Introduction to the ISO/IEC 20000 Series. IT Service Management

Jenny Dugmore and Shirley Lacy

Published by






Reviewed by

Peter Wheatcroft CEng FIET FBCS CITP FCMI


7 out of 10

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management and there are currently 657 certificates in force worldwide, with 58 of those being in the UK. ISO 20000 is now a series of standards rather than just one, plus an accompanying code of practice and it is hoped this will broaden its appeal.

This book is intended to introduce readers to the full set of standards in the 20000 series, which it certainly does. However, not all the standards in the series have been formally published as many of the newer ones are only available as technical reports, which somewhat limits their appeal.

There is also a companion book by Lynda Cooper that is devoted to the differences between the 2005 and 2011 editions, which is priced at £36 and so to fully understand the new 20000 series you’ll need to pay £84.

Anyone wanting a definite guide to the 20000 series will be a little disappointed as the full set of standards are not yet available. BSI also publishes the code of practice as part 2 of the 20000 series for £100 and there is an inevitable overlap between this code of practice and the book being reviewed here.

The style of this book makes it very readable as there are good explanations of terms and the chapters are peppered with useful key points. For instance, there is a good delineation - rarely seen - between incidents, problems, known errors and major incidents that will educate readers who aren’t service management specialists and scoping the service management definition has been very well done.

What you can also learn about from this book are the new clauses in ISO 20000 on such topics as process governance, the need for a service catalogue and controlled acceptance tests as well as the partial alignment to ITILv3 processes such as release management becoming release and deployment.

This is a must-read book for all existing holders of ISO 20000 as recertification to the newly published standard will be required when current certificates lapse. This depends to some extent on the qualifying authority but the message is clear: service providers will have to amend their SMS to maintain compliance.

I feel the publication of this book is slightly premature as the full ISO 20000 series will be much more significant than the parts described here and the cost of everything to explain 20000 is high.

Further Information: BSI

November 2011