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Service validation and testing (ITIL 4)

Parent Process Reference Framework: ITIL 4

Service Value Stream Activities

Highly impacted Service Value System(SVS) Activities:

  • Obtain/build
  • Design and Transition


The purpose of the service validation and testing practice is to ensure that new or changed products and services meet defined requirements. The definition of service value is based on input from customers, business objectives, and regulatory requirements, and is documented as part of the value chain activity of design and transition. These inputs are used to establish measurable quality and performance indicators that support the definition of assurance criteria and testing requirements.

Service validation

Service validation focuses on establishing deployment and release management acceptance criteria (conditions that must be met for production readiness), which are verified through testing. Acceptance criteria can be either utility- or warranty-focused, and are defined through understanding customer, regulatory, business, risk management, and security requirements.

The service validation activities of this practice establish, verify, and document both utility- and warranty-focused service assurance criteria and form the basis for the scope and focus of testing activities.


A test strategy defines an overall approach to testing. It can apply to an environment, a platform, a set of services, or an individual service. Testing should be carried out equally on both in-house developed systems and externally developed solutions. The test strategy is based on the service acceptance criteria, and should align with the requirements of appropriate stakeholders to ensure testing matches the risk appetite and is fit for purpose.

Typical test types include:

  • Utility/functional tests:
    • Unit test A test of a single system component
    • System test Overall testing of the system, including software and platforms
    • Integration test Testing a group of dependent software modules together
    • Regression test Testing whether previously working functions were impacted.
  • Warranty/non-functional tests:
    • Performance and capacity test Checking speed and capacity under load
    • Security test Testing vulnerability, policycompliance, penetration, and denial of service risk
    • Compliance test Checking that legal and regulatory requirements have been met
    • Operational test Testing for backup, event monitoring, failover, recovery, and reporting
    • Warranty requirements test Checking for verification of necessary documentation, training, support model definition, and knowledge transfer
    • User acceptance test The test performed by users of a new or changed system to approve a release.
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