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Implementing ISO 20000

Implementing an IT service management system (SMS) that complies with ISO 20000 supports and enhances ITIL® practices and is the logical next step for organizations that have adopted the ITIL methodology.

This page provides everything you need to help you implement an ISO 20000-compliant SMS.

ISO 20000 implementation

ISO 20000 is the international standard that enables IT organizations to ensure that their IT service management (ITSM) processes are aligned both with the needs of the business and with international best practice.

Before embarking on your ISO 20000 implementation project, it is important to gain an understanding of the Standard and how it can benefit your organization. Securing management commitment and selecting a suitable implementation approach is essential for successful delivery of the project. The following introductory reading materials will help you address these points:

ISO 20000 implementation

Similarly to other management systems, the implementation of a service management system (SMS) that conforms with ISO/IEC 20000 is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. A detailed explanation of this approach is provided in the Exin-accredited book Implementing Service Quality based on ISO/IEC 20000, 3rd edition by Michael Kunas.


Plan the implementation and operation of your service management system

  • Establish the scope of service management
  • Define IT service management objectives
  • Determine the necessary processes
  • Define roles and responsibilities
  • Determine resources and timescales
  • Develop processes for managing risks
  • Develop methods for managing, auditing and improving service quality


Implement the service management plan

  • Manage budget and resources
  • Select, train and motivate staff 
  • Create documentation and monitor plans, policies, and procedures for the various processes – all documents are available in the ITSM, ITIL® & ISO/IEC 20000 Implementation Toolkit
  • Treat and mitigate risks


Monitor, measure, and review the achievement of service management objectives

  • Periodically review the management plan
  • Determine whether the SMS is compliant with ISO 20000
  • Create an audit program


Identify actions for continual improvement and increasing the effectiveness of the SMS

  • Publish a policy that contains a clear definition of roles and responsibilities for the improvement of service activities
  • Create a service improvement plan
  • Eliminate non-conformities

ISO 20000 implementation: Critical success factors

  • Team competence: Service management employees need to have a deep understanding of service quality standards and the service management process
  • Accountability: Each process has to have an owner
  • Documented policies and processes: Documentation of all activities is absolutely essential
  • Communications: Communication between team members and the processes for communicating are of the utmost importance
  • Audits: Perform regular conformance audits and make improvements.

Key resources to help you with your ISO 20000 project

At IT Governance, we provide products and services to assist individuals and organizations implementing ISO 20000 to become certification-ready. We offer products and services that cover every aspect of ISO 20000 implementation. 

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