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Glossary

Published: April 25, 2008

 

 
 
Accountability
A way of organizing IT work that ensures the right work gets done by assigning someone who is held accountable for whether it gets done and how. Reference: Team SMF
 
Action/Response
A script, program, command, application start, or any other required remedial response that minimizes the impact of service incidents or system events . Reference: Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
Aggregation
In a Service Monitoring and Control (SMC) tool, a function that makes it possible to treat a series of similar events as a single event. Reference: Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
Alert
A notification that an IT service event requiring attention has occurred. Reference: Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
Availability Management
The process of managing a service or application so that it is accessible when users need it. Availability is typically measured in percentage of uptime; downtime refers to periods of system unavailability.  Reference: Reliability Management SMF
 
Baseline
A known state by which something is measured or compared. Baselines make managing change in complex projects possible. References: Build SMF, Deploy SMF
 
Benefit Management
A process that identifies the benefits contributed by IT—their definition, monitoring, and realization as a result of a business change. This process ensures that a business change achieves its outcomes. Reference: Financial Management SMF
 
Bottom-up scheduling
A type of scheduling in which team members representing each role generate time estimates and schedules for deliverables. Each team’s schedule is integrated into a master project schedule.  References: Build SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Bug convergence
The point at which the number of bugs fixed exceeds the number of bugs reported. Bug convergence is the first indication that a solution is becoming stable. Reference: Stabilize SMF
 
Business continuity planning
The process for planning and practicing the response of IT to a disaster or disruptive event. These activities span the organization, affecting Finance, Operations, and HR functions. Reference: Reliability Management SMF
 
Capacity Management
In the context of IT, capacity refers to the processing or performance capability of a service or system. Capacity Management is the process used to ensure that current and future business IT needs are met in a cost-effective manner. This process is made up of three sub-processes: business, service, and resource capacity management. Reference: Reliability Management SMF
 
Change
The addition, modification, or removal of approved, supported, or baselined hardware, network, software, application, environment, system, desktop build, or associated documentation. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
     
Change advisory board (CAB)
A cross-functional group set up to evaluate change requests for business need, priority, cost/benefit, and potential impacts to other systems or processes. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Change category
Measurement of a change’s release impact on IT and the business. The change complexity and resources required, including people, money, and time, are measured to determine the category. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Change log
A log of requests for change (RFCs) submitted for all changes in a service, which tracks the progress of each change from submission through review, approval, implementation, and closure. A change log can be managed manually, with a document or spreadsheet, or it can be managed automatically with a tool. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Change Manager
The role that has the overall management responsibility for the change management process in the IT organization. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Compliance
An application of risk management that ensures that IT conforms with governmental regulations, laws, and company-specific policies—in other words, a means to ensure that the organization is actually doing what it has said it will do. Reference: Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF
 
Conceptual design
A solution design process that involves understanding the business requirements and defining the features that users need to do their jobs. Product Management takes the lead in creating the conceptual design, which begins during Envisioning and continues through Project Planning.  Reference: Build SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Configuration item (CI)
An IT component that is under configuration management control. Each CI can be composed of other CIs. CIs may vary widely in complexity, size, and type, from an entire system (including all hardware, software, and documentation) to a single software module or a minor hardware component. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Configuration management system (CMS)
 A set of tools that are used to manage IT service management data such as changes, releases, known errors, and incidents. References: Problem Management SMF, Change and Configuration SMF
 
Contingency
A process that prepares an organization to respond coherently to unplanned incidents.  Reference: Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF
 
Correlation
In a Service Monitoring and Control (SMC) tool, a function that groups events together or defines an event’s relationship with other events that together represent an impact. Reference: Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
CSR
See Customer Service Representative. Reference: Customer Service SMF
 
Customer
The person or organization that commissions and funds a project. References: Build SMF, Deploy SMF, Envision SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Customer Service Representative (CSR)
A front-line contact person on the Service Desk team. Reference: Customer Service SMF
 
Dedicated team
A team that exists for ongoing work, with no specific end time in mind. An example of a dedicated team might be an operations team that shares ongoing maintenance for an IT service or IT component. Reference: Team SMF
 
Definitive software library (DSL)
A secure software library where all versions of software CIs that the CAB has approved for deployment are held in their definitive, quality-controlled form. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Demand management
The process of aligning an organization’s supply of IT resources to meet service demands forecasted by the business.  Reference: Business/IT Alignment SMF
 
Development role
The role of Development is to build and unit-test the code for a solution. Development provides input into high-level designs, evaluates technologies, and develops proof-of-concept prototypes to validate potential solutions and to mitigate development risks early in the development process. Development also provides low-level product and feature design, estimates the effort required to deliver on that design, and then builds the product. Reference: Build SMF
 
Error
A fault, bug, or behavior issue in an IT service or system. Reference: Problem Management SMF
 
Event
An occurrence within the IT environment detected by a service monitoring tool. Reference: Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
Evidence
Testable proof that policies and processes are working as expected. Reference: Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF
 
Forward Schedule of Change (FSC)
A record of upcoming approved changes, which may help you understand the impact that already-approved changes might have on any new proposed changes, and vice versa. This can also be accomplished using the service portfolio described in the Business/IT Alignment SMF. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Functional specification
The repository for the set of technical documents that detail every element of the solution deliverables, explaining in exact and specific terms what the team is building and deploying. The functional specification is the final technical document against which every development team member will build. Reference: Build SMF
 
Functional testing
Testing a completed solution against the functional specification. Reference: Stabilize SMF
 
Governance
IT governance is led by senior management and consists of activities that clarify who holds the power to make decisions, determine accountability for actions and responsibility for outcomes, and address how expected performance will be evaluated. The process of developing and managing IT policies for a business or organization is one aspect of applying IT governance. Reference: Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF
 
Health model
A model that defines whether a system is healthy—operating within normal limits—or if it has failed or degraded. It is categorized by availability, configuration, performance, or security. Reference: Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
Incident
Failure of a service or component to provide a feature it was designed to deliver. Reference: Customer Service SMF
 
Incident Resolution request
A Service Desk request to resolve the failure of a service or feature. Reference: Customer Service SMF
 
Information request
A Service Desk request to gain additional information about an existing service.  This does not include activating new features or providing new services. Reference: Customer Service SMF
 
Integration testing
Testing individual, united-tested components of a solution integrated with other components. Reference: Stabilize SMF
 
Interim milestone
An early progress indicator that segments large work efforts into manageable portions. References: Build SMF, Envision SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
IT alignment
A state that occurs when the technical and business goals and strategies of the IT organization completely match the goals and strategies of the overall business.
 
IT asset
Any company-owned information, system, or machine that is used in the course of business activities. Reference: Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF
 
IT control
A specific activity performed by people or systems designed to ensure that business objectives are met. References: Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF, Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
IT service continuity management
The process of assessing and managing IT risks that can significantly affect the delivery of services to the business. Reference: Reliability Management SMF
 
IT service strategy
The plan that aligns an organization’s objectives, policies, and procedures into a cohesive approach to deliver services that support business strategy. Reference: Business/IT Alignment SMF
 
Known error
A service or system error that has been observed and documented in a known error database. Reference: Problem Management SMF
 
Known error database 
A subsection of the knowledge base or overall Configuration Management System (CMS) that stores known service or system errors and their associated root causes, workarounds, and fixes. Reference: Problem Management SMF
 
Logical design
A solution design process that uses the conceptual design and the current state of the technology infrastructure to define a new architecture at a high level.  References:  Build SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Milestone
A project synchronization point. Major milestones mark the transition of projects from one phase to the next phase, and transfer primary responsibility from one role to another role. References: Build SMF, Envision SMF, Project Plan SMF     
 
Mitigation
Processes or activities that are established for the purpose of reducing the potential consequences of a risk by reducing the likelihood or impact of the risk. Reference: Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF
 
New Service request
A Service Desk request to gain a new service or feature. Reference: Customer Service SMF
 
Operating level agreement (OLA)
An internal agreement between one or more of the IT teams  that support the requirements set forth in the service level agreements (SLAs). Reference: Business/IT Alignment SMF
 
Operational costs
The costs resulting from the day-to-day running of IT services—for example, staff costs, hardware maintenance, and electricity—and relating to repeating payments whose effects can be measured within a short time frame, usually less than the 12-month financial year. Also referred to as non-discretionary spend. Reference: Financial Management SMF
 
Operations guide
An Operations Plan containing prescriptive work instructions for operating IT services. Reference: Operations Management SMF
 
Operations log
A log containing records that list when operational work has been completed and by whom. Reference: Operations Management SMF
 
Operations plan
A plan that lists the operational work (tasks) required to operate IT services, the sequence in which the tasks must be executed (including dependencies), recurrence, and prerequisites and requirements for execution. Reference: Operations Management SMF
 
Personas
Descriptions of various types of users and their job functions, including operations staff. Reference: Project Plan SMF
 
Physical design
A solution design process that describes the desired architecture in greater detail than the logical design. It also defines the hardware configurations and software products to be used. As a general rule, the physical design should contain enough detail to enable the team to begin work on the project plan. References: Build SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Pilot test
A test conducted by a subset of users in a production environment. The pilot group uses the solution, providing feedback and reporting any bugs it finds. References: Deploy SMF, Stabilize SMF
 
Policy
A deliberate plan of action to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. (This definition deals with human-readable descriptions of desired behavior, not machine-readable descriptions.)  Reference: Policy SMF
 
Post-implementation review (PIR)       
A review that occurs after release of a new or updated service. This review evaluates and measures the success of the release in the production environment.  Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Problem
A scenario describing symptoms that have occurred in an IT service or system that threatens its availability or reliability. Reference: Problem Management SMF
 
Process
Interrelated tasks that, taken together, produce a defined, desired result.
 
Product Management role
The goal of the Product Management role is customer satisfaction. The product management role is positioned to achieve this by acting as the customer advocate to the team and as the team advocate to the customer. Reference: Build SMF
 
Program Management role
The role and focus of Program Management is to meet the quality goal of delivering the product within project constraints. To meet this goal, program management owns and drives the functional specification, the schedule, the features, and the budget for the project. Program management ensures that the right product is delivered at the right time. Reference: Build SMF
 
Project team
A team that is formed for a project, with a specific start date and end date in mind. An example of a project team might be one formed to build a new IT service. Reference: Team SMF
 
Quiet period
During deployment, the period between the Deployment Stable Interim Milestone and the Deployment Complete Milestone. During this period, the project team is no longer active but does respond to issues as Operations and Support escalate them to the team. Typical quiet periods last from 15 to 30 days. Reference: Deploy SMF
 
RACI
A list of activities for which the person in a the job role is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed about that activity. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Release
A collection of one or more changes that includes new and/or changed configuration items that are tested and then introduced into the production environment. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Release Management role
The Release Management role  is responsible for managing the activities of the release management process for the IT organization, including creating the deployment and site-preparation checklist. Reference: Build SMF
 
Release Manager
The role that is responsible for managing the activities of the release management process for the IT organization. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Release Readiness Review
The final management checkpoint and approval step before deploying a release. Reference: Deliver LPO      
 
Reporting
The collection, production, and distribution of information about IT services. Reference: Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
Request for Change (RFC)
A formal change request, including a description of the change, components affected, business need, cost estimates, risk assessment, resource requirements, and approval status. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Resolution completion
The point in the control process where manual/automatic action has been taken and all recording and incident management have been completed. Reference: Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
Return on investment (ROI)
The ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested. The ROI is used to evaluate which projects to pursue, and to manage benefit projections during a project to ensure that realized benefits will be close to the predicted benefits. Reference: Financial Management SMF
 
RFC     
See Request for Change.
 
Risk
The possibility of adverse effects on business or IT objectives. Risk is measured in terms of impact and likelihood. Reference: Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF
 
Risk assessment
A systematic method to identify the assets of an information-processing system, the threats to those assets, and the vulnerability of the system to those threats. In the context of regulatory compliance, risk assessment is the process of assessing the level of compliance and compliance inadequacies within an organization. Reference: Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF
 
Risk management
An organization’s efforts to address risk in the IT environment. Reference: Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF
 
Risk value
A part of the RFC that captures the assessments of risk for a change. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Role
A set of responsibilities in an IT organization. Depending on the effort required and the size of the organization, a single person might perform a single role or multiple roles, or a single role might be performed by multiple persons. Reference: Team SMF
 
Role type
A generic variation of the term role, used to indicate that a particular role might be similar and serve roughly the same purposes in different IT organizations, but be called by different names. Reference: Team SMF
 
Root cause
The specific reason that most directly contributes to the occurrence of a service or system error. Reference: Problem Management SMF
 
Rule
A predetermined policy that describes the provider (the source of data), the criteria used to identify a matching condition, and the response (the execution of an action). Reference: Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
Scope
A view of the project’s vision limited by constraints such as time and resources. Solution scope describes a solution’s features and deliverables. Project scope describes the work to be performed by the team. References: Build SMF, Envision SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Scope Complete Milestone
The milestone that occurs at the end of the IT lifecycle Deliver Phase when all features are complete and the solution is ready for external testing and stabilization. This milestone gives customers and users, operations and support personnel, and key project stakeholders an opportunity to evaluate the solution and identify any remaining issues that need to be addressed before beginning the transition to stabilization and ultimately to release. Reference: Build SMF
 
Service
A collection of features and functions that enable a business process. Reference: Customer Service SMF
 
Service catalog
A comprehensive list of IT services, including priorities of the business and corresponding SLAs. Reference: Business/IT Alignment SMF
 
Service Desk
A functional team within Customer Service that customers can engage directly when they have concerns or questions about IT services. Reference: Customer Service SMF
 
Service Fulfillment request
A Service Desk request to gain access to additional features or services offered through the IT Service Catalog. Reference: Customer Service SMF
 
Service level agreement (SLA)
A written agreement documenting the required levels of service. The SLA is agreed on by the IT service provider and the business, or by the IT service provider and a third-party provider. SLAs should list the metrics and measures that both sides use to define success.  Reference: Business/IT Alignment SMF
 
Service Level Management
The process of defining and managing performance through monitoring, reporting, and reviewing the required, agreed-upon level of service. Reference: Business/IT Alignment SMF
 
Service management function (SMF)
A core part of MOF that provides operational guidance for Microsoft technologies employed in computing environments for information technology applications. SMFs  help organizations to achieve mission-critical system reliability, availability, supportability, and manageability of IT solutions. Reference: MOF Overview
 
Service map
A representation of a service from the perspective of the business and user that shows critical dependencies, settings, and areas of responsibility. Reference: Change and Configuration Management SMF
 
Service portfolio
An internal repository that defines IT services and categorizes them as currently in service, in queue to be developed, or in queue to be decommissioned. All services identify the business processes or function they support.  Reference: Business/IT Alignment SMF
 
Service window
The span of time during which maintenance of an IT service can be completed without affecting the availability specified in the SLA. Reference: Operations Management SMF
 
Solution
A coordinated delivery of technologies, documentation, training, and support designed to successfully respond to a unique customer’s business problem. Solutions typically combine people, processes, and technology to solve problems. References: Build SMF, Envision SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Stakeholders
Individuals or groups with an interest in the outcome of a project—although their goals and priorities are not always identical to the customer’s. Examples of stakeholders include departmental managers who will be affected by the solution, IT staff who are responsible for running and supporting the solution, and functional managers who contribute resources to the project team. References: Build SMF, Deploy SMF, Envision SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Team
A group of people linked with a common purpose, generally for conducting complex tasks that have interdependent subtasks. Reference: Team SMF
 
Team of peers
A concept related mostly to project teams, where each role on the project team owns a quality goal for success. In effect, the roles on the team are interdependent peers of one another. Reference: Team SMF
 
Test role
The goal of Test is to make sure that all issues are known and addressed prior to releasing the product. An issue is anything that prevents the product from meeting its requirements. This could be a fault in the code that development writes, otherwise known as a bug, a deviation in the specification that program management owns, or a defect with the documentation that user education produces. Reference: Build SMF
 
Threshold/criteria
A configurable value above which something is true and below which it is not. Reference: Service Monitoring and Control SMF
 
Total cost of ownership (TCO)
The total cost of an item over its useful lifetime. TCO analysis attempts to include all of the direct and indirect costs of an item. TCO takes into account not only the purchase price, but also implementation and training costs, management costs, and support costs. Reference: Financial Management SMF
 
Triage
The process of prioritizing and rationalizing bugs and issues with the solution. Priorities assigned to the bugs indicate how critical it is to fix them. Rationalizing is the process of determining the severity of a bug and whether the bug must be fixed for the current release. Reference: Stabilize SMF
 
Underpinning contract (UC)
A legally binding contract in place of or in addition to an SLA. This is a contract with a third-party service provider on which service deliverables for the SLA have been built. Reference: Business/IT Alignment SMF
 
Unit testing
The testing of individual solution components. Reference: Stabilize SMF
 
Use case
Description of an individual task performed in a use scenario.  References: Build SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Use scenario
Description of a particular activity that a user tries to accomplish, such as processing a transaction or checking e-mail. References: Build SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
User Experience role
The User Experience role focuses on enhancing user performance so that users are as productive as possible with the product. To accomplish this, user education acts as the advocate for the end user of the product, much like product management acts as the customer advocate to the team. Reference: Build SMF
 
Users
The people who interact with a solution to perform their jobs. References: Build SMF, Deploy SMF, Envision SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Value realization
The identification of target benefits, their definition, monitoring, and realization as a result of a business change. Reference: Financial Management SMF
 
Virtual team
A group of individuals who work across time, space, and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technology. Both dedicated and project teams can be virtual. Reference: Team SMF
 
Vision
The description of the fundamental goals of a solution.  References: Build SMF, Envision SMF, Project Plan SMF
 
Vision/scope document
A document created by the project team defines an unlimited view of the solution and identifies the parts of the vision that a project team can accomplish within its constraints. References: Envision SMF
 
Work instruction
Prescriptive guidance that precisely describes how a specific work activity should be completed. Reference: Operations Management SMF
 
Zero bug bounce
The point at which Development has no open bugs to fix. Although it is highly likely that Test will report additional bugs in the future, zero bug bounce is the first indication that the process of stabilizing of a solution is nearing an end. Reference: Stabilize SMF
 
 
 

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