An Overview of ITIL 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV)

Written by Jade Kendrick

ITIL® 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV) is one of four required courses to become an ITIL® 4 Managing Professional (and a total ITSM beast!). DSV (highlighted below) is a standout course in the Managing Professional track, so let’s waste no time and hop right into why this course should be on your list of must-have certifications.

Remember that the Managing Professional courses can be taken in any order, so after you are done reading about DSV, consider reading about ITIL® 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver, & Support (CDS) and ITIL® 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve (DPI) next.

What Sets DSV Apart From Other ITIL ®4 Specialist Courses?

The best part about DSV (in my biased opinion), is that it features a real focus on both customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) throughout the customer journey. Oftentimes, service providers analyze the customer journey from too high of a level, or perhaps the organization needs to refresh their current customer journey. When it comes to value, CX and UX are just as important as meeting our customer’s outcomes. As such, ITIL 4 includes an entire course dedicated to Driving Stakeholder Value.

The DSV course provides an understanding of all sorts of engagements and interactions between a service provider and their customers, users, suppliers, and partners – including key CX, UX, and journey mapping concepts. By the end of the course, students will have both practical and technical knowledge on how to run successful, modern, IT-enabled services, teams, and workflows while also maximizing the customer experience. The course covers service-level agreements (SLAs), onboarding and offboarding, along with all the steps of the customer journey.

The ITIL 4 Customer Journey: 7 Steps

Here’s how the seven steps work in practice:

  1. Explore: understand markets and stakeholders – Throughout this step, both the service provider and the consumer are exploring their options. This is where you understand what the customer needs, as well as their past experiences with similar services. This explorative step usually occurs before you establish a formal relationship.

  2. Engage: foster relationships – Good relationships are a prerequisite for a good customer experience. So interact with customers/users, recognize which stakeholders have influence and impact, engage all groups on the ground.

  3. Offer: shape demand and service offerings – This stage is about building the business case, shaping and matching capabilities to requirements. Products and services can be designed only when the service consumer’s needs are well-articulated.

  4. Agree: align expectations and agree on service – It is crucial to align expectations before investing in a new service. This step is about agreeing to Service-Level and Experience-Level Agreements.

  5. Onboard: let’s go – This is the point when both parties are in agreement and it is time to onboard the customer.

  6. Co-create: provide and consume – The service consumer makes use of the service provider’s resources and consumes the goods and services that have been agreed upon, while the provider meets the targets from their SLAs. Custoemr feedback is critical for value co-creation.

  7. Realize: capture value and improve – You should understand what the desired outcomes are, whether you’re delivering them and they’re still relevant. Value must be tracked and driven through co-creation and improvements must be continually applied to increase service value.


Below, you’ll find a graphic of the customer journey, including the touchpoints and interactions that occur throughout. This class will solidify your understanding of each touchpoint, but it is also about grasping the entire customer journey from end to end. Many service providers can offer great individual customer interactions, but they may not look at the big picture to ensure the customer is having a positive experience overall. This bird’s-eye view helps service providers maximize value at each step in the journey.

ITIL 4 Customer Journey


In the ITIL DSV course, we will also discuss the various service consumer personas: the sponsor, the customer, and the user. In class, we will practice persona mapping and delineating the journey with class activities. We will also discuss how the customer journey overlaps with ITIL 4 value streams, a topic covered in ITIL 4 Create, Deliver, and Support (CDS).

Some Other Concepts You’ll Master In The Course:

  • How customer journeys are designed
  • How to target markets and stakeholders
  • How to foster stakeholder relationships
  • How to shape demand and define service offerings
  • How to align expectations and agree on the details of services
  • How to onboard and offboard customers and users
  • How to act together to ensure continual value co-creation (service consumption/provisioning)
  • How to realize and validate service value

What ITSM Roles Will Benefit The Most From ITIL ® 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value?

Virtually all ITSM roles stand to gain immensely from taking the course, as one of the its primary focuses is on realizing and co-creating value. However, there are a few ITSM roles that most align with DSV objectives:

  • ITSM managers (or aspiring ones)
  • ITSM practitioners who are responsible for managing and integrating stakeholders
  • ITSM practitioners who focus on the customer journey and experience
  • ITSM practitioners who are responsible for fostering relationships with partners and suppliers

This course is also an excellent choice for relationship managers, business relationship managers, account managers, service delivery managers, service-level managers, business analysts, product owners, marketing managers, project managers, customer experience designers/managers, service desk managers, supplier managers, contract specialists, any IT managers, or any other customer-facing roles.

What Practices Are Covered In ITIL® 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value?

ITIL 4 Specialist: DSV Practices

What Is The ITIL 4 DSV Exam Like?

On par with the other ITIL® 4 courses, you have an hour to answer 40 multiple choice questions, each worth one point. To pass the exam, you will need a score of 70% (at least 28 correct answers). If that triggers your test anxiety, then you will be pleased to know that all of our ITIL courses come with an exam retake! And, as a not-so-humble brag, Beyond20 is NUMBER 1 IN THE WORLD for ITIL training.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the dates for ITIL® 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value now and get registered.


P.S. – If you are really looking to take this all the way (which would be a tremendous step in your career), consider the Managing Professional Passport. You’ll save 25% on all four intermediate courses – Exam Pass Guarantee included! It’s a total steal.

Ready to drive stakeholder value?

Take a look at our upcoming dates for this intermediate ITIL Specialist course.
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Originally published July 07 2020, updated September 09 2021