Book Review – Key Element Guides


Key Element Guides


ITIL V3 authoring team – Office of Government Commerce (OGC)


Practitioners, process owners, service managers, consultants, trainers and other service management professionals.


There are five books in the Key Element Guide suite – one for each of the core ITIL lifecycle publications.

  • Key Element Guide Service Strategy
  • Key Element Guide Service Design
  • Key Element Guide Service Transition
  • Key Element Guide Service Operation
  • Key Element Guide Continual Service Improvement

Each of the Key Element Guides (or KEGs) provides a synopsis of the basic concepts and practice elements of each of the core publications. These publications do not replace the ITIL core publications or act as a substitute for the full guidance. They serve as a quick reference guide and direct the reader to the full guidance when needed.

They all provide an overview of the ITIL framework, the service lifecycle approach and the lifecycle governance and lifecycle operations elements of the service management model.

Each KEG presents the principles of stage of the lifecycle with which is covering (e.g. Service Design) and provides an overview of the objectives and scope; key elements; roles and responsibilities; the processes, activities and functions; and implementation guidance including technology and tools.


Intermediate – advanced.

Karen’s Comment:

I have to say that I “love” these little books but that is somewhat related to my role as a consultant and trainer. They are handy quick references that are portable (each KEG is 11cm x 14cm) and they provide access to the fundamental guidance of the core publications without having to carry around each of the heavy and bulky tomes themselves.

As mentioned above, they should not be used as a substitute for having access to the core publications. They are reference guides and as with any reference guide, you need to have an idea of what you are looking for when you access the publication. For example, I would not recommend them as revision or preparation material for an ITIL Foundation exam. There are other, more-suited publications to fulfill that purpose.

For anyone who may reference any of the stages of the ITIL service lifecycle on a regular basis, I would suggest these publications become an occupant of your briefcase, desk or pocket!

They can be used as reminders of the key concepts and elements, sources of confirmation and clarification of understanding as well as providing the essentials before reference is made to the core publications. They can often provide the information or answer you are looking for without having to refer to the core publications.

The downside to these publications is that although they do have a table of contents they do not have an index and they are only available in hardcopy at the moment. They would make nice ready-references for the desktop.

The KEGs can be purchased individually or as a suite. I would recommend the latter as for anyone who has even dabbled in service management will know, one process leads to another and no process is a subject of one stage of the lifecycle. Therefore a complete service lifecycle suite is extremely useful.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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