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ISO 200001 clause 8 unpacking the standard


This is the second of a series of blogs, relating to Clause 8 of the new ISO20000-1:2018, designed to unpack the requirements of the standard and remove that air of mystery that can so often form around standards. In this Blog we are looking at everything in clause 8.2 of the standard.

 Service portfolio

This is a new section in the standard but does draw together in a more coherent way some of the old requirements often overlooked in the old standard. It is helpful here to look at the note from the standard:

‘A service portfolio is used to manage the entire lifecycle of all services including proposed services, those in development, live services defined in the service catalogue(s) and services that are to be removed. The management of the service portfolio ensures that the service provider has the right mix of services. Service portfolio activities in this document include planning the services, control of parties involved in the service lifecycle, service catalogue management, asset management and configuration management.’

Simply put; your organisation should know what services it is providing, which ones are coming to the end of life and those that are in the pipeline for launching; without this knowledge it is difficult for any organisation to establish an effective Service Management System.


Planning Services

Planning services is a never-ending cycle and when your organisation comes to implement a Service Management System against the requirements of ISO20000-1:2018 it will find that processes will probably be in place that may either meet the requirements of the standard or need minor developments to bring in line with new requirements. Clause 8.2.2 helps your organisation to align its existing services to meet the requirements of the standard and should be used as a sign-post out to other parts of the standard e.g. 8.5 Design, build and transition.

Your organisation should understand its service management lifecycle clearly; how do new services get identified and brought into the live environment; how are existing services managed and changed whilst they are live and what is the process for bringing a service to end-of-life. Good gated-project management that covers the full life cycle of a service is potentially an ideal method for managing this element.

Once your organisation understands its cycle, it can then define the criteria and requirements of existing services, new services and changes to services: this is a documented information requirement in the standard.

When determining the criticality of services there are many influences that need to be taken into consideration as there may be different interested parties’ needs that must be understood, including your organisation itself, customers, third parties and suppliers.

There may be changes required to your organisation’s working practices so that the service management system isn’t at odds with the service management policy and service management objectives. The standard says that known limitations and risks must be considered when setting up the Service Management System. Known limitations is a term that often bemuses organisations but there are no hidden meanings here; simply, look at the service and determine what could limit the delivery of the service – people resources; equipment resources; skills; site accessibility times; travel or specific limitations recorded in the service contract with customers.

If your organisation conducts a SWOT and PESTLE (or similar) this may help to identify ‘Known Limitations’ and risks to the services being delivered.

Any changes in your organisation must be prioritised; further information on this will be given in a later blog.


Control of parties involved in the service lifecycle

This replaces the Governance of processes operated by other parties in the 2011 standard and from the outset the requirements are much clearer than before with regards the need of your organisation with ISO20000-1:2018 must be accountable for all components of the management system irrespective of which party is delivering it.

Put simply, when a service is defined, your organisation will determine who will deliver each element of the service and set appropriate SLAs and OLAs to ensure that there is a co-ordinated and effective approach towards the delivery of the service to the customer

The Relationship diagram in the standard demonstrates how your organisation should co-ordinate the delivery of the service from suppliers to customers:


When suppliers are selected there must be clear criteria in place for that selection process to ensure that the supplier can deliver an effective and reliable service; this should also extend to a criteria for acceptable degrees of ‘sub-contracting’ (remember that the further a task is sub-contracted away from the original supplier the more difficult it can become to deliver that service to acceptable quality levels). Typically, organisations add to contracts that if a service is to be sub-contracted by the supplier then appropriate approvals must be gained from your organisation co-ordinating the delivery of the service.

Criteria for selection might include:

  • Ability to deliver on time
  • Effective Business/Service Continuity plans
  • Appropriate certifications
  • Cost
  • Effective service reporting
  • Right to audit

When determining the measurement and evaluation of performance and effectiveness of services it is important to ensure that the results will give meaningful data; this is achieved by understanding what information you need from the results to enable improvements to be made.


We will continue to break down clause 8 in next weeks’ blog. Do you need assistance with ISO 20000-1? We’d be happy to help, simply contact us at:


This is the first of a series of blogs, relating to Clause 8 of the new ISO 20000-1:2018, designed to unpack the requirements of the standard and remove that air of mystery that can so often form around standards.

8.1 Operational Planning and Control

Clause 8.1 of the standard relates to Operational planning and control. At first glance, it appears to be a copy of the requirements of ISO 9001:2015, but further reading shows that it is different.

If you are setting up your Service Management System in the order that the standard has been written, you will have arrived at clause 8 of the standard with risks, opportunities and objectives that need to be considered when establishing the Service Management System. Without this knowledge to hand you could develop and management system that does not address these risks and opportunities or enables the setting objectives.

The standard requires us to ‘establish performance criteria for the processes based on requirements’ or, in other words, what performance measures are needed to determine the effectiveness of processes in the service management system. These might include, performance against targets; numbers of incidents and problems; lost and gained services; volumes against Supply and Demand; Security breaches; customer satisfaction and complaints… plus much more. These measures must be appropriate to each individual business; don’t measure and monitor things that do not bring service improvement or customer satisfaction.

Once you understand the measurement criteria you can begin to build the Service Management system to meet these requirements; ‘implementing control of the processes in accordance with established performance criteria’, performance criteria communicated through SLAs, OLAs and KPIs.

A good management system doesn’t stop there as it will have determined what documented information needs to be kept, to demonstrate achievement of measures and compliance to the standard.

The control of planned changes and the review of the consequences of unintended changes leaves many with a challenge. We all understand planned changes, especially if we have an effective Change Management Process in place which will naturally control planned changes. However, the consequences of unintended change are a little vaguer, probably because it covers a broad subject; so, let’s unpack this further.

Unintended change might result from process creep where a process has been developed and moved away from its agreed path, without consultation with other departments that might be affected, and the consequence is the unintended change brought upon other processes which rely on the initial process that has been changed.

Other areas where the consequences of unintended change may be found are related to impacts of Incidents; Problems and Non-conformities where the errors have repercussions that are either unexpected or unintended and need further attention.

Another example in relation to this standard is ‘service creep’ where items of equipment owned by a customer and outside the contracted service agreement are swallowed up in the service contract because of poor asset management and configuration management, and you are effectively end up servicing equipment for free.

If these types of things occur it is important that the actions are investigated through to the root cause level to prevent their recurrence.

The final line ins 8.1 is about outsourced processes – one line that is very important to ensure compliance to the standard. In this standard, if any process is outsourced to a third party the organisation has a responsibility to ensure that the outsourced process is effective through setting appropriate SLAs or OLAs; and agreed service review meetings should be set up.

By implementing the rest of clause 8 of this standard then compliance to 8.1 will be achieved naturally.

An introduction to ISO 20000-1

ISO20000-1:2018 – International Standard’s best-kept secret.

The ISO 20000-1 IT service management standard is often overlooked by organisations and has become the ‘best kept secret’

in the world of management system certification. This is now set to change with ISO20000-1:2018 being welcomed into the fold of the High-Level Standard (HLS) framework.

Whether your service is IT, Transport, providing Health-Related Day Care services, or any kind if Service Management that involves service planning and helpdesk activities, ISO20000-1 is the ideal tool for helping your organisation to establish the systems and processes necessary for achieving improved service planning and implementation, cost-effective delivery of service and customer satisfaction through continual improvement. Furthermore, ISO20000-1 lends itself to enhancing other standards such as ISO9001:2015; ISO27001:2013 and can be supported by ISO22301:2012.

This webinar was held on the 15th of November and covers the following:-

  • What is ISO 20000-1:2018?
  • Who should implement ISO20000-1?
  • What’s the difference between the 2011 and 2018 standards?
  • What are the benefits of ISO 20000-1:2018?
  • How ISO20000-1:2018 can enhance existing ISO certifications
  • How Blackmores can help you to achieve ISO 20000-1 certification

Need assistance with ISO 20000-1? Contact us on:

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