ITIL V3 Service Requests

My post today is about something new in ITIL Version 3 – Service Requests. Actually, I say new, but Service Requests (SR) were actually in ITIL V2 (which most of you will be familiar with) but one of the welcome changes in ITIL Release 3 is to make the definition and role much clearer. An earlier V3 post is here.

A Service Request is defined thus:

A Service Request is a request from a user for advice, information, a routine change or access to some IT service.

The most obvious example of a Service Request is someone asking for a password reset - but it could be someone asking for some desktop application to be installed, or asking for login rights to some system or service. Generally, they are typified by relatively modest amounts of effort (by the Service Desk) to complete, and little risk to the business. If there is expenditure involved it's usually modest or all agreed up-front.

In the past, many companies will have handled Service Requests as special types of Incidents, or as Changes – but defining them separately gives us an opportunity to have better reporting, and in some cases to reduce administrative time.

As in all cases there are a few downsides (which I think can be safely navigated with a little planning).

  • There is the possibility of confusion between Incidents and SRs, and Changes and SRs. A little training and definition will hopefully overcome this.
  • Service Request bring into focus the need to have help with determining which systems different Customers can reasonably request access to (and what they already have access to). You 'll be pleased to hear we are adding new functionality to help with this.
  • Higher risk or more costly Changes being handled as SRs for administrative convenience - but again, with sufficient control this can be avoided.

We are changing Serio to meet this new or revised definition – some of the changes are actually quite significant and will be released as part of Serio Version 5. I'll write about these later.