Understanding ISOIEC 20000-1 A Simple and Effective Overview

The benefits of having different levels of ITIL® certified professionals working within the IT department of your organization are endless, but, how does your company prove it’s been working within ITIL® guidelines since certifications are only available for individuals?

That’s where ISO/IEC 20000-1 comes in

ISO/IEC 20000-1 is a Service Management System (SMS) standard that specifies the requirements for the service provider to plan, establish, implement, operate, monitor, review, maintain and improve an SMS.

Even though ITIL® provides a suitable basis for developing ISO/IEC 20000-1 compliant processes, there is no formal relationship between two.

The regulation’s requirements were created with the intention of being applicable to service providers of all types, size, and nature of services delivered.

ISO/IEC 20000-1 requires the use of the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” methodology (or PDCA) for all parts of the SMS and the services. As applied, PDCA in this part of the regulation can be described as:

ISO/IEC 20000-1 PDCA

As with other ISO Standards, ISO/IEC 20000-1 follows the high-level structure created by ISO known as Annex SL. This structure was created to provide a universal high-level structure, identical core text, and common terms and definitions for all management system standards.

This will make things much easier for organizations that must comply with more than one management system standard.


The regulation is made up of the following Clauses:

1. Scope

This clause outlines the purpose of the regulation and its use.

2. Normative References

There are no normative references in this regulation.

3. Terms and Definitions

In this clause, there are 37 definitions for terms used in the regulation. They include availability, configuration item, information security, preventative action, problem, request for change, service request etc.

4. Service Management System General Requirements

This clause is made up of Management responsibility, Governance of processes operated by other parties, Documentation management, Resource management and Establish and improve SMS.

5. Design and Transition of New or Changed Services

Businesses and organizations across the glove will always have the need for new and improved services. The following changes are all processes that shall be considered for the design and transition of the new changed service:

  • Plan new or changed services
  • Design and development of new or changed services
  • Transition of new or changed services

6. Service Delivery Processes

Clause 6 outlines the processes the service provider shall consider for service delivery including;

  • Service level management
  • Service reporting
  • Service continuity and availability management
  • Budgeting and accounting for services
  • Capacity management
  • Information security management

7. Relationship Processes

Business relationship management and Supplier management are the two relationship processes regarding IT service management covered in this clause.


As you can tell by the title of this blog post, this was a simple overview of ISO/IEC 20000-1. To learn more details about each of the clauses above along with details of Clause 8 (Resolution Processes) and Clause 9 (Control Process), download our ISO/IEC 20000-1 white paper.

Till next time!

Gus Oliveira


Gus Oliveira

Gustavo Oliveira é graduado em Administração de Empresas e em Economia pela Universidade de Massachusetts - Dartmouth (EUA). Gustavo possui experiência na indústria de software para excelência empresarial e também na área financeira e de desenvolvimento de negócios, atuando em grandes empresas nos Estados Unidos e no Brasil como analista financeiro, consultor de estratégia de negócios e consultor sênior de projetos.

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