This article provides an overview of the seven step improvement process as part of the Continual Service Improvement domain within ITIL.

The seven-step improvement process includes the steps required to gather meaningful data, analyse it to identify trends, issues and corrective actions, present the information to management for approval and prioritisation, and the implementation of the right improvements.

The seven-step improvement process is as follows:

  1. Identify the strategy for improvement.
  2. Vision.
    Business need.
    Tactical goals.
    Operational goals.
  3. Define what you will measure.
    Inputs from Service Strategy.
    Inputs from Service Design.
    Measurement plan.
  4. Gather the data.
    Who? How? When?
    Criteria to evaluate integrity of data.
    Operational goals.
    Service management.
  5. Process the data
    Tools and systems?
  6. Analyse the information
    Improvements required?
  7. Present and use the information.
    Assessment summary.
    Action plans.
  8. Implement improvements.
    Monitor action plans.
    Take remedial action where necessary.

The seven-step improvement process is closely aligned with the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, to represent that improvement activities must provide stable, continued and ongoing improvements, a critical success factor for effective CSI.

The seven-step improvement process is also closely aligned to the knowledge management model Data–to-Information-to-Knowledge-to-Wisdom (DIKW), whereby disparate data is converted into the ability to make the correct decisions and judgements to provide the optimum value for the customer.

For more information please contact Morland-Austin at