Wednesday, May 26

ITIL Glossary - Online ITIL Certification and Training

In the context of ITSM, this is a synonym for IT Accounting.

A Document that describes a formal understanding between two or more parties. An Agreement is not legally binding, unless it forms part of a Contract.

Application Management
The Process responsible for managing Applications throughout their Lifecycle.

Asset Management
(Financial Management) Asset Management is the Business Process responsible for tracking and reporting the value and ownership of financial Assets throughout their Lifecycle.

(Availability Management) (Security Management) Ability of a Configuration Item or IT Service to perform its agreed Function when required. Availability is determined by Reliability, Maintainability, Serviceability, Performance, and Security. Availability is usually calculated as a percentage. This calculation is often based on Agreed Service Time and Downtime. It is Best Practice to calculate Availability using measurements of the Business output of the IT Service.

Availability Management
(Availability Management) The Process responsible for defining, analyzing, Planning, measuring and improving all aspects of the Availability of IT services. Availability Management is responsible for ensuring that all IT Infrastructure, Processes, Tools, Roles etc are appropriate for the agreed Service Level Targets for Availability.

The recorded state of something at a specific point in time. A Baseline can be created for a Configuration, a Process, or any other set of data. For example, a baseline can be used in:
* Continuous Service Improvement, to establish a starting point for planning improvements.
* Capacity Management, to document performance characteristics during normal operations.
* Configuration Management, to enable the IT Infrastructure to be restored to a known configuration if a Change fails. Also used to specify a standard Configuration for data capture, release or Audit purposes.

(Financial Management) The Activity of predicting and controlling the spending of money. Consists of a periodic negotiation cycle to set future Budgets (usually annual) and the day-to-day monitoring and adjusting of current Budgets.

(Release Management)
The Activity of assembling a number of Configuration Items to create part of an IT Service. The term Build is also used to refer to a Release that is authorized for distribution. For example Server Build or laptop Build.

Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
(IT Service Continuity Management) A Plan defining the steps required to Restore Business Processes following a disruption. The Plan will also identify the triggers for Invocation, people to be involved, communications etc. IT Service Continuity Plans form a significant part of Business Continuity Plans.

Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
(IT Service Continuity Management) BIA is the Activity in Business Continuity Management that identifies Vital Business Functions and their dependencies. These dependencies may include Suppliers, people, other Business Processes, IT Services etc.
BIA defines the recovery requirements for IT Services. These requirements include Recovery Time Objectives, Recovery Point Objectives and minimum Service Level Targets for each IT Service.

Business Relationship Management (BRM)
(Business Relationship Management) The Process responsible for maintaining a Relationship with the Business. This Process usually includes:
* Managing personal Relationships with Business managers
* Portfolio Management
* Ensuring that the IT Service Provider is satisfying the Business needs of the Customers
This Process has strong links with Service Level Management.

(Capacity Management) The maximum Throughput that a Configuration Item or IT Service can deliver whilst meeting agreed Service Level Targets. For some types of CI, Capacity may be the size or volume, for example a disk drive.

Capacity Management
(Capacity Management) The Process responsible for ensuring that the Capacity of IT Services and the IT Infrastructure is able to deliver agreed Service Level Targets in a Cost Effective and timely manner. Capacity Management considers all Resources required to deliver the IT Service, and plans for short, medium and long term Business Requirements.

(Change Management) The addition, modification or removal of anything that could have an effect on IT Services. The Scope should include all Configuration Items, Processes, Documentation etc.

Change Advisory Board (CAB)
(Change Management) A group of people that assists the Change Manager in the assessment, prioritization and scheduling of Changes. This board is usually made up of representatives from all areas within the IT Service Provider, representatives from the Business, and Third Parties such as Suppliers.

Change Advisory Board / Emergency Committee (CAB/EC)
(Change Management) A sub-set of the Change Advisory Board who make decisions about Emergency Changes. Membership of the CAB/EC may be decided at the time a meeting is called, and depends on the nature of the Emergency Change.

Change Management
(Change Management) The Process responsible for controlling the Lifecycle of all Changes. The primary objective of Change Management is to enable beneficial Changes to be made, with minimum disruption to IT Services.

(Financial Management) Requiring payment for IT Services. Charging for IT Services is optional, and many Organizations choose to treat their IT Service Provider as a Cost Centre.

Configuration Item (CI)
(Configuration Management) Any Component that needs to be managed in order to deliver an IT Service. Information about each CI is recorded in a Configuration Record within the CMDB and is maintained throughout its Lifecycle by Configuration Management. CIs are under the control of Change Management. CIs typically include hardware, software, buildings, people, and formal documentation such as Process documentation and SLAs.

Configuration Management
(Configuration Management) The Process responsible for maintaining information about Configuration Items required to deliver an IT Service, including their Relationships. This information is managed throughout the Lifecycle of the CI. The primary objective of Configuration Management is to underpin the delivery of IT Services by providing accurate data to all IT Service Management Processes when and where it is needed.

Configuration Management Database (CMDB)
(Configuration Management) A Database used to manage Configuration Records throughout their Lifecycle. The CMDB records the Attributes of each CI, and Relationships with other CIs. A CMDB may also contain other information linked to CIs, for example Incident, Problem or Change Records. The CMDB is maintained by Configuration Management and is used by all IT Service Management Processes.

(Financial Management) The amount of money spent on a specific Activity, IT Service, or Business Unit. Costs consist of real cost (money), notional cost such as people’s time, and Depreciation. Cost is also used as the name of a Charging Policy that recovers the exact cost of providing the service.

Critical Success Factor (CSF)
Something that must happen if a Process, Project, Plan, or IT Service is to succeed. KPIs are used to measure the achievement of each CSF. For example a CSF of “protect IT Services when making Changes” could be measured by KPIs such as “percentage reduction of unsuccessful Changes”, “percentage reduction in Changes causing Incidents” etc.

Someone who buys goods or Services. The Customer of an IT Service Provider is the person or group who defines and agrees the Service Level Targets. The term Customers is also sometimes informally used to mean Users, for example “this is a Customer Focused Organization”.

Definitive Hardware Store (DHS)
(Release Management) One or more physical locations in which hardware Configuration Items are securely stored when not in use. All hardware in the DHS is under the control of Change and Release Management and is recorded in the CMDB. The DHS contains spare parts, maintained at suitable revision levels, and may also include hardware that is part of a future Release.

Definitive Software Library (DSL)
(Release Management) One or more locations in which the definitive and approved versions of all software Configuration Items are securely stored. The DSL may also contain associated CIs such as licenses and documentation. The DSL is a single logical storage area even if there are multiple locations. All software in the DSL is under the control of Change and Release Management and is recorded in the CMDB. Only software from the DSL is acceptable for use in a Release.

Demand Management
(Capacity Management) Optimizing the use of Capacity by moving Workload to less utilized times, Servers, or places. Demand Management often uses Differential Charging to encourage Customers to use IT Services at less busy times. Demand Management also makes use of other techniques such as limiting the number of concurrent Users.

Emergency Change
(Change Management) A Change that must be introduced as soon as possible. For example to resolve a Major Incident or implement a Security patch. The Change Management Process will normally have a specific Procedure for handling Emergency Changes.

Financial Management for IT Services
(Financial Management) The Process responsible for managing an IT Service Provider’s Budgeting, Accounting and Charging requirements.

Help Desk
(Service Desk) A point of contact for Users to log Incidents. A Help Desk is usually more technically focused than a Service Desk and does not provide a Single Point of Contact for all interaction. The term Help Desk is often used as a synonym for Service Desk.

(Incident Management) An unplanned interruption to an IT Service or reduction in the Quality of an IT Service. Any event which could affect an IT Service in the future is also an Incident. For example Failure of one disk from a mirror set.

Incident Management
(Incident Management) The Process responsible for managing the Lifecycle of all Incidents. The primary Objective of Incident Management is to return the IT Service to Customers as quickly as possible.

Information Technology (IT)
The use of technology for the storage, communication or processing of information. The technology typically includes computers, telecommunications, Applications and other software. The information may include Business data, voice, images, video, etc. Information Technology is often used to support Business Processes through IT Services.

IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
A set of Best Practice guidance for IT Service Management. ITIL is owned by the OGC and is developed in conjunction with the itSMF. ITIL consists of a series of publications giving guidance on the provision of Quality IT Services, and on the Processes and facilities needed to support them. See for more information.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
A Metric that is used to help manage a Process, IT Service or Activity. Many Metrics may be measured, but only the most important of these are defined as KPIs and used to actively manage and report on the Process, IT Service or Activity.
KPIs should be selected to ensure that Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Cost Effectiveness are all managed.

Knowledge Management
The Process responsible for gathering, analyzing, storing and sharing knowledge information within an Organization. The primary purpose of Knowledge Management is to improve Efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge.
Known Error (KE)
(Problem Management) A Problem that has a documented Root Cause and a Workaround. Known Errors are created by Problem Control and are managed throughout their Lifecycle by Error Control. Known Errors may also be identified by Development or Suppliers.

Known Error Database
(Service Desk) (Incident Management) (Problem Management) A Database containing all Known Error Records. This Database is created by Problem Management and used by Incident and Problem Management.

The various stages in the life of a Configuration Item, Incident, Problem, Change etc. The Lifecycle defines the Categories for Status and the Status transitions that are permitted. For example:
* The Lifecycle of an Application includes Design, Build, Test, Deploy, Operate etc.
* The lifecycle of an Incident includes Detect, Respond, Diagnose, Repair, Recover, Restore.
* The lifecycle of a Server may include: Ordered, Received, In Test, Live, Disposed etc.
Major Incident
(Incident Management) The highest Category of Impact for an Incident. A Major Incident results in significant disruption to the Business.

Operational Level Agreement (OLA)
(Service Level Management) An Agreement between an IT Service Provider and another part of the same Business that provides Services to them. For example there could be an OLA with a facilities department to provide air conditioning, or with the procurement department to obtain hardware in agreed times. An OLA may also be between two parts of the same IT Service Provider, for example between the Service Desk and a Support Group.

Formally documented management expectations and intentions. Policies are used to direct decisions, and to ensure consistent and appropriate development and implementation of Processes, Standards, Roles, Activities, IT Infrastructure etc.

Proactive Problem Management
(Problem Management) Part of the Problem Management Process. The Objective of Proactive Problem Management is to identify Problems that might otherwise be missed. Proactive Problem Management analyses Incident Records, and uses data collected by other IT Service Management Processes to identify trends or significant problems.
The root cause of one or more incidents.

Problem Management
(Problem Management) The Process responsible for managing the Lifecycle of all Problems. The primary objectives of Problem Management are to prevent Incidents from happening, and to minimize the Impact of Incidents that cannot be prevented. Problem Management includes Problem Control, Error Control and Proactive Problem Management.

(Release Management) A collection of hardware, software, documentation, Processes or other Components required to implement one or more approved Changes to IT Services. The contents of each Release are managed, tested, and deployed as a single entity.

Release Management
(Release Management) The Process responsible for Planning, scheduling and controlling the movement of Releases to Test and Live Environments. The primary objective of Release Management is to ensure that the integrity of the Live Environment is protected and that the correct Components are released. Release Management works closely with Configuration Management and Change Management.

Request for Change (RFC)
(Change Management) A formal proposal for a Change to be made. An RFC includes details of the proposed Change, and may be recorded on paper or electronically. The term RFC is often misused to mean a Change Record, or the Change itself.

Return on Investment (ROI)
(Financial Management) A measurement of the expected benefit of an investment. Calculated by dividing the average increase in financial benefit (taken over an agreed number of years) by the investment.

The possibility of suffering harm or loss. In quantitative Risk Management this is calculated as how likely it is that a specific Threat will exploit a particular Vulnerability.

Risk Assessment
The initial steps of Risk Management. Analyzing the value of Assets to the business, identifying Threats to those Assets, and evaluating how Vulnerable each Asset is to those Threats.

Risk Management
The Process responsible for identifying, assessing and managing Risks. Risk Management can be quantitative (based on numerical data) or qualitative.

Service Catalog
A Document listing all IT Services, with summary information about their SLAs and Customers. The Service Catalogue is created and maintained by the IT Service Provider and is used by all IT Service Management Processes.

Service Desk
(Service Desk) The Single Point of Contact between the Service Provider and the Users. A typical Service Desk manages Incidents and Service Requests, and also handles communication with the Users.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)
(Service Level Management) An Agreement between an IT Service Provider and a Customer. The SLA describes the IT Service, documents Service Level Targets, and specifies the responsibilities of the IT Service Provider and the Customer. A single SLA may cover multiple IT Services or multiple customers.

Service Level Management (SLM)
(Service Level Management) The Process responsible for negotiating Service Level Agreements, and ensuring that these are met. SLM is responsible for ensuring that all IT Service Management Processes, Operational Level Agreements, and Underpinning Contracts, are appropriate for the agreed Service Level Targets. SLM monitors and reports on Service Levels, and holds regular Customer reviews.

Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
Providing a single consistent way to communicate with an Organization or Business Unit. For example, a Single Point of Contact for an IT Service Provider is usually called a Service Desk.

Single Point of Failure (SPOF)
Any Configuration Item that can cause an Incident when it fails, and for which a Countermeasure has not been implemented. A SPOF may be a person, or a step in a Process or Activity, as well as a Component of the IT Infrastructure.

Standard Change
A pre-approved Change that is low Risk, relatively common and follows a Procedure or Work Instruction. For example password reset or provision of standard equipment to a new employee. RFCs are not required to implement a Standard Change, and they are logged and tracked using a different mechanism, such as a Service Request.

Underpinning Contract (UC)
A Contract with an external Third Party that supports delivery of an IT Service by the IT Service Provider to a Customer. The Third Party provides goods or Services that are required by the IT Service Provider to meet agreed Service Level Targets in the SLA with their Customer.

A measure of how long it will be until an Incident, Problem or Change has a significant Impact on the Business. For example a high Impact Incident may have low Urgency, if the Impact will not affect the Business until the end of the Financial Year. Impact and Urgency are used to assign Priority.

A person who uses the IT Service on a day-to-day basis. Users are distinct from Customers, as some Customers do not use the IT Service directly.

Vital Business Function (VBF)
A Function of a Business Process which is critical to the success of the Business. Vital Business Functions are an important consideration of Business Continuity Management, IT Service Continuity Management and Availability Management.

(Incident Management) (Problem Management) Reducing or eliminating the Impact of an Incident or Problem for which a full Resolution is not yet available. For example by restarting a failed Configuration Item. Workarounds for Problems are documented in Known Error Records. Workarounds for Incidents that do not have associated Problem Records are documented in the Incident Record.