Preparation notes for ITIL Foundation exam: Part 6 (continual service improvement)

This content is 7 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Last month I started a series of preparation notes as I study for my IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) Foundation certification:

This post continues by looking at the topic of the fifth and final stage in the ITIL service lifecycle: continual service improvement (CSI).

Continual Service Improvement

Generally, the performance of a service can be improved upon – that’s where CSI comes in:

“Focuses on increasing the efficiency, maximising the effectiveness and optimising the cost of services and the underlying ITSM processes.”


  • Kaizen:
    • Japanese term that means continuous improvement (literally, “change good”). Small steps.
  • IT Governance:
    • Defining expectations, assign power, verify performance. Has everything been done that should be.
    • Enterprise (business); Corporate (regulatory); IT (management, rules, regulations and framework of IT department).
  • CSI register:
    • Database/record of improvement opportunities. Part of the Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS).

“If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing” [William Edwards Deming]

Seven Step Improvement Process:

  1. Identify the strategy for improvement.
  2. Define what you will measure. (Because you can’t control what you can’t measure!)
  3. Gather the data.
  4. Process the data. Turn it into information.
  5. Analyse the information and data. Identify actions.
  6. Present and use the information. Changes to be made.
  7. Implement improvement.

Deming cycle (actually it’s not Deming’s work – but he’s often credited):

  • Plan.
  • Do.
  • Check. On progress.
  • Act. Maybe need another iteration…

The CSI Approach:

  1. What is the vision? Business goals, etc.
  2. Where are we now? Establish baselines.
  3. Where do we want to be? Set target (measurable).
  4. How do we get there? Process improvement – gap analysis, defined goals.
  5. Did we get there? Measure and check metrics.
  6. How do we keep up the momentum? Look to go around again…


That’s the end of this series – by the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to the exam testing centre…

40 questions, multiple choice, 60 minutes. £168.

Fingers crossed, creating these notes will help me – and I hope they help you out too.

These notes were written and published prior to sitting the exam (so this post doesn’t breach any NDA). They are intended as an aid and no guarantee is given or implied as to their suitability for others hoping to pass the exam.

ITIL® is a registered trademark of Axelos limited.

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