Whether you’re in the IT world or just casually using technology, you’ve likely encountered situations where you’ve needed assistance or a service. In the realm of IT Service Management, these requests for services or assistance go through a process called “request fulfilment.” Let’s break this down in easy-to-understand terms.

What Triggers an IT Request?

Most of the time, a request gets rolling in two main ways:

  1. Direct Interaction: A user directly calls the service desk, asking for assistance or a particular service.
  2. Digital Forms: A user completes a web-based form, selecting from a variety of available request types.

Breaking Down the Process: Inputs and Outputs

Inputs: These are like the raw materials or the initial information that fuels the request fulfilment process. Examples of inputs include:

  • Work requests – tasks that need to be done.
  • Authorization forms – documents that give permission for a particular action or service.
  • Service requests – requests for a specific service or solution.
  • Requests from various sources, such as phone calls, emails, or web interfaces.
  • RFCs (Request For Changes) – requests to change something in the existing system.
  • Requests for information.

Outputs: Think of these as the end-products or results that come out after the request has been processed. Examples of outputs are:

  • Service requests that have been approved or rejected.
  • Status reports that show how the request is progressing.
  • Completed service requests.
  • Incidents (problems) that might need rerouting.
  • Standard changes or RFCs.
  • Updates to assets or configuration items.
  • Completed or closed service requests.
  • Cancelled service requests.

How Does Request Fulfilment Interact with Other Processes?

Interfaces in this context refer to the interactions between request fulfilment and other IT processes. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

1. Service Strategy: Costs associated with fulfilling requests might need reporting and recovery through financial management for IT services.

2. Service Design: The service catalogue ensures that users know what requests are available and aligns these requests with the services they support.

3. Service Transition: This stage involves several interactions:

  • Release and Deployment Management: Some requests might require deploying new components. These components are prepared ahead of time and only launched when requested.
  • Service Asset and Configuration Management: When a request results in changes, the Configuration Management System (CMS) updates accordingly. This could involve updating software licenses or tracking physical assets.
  • Change Management: If a request requires changes to the existing system, it’s documented and goes through the change management process.

4. Service Operation: This is where many users interact with IT:

  • Incident and Problem Management: Some service requests might come via the service desk and be treated as incidents. These incidents might lead to the creation of a service request.
  • Access Management: This ensures only authorized individuals can make requests, especially when dealing with sensitive information.

In summary, request fulfilment is an organized method to manage and address user requests in IT. By understanding its triggers, inputs, outputs, and interfaces, we can appreciate the complexity and efficiency of how IT meets user needs. Whether you’re making a simple request or involved in its fulfilment, it’s a process designed to ensure that technology works for everyone.

References: ITIL Service Operation, 2011 edition, ISBN 9780113313075