ITIL and PRINCE2: how to integrate the two best practices?


ITIL and PRINCE2 are the most recognized best practice in their fields and might look not compatible.

ITIL is the de facto framework for IT service management (ITSM) – IT service management refers to a set of specialized organizational capabilities (policies, processes, procedures), for enabling value for clients in the form of information technology (IT) services.

PRINCE2 is the de facto framework for project management. – Project management is the application of principles, tools, and techniques to project activities to achieve specific project goals.

ITIL and PRINCE2 can work together: PRINCE2 can contribute to the service value chain through its involvement in all of the sixth value chain activities.


ITIL Service Value Chain and contribution from PRINCE2

1. Plan
“The purpose of the plan value chain activity is to ensure a shared understanding of the vision, current status, and improvement direction for all four dimensions and all products and services across the organization”.

PRINCE2 can contribute to this activity by supporting strategic and tactical planning with the Product Based Planning approach: The products to be delivered must be identified before deciding what activities, dependencies, and resources are required to deliver products.”


2. Improve
“The purpose of the improve value chain activity is to ensure continual improvement of products, services, and practices across all value chain activities and the four dimensions of service management”.

You may need to improve your services, prioritize among several large and complex initiatives and you may need to evaluate the validity of each improvement initiative ongoing. PRINCE2 can drive you through the Continued business justification (the justifiable reason for starting a project that remains valid along with the project). This principle keeps the improvements projects focused on the goal.


3. Engage
“The purpose of the engage value chain activity is to provide a good understanding of stakeholders needs, transparency, and continual engagement and good relationship with all stakeholders”.

The organization theme helps to define an effective project management team structure, with agreed roles and responsibilities. Once you have defined the structure you can define an approach for the communication to engage the stakeholders, the business, the user and supplier.


itilv4 it service management


4. Design and transition
“The purpose of the design and transition value chain activity is to ensure that products and services continually meet stakeholder expectations for quality, costs, and time to market”.

Design of a practice or service can be managed as a PRINCE2 project, PRINCE2 can contribute through its emphasis on the learning from experience. Lessons Learned can help avoid common pitfalls in designing, for example, a new service desk service.


5. Obtain/build
“The purpose of the obtain/build value chain activity is to ensure that service components are available when and where they are needed and meet agreed specifications”.

“Obtaining new resources as well as development and integration is usually performed as a project. Various project management techniques are applicable to this activity”


6. Deliver and support
“The purpose of the delivery and support value chain activity is to ensure that services are delivered and supported according to agreed specifications and stakeholders’ expectations”.

The design, transition, and handover to internal or external service consumers for operational management needs to be well planned and executed to ensure that business, as usual, is not compromised. The PRINCE2 project management practice to ensure the handover of the service for operations management needs is well planned and executed happens through the Benefits Management Approach, that defines not only how the project’s outcome will be achieved, but also how the project’s benefits will be realized, so that services are not only delivered but are also delivered according to the requirements and needs of the stakeholders.


With an understanding of both guidance, ITIL 4  and PRINCE2 together deliver a competitive advantage for an organization.

Source: ITIL Foundation, ITIL 4 Edition