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Detailed mapping between ITIL V3 and ITIL 4. ITIL 4 practices and ITIL V3 processes: How the ITIL 4 practices map to the service lifecycle processes known from ITIL V3.
Fig. 1: What is new in ITIL4? ITIL V3 vs. ITIL V4 - comparison
Differences between ITIL V3 2011 and the new version of ITIL 4.

Organizations that need to plan their transition to the latest edition of ITIL® [1] will require a detailed mapping between ITIL V3 and ITIL 4: This page describes in detail where ITIL V4 has added new guidance, and how the contents in ITIL 4 can be traced back to specific elements of ITIL V3.


ITIL 4: What's new?

ITIL 4 - the most current edition of ITIL® [1] - was officially released in February 2019. As AXELOS state, "ITIL V4 expands on previous versions by providing a practical and flexible basis to support organizations on their journey to the new world of digital transformation".

ITIL V4 is thus an evolution of the familiar ITIL framework rather than a revolution, and still uses many fundamental elements from the previous version ITIL V3, as first published in 2007 and updated in 2011 ("ITIL 2011"). In particular, many of the new ITIL V4 practices correspond to processes known from ITIL V3.


Differences between ITIL V3 and V4


ITIL V3 vs. V4
ITIL V4 component [2] Differences: New content in ITIL V4 and how it relates to ITIL V3 [3]

ITIL 4 key concepts

Key concepts of service management
  • Some of these concepts are discussed in the introductory chapters of the ITIL V3 publications (see chapter: Service management as a practice).
  • ITIL 4 introduces a stronger focus on value creation and explains this concept in greater detail.

ITIL 4 four dimensions model

The four dimensions of service management
  • ITIL 4 defines four dimensions that should be considered to ensure a holistic approach to service management:
  1. Organizations and people,
  2. Information and technology,
  3. Partners and suppliers,
  4. Value streams and processes.
  • These dimensions are applicable to the service value system in general and to specific services.
  • ITIL V3 does not specifically describe a four dimensions model and the role of these aspects in service management but introduces service management as a "systems approach" with interconnected assets and service components. What is more, people, information, technology, partners and processes are key considerations in many ITIL V3 processes and other ITIL V3 guidance.
  • While processes figure prominently in ITIL V3, ITIL V4 relates to processes as well as value streams, where value streams describe how value is created for customers and users.

ITIL 4 service value system (SVS)

Service value system overview
  • The service value system (SVS) is a new concept in ITIL 4. The SVS describes "how all the components and activities in the organization work together to enable value creation".
  • The ITIL 4 service value system includes five components:
  1. Guiding principles,
  2. Governance,
  3. Service value chain,
  4. Continual improvement,
  5. And Practices.
  • ITIL V3, with its 26 service lifecycle processes, functions and other guidance arguably also describes how the components and activities in the organization work together.
  • ITIL 4 and the SVS take a more holistic approach, providing organizations with a flexible operating model that supports different work approaches. ITIL 4 does not define specific ITIL 4 processes, and service providers are free to design tailor-made processes that work for their organizations.
Guiding principles
  • The ITIL 4 guiding principles are universal recommendations that can guide organizations in many situations, such as "work holistically" and "keep it simple and practical".
  • These guiding principles are not part of the original ITIL V3 publications, but they have been adopted from ITIL® Practitioner, a more recent addition to the ITIL V3 portfolio.
  • The governance component of the ITIL 4 service value system is about directing and controlling the organization.
  • ITIL V3 covers this topic in the service strategy publication.
Service value chain
  • The ITIL 4 service value chain is the central element in the ITIL 4 service value system. It presents the key activities required to create value for customers. The six value chain activities are:
  1. Plan,
  2. Improve,
  3. Engage,
  4. Design and transition,
  5. Obtain / build,
  6. Deliver and support.
  • For each value chain activities, ITIL 4 outlines the key inputs and outputs.
  • The central element in ITIL V3 is the service lifecycle with five stages: Service strategy, design, transition, operation and continual service improvement. This lifecycle is not identical with the ITIL 4 service value chain, but on a more detailed level many of the activities in the ITIL V3 service lifecycle processes broadly correspond to the value chain activities.
Continual improvement
  • The ITIL 4 model for continual improvement describes a structured approach to identifying and implementing improvements that can be used at all levels of the organization.
  • The continual improvement model in ITIL 4 contains seven steps and is in some ways comparable with the seven-step improvement process known from ITIL V3.
ITIL 4 practices
  • Instead of 26 processes, ITIL 4 presents 34 practices as "sets of organizational resources designed for performing work or accomplishing an objective".
  • It is in these practices where the roots of ITIL 4 in ITIL V3 are most visible, because many of the practices correspond to ITIL V3 processes.
  • See below: A detailed comparison between ITIL 4 practices and ITIL V3 processes


Has ITIL V4 dropped the ITIL V3 service lifecycle?

A key innovation of ITIL V3 was the introduction of the service lifecycle, consisting of five service lifecycle stages (service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement). The ITIL V3 processes are distributed across this service lifecycle; for instance, the incident management process is part of the service operation stage.

The idea behind organizing the ITIL processes in this way was to establish a Deming-like plan-do-check-act cycle focused on continual improvement.

ITIL V4 has dropped most references to the service lifecycle, but continual improvement has remained a key concept. For example, continual improvement is an element of the ITIL 4 service value system, and the ITIL 4 service value chain with its six activities (plan, improve, engage, design and transition, obtain/build, deliver and support) is very reminiscent of the ITIL V3 service lifecycle.


Where in ITIL 4 are the ITIL V3 processes?

ITIL 4 practices and ITIL 3 processes: 34 management practices from ITIL 4 vs. 26 service lifecycle processes from ITIL V3.
Fig. 2: ITIL 4 practices and ITIL processes
34 management practices (ITIL 4) vs. 26 service lifecycle processes (ITIL V3).

ITIL V3 defines 26 processes across the service lifecycle. In ITIL 4, these 26 processes have been replaced by 34 "practices" (see fig. 2).

Some of them are new, but many of the ITIL 4 practices were formerly known as ITIL V3 processes.

For a detailed cross-reference, see chapter: ITIL 4 practices vs. ITIL V3 processes.

So the ITIL V3 processes are still alive, and what is more, the authors of ITIL 4 state that ITIL V3 is still valid guidance that can be used for defining service management processes.

But it is also worth noting that ITIL 4 is not prescriptive about processes, and gives service providers more freedom to design tailor-made processes that work for the organization.

This presents an opportunity for a fresh start with ITIL 4 processes, in line with the advice in ITIL 4 to "keep things simple and practical":

The YaSM® process model describes a streamlined, clear-cut set of service management processes that is a good match for the leaner, more flexible operating models favored by today's service provider organizations.


ITIL 4 practices vs. ITIL V3 processes

The tables below provide a detailed account of how the ITIL 4 practices map to the service lifecycle processes known from ITIL V3:


General management practices

ITIL 4 management practices [7] Related ITIL V3 processes [8] Differences: ITIL 3 vs. ITIL 4
Architecture management
  • --
  • ITIL V3 includes an introduction to enterprise architecture management in the service strategy publication[a].
Continual improvement
  • The seven-step improvement process
  • Continual improvement in ITIL 4 is about ongoing improvement of the organization’s services, practices and all other elements required for the provision of services.
  • In ITIL V3, Continual service improvement (CSI) is the fifth stage of the service lifecycle. The ITIL V3 CSI publication[e] describes CSI principles, methods and techniques and specifies one CSI process: The "seven-step improvement process".
  • ITIL 4 advises that organizations use a continual improvement register (CRI) to manage their improvement ideas. This corresponds to the CSI register used in ITIL V3, and also to the service improvement plan (SIP).
Information security management
  • Information security management
  • Access management
  • One area of the security management practice in ITIL 4 is identity and access management, which corresponds to the ITIL V3 process of access management.
Knowledge management
  • Knowledge management
  • --
Measurement and reporting
  • --
  • ITIL V3 does not define a measurement and reporting process, but measurement and reporting are key activities in several ITIL V3 processes, such as service level management and the seven-step improvement process.
Organizational change management
  • --
  • Organizational change management (OCM) is a set of management techniques and capabilities rather than a process.
  • OCM addresses the human side of changes and is different from the ITIL V3 process of change management (which aims to minimize risk from changes to the operating environment).
Portfolio management
  • Service portfolio management
  • Business relationship management
  • The ITIL 4 practice of portfolio management refers to various types of portfolios, such as service, project and customer portfolios.
Project management
  • Transition planning and support
  • The ITIL V3 process of transition planning and support, part of the service transition lifecycle stage, is primarily about planning and coordinating service transition projects.
  • The ITIL 4 practice of project management is broader in scope. It aims to ensure that all projects in the organization are completed successfully.
Relationship management
  • Business relationship management
  • Relationship management in ITIL 4 refers to relationships with all stakeholders of the organization, including customers.
Risk management
  • --
  • Risk management is not on the list of ITIL V3 processes, but risk management techniques are described in several ITIL V3 processes, and ITIL V3 calls for "coordinated risk assessment exercises".
Service financial management
  • Financial management for IT services
  • --
Strategy management
  • Strategy management for IT services
  • --
Supplier management
  • Supplier management
  • The ITIL 4 practice of supplier management includes new guidance on multi-sourcing and service integration (an established concept from the SIAM™ framework).
  • ITIL 4 has dropped the ITIL V3 term underpinning contract (UC) and uses more generic terms instead (contract, agreement, warranty requirements, etc.).
Workforce and talent management
  • --
  • ITIL V3 does not include a specific process for workforce and talent management.
  • The ITIL V3 publications provide some guidance on competence development and training.


Service management practices

ITIL 4 management practices Related ITIL V3 processes ITIL V4 vs. V3: The changes
Availability management
  • Availability management
  • --
Business analysis
  • --
  • This ITIL 4 practice describes techniques for analyzing systems, processes, architectures, etc.
  • Some of these techniques are applied in ITIL V3 processes, for instance as service requirements are defined during the service design stage.
Capacity and performance management
  • Capacity management
  • Demand management
  • --
Change enablement
  • Change management
  • Change evaluation
  • --
Incident management
  • Incident management
  • --
IT asset management
  • --
  • ITIL 4 introduces IT asset management (ITAM) as the practice that "aims to manage the lifecycles and total costs of all IT assets (financially valuable components)". ITAM is sometimes referred to as 'financial asset management' or 'fixed asset management'.
  • ITIL V3 includes an overview of IT asset management activities and concepts as part of the service asset and configuration management process, but otherwise states that fixed asset management is not described in detail.
Monitoring and event management
  • Event management
  • --
Problem management
  • Problem management
  • --
Release management
  • Release and deployment management
  • ITIL 4 includes some additional guidance for managing releases in Agile/DevOps environments.
Service catalogue management
  • Service catalogue management
  • --
Service configuration management
  • Service asset and configuration management
  • --
Service continuity management
  • IT service continuity management (ITSCM)
  • --
Service design
  • Design coordination
  • Service level management
  • Service design is the second service lifecycle stage in ITIL V3, with design coordination and service level management as key processes.
  • Service design in ITIL V3 includes further processes such as capacity management, availability management, IT service continuity management, etc., which correspond to the ITIL 4 practices of the same names.
Service desk
  • Incident management
  • Request fulfillment
  • ITIL V3 refers to the service desk as a "function", whose activities are described in the incident management and request fulfilment processes.
Service level management
  • Service level management
  • --
Service request management
  • Request fulfillment
  • --
Service validation and testing
  • Service validation and testing
  • --


Technical management practices

ITIL 4 management practices Related ITIL V3 processes ITIL 3 vs. ITIL 4: The changes
Deployment management
  • Release and deployment management
  • The ITIL 4 practice of deployment management explains various approaches to the deployment of hardware, software and other service components into the live environment.
  • The ITIL V3 process of release and deployment management includes similar guidance on the various deployment options.
  • ITIL 4 provides some additional advice for environments with multiple suppliers.
Infrastructure and platform management
  • --
  • This ITIL 4 practice is concerned with governing the use of technologies in the organization, including updated guidance on cloud services and cloud computing.
  • There is very limited guidance on this topic in ITIL V3. The service strategy publication[a] includes an appendix with an introduction to cloud offerings and their impact on the service strategy.
Software development and management
  • --
  • ITIL 4 provides a high-level overview of software development and management activities.
  • ITIL V3 describes the application management function in the service operation publication[d], where similar content can be found.




[AXELOS, 2019]. -- AXELOS: ITIL® Foundation, ITIL 4 Edition. - The Stationery Office; Norwich, UK, February 2019.
[a] [Cabinet Office, 2011a]. -- The Cabinet Office: ITIL® Service Strategy (2011 Edition). - The Stationery Office; London, UK, July 2011.
[b] [Cabinet Office, 2011b]. -- The Cabinet Office: ITIL® Service Design (2011 Edition). - The Stationery Office; London, UK, July 2011.
[c] [Cabinet Office, 2011c]. -- The Cabinet Office: ITIL® Service Transition (2011 Edition). - The Stationery Office; London, UK, July 2011.
[d] [Cabinet Office, 2011d]. -- The Cabinet Office: ITIL® Service Operation (2011 Edition). - The Stationery Office; London, UK, July 2011.
[e] [Cabinet Office, 2011e]. -- The Cabinet Office: ITIL® Continual Service Improvement (2011 Edition). - The Stationery Office; London, UK, July 2011.



[1] ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited.
[2] The ITIL 4 content referenced in this table is based on ITIL 4 Foundation, published in February 2019.
[3] The ITIL V3 content referenced in this table is based on the 2011 edition of ITIL V3.
[4] YaSM® is a registered trademark of IT Process Maps GbR.
[5] SIAM™ is a registered trademark of EXIN.
[6] VeriSM™ is a registered trademark of IFDC.
[7] The management practices in this table are based on ITIL 4 Foundation, published in February 2019.
[8] The ITIL processes in this table are based on ITIL V3 2011.

By:  Stefan Kempter Author: Stefan Kempter, IT Process Maps GbR  and  Andrea Kempter Contributor: Andrea Kempter, IT Process Maps GbR, IT Process Maps.


What's new? Differences: ITIL V3 and V4 Service lifecycle in ITIL 4 ITIL 4 processes ITIL 4 practices vs. ITIL V3 processes