The primary method that ITIL uses to encourage consistency is through the definition and management of processes for various IT service management activities. The purpose of a process is to define a series of repeatable steps that can be performed consistently, at a predictable level of cost, in order to produce a consistent and predictable result. There are several specific methods that ITIL uses to encourage a consistent approach to managing IT services.
ITIL encourages the definition of various models for common, well-understood, repeatable activities. For example, change models can be defined when the organization is aware of a specific type of change. Change models can also be defined when the organization has a good understanding of the steps that regularly occur to perform that specific change.
Also ITIL encourages organizations to define request models for commonly offered requests, incident models for common and well-understood incident, and problem models that define specific actions for handling problems. These models are intended to ensure a consistent approach to handling those specific activities when they are encountered.
ITIL encourages automation of repetitive activities where it makes sense. For example, request fulfillment often involves repetitive, well-understood activities that can be built into an automation platform and performed with intervention from the service provider. Consistency in this case is a way that organization can expand their breadth of covered of customer and user interactions without dramatically increasing their IT budget.
ITIL also defines orderly sets of activities for various service management processes. Take, for example, the incident management process. The incident management process as defined by ITIL is very mature, and specifies a series of steps used to ensure that service is restored as quickly as possible. Best practice indicates that when an organization follows the consistent set of steps given by ITIL when handling incidents, organizational objectives are likely to be met and business value generated.
This is an excerpt from the Global Knowledge white paper, The ABCs of ITIL.