The exact positioning of Service portfolio in the Service life cycle as per ITIL V3 is slightly misleading. Misleading mainly because of the documentation.

‘ Service strategy’ contains service port folio very clearly – -Through Service portfolio management.

Now, ‘Service design’ too talks about Service portfolio: Aspects of design – Service management systems and tools especially Service portfolio!

Look at this statement in ITIL Service Design book: “Although Service portfolio is designed by Service Design, it is owned and managed by Service Strategy within Service Portfolio management process”!

Though can be interpreted to give some sense to these statements, this can create major confusions – especially in a (cramped!) ITIL foundation training programs.

Here is my interpretation of this conflict – interpreting from the ITIL documentation itself:

In the service strategy stage, the focus is on Market needs and the prioritizing the investment in responses to those needs.  At this stage, you dont have exposure to tactical details of the Service portfolio like customer requirements of each service (different from the high-level ‘need in the market’) , service solution, dependencies, status etc which should form a part of Service portfolio.

Hence the listing, prioiritizing, approving and chartering the services into pipeline, catalog and retired services should be happening under Service Strategy stage; where as the details are filled in (and so ‘desigining of the complete port folio) happens in the design stage.

Looks like a skewed explanation to myself – But not sure how to interpret it better.