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ISO/IEC 20000 part 12 published – guidance on relationship between ISO/IEC 20000-1 and CMMI-SVC®


ISO/IEC TR 20000-12 Information technology – Service management – Part 12: Guidance on the relationship between ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 and service management frameworks: CMMI-SVC® was published in October 2016. This part has been developed in co-operation with the CMMI Institute, owners of CMMi-SVC®[1]. It provides guidance on the relationship between ISO/IEC 20000‐1:2011 and CMMI‐SVC V1.3 (through Maturity Level 3).

CMMI‐SVC is one of three CMMI models, referred to collectively as ‘CMMI.’ CMMI‐SVC is a model of practices and goals for service organizations of all types. These practices are grouped into process areas (PAs), which are collections of goals and practices on a single topic, such as risk, capacity, or continuity. A PA is the major organizing component of every CMMI model, and in CMMI‐SVC, these PAs are used for defining and delivering services, improving processes, evaluating organizational capability or maturity, and benchmarking.

What is Part 12?

Part 12 is the 2nd in a series of parts about the relationship between ISO/IEC 20000-1 and other frameworks. Part 11 is already published about the relationship with ITIL (see previous blog on this topic). Part 13 will be started in the future for COBIT.

Many organisations use frameworks for their service management and it is useful to understand the relationship between the framework and ISO/IEC 20000-1. Part 12 makes it clear that an organisation can use CMMI-SVC® or other frameworks to support their service management processes. The introduction of the standard states:

‘This part of ISO/IEC 20000 can assist readers in relating the requirements specified in ISO/IEC 20000–1:2011 to supporting text in one of the most commonly used service management frameworks, CMMI-SVC. Service providers can refer to this guidance as a cross‐reference between the two documents to help them to plan and implement a service management system (SMS).’

The usage of Part 12 is explained in Clause 1:

‘This part of ISO/IEC 20000 can be used by any organization or person who wishes to understand how CMMI‐SVC can be used with ISO/IEC 20000‐1:2011, including the following:

  1. a) a service provider that intends to demonstrate conformity to the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000‐1:2011 and is seeking guidance on the use of CMMI‐SVC to establish and maintain the SMS and the services;
  2. b) a service provider that has demonstrated conformity to the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000‐ 1:2011 and is seeking guidance on ways to use CMMI‐SVC to improve the SMS and the services;
  3. c) a service provider that already uses CMMI‐SVC and is seeking guidance on how CMMI‐SVC can be used to support efforts to demonstrate conformity to the requirements specified in ISO/IEC 20000‐1:2011;
  4. d) an appraiser or assessor who wishes to understand the use of CMMI‐SVC as support for the requirements specified in ISO/IEC 20000‐1:2011.’

Content of Part 12

Because Part 12 may be read by those who know ISO/IEC 20000 or those who know CMMI-SVC® or both, it starts with an introduction to each. It then goes on to a general description of the relationship between the two and a table of relationships.

The relationships are complex and Part 12 states:

The correlation of ISO/IEC 20000‐1:2011 clauses to process areas and associated goals and practices in CMMI‐SVC is intended to provide a view of the relationships between the two references. Although this correlation cites normative clauses of ISO/IEC 20000‐1:2011 and aligns them with CMMI‐SVC goals and practices, the correlation itself is informative, not normative. The user should consult the source documents to determine the applicability of requirements and informative guidance. Not all CMMI‐SVC goals and practices referenced in this Annex are necessary to fulfil the requirements specified in ISO/IEC 20000‐1:2011. Not all the requirements specified in ISO/IEC 20000‐1:2011 are covered completely in each of the associated CMMI‐SVC process areas’.

Annex A is a comparison of the terminology used in both ISO/IEC 20000-1 and CMMI-SVC® with a commentary about any differences. In many cases, the definitions may be worded differently but the intent is the same. Also in Appendix A is a useful table of terms used in ISO/IEC 20000-1 which are not defined in ISO/IEC 20000-1 but defined in CMMI-SVC®.

For example, the definition of a service is different but the intent is similar in both publications. CMMI-SVC® defines a service as ‘A product that is intangible and non‐storable. Services are delivered through the use of service systems that have been designed to satisfy service requirements’.  ISO/IEC 20000-1 defines a service as ‘means of delivering value for the customer by facilitating results the customer wants to achieve NOTE 1 Service is generally intangible’.

Another example is where ISO/IEC 20000-1 uses service management system (SMS) but CMMI- SVC® uses service system which has a similar intent and is defined as ‘An integrated and interdependent combination of component resources that satisfies service requirements. A service system encompasses everything required for service delivery, including work products, processes, facilities, tools, consumables, and human resources’.

ISO/IEC defines an SMS as ‘management system to direct and control the service management activities of the service provider NOTE 1 A management system is a set of interrelated or interacting elements to establish policy and objectives and to achieve those objectives. NOTE 2 The SMS includes all service management policies, objectives, plans, processes, documentation and resources required for the design, transition, delivery and improvement of services and to fulfil the requirements in this part of ISO/IEC 20000’.

Annex B provides a summary of the correlation of the requirements in ISO/IEC 20000-1 to the CMMI-SVC® requirements. The correlation method is explained and detailed tables cover the correlations for each of Clauses 4 – 9 in ISO/IEC 20000-1. Every clause has some correlation to CMMI-SVC®.


Part 12 is a useful reference document for those who currently or in the future want to use both ISO/IEC 20000-1 and CMMI-SVC®.

Further information

ISO/IEC 20000 Part 12 can be obtained from the ISO web site or your country standards organisation e.g. BSI in the UK.

The relationship mapping standards (Parts 11, 12 and 13 when it is published) and the concepts and vocabulary standard (part 10) are available for free.



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