The purpose of continual improvement is to ensure the service and product remains aligned to the business continuously. This requires visibility into the service environment in entirety, as the overall improvement is the result of improvement carried out at all levels. That is people, processes, suppliers, IT Infrastructure, software application etc., are to perform at required level and facilitate co-creation of value.
The continual improvement uses the continual improvement model depicted below, which provides the required approach for continual improvement, which applies to SVS in entirety.
Figure 34: Continual improvement model (Ref: ITIL4® Manual from AXELOS)
What is the vision:
The vision of the organization has to be understood i.e. high-level direction, organization context, role of stakeholders, expected value etc.
For example, organization has the vision to achieve 95% minimum customer satisfaction.
Where are we now:
This step focuses on conducting the assessment to understand the current performance and achievement of services.
For example, for assessing and understanding the customer satisfaction score, let us assume the current satisfaction level is 80%
Where do we want to be?
This step focuses on the analyzing the findings from previous step “where are we now” and sets the target for improvement in immediate next succession.
For example, the immediate next target for improving the customer satisfaction level is 85%
How do we get there?
This step focuses on defining the required action to be taken to improve the target set by “where do we want to be” step
For example: defining the approach / plan for achieving the 85% for customer satisfaction by considering all the factors which are required to achieve 85%
This step focuses on executing the proposed plan from step “how do we get there” and implementing all those actions planned.
For example, implementing the plan defined to achieve 85% customer satisfaction
Did we get there:
This step focuses on checking if the action taken resulted in achievement of the target set by, “where do we wanted to be”
For example: check if the customer satisfaction is increased to 85%
How to keep the momentum going:
This activity stresses on continuing the actions required for continual improvement irrespective of the achievement found in “did we get there” step. i.e. If it achieved the target, continue doing to improve further, if it did not improve, keep putting efforts to improve.
For example, if 85% target is achieved move forward and set the next target, if not check on required action to reach 85%
The continual improvement of a service & service performance should focus on ensuring significant benefits to business, by applying the guiding principles defined in ITIL® effectively. All the steps defined in continual improvement model are significantly important and they should consider all seven principles, in every initiative of improvements.
The seven principles defined in ITIL®4 are followed while performing every step of the continual improvement model so that there are increased chances of becoming successful, for overall improvement of the services.
The table below outlines the steps of continual improvement model & each of the guiding principles is particularly relevant to them. However, all principles are applicable to all steps at some level, it highlights the most important (primarily) principles considered in the continual improvement model.
Note: “Y” in the above table refers to “Yes – Applicable”
|Focus on value||Start Where you are||Progress iteratively|
|Think and work|
|Keep it simple|
|What is the vision|
Where are we now
Where do we want
|How do we get there|
|Did we get There|
How to keep the
To summarize, in this module we looked at the continual service improvement model & its steps, and alignment of continual improvement model steps with the guiding principles.