IT Service Management – ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 Introduction and Implementation Guide

Service Management, and in particular, IT Service Management, are hot topics today, with the release of VeriSM, ITIL 4, CMMI-SVC 2.0 and COBIT 2019. None of these methodologies and frameworks can claim to be standards though. That role is for ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018, the international standard for Service Management. This is the third revision of the standard, which has previously been published in 2011 and 2005.

The Basics

The ISO/IEC 20000-1 Introduction and Implementation Guide provides and overview of the ISO/IEC 20000-1 standard, which contains requirements to establish, implement, maintain and continually improve a service management system: the set of policies, processes and organizational structures used to provide services. Service can be of any kind, both IT and non-IT and the organizations targeted can be of any size, both large and small.

In its current edition, ISO/IEC 20000-1 follows ISO’s high-level structure (HLS) for management system standards. This means that the basic terminology and structure are aligned with other popular standards, such as ISO 9001 for Quality Management and ISO/IEC 27001 for Information Security Management. Adopting the HLS makes it much easier to integrate management systems. Furthermore, the requirements in ISO/IEC 20000-1 can now be much more easily met using the latest service management frameworks, such as ITIL 4 or VeriSM and management methodologies such as Agile and Service Integration and Management (SIAM).


The ISO/IEC 20000-1 Introduction and Implementation Guide provides both a general introduction into the standard and a full in-depth implementation guide. For this purpose, documentation templates are available that guide the user in producing the necessary documents to meet the requirements of the standard.
Some of the topics in the book are as follows:

  • Service Management – why is it needed?
  • The ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 standard
  • Implementing the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000-1 – General requirements
  • Implementing the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000-1 – Practical guidance on documented
  • information
  • Running the SMS and the services
  • Certification
  • Beyond ISO/IEC 20000-1
  • Differences between the 2011 and the 2018 edition of ISO/IEC 20000-1

Getting a good understanding of ISO/IEC 20000-1 not only helps getting your organization certified; it also helps getting a general understanding of what service management is about and how using the standard helps your organization provide services in a more streamlined way. The standard does not prescribe how you should do this – that guidance can be found in publications such as VeriSM and ITIL 4. ISO/IEC 20000-1 only tells you what should be done to achieve a good service management system.

The book is also used as required reading for EXIN’s IT Service Management Foundation and Professional courses.

Target Audience

  •  Managers – who are primarily responsible for implementing and governing service management in their organizations and institutions.
  • IT Professionals – that need a basic understanding of service management concepts
  • Executives – who are primarily responsible for developing and/or approving service management strategy and then overseeing its implementation and governance (The “C” suite of Corporate Officers)
  • Academicians, Graduate and upper level undergraduate students – who must teach and master a fundamental understanding of service management.
  • Everyone within an organization – who wants to know more about service management.


The book covers the various areas of service management that are addressed in the ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 standard by explaining the basic concepts and technologies used and giving practical examples based on practical everyday examples

Relevant reading

ITIL ISO 20000