ITIL roles are used to define responsibilities. In particular, they are used to assign owners to the various ITIL processes, and to define responsibilities for the activities in the detailed process definitions.
The role definitions suggested here are intentionally kept short, capturing the main characteristics of the key ITIL roles.
Popular ITIL roles
- Incident Manager
- The Incident Manager is responsible for the effective implementation of the Incident Management process and carries out the corresponding reporting. [...]
- Problem Manager
- The Problem Manager is responsible for managing the lifecycle of all Problems. His primary objectives are to prevent Incidents from happening, and to minimize the impact of Incidents that cannot be prevented. [...]
- Change Manager
- The Change Manager controls the lifecycle of all Changes. His primary objective is to enable beneficial Changes to be made, with minimum disruption to IT services. [...]
- Business Relationship Manager
- The Business Relationship Manager is responsible for maintaining a positive relationship with customers, identifying customer needs and ensuring that the service provider is able to meet these needs with an appropriate catalogue of services. [...]
- Project Manager
- The Project Manager is responsible for planning and coordinating the resources to deploy a major Release within the predicted cost, time and quality estimates. [...]
- Service Level Manager
- The Service Level Manager is responsible for negotiating Service Level Agreements and ensuring that these are met. [...]
ITIL 4 roles
The roles described here follow the specifications of ITIL V3 and are grouped by Service Lifecycle stage.
Organizations that wish to adopt ITIL 4 will find that the latest edition of ITIL is less prescriptive about processes - and roles. Instead of specifiying a fixed set of processes, ITIL V4 introduces a holistic approach and shifts the focus on 34 'practices'. For each practice, ITIL 4 describes the key activities, inputs, outputs and exemplary roles. This gives organizations more freedom to define tailor-made processes and responsibilities.
Organizations looking for a set of ITIL 4 roles and responsibilities can still use the roles defined here in the IT Process Wiki, since the processes and roles defined in ITIL V3 have not been invalidated with the release of ITIL V4.
What is more, in our YaSM Wiki we describe leaner set of 19 service management processes that are more in tune with ITIL 4 and its focus on simplicity and "just enough process". The YaSM service management model includes a complete set of service management roles that is a good starting point for organizations that wish to adopt ITIL 4.
In the YaSM Service Management Wiki you can learn more about these roles. You can also download a complete RACI matrix for service management roles and processes.
ITIL roles and responsibilities
ITIL roles - Service Strategy
Business Relationship Manager
- The Business Relationship Manager is responsible for maintaining a positive relationship with customers, identifying customer needs and ensuring that the service provider is able to meet these needs with an appropriate catalogue of services.
- The Business Relationship Manager works closely with the Service Level Manager.
- The role Demand Manager has been introduced to perform the activities in the Demand Management process.
- The Demand Manager is responsible for understanding, anticipating and influencing customer demand for services.
- The Demand Manager works with capacity management to ensure that the service provider has sufficient capacity to meet the required demand.
- The Financial Manager is responsible for managing an IT service provider's budgeting, accounting and charging requirements.
IT Steering Group (ISG)
- The IT Steering Group (ISG) sets the direction and strategy for IT Services. It includes members of senior management from business and IT.
- The ISG reviews the business and IT strategies in order to make sure that they are aligned.
- It also sets priorities of service development programs/ projects.
Service Portfolio Manager
- The Service Portfolio Manager decides on a strategy to serve customers in cooperation with the IT Steering Group, and develops the service provider's offerings and capabilities.
Service Strategy Manager
- The Service Strategy Manager supports the IT Steering Group in producing and maintaining the service provider's strategy.
- This role is also responsible for communicating and implementing the service strategy.
ITIL roles - Service Design
- The Applications Analyst is an Application Management role which manages applications throughout their lifecycle.
- There is typically one Applications Analyst or team of analysts for every key application.
- This role plays an important part in the application-related aspects of designing, testing, operating and improving IT services.
- It is also responsible for developing the skills required to operate the applications required to deliver IT services.
- The Availability Manager is responsible for defining, analyzing, planning, measuring and improving all aspects of the availability of IT services.
- He is responsible for ensuring that all IT infrastructure, processes, tools, roles etc. are appropriate for the agreed service level targets for availability.
- The Capacity Manager is responsible for ensuring that services and infrastructure are able to deliver the agreed capacity and performance targets in a cost effective and timely manner.
- He considers all resources required to deliver the service, and plans for short, medium and long term business requirements.
- The Compliance Manager's responsibility is to ensure that standards and guidelines is followed, or that proper, consistent accounting or other practices are being employed.
- This includes to make sure that external legal requirements are fulfilled.
- The Enterprise Architect is responsible for maintaining the Enterprise Architecture (EA), a description of the essential components of a business, including their interrelationships.
- Bigger organizations may opt to introduce specialist EA roles like Business Architect, Application Architect, Information Architect, or Infrastructure Architect.
Information Security Manager
- The Information Security Manager is responsible for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of an organization’s assets, information, data and IT services.
- He is usually involved in an organizational approach to Security Management which has a wider scope than the IT service provider, and includes handling of paper, building access, phone calls etc., for the entire organization.
IT Service Continuity Manager
- The IT Service Continuity Manager is responsible for managing risks that could seriously impact IT services.
- He ensures that the IT service provider can provide minimum agreed service levels in cases of disaster, by reducing the risk to an acceptable level and planning for the recovery of IT services.
- The Risk Manager is responsible for identifying, assessing and controlling risks.
- This includes analyzing the value of assets to the business, identifying threats to those assets, and evaluating how vulnerable each asset is to those threats.
Service Catalogue Manager
- The Service Catalogue Manager is responsible for maintaining the Service Catalogue, ensuring that all information within the Service Catalogue is accurate and up-to-date.
Service Design Manager
- The Service Design Manager is responsible for producing quality, secure and resilient designs for new or improved services.
- This includes producing and maintaining all design documentation.
Service Level Manager
- The Service Level Manager is responsible for negotiating Service Level Agreements and ensuring that these are met.
- He makes sure that all IT Service Management processes, Operational Level Agreements and Underpinning Contracts are appropriate for the agreed service level targets.
- The Service Level Manager also monitors and reports on service levels.
- The Service Owner is responsible for delivering a particular service within the agreed service levels.
- Typically, he acts as the counterpart of the Service Level Manager when negotiating Operational Level Agreements (OLAs).
- Often, the Service Owner will lead a team of technical specialists or an internal support unit.
- The Supplier Manager is responsible for ensuring that value for money is obtained from all suppliers.
- He makes sure that contracts with suppliers support the needs of the business, and that all suppliers meet their contractual commitments.
- The Technical Analyst is a Technical Management role which provides technical expertise and support for the management of the IT infrastructure.
- There is typically one Technical Analyst or team of analysts for every key technology area.
- This role plays an important part in the technical aspects of designing, testing, operating and improving IT services.
- It is also responsible for developing the skills required to operate the IT infrastructure.
ITIL roles and boards - Service Transition
- The Application Developer is responsible for making available applications and systems which provide the required functionality for IT services.
- This includes the development and maintenance of custom applications as well as the customization of products from software vendors.
Change Advisory Board (CAB)
- A group of people that advises the Change Manager in the assessment, prioritization and scheduling of Changes.
- This board is usually made up of representatives from all areas within the IT organization, the business, and third parties such as suppliers.
- The Change Manager controls the lifecycle of all Changes.
- His primary objective is to enable beneficial Changes to be made, with minimum disruption to IT services.
- For important Changes, the Change Manager will refer the authorization of Changes to the Change Advisory Board (CAB).
- The Configuration Manager is responsible for maintaining information about Configuration Items required to deliver IT services.
- To this end he maintains a logical model, containing the components of the IT infrastructure (CIs) and their associations.
Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB)
- A sub-set of the Change Advisory Board who makes decisions about high impact Emergency Changes.
- Membership of the ECAB may be decided at the time a meeting is called, and depends on the nature of the Emergency Change.
- The Knowledge Manager ensures that the IT organization is able to gather, analyze, store and share knowledge and information.
- His primary goal is to improve efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge.
- The Project Manager is responsible for planning and coordinating the resources to deploy a major Release within the predicted cost, time and quality estimates.
- The Release Manager is responsible for planning and controlling the movement of Releases to test and live environments.
- His primary objective is to ensure that the integrity of the live environment is protected and that the correct components are released.
- The Test Manager ensures that deployed Releases and the resulting services meet customer expectations, and verifies that IT operations is able to support the new service.
ITIL roles and boards - Service Operation
1st Level Support
- The responsibility of 1st Level Support is to register and classify received Incidents and to undertake an immediate effort in order to restore a failed IT service as quickly as possible.
- If no ad-hoc solution can be achieved, 1st Level Support will transfer the Incident to expert technical support groups (2nd Level Support).
- 1st Level Support also processes Service Requests and keeps users informed about their Incidents' status at agreed intervals.
2nd Level Support
- 2nd Level Support takes over Incidents which cannot be solved immediately with the means of 1st Level Support.
- If necessary, it will request external support, e.g. from software or hardware manufacturers.
- The aim is to restore a failed IT Service as quickly as possible.
- If no solution can be found, the 2nd Level Support passes on the Incident to Problem Management.
3rd Level Support
- 3rd Level Support is typically located at hardware or software manufacturers (third-party suppliers).
- Its services are requested by 2nd Level Support if required for solving an Incident.
- The aim is to restore a failed IT Service as quickly as possible.
- The Access Manager grants authorized users the right to use a service, while preventing access to non-authorized users.
- The Access Manager essentially executes policies defined in Information Security Management.
- The Facilities Manager is responsible for managing the physical environment where the IT infrastructure is located.
- This includes all aspects of managing the physical environment, for example power and cooling, building access management, and environmental monitoring.
- The Incident Manager is responsible for the effective implementation of the Incident Management process and carries out the corresponding reporting.
- He represents the first stage of escalation for Incidents, should these not be resolvable within the agreed Service Levels.
IT Operations Manager
- An IT Operations Manager will be needed to take overall responsibility for a number of Service Operation activities.
- For instance, this role will ensure that all day-to-day operational activities are carried out in a timely and reliable way.
- IT Operators are the staff who perform the day-to-day operational activities.
- Typical responsibilities include: Performing backups, ensuring that scheduled jobs are performed, installing standard equipment in the data center.
Major Incident Team
- A dynamically established team of IT managers and technical experts, usually under the leadership of the Incident Manager, formulated to concentrate on the resolution of a Major Incident.
- The Problem Manager is responsible for managing the lifecycle of all Problems.
- His primary objectives are to prevent Incidents from happening, and to minimize the impact of Incidents that cannot be prevented.
- To this purpose he maintains information about Known Errors and Workarounds.
Service Request Fulfilment Group
- Service Request Fulfilment Groups specialize on the fulfillment of certain types of Service Requests.
- Typically, 1st Level Support will process simpler requests, while others are forwarded to the specialized Fulfilment Groups.
ITIL roles - Continual Service Improvement
- The Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Manager is responsible for managing improvements to IT Service Management processes and IT services.
- He will continually measure the performance of the service provider and design improvements to processes, services and infrastructure in order to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and cost effectiveness.
- The Process Architect is responsible for maintaining the Process Architecture (part of the Enterprise Architecture), coordinating all changes to processes and making sure that all processes cooperate in a seamless way.
- This role often also supports all parties involved in managing and improving processes, in particular the Process Owners. Some organizations combine this role with the Enterprise Architect role.
- A role responsible for ensuring that a process is fit for purpose.
- The Process Owner’s responsibilities include sponsorship, design, and continual improvement of the process and its metrics.
- In larger organizations there might be separate Process Owner and Process Manager roles, where the Process Manager has responsibility for the operational management of a process.
ITIL roles outside the IT organization
- Someone who buys IT services.
- The Customer of an IT service provider is the person or group who defines and agrees the service level targets.
- A person who uses one or several IT services on a day-to-day basis. Service Users are distinct from Customers, as some Customers do not use IT services directly.
Documenting ITIL roles and responsibilities: The RACI-Matrix
A RACI matrix ("responsibility assignment matrix") provides a summary of the ITIL roles and their levels of responsibility in the ITIL processes; it defines the following responsibilities: R - Responsible, A - Accountable, C - Consulted and I - Informed.
Roles in previous ITIL versions
- 1st Level Support
- 2nd Level Support
- 3rd Level Support
- Incident Management
- Problem Manager
- Change Manager
- Release Manager
- Configuration Manager
- Service Level Manager
- Availability Manager
- Capacity Manager
- IT Service Continuity Manager
- Financial Manager
- Change Advisory Board (CAB)
- Emergency Committee (EC)
- The Emergency Committee represents the body for the approval of changes in emergencies which, due to their urgency, do not allow an orderly convening of the CAB. It is convened by the Change Manager or his representative for emergencies, whereby the constitution is determined by each individual situation. In order that the EC is definitely in a position to act in an emergency, rules for availability and temporary replacements must be reached with the members.
- Corresponding board in ITIL V3 (2007 and 2011): ECAB.
- Application Manager
- The Application Manager is responsible for the creation, upgrading and supporting of an application or application-class. In the main he is Service Provider for the IT Service Management processes, i.e. he ensures the frictionless operation of the applications and supports application-related project activities.
- ITC Infrastructure Manager
- The ITC Infrastructure Manager is responsible for the provision and operation of certain infrastructure components. He is mainly Service Provider for the IT Service Management processes, i.e. he ensures the frictionless operation of the Infrastructure and supports project activities pertaining to changes in the infrastructure.
- Test and QS Manager
- As an unbiased body, the Test and QS Manager has the task of ensuring the high quality of the result of a process. This role is therefore always used when applications or infrastructure components must be subjected to testing.
- Corresponding role in ITIL V3 (2007 and 2011): Test Manager.
Is based on: ITIL role definitions from the ITIL Process Map