The four dimensions of ITIL 4® are ingredients needed to create high quality products and services which deliver value to customers:
Organizations and people
Value streams and processes
Information and technology
Partner and suppliers
The delivery and support of different services and products requires a different mix of ingredients. No ingredient can deliver value on its own, so a holistic perspective is required: consider all dimensions when designing and changing products and services.
The four dimensions model is a tool to ensure people consider all the ingredients and are never too focused on one area.
Today we look at Value Streams & Processes:
Value Streams and Processes
Value Streams and Processes introduces the new Service Value Chain which is central to ITIL 4. In ITIL V3, the service lifecycle structure established a linear flow—strategy, design, transition, operation, and CSI. The ITIL 4 service value chain model is more flexible—evolved to support linear flows and iterative approaches (such as Agile).
The service value chain is an operating model which helps you describe how a value stream (the delivery process of a service) flows across various activities from demand to supply. The service value chain model is generic and flexible, enabling any combination of steps to support different patterns of delivery.
Each service value stream (the chain of activity which outputs an outcome for the customer) combines different types of activity in a different order. Unlike the ITIL V3 service lifecycle, it isn’t linear: a value stream can jump back and forth as necessary. Organizations should map a value stream for every product or service to provide a holistic picture of how value is created.
The ITIL 4 Foundation volume provides examples of how the service value chain operating model supports creation of different types of value; including incident resolution, resolving a software issue, creating an IT service, and the development of new software.
When considering the value streams and processes dimension, think about:
Which steps are creating value and which steps are waste (e.g. add no value for the customer)?
Which steps are performed manually by a human being?
Which steps are performed by a third party supplier?
Balancing the four dimensions
Singular focus on any one dimension causes issues across other dimensions. The key to balancing the four dimensions is to consider all factors when designing services; not as an afterthought. When a service value stream changes, all four dimensions should be re-considered. If not, the value chain may become unstable. Considering all the factors when applying change will help you to maintain an equilibrium throughout the lifetime of a service.