ITIL Version 3

In May of 2007, the British Office of Government and Commerce (OGC) completed a major update to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).  The update has become known as ITIL Version 3 (ITIL v3).  The initial adoption of ITIL v3 was very slow because the OGC and its partners were not able to provide the necessary support and it represented a major shift in the well-established methodologies of ITIL v2.  While still being process focused, it adopted a lifecycle approach to service management.  It took the OGC and it’s partners until late 2009 to fully complete the roll-out of ITIL v3 and it’s associated certifications.

One of the major differences between the two versions of ITIL is that ITIL v3 takes a lifecycle approach to service management.  While ITIL v2 looked at service management processes as either tactical or operational (Service Delivery or Service Support), ITIL v3 looks at the service management lifecycle and divides it into Strategy, Design, Transition and Operational each with a set of processes that support the lifecycle objectives.  It also adds Continual Service Improvement to the mix to ensure that lifecycle stages and processes are regularly evaluated and improvements made.

In October of 2009, the OGC announced that it would discontinue production of ITIL v2 materials and the ITIL v2 certification exams as of June 30, 2010.   All the ITIL v2 processes are included in the ITIL v3 model. In 2011, OGC released another update to unify the five core publications. This release is referred to as ITIL 2011.  We are using the ITIL 2011 framework and all of our training is based on this.

In 2013, OGC entered into a joint venture agreement with Capita plc and formed a joint venture company called Axelos to oversee the further development of ITIL. In 2019, Axelos released the latest version known as ITIL v4.

We are using the ITIL 2011 framework and all of our training is based on this.

ITIL v3, 2011

If you’re interested in ITIL v3, here is some information you may find useful.

An Introductory Overview of ITIL v3 – produced by the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF).  An excellent overview of ITIL v3

ITIL Version 3 Best Practices - Safari Books Online for Government. Nice synopsis and a quick read.

IT Managers Guide to ITIL v3 - eBook produced by IBM.

ITIL – The Future is Here – written by Sharon Taylor, Chief Architect and Executive Editor for the ITIL v3 project.  Vendor sponsored white-paper on ITIL v3.

ITIL v3 and the Service Lifecycle – Vendor white paper

ITIL v3 Lifecycle Reference Card – Produced by ITSM Academy.  Shows the lifecycle stages with the associated processes and functions.

ITIL v3 Lifecycle Mindmaps


ITIL v4 takes a new approach to service management. Leaving behind the service lifecycle, ITIL v4 focuses on the Service Value System (SVS) and how to transform the organization to a digital organization. The key elements of ITIL 4 are the four dimensions, the guiding principles, the move from processes to practices, and the Service Value System, providing a holistic approach to the co-creation of value through service relationships.