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Comparison: YaSM and ITIL® (ITIL 4)

Part of: YaSM vs. other service management frameworks and standards


YaSM® [1] and ITIL® [2] have common roots and share the same principles, so users familiar with ITIL will find the YaSM model and the YaSM service management processes easy to read.

This page provides a detailed account of how the YaSM service management model relates to the latest edition of ITIL 4. If your organization uses ITIL V3, there is another page with a comparison between YaSM and ITIL V3 (ITIL 2011).



ITIL® has a history of some 30 years. It has gone through several revisions and has grown into a large and sophisticated framework that many find difficult to understand.

Against this backdrop, many organizations that wish to adopt ITIL best practices are wondering where to begin. Ultimately, service providers will need to define tailor-made processes that work for the organization, and YaSM provides an alternative to ITIL that makes this task easier:


The YaSM model and ITIL

The YaSM model describes a set of streamlined service management processes, with a clear-cut structure.

This does not mean that YaSM is simplistic: Every ITIL process or practice serves a purpose, and YaSM does not merely omit some processes, as various approaches for 'light' or 'lean' ITIL would advocate. Rather, YaSM is less complex and easier to read because it introduces a simple and intuitive process structure.

The YaSM process model follows the principles behind ITIL - and also the guidance provided in other service management frameworks and approaches, such as COBIT®, SIAM® and VeriSM™. What is more, the YaSM processes are 100% compatible with the requirements of ISO 20000, the international standard for service management.

Note: YaSM® is an independent service management model and is not officially endorsed by the owners of ITIL®.


ITIL 4 processes and ITIL 4 process templates?

Earlier versions of ITIL were organized around service management processes, but ITIL 4 describes a service value system and service management practices that do not specifically relate to processes.

ITIL 4 and service management processes (YaSM): ITIL 4 process management based on service lifecycle and support processes from the YaSM process model.
Fig. 2: ITIL 4 and YaSM
ITIL 4 processes and process templates based on YaSM service management.

Technically speaking, there are thus no "ITIL 4 processes" - but to apply the ITIL 4 guidance in practice organizations surely need to define suitable processes. (The authors of ITIL 4 state that defined processes "ensure the organization is enabling value creation for all stakeholders efficiently and effectively".)

So the question arises: Can a service management process model like YaSM define ITIL® 4 processes, and is it possible to provide ITIL 4 process templates?

The answer is yes, although translating ITIL 4 into process templates is not as straightforward as it is with ITIL V3 (see fig. 2).

There is no defined set of ITIL 4 processes and to work out ITIL 4-aligned processes, based on the ITIL 4 practices, users must apply their own judgement.

Not every ITIL 4 practice can be translated into a process (some describe management techniques and principles rather than activities).

But a comparison between ITIL 4 and ITIL V3 shows that most of the ITIL 4 practices can be traced back to ITIL V3 processes. For example, the ITIL 4 practice of incident management clearly corresponds to the familiar incident management process.

It is therefore not wrong to argue that ITIL 4 includes guidance for processes, and providing templates for ITIL 4 processes is quite feasible.

What is more, ITIL 4 is not prescriptive and in favor of "keeping things simple and practical". This presents an opportunity for a fresh start with a less complex, streamlined and well-defined set of ITIL 4 process templates, as provided in the YaSM model. These templates can be easily adapted to create tailor-made processes, in line with the needs of specific organizations.


Processes and value streams in ITIL 4

In the four dimensions model, ITIL 4 relates to "value streams and processes", and organizations are advised to identify their processes and value streams. But there is often confusion around the two concepts because they are somewhat similar: Both describe sequences of activities and both create value. So should organizations focus on processes or value streams?

In practice, most organizations will use processes as well as value streams:

Processes represent the organization's operating model, and properly defined processes are important because they ensure, among others, that

  • Employees and other stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities and accountabilities
  • Repeated tasks are carried out consistently and efficiently
  • Rules and compliance requirements are observed.

Typical examples for service management processes are service portfolio management, incident management, change management, etc.

Processes are often documented in a process model, for which the YaSM Process Map provides an example and a complete set of service management process templates.

Value streams are somewhat similar to processes, but their purpose is different: Value streams are mostly representations of the steps required to deliver a service to a customer. They show "end-to-end" views and typically start with a customer need and end with that need being fulfilled. Value streams are often included in service definitions to describe how value is created and how users interact with the service.

An example of a value stream could be the sequence of steps required for the onboarding of new customers to a specific service.


ITIL 4 components and YaSM

The following table provides an overview of the ITIL 4 components versus processes and content from the YaSM service management model.

Comparison: ITIL 4 Components vs. YaSM Service Management
ITIL 4 Components[3] Related YaSM processes and content
ITIL 4 key concepts
Key concepts of service management
  • The first part of ITIL describes the key concepts of service management.
  • The YaSM model is based on these concepts and explains how organizations can bring them to life in their service management processes.
ITIL 4 four dimensions model
The four dimensions of service management
  • ITIL defines four dimensions that should be considered to ensure a holistic approach to service management: Organizations and people, information and technology, partners and suppliers, as well as value streams and processes. These dimensions are applicable to the service value system in general and to specific services.
  • The YaSM processes are designed to consider these key aspects of service management as services are designed, operated and continually improved.
The ITIL 4 service value system (SVS)
Service value system overview
  • The ITIL service value system (SVS) describes "how all the components and activities in the organization work together to enable value creation". It includes five components: Guiding principles, governance, service value chain, practices and continual improvement.
  • The ITIL SVS is in some ways similar to the holistic systems approach known from other service management frameworks and standards, such as ISO 20000 and VeriSM.
  • The YaSM model supports organizations that wish to adopt a systems approach for managing their services, providing detailed processes, document templates, policies, etc.
ITIL 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".
  • The YaSM model helps organizations to apply many of these principles in practice.
  • The governance component of the ITIL service value system is about directing and controlling the organization.
  • The YaSM processes include a number of activities that are concerned with governance, such as establishing policies, performing reviews at different organizational levels, defining the service strategy and monitoring performance.
ITIL service value chain
  • The ITIL service value chain is the central element in the ITIL service value system. It presents the key activities required to create value for customers. The six value chain activities are: Plan, improve, engage, design and transition, obtain / build, deliver and support.
  • The YaSM model describes 19 service management processes. This configuration is not identical with the ITIL 4 service value chain, but on a more detailed level the activities in the YaSM processes broadly correspond to the value chain activities.
Continual improvement
  • The ITIL model for continual improvement describes a structured approach to identifying and implementing improvements that can be used at all levels of the organization.
  • The YaSM model applies this approach in a number of processes, such as the service improvement process.
ITIL 4 practices


ITIL 4 practices and YaSM processes

The 34 ITIL 4 practices include 14 general management practices, 17 service management practices, and 3 technical management practices.
Fig. 3: ITIL 4 practices
General management, service management and technical management practices.

ITIL 4 describes 34 management practices as "organizational resources designed for performing work or accomplishing an objective".

Some of these ITIL 4 practices (vgl. Abb. 3) are general management practices or methods adopted from technology management, but most of them correspond to the processes known from the previous edition of ITIL V3 and other service management frameworks.

As YaSM was designed to be aligned with ITIL, there is generally good alignment between the ITIL 4 practices and the YaSM service management processes, as described in the following tables:

The YaSM model is thus a good starting point for defining ITIL 4 processes.




ITIL 4 general management practices and related YaSM processes

ITIL 4 management practices[4] Related YaSM processes Comparison: YaSM service management and ITIL 4
Architecture management
  • (Various YaSM processes)
  • This ITIL 4 practice discusses the importance of architecture management and how the various types of architecture support the service value chain.
  • Several YaSM processes are concerned with managing the different ITIL 4 architecture domains.
  • Architecture domains include services, processes, capabilities, information and data, technology, etc.
Continual improvement
  • 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.
  • There are several YaSM processes that support continual improvement, in particular
  • ITIL 4 advises that organizations use a continual improvement register (CRI) to manage their improvement ideas. In the YaSM model, improvement ideas are managed through the service and process improvement plans.
Information security management
  • --
Knowledge management
  • (Various YaSM processes)
  • The ITIL 4 practice of knowledge management is concerned with collecting and sharing knowledge of all types in various forms.
  • YaSM takes the view that knowledge is managed, and knowledge management principles are used in many service management processes.
  • For example, the incident management process maintains a knowledge base to support the resolution of service incidents.
Measurement and reporting
Organizational change management
  • --
  • Organizational change management (OCM) is a set of techniques and capabilities rather than a process. OCM addresses the human side of changes and aims to ensure that changes are implemented smoothly.
  • OCM can be applied in many situations, whenever the organization needs to change its processes, behaviors, culture, etc.
Portfolio management
  • The ITIL 4 practice of portfolio management refers to various types of portfolios, such as services, projects and customers.
  • Major decisions about these portfolios are taken at the strategic level. For example, the strategic process in YaSM is responsible for determining the right mix of services to be offered to customers.
Project management
  • --
Relationship management
  • The relationship management practice in ITIL 4 is broader in scope and refers to relationships with all stakeholders of the organization, including customers.
Risk management
  • Risks are addressed in several YaSM processes at various levels. For example:
    • The strategic process assesses risks to the organization’s business model.
    • Security management addresses security risks.
    • Continuity management deals with risks from major events and disasters.
Service financial management
  • --
Strategy management
  • --
Supplier management
  • --
Workforce and talent management
  • --


ITIL 4 service management practices and related YaSM processes

ITIL 4 management practices[4] Related YaSM processes Comparison: YaSM service management and ITIL 4
Availability management
  • (Various YaSM processes)
  • The YaSM model does not contain a specific availability management process. Rather, service availability is treated as an aspect of services to be managed through the service lifecycle processes.
  • Availability requirements are defined during the service design stage, and services are then built with those requirements in mind. The operating process will be responsible for measuring the achieved availability levels, which allows the service improvement process to take action if availability must be enhanced.
Business analysis
  • (Various YaSM processes)
  • This ITIL 4 practice describes techniques for analyzing systems, processes, architectures, etc.
  • Some of these techniques are applied in the YaSM processes, for instance as service requirements are defined in the service design process.
Capacity and performance management
  • (Various YaSM processes)
  • YaSM does not contain a specific capacity management process but treats service capacity and performance as aspects to be managed through the service lifecycle processes.
  • Capacity and performance requirements are defined during the service design stage, and services are then built with those requirements in mind. The operating process will be responsible for measuring capacity and performance levels, which allows the service improvement process to take action if capacity must be adjusted or performance improved.
Change control
  • --
Incident management
  • YaSM takes the view that the management of incidents and service requests are very similar in nature. There is thus one process in YaSM to handle incidents as well as service requests.
IT asset management
  • The key activities of IT asset management as described in ITIL 4, such as maintaining a list of IT assets, recording changes and providing current information about IT assets, are included in the YaSM process for managing configuration information.
Monitoring and event management
  • --
Problem management
  • --
Release management
  • In the YaSM model, new or changed services are made available for use through the service implementation process.
  • Smaller, incremental changes to services (as in Agile/DevOps environments) are typically managed through the service improvement process.
Service catalogue management
  • The YaSM process for maintaining the service portfolio contains activities for publishing service catalogs and keeping them consistent and up to date, in line with updates to the service portfolio.
Service configuration management
  • --
Service continuity management
  • --
Service design
  • --
Service desk
  • The service desk practice highlights the key aspects to be considered when offering a single point of contact with customers and users. It does not describe service desk activities.
  • In the YaSM model, the typical service desk activities are described in the incident and service request resolution process.
Service level management
  • (Various YaSM processes)
  • In the YaSM model, several processes are concerned with managing service levels throughout the service lifecycle.
  • The required service levels - as well as the required service outcomes - are defined in the service design stage, based on the needs of the customers. Monitoring and reporting of service levels is the responsibility of service operation. The service improvement process will review the achieved service levels against the committed levels and initiate corrective action if required.
Service request management
  • YaSM takes the view that the management of incidents and service requests are very similar in nature. There is thus one process in YaSM to handle incidents as well as service requests.
Service validation and testing
  • YaSM does not contain a separate validation and testing process.
  • Rather, the service build process contains the activities for testing the infrastructure and other capabilities required for a new or changed service.


ITIL 4 technical management practices and related YaSM processes

ITIL 4 management practices[4] Related YaSM processes Comparison: YaSM service management and ITIL 4
Deployment management
  • (Various YaSM processes)
Infrastructure and platform management
  • --
  • This ITIL practice is about providing the right mix of technologies to the organization and governing the use of technology solutions. It includes guidance on cloud services and cloud computing.
  • The infrastructure and platform management practice can be applied in various YaSM processes, such as the strategic and service design processes.
Software development and management
  • --
  • ITIL (and all other service management frameworks) do not provide detailed guidance on software development.
  • The YaSM model describes the interfaces with software development, but otherwise it is considered a discipline of its own and is outside the scope of the YaSM service management processes.


Related articles

ITIL framework alternative: The YaSM Framework

YaSM - an alternative to ITIL®?

by: Stefan Kempter

Once in a while I get asked during our webinars if YaSM is an alternative to ITIL. It almost seems quite a few people would like to avoid having to deal with ITIL - but is it a good idea to ignore it? [...]


YaSM: A Lightweight ITIL?

Is YaSM 'ITIL lite' or 'lean ITIL'?

by: Stefan Kempter

YaSM is definitely lighter than ITIL (actually we decided to create YaSM because many of our customers looked for something lighter). But we don't want YaSM to be confused with what is often called "ITIL lite" or "lean ITIL" because we think the existing approaches are often flawed: [...]


The usage of ITIL in non-IT environments

Initiative by AXELOS: ITIL® for non-IT service providers

by: Stefan Kempter

AXELOS announced an initiative to promote the usage of ITIL® in non-IT environments: Their aim is provide additional guidance, so that non-IT service providers are better able to benefit from ITIL. [...]



  • [AXELOS, 2019]. -- AXELOS: ITIL® Foundation, ITIL 4 Edition. - The Stationery Office; Norwich, UK, February 2019.


External links

  • [IT Process Wiki]. -- S. Kempter & Kempter, A.: "IT Process Wiki". -- The Wiki about the IT Infrastructure Library ITIL® (ITIL 4, ITIL 2011, ITIL V3 & V2), ISO 20000 and IT Service Management (ITSM). - IT Process Maps; Lindau (Bodensee), Germany.
  • [IT Process Wiki - ITIL Processes]. -- S. Kempter: IT Process Wiki, "ITIL Processes". - IT Process Maps; Lindau (Bodensee), Germany.



[1] YaSM stands for "Yet another Service Management Model". YaSM® is a registered trademark of IT Process Maps GbR.
[2] ITIL® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited. - IT Infrastructure Library® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited. ITIL official site: axelos.com/best-practice-solutions/itil
[3] The ITIL guidance referenced in this table is based on ITIL 4 Foundation, published in February 2019.
[4] The management practices in this table are based on ITIL 4 Foundation, published in February 2019.


Is based on: The YaSM Process Map - Document: "YaSM and ITIL®"

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


The YaSM model and ITIL ITIL 4 processes and ITIL 4 process templates? ITIL 4 components and YaSM ITIL 4 practices and YaSM processes