The nature of setting up shared IT services lends itself to both project management and service management best practices. ITSSF processes are organized into 5 phases: Feasibility, Alignment, Implementation, Management, and Review.

The Feasibility and Alignment phases most closely resemble the start of a project. From idea to discovery, discovery to initial planning: These 2 phases represent the initial gates to starting shared services.

The Implementation phase is responsible for implementing the services, and as such it maps to service strategy, design, and transition of service management frameworks.

The Management phase encapsulates the operation of the shared services while the Review phase is focused on identifying opportunities for improvement.


The framework is process-driven and presents a number of best practices and decision points for creating a shared service. By making the process repeatable, ITSSF facilitates the discussion of what may be shared as well as how it may be shared.


A number of roles are defined to divide responsibilities and establish clarity.

  1. A Member is any member organization.
  2. The Coordinator helps plan and organize the effort.
  3. The Facilitator conducts sessions, surveys, and data collection.

Compatibility With Service Management

It is designed to be compatible with best practices in service management such as ITIL® and though it may refer to a number of other frameworks and standards, it is intended to be compatible with your framework of choice.

Strategy, design, transition, operation, and improvement may be applied to a shared service. ITSSF does not dictate how you do this, or what framework you use.

Shared Services Lifecycle Diagram

  1. Feasibility discovers whether shared services is compatible with participants, and what services deliver the most value by sharing.
  2. Alignment brings participants together, ensuring sufficient commonality exists to equitably share services amongst themselves.
  3. Implementation creates the agreed upon systems and services.
  4. Management maintains the services using principles and processes from IT service management.
  5. Review examines agreed upon metrics to evaluate success and SLA performance, and recommends changes to be considered for the lifecycle.