In this tutorial, we will discuss the ITIL Request Fulfillment Process. This process is also widely known as ITIL Request Management Process. In this chapter, you will learn what is a Service Request in ITIL? What is Request Management? and the Definition, Objective, Scope, Activities, and sub-process of Request Fulfillment - ITIL V3 Process.
What is ITIL Request Fulfillment Process?
The ITIL Request Fulfillment process is responsible for managing the lifecycle of all service requests received from the users. This process is also responsible for fulfilling various types of requests raised to the service desk and to fulfill exactly what is being requested.
Sometimes, this process is also termed as the ITIL Request Management process.
Though the management of service requests is defined separately in ITIL, some organizations don’t deploy separate request fulfillment team. They usually handle service requests alongside their incident management processes.
What is a Service Request in ITIL ITSM?
Before going deep into the ITIL Request Fulfillment Process, let us first understand some important concept about ITIL Service Request.
According to ITIL v3, a service request (or request for service) is “a request from a user for information, advice, a standard change, or access to a service”.
So as per the definition, the service request describes many different types of demands that are raised by the users. Typically the majority of those requests contains small standard changes that are of low-risk, frequently performed, and requires less approval & low cost etc.
Some examples of Service Request (ITIL V3) are - request to change passwords, request to install software on a particular workstation, request to shift workstation to another desk or maybe just a request for information.
ITIL Request Fulfillment Objective:
The Primary objective of ITIL Request Fulfillment Process is to fulfill Service Requests raised from Users for taking various supportive services, which in most cases are minor (standard) changes.
Some other objectives of the Request Management process are as follows:
- Establishing a channel for users to request and receive standard services.
- Helping users and customers to know about the availability of services and the procedure for obtaining them.
- Maintain user and customer satisfaction through efficient and professional handling of all service requests.
- Assist Users and customers with general information, complaints or comments.
The Scope of ITIL Request Management Process?
The types of offered services and received service requests differ significantly from company to company.
Unlike incidents, which are unplanned, service requests can be planned for. That means the process of handling each type of service request can be broken down into a set of well-defined activities and can be documented as a process flow, which is then stored in the Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS).
This documented process of Request Management is also called Request Models. Although each company handles requests differently, when defining Request Models an organization should consider following points:
- Who will handle the request? – Defines individuals or teams who are responsible for Request Fulfillment.
- How is the service delivered? - Defines the process of service delivery.
- How quickly will the service request be fulfilled? – Reflects the defined SLA or time window.
- If the service can’t be completely fulfilled, what happens? – Defines the escalation plan & matrix.
[See Also: What is SLA? How it is managed in ITIL?]
What are the ITIL Request Fulfillment Lifecycle Activities?
The process of request management begins with a service request raised by a user through any of the service request channels (Like self-care portal, phone, email etc).
Once a service request is raised and registered, it may be automatically approved or alternately routed for approval depending on the nature of the request. Because some services require additional management approval or financial approval, or even approval from a compliance perspective (Like Change work desk location of a workstation would require approval from the department head).
In such cases where approvals are required, the request model should include all appropriate approval steps, along with plans for how the request will be processed once approved and declined.
After a requested service is approved, or when no approval is required, the request must be assigned to the appropriate individual or team for review and fulfillment.
The below diagram illustrates the ITIL Request Fulfillment Lifecycle activities and flow between them:
What are the Service Request Statuses Defined in ITIL?
When goes through the Request Lifecycle, the status of that service request changes continuously. Below are those service request statuses and their short description:
- This status indicates that the service desk has received the Request but has not assigned it to any Service desk agent.
- This status indicates that the Service Request has been assigned to an individual service desk agent.
- Means that a service desk agent is actively working to fulfill the request.
- Indicates that the ITIL Request Fulfillment process requires additional information, approval or availability schedule from the user.
- In this state, the SLA counting is stopped.
- In case the user is unable to provide any of this within a stipulated time then the Service Request stands to be canceled, and closed by the service desk.
- Means that the service desk has confirmed that the specific request has been fulfilled.
- This is the final status which means the Service Request is completely processed.
ITIL Request Fulfillment Sub-Process:
As defined by ITIL v3, these are five sub-processes operating under the request management Process. Below given are the objectives and short descriptions about those sub-processes, followed by a diagram illustrating the ITIL Request Fulfillment Process Flow:
1) Request Fulfillment Support:
Responsible for providing and overall maintenance of the tools, processes, skills, and rules required for an effective and efficient handling of Service Requests.
2) Request Logging and Categorization:
Used to record and categorize the Service Request and to check the requester's authorization to submit the request, in order to facilitate a faster and efficient processing.
3) Request Model Execution:
It is the means of following and executing Request Models. It is very helpful for processing a Service Request within the agreed time schedule.
4) Request Monitoring and Escalation:
Responsible for continuously monitoring the Service Request’s Status, so that counter-measures can be taken as quickly as possible if service levels are likely to be breached.
5) Request Closure and Evaluation:
To submit the Request Record to a final quality control followed by its actual closure. The purpose of this is to make sure that the Service Request is actually processed and that all necessary information about the request's lifecycle is recorded for future reference.
Important Terminologies and Definitions:
Service Request Record:
- A record that contains all details and the entire history of a Service Request.
Service Request Status Information:
Requirements for Implementing ITIL Request Fulfillment Process:
The success of the ITIL Request Fulfillment process depends on some basic aspects that the organization has to provide. Those are:
- Make it easy to request your services - This can be started with the most popular, easy-to-fulfill services. You can also create a web-based request portal so that users can easily raise their requests.
- Asking relevant information from the users - Just ask for the information you require to fulfill the service request. Don't bog down the users by too many questions or asking for unnecessary information.
- Clearly communicate the SLA - It is important that both the service desk and any other parties involved in request fulfillment communicates the defined SLA information to the users. To achieve this a properly defined service level agreement is absolutely necessary.
- Document the details - You must document every detail of a service you are providing to users. Details like SLA targets, service request history, service category, who is allowed to place a request, what approvals are required etc needs to be defined and documented.
- Remain on top of user satisfaction - Clear communication at every stage is one of the key requirement for customer/user satisfaction. Your service desk must periodically communicate the progress and status of the request to the user/customer.
Measuring the Effectiveness of ITIL Request Management Process:
ITIL V3 uses few key metrics to judge the efficiency and effectiveness of your request management process. Some important matrices among them are:
- How satisfied your users are with the process of handling service requests.
- The number of outstanding service requests presently in your backlog.
- How much time your team takes to handle each type of service request.
- Cost of request fulfillment (calculated average cost for each type of service request).
- The percentage of service requests that are closed within the agreed SLA.
- A breakdown of service requests by its status (i.e., in progress, pending, closed, etc.)
ITIL Request Fulfillment Roles and Responsibilities:
- Though this role is the Process Owner of Incident Management Process, the Incident Manager is also responsible for the effective implementation of the ITIL Request Fulfillment process and carries out the corresponding reporting.
- Incident Manager is also responsible for ensuring that the Requests are completed within the agreed SLA targets.
Service Request Fulfillment Group:
- This Group contains specialized resources for the fulfillment of certain types of Service Requests.
- Usually, the simple requests are fulfilled by 1st Level Support, and others complex ones are forwarded to the specialized Request Fulfillment Groups.
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