Definitions and Roles & Responsibilities

Service Owner

A role responsible for managing one or more services throughout their entire lifecycle. Service owners are instrumental in the development of service strategy and are responsible for the content of the service portfolio. (source: 2011 ITIL Glossary)
The service owner is accountable for the service within the organization regardless of where the technology components or professional capabilities reside. (source: Service Owner – The Missing ITSM Role

The Service Owner has the following responsibilities:

  • Represents the service across the organization
  • Manages the risk of operating the service
  • Designates technical lead and backup
  • Coordinates communication among support staff and systems staff
  • Provides input in service attributes such as performance, availability, security, etc.)
  • Understands the service (components, etc.)
  • Serves as the point of escalation (notification) for major incidents
  • Ensures that any changes to the service under their care follows the current change management work practice
  • Provides input to the Continual Service Improvement process(CSI)
  • Plans for service future
  • Participates in internal service review meetings (within IT)
  • Works with CSI manager and/or service sponsor to identify and prioritize service improvement
  • Participates in external service review meetings (with the business)
  • Is responsible for ensuring that the service entry in the Service Portfolio/Catalog is accurate and is maintained
  • Participates in negotiating Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) for the service
  • Ensures that performance meets the requirements of SLAs and OLAs
  • Provides reporting and metrics on performance of service

Service Sponsor

Committee, group or executive-level position responsible for providing funding and/or resources to deliver the service and setting the strategic direction of the service.

The Service Sponsor has the following responsibilities:

  • Sets the strategic direction of the service
  • Provides funding and/or resources to deliver service
  • Signs off on and accepts delivery of a service
  • Approves service levels, costs, and risks associated with a service

Service Manager

A generic term for any manager within the service provider. Most commonly used to refer to a business relationship manager, a process manager or a senior manager with responsibility for IT services overall. (source: 2011 ITIL Glossary)

The Service Manager has the following responsibilities:

  • Manages delivery and lifecycle of services for business strategy development
  • Conducts competitive market assessment/benchmarking
  • Analyzes financial and internal customer analysis
  • Manages vendor relations
  • Manages inventory related to the service
  • Oversees internal supplier management
  • Is responsible for cost management