[See Also: Understanding 4 P's of Service Design in detial]

We must also integrate 5 aspects of ITIL Service Design to achieve the goals; those five aspects are:

  • Design Service Solutions based on business requirements.
  • Design the Tools needed to manage, control and support services.
  • Designing of Technology & Architecture needed to provide services.
  • Designing the processes needed for transition, operate and improve the services.
  • Designing the Measurement Systems, Methods and Metrics.
ITIL 4 P's of ITIL Service Design

Important Terminologies and Definitions: 

Below are some of the important terminologies you required to know before we proceed deep into the Service Design Process (ITIL V3) Module:

Service Level Agreement (aka SLA):

  • SLA is a formal agreement between Service Provider & Customer to record the agreed service levels.
  • The SLA describes the IT Service, Scope of Service, Quality Requirements, and Service Level Targets.
  • It also specifies the responsibilities of the Service Provider and the Customer.

Operational Level Agreement (aka OLA):

  • OLA is an agreement between a Service Provider and Other Units of the same Service Provider Organization.
  • This is an internal agreement with the Service Provider's Organization.
  • An OLA supports the Service Providers in the delivery of Quality IT Services to Customers within the agreed SLA.


  • A Contract is a Legal binding, covering obligations each entity has to the other; from the first day of the contract, often extending beyond its termination.
  • The moment you legally bind the SLA document it becomes a contract.


  • It defines the Ability of a Configuration Item (CI) or IT Service to perform its agreed function as and when required.
  • It can be described as the percentage of time that a customer is able to access a particular service without any disruption.

ITIL Service Design Processes: 

According to official ITIL v3 Documents, there are Eight Well-Defined processes under ITIL Service Design module.

Along with that, there are Three Processes which are implicitly-defined by ITIL Documents but those are needed or need to be used throughout this process group.

You must know all of them in order to develop knowledge. So, describing all of them below, followed by a diagram showing the process flow :

1) Design Coordination (ITIL Defined):

Responsible for proper coordination between all service design activities, processes, and resources.

Design coordination ensures the reliable and effective design of new or changed IT services, service management information systems, architectures, technology, processes, information, and metrics.

2) Service Catalogue Management (ITIL Defined):

Used to ensure that a Service Catalogue is produced, maintained, and the catalogue contains accurate information about all operational services along with those being prepared to be run operationally.

3) Service Level Management (ITIL Defined):

Responsible to negotiate Service Level Agreements with the customers and to design services in accordance with the agreed service level targets.

Service Level Management also responsible for monitoring, reporting all Operational Level Agreements and Underpinning Contracts to ensure their appropriateness.

4) Capacity Management (ITIL Defined):

Ensures that the capacity of IT services and the IT infrastructure is adequate to deliver the agreed service level targets in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Ideally, Capacity Management considers all resources required to deliver the IT service, and plans for short, medium and long-term business requirements.

5) Availability Management (ITIL Defined):

Used to define, analyze, plan, measure and improve all aspects of the availability of IT services. It is also responsible for ensuring that all IT infrastructure, processes, tools, roles etc. are appropriate to meet the SLA.

6) IT Service Continuity Management (ITIL Defined):

To manage risks that could seriously impact IT services. ITSCM ensures that the service provider, in any situation can meet the minimum agreed Service Levels.

7) Information Security Management (ITIL Defined):

Responsible for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of an organization's information, data and IT services.

8) Supplier Management (ITIL Defined):

It ensures that all contracts with suppliers aligned with the business requirement, and that all suppliers meet their contractual commitments.

9) Risk Management:

To identify, assess and control risks. This includes analyzing the business assets, identifying threats to those assets, and evaluating the vulnerability of each asset is to those threats.

10) Compliance Management:

To ensure IT services, processes and systems comply with organization policies and legal requirements.

11) Architecture Management:

To define an outline for the future development of the technology, taking into account the Service Strategy and newly available technologies.

The Below diagram illustrates the process flow and connection between each of the processes mentioned above:

ITIL Service Design Process Flow

ITIL Service Design Roles and Responsibilities: 

Below are the Roles responsible defined under Service Design (ITIL V3) module:

  • Service Design Manager
  • Service Catalogue Manager
  • Service Level Manager
  • Service Owner
  • Capacity Manager
  • Availability Manager
  • IT Service Continuity Manager
  • Information Security Manager
  • Supplier Manager
  • Risk Manager
  • Compliance Manager
  • Enterprise Architect

We have a detailed article describing each and every ITIL Service Design Roles. Refer to: ITIL Roles Defined in Service Design.


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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.
I wish you all the best in your career !!!!

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