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What are the ITIL 4 management practices?

Digital Transformation, Emerging Technologies, ITIL

ITIL 4 has gained a lot of popularity ever since it was launched in February last year. It contains updated ITIL practices and frameworks and helps organizations keep up with the latest developments in software development, IT operations, and service management. ITIL 4 emphasizes integration of different frameworks and approaches with their service management operating models to meet business needs effectively and efficiently.

ITIL V3 used to define 26 ITIL processes spread across the five stages of the service lifecycle. However, ITIL 4 has adapted to the changing environment and has put forth 34 ITIL 4 management practices. These practices focus on effective service delivery across the value chain. The ITIL 4 management practices are sets of organizational resources designed for performing work or accomplishing an objective. While the ITIL V3 processes focused only on managing IT services, the ITIL 4 management practices have expanded their focus to include aspects like culture, technology, and data management. Earlier, process-dominant thinking was critical to ITIL. With ITIL 4 promotes a new method of working reflecting the diverse and dynamic nature of organizations and their information systems.

There are three categories of ITIL 4 management practices:

  • General management practices: Practices that are applicable across the organization for the success of the business and the services provided by the organization
  • Service management practices: Practices that are applicable for specific services that are being developed, deployed, delivered, and supported in an organization
  • Technical management practices: Practices adapted from technology management domains for service management purposes

Let’s learn more about each of these practices:

General Management Practices

Architecture Management

This practice provides an understanding of the different elements of an organization and how they are interrelated. It covers how the organization can work toward meeting current and future objectives. This practice discusses the principles, standards, and tools that would help manage complex change in a structured and agile manner in an organization.

Continual Improvement

This practice aims to align an organization’s practices and services with changing business needs. For this, it seeks the support of ongoing identification and improvement of services, service components, and other elements that are a part of efficient and effective service and product management.

Information Security Management

As the name suggests, this practice is about protecting an organization’s data and information. For this, an organization would need to understand the risks to confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. It would also need to focus on how to manage these risks. It covers other aspects of information security, such as authentication and non-repudiation.

Knowledge Management

Again, as the name suggests, this practice focusses on maintaining and improving the convenient, effective, and efficient use of information and knowledge in an organization.

Measurement and Reporting

This practice supports effective decision-making as well as continual improvement by reducing the uncertainty involved. It recommends the collection of relevant data for various managed objects and appropriate assessment of this data as per the respective contexts.

Organizational Change Management

The purpose of this practice is to ensure that changes in an organization get implemented smoothly and successfully. It helps organizations manage the human aspects of change effectively to gain lasting benefits.

Portfolio Management

The purpose of this practice is to make sure that the organization has the right mix of programs, projects, products, and services that would help it achieve its goals and execute strategies within defined resource availability and constraints.

Project Management

With this practice, an organization can ensure that all its projects are completed successfully. To achieve this, organizations need to plan, delegate, monitor, and maintain control of all possible aspects of their projects.

Relationship Management

This practice establishes and nurtures the relationship between the organization and its stakeholders at all levels. It identifies, analyzes, monitors, and continually improves the relationship between the organization and its stakeholders.

Risk Management

Using this practice, an organization can comprehend and handle risks effectively. It helps maintain ongoing sustainability in the organization and creating value for the customers.

Service Financial Management

This practice supports the organization’s plans and strategies for effective service management. It ensures effective and efficient use of financial resources.

Strategy Management

Using this practice, an organization can define specific goals, courses of action, and allocate the resources to achieve them. It establishes direction and priorities for the future.

Supplier Management

Every organization needs to manage its suppliers and their performances to ensure smooth production and delivery of products and services. This practice requires building closer collaborative relationships with suppliers, identify opportunities, and work towards minimizing risks.

Workforce Talent Management

To succeed, an organization needs the right people with the right skills in the right roles. This practice helps the organization focus on effective planning, recruiting, onboarding, learning, and development, performance measurement, and succession planning.

Service Management Practices

Availability Management

This practice ensures that services are delivered at the agreed availability levels to meet user needs.

Business Analysis

With this practice, an organization can analyze its business or any of its elements. It helps the organization work on defining the business needs and provide possible solutions. With this practice, an organization can solve specific business issues or work on smoothening any element that would help facilitate better value creation in the organization.

Capacity and Performance Management

This practice helps organizations ensure their services achieve the expected and agreed performance levels. This practice focuses on meeting the current and future demand cost-effectively.

Change Enablement

This practice helps organizations ensure appropriate risk assessment, authorization for implementing changes, and effective management of change schedules. It helps maximize the number of IT changes that get implemented successfully.

Incident Management

The purpose of this practice is to limit and control the negative impact of incidents occurring in the organization. It helps restore normal service operations as soon as possible after an incident takes place.

IT Asset Management

This practice aims to help organizations effectively manage the complete lifecycle of all IT assets. It works on value maximization, cost control, risk management, appropriate decision making, management of asset reuse, and retirement. It also emphasizes meeting the regulatory and contractual requirements required of the organization.

Monitoring and Event Management

With this practice, an organization can work on systematically observing the services and service components. It also helps record & report the events that occur. This practice involves identifying and prioritizing infrastructure, services, business processes, and information security events. It also establishes the responses to these events.

Problem Management

This practice helps organizations limit the impact and likelihood of event occurrence. For this, it needs to identify actual and potential causes, manage appropriate workarounds, and identify the known errors.

Release Management

The purpose of this practice is to bring new and changed services & features into use by making it available to the users.

Service Catalog Management

By using service catalog management, an organization can provide a single source of consistent information for all its services. The practice ensures all the necessary information is available for relevant audiences whenever required.

Service Configuration Management

This practice ensures the availability of accurate and reliable information about the configuration of an organization’s services. It also confirms the availability of information about configuration items that support these services.

Service Continuity Management

This practice ensures the availability and performance of a service at a sufficient level during a disaster. It provides a framework for building organizational resilience considering all aspects like delivering effective responses to safeguard the interests of the stakeholders, maintaining the brand reputation, etc.

Service Design

This practice aims to help organizations design products and services that are fit for use and are in line with the defined purposes. These services should be successfully deliverable by the organization in its current ecosystem. The practice focuses on planning, managing people, partners, and suppliers, managing information and communication as well as smart usage of technology.

Service Desk

With this practice, an organization can capture the demand for incident resolution and service requests.

Service Level Management

The purpose of this practice is to set business-based targets for service performance. It ensures that the service delivery gets assessed, monitored, and managed in line with the set targets.

Service Request Management

This practice handles pre-defined, user-initiated service requests effectively and in a user-friendly manner.

Service Validation and Testing

This practice makes sure the new or changed products and services meet the defined requirements. It requires that measurable performance and quality indicators are defined. It also requires appropriate testing requirements to be established.


Technical Management Practices

Deployment Management

With deployment management practices, an organization can smoothly move new or changed hardware, software, documentation, processes, etc. from production to a live environment or other environments for testing or staging.

Infrastructure and Platform Management

With infrastructure and platform management, an organization can oversee all its infrastructure and platforms, enabling effective monitoring of technologies deployed internally as well as by external service providers.

Software Development and Management

With software development and management practices, organizations can ascertain that their applications are in line with internal and external stakeholder needs concerning functionality, reliability, maintainability, compliance, and audit-ability.

These are the 34 management practices laid out by ITIL 4. You can learn more about these practices and how to apply them practically in real-life organizations as part of our ITIL 4 training.

Cognixia – world’s leading digital talent transformation company provides ITIL 4 Foundation training as part of its fully developed portfolio of ITIL 4 training. Our ITIL 4 Foundation training focusses on helping every participant prepare thoroughly for the ITIL certification exam and gaining a thorough practical understanding of all concepts. To know more about ITIL 4 training, visit


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