ITIL Continual Service Improvement – Overview, Objectives & Actions

Continual Service Improvement is the fifth and last stage in the ITIL life cycle. It helps identifying the improvement opportunities by keeping an eye on various service applications and processes introduced during different phases of the ITIL lifecycle. Once the IT service is selected, designed, built and maintained, CSI’s job is to support and improve the services and processes.

Importance of Continual Service Improvement for an organization

It is really important to understand why an organization requires continual service improvement plan. The main reasons are -

  • It helps an organization to find efficient and cost effective ways to process and service improvement so that IT can drive to business value

  • It toughens the bond between the client and IT service provider

  • It improves the team’s interactivity, efficiency and effectiveness

  • It gives a better view of the management operations and services. It gives a chance to view an organization’s future capability

Continual Service Improvement - Overview

CSI focuses on increasing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the IT services delivered to the client. It monitors and measures the performance of the IT service provider. It confirms that the IT services are aligned and re-aligned with the changing business needs by identifying and implementing ways for service improvement that supports business processes.

Continual service improvement plan includes seven step process that has activities taking place across multiple stages of the service lifecycle. It enhances the business value and focuses on the overall effectiveness of the IT service, alignment of services to the business requirement and development of mature IT process.

A successful continual service improvement plan provides value to the business which can be categorized as:

  1. Benefit – a gain that comes as a result of improvement that is done to the existing service

  2. Improvement – an outcome that shows measurable changes as compared to previously measured state

  3. Return on Investment (ROI) – a benefit to the investor resulting from an investment of some resource

  4. Value on Investment (VOI) – an additional benefit not focused on monetary gain

Objectives/Goals of Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

  • Review, analyze and make recommendation on improvement opportunities in each lifecycle phase of ITIL

  • Identify and implement activities for better efficiency and effectiveness of IT service management process

  • Propose actions to improve the quality of service and cost-effectiveness without impacting customer satisfaction

  • Ensure applicable quality management methods are used to support CSI activities

Actions/Activities performed by Continual Service Improvement plan

CSI is applicable across all the stages of ITIL lifecycle.

  • Ensuring that all the services meet agreed service level and the processes introduced in each of the phase of ITIL lifecycle have achieved desired output

  • Thoroughly evaluating the processes and activities and suggests the ways for improvement to senior management

  • Routine inspections/audits to verify employee and process adherence to company’s policy

  • Building and managing strong customer relationship

  • Identifying CSI opportunities by reviewing existing deliverables and external/internal services

  • Ensuring the service improvement activities is receiving sufficient support to implement the solutions

A CSI plan is a commitment towards maintaining the existing services through service improvement plan. It stresses on regular evaluation and re-evaluation of the processes and functions of IT service management.


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Stella Morey