An IT company’s service portfolio consists of services that are categorized into three parts. These are services in the development pipeline, services that are operational and services that are retired. Service managers manage and control all of these through service portfolio management. Service portfolio management belongs to the Service Strategy phase of the ITIL Lifecycle. In this stage, service managers decide which services will be live and supported or waiting for deployment, which services are waiting in the pipeline for future development and, which services should be retired. Service portfolio management forms part of ITIL training. However, once the service management team made the decision, they design these new services or updates to existing services in ITIL Service Design phase.
Service portfolio management: compliance with other services
ITIL online courses teach that the Service Design phase assures that the design of these new or changed services is consistent with other services. Let’s consider an example from banking: you are changing the money withdrawal service from ATM’s as part of a service portfolio management exercise. Bank ATMs and its service use several other services like customer ID query and customer account balance query. If a change in the money withdrawal service is not compliant with the existing customer ID query and customer account balance query services, it will create a problem in delivering the services to the customers. Therefore, new services or updates to existing services must comply with the existing services. Service managers must take this into account during service portfolio management.
Service portfolio management: compliance with new services
In addition, all other services in the service catalog with interfaces, dependencies, support etc. must comply with the new service. Inconsistency among services in the service portfolio affects the delivery of the services to the end customers. Any inconsistencies between services are due to poor service portfolio management. Service managers must be aware that poor portfolio management consequently affects the satisfaction of the end customer and the value of these services to the business. Any decrease in customer satisfaction and subsequent loss of revenue can render a service useless to the company. This means that resources have been spent that could have been used to create value and revenue more effectively elsewhere in the business.
Service portfolio management is a critical part of the ITIL Service Lifecycle. It starts with the strategic decisions made in the ITIL Service Strategy Stage, but its heart really lies in the ITIL Service Design stage. Without service portfolio management, services may not be compliant with each other and will not work optimally.
Services that are in the design pipeline must be managed along with services that are already operational. These two types of services must be able to merge seamlessly with the help of service portfolio management. While services that have been retired does not directly affect the interaction between operational service and those in the design pipeline, learnings can be taken from retired services to optimize new or upgraded services in the service pipeline. This is how service portfolio management envelopes all of the services in the service portfolio of an IT business.