The following are the important Terms & Definitions used throughout this blog. They will also be useful during the ITIL V3 Certification Examination.
|Important Terms & Definitions|
A warning that a threshold has been reached, something has changed or a failure has occurred.
The ability of an organisation, person, process, application, configuration item or IT service to carry out an activity. Capabilities are intangible assets of an organisation.
A Configuration Item (CI) is 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 Configuration Management System and is maintained throughout its lifecycle by Configuration Management. CIs are under the control of Change Management. CIs typically include IT services, hardware, software, buildings, people and formal documentation such as process documentation and SLAs.
|Configuration Management Database|
A Configuration Management Database (CMDB) stores configuration records containing Attributes of CIs and their relationships. A CMS may include one or more CMDBs.
|Configuration Management System|
A Configuration Management System (CMS) is a set of tools and databases used to manage an IT service provider’s configuration data. The CMS also includes information about Incidents, Problems, known errors, changes and releases, and may contain data about employees, suppliers, locations, business units, customers and users. The CMS includes tools for collecting, storing, managing, updating and presenting data about all CIs and their relationships. The CMS is maintained by Configuration Management and is used by all IT Service Management processes.
A Configuration Model is a model of the services, assets and the infrastructure that includes relationships between CIs, enabling other processes to access valuable information (e.g. assessing the impact of Incidents, Problems and proposed changes, planning and designing new or changed services and their release and deployment, optimising asset utilisation and costs).
|Definitive Media Library|
A Definitive Media Library (DML) is one or more locations in which the definitive and approved versions of all software CIs are securely stored. The DML may also contain associated CIs such as licences and documentation. The DML is a single logical storage area even if there are multiple locations. All software in the DML is under the control of Change and Release Management and is recorded in the Configuration Management System. Only software from the DML is acceptable for use in a release. See Figure 18.2.
Deployment is the activity responsible for the movement of new or changed hardware, software, documentation, process etc. to the Live Environment.
An Event can be defined as any detectable or discernable occurrence that has significance for the management of the IT infrastructure or the delivery of IT service and evaluation of the impact a deviation may cause to the services. Events are typically notifications created by an IT service, Configuration Item or monitoring tool.
The Process responsible for managing Events throughout their lifecycle. Event Management is one of the main Activities of IT Operations.
A team or group of people and the tools they use to carry out one or more Processes or activities (e.g. the Service Desk or IT Operations).
An Incident is an unplanned interruption to an IT service or reduction in the quality of an IT service. Failure of a Configuration Item that has not yet impacted service is also an Incident.
|Key Performance Indicator|
Only the most important metrics are defined as KPIs. KPIs should be selected to ensure that Efficiency, Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness are all managed.
A Problem that has a documented root cause and a workaround. Known Errors are created and managed throughout their lifecycle by Problem Management. Known Errors may also be identified by Development or Suppliers.
Something that is measured and reported to help manage a Process, IT Service or Activity.
|Operational Level Agreement|
An Operational Level Agreement (OLA) is an agreement between an IT service provider and another part of the same organisation. An OLA supports the IT service provider’s delivery of IT services to the customers. The OLA defines the goods or services to be provided and the responsibilities of both parties.
A Problem is the cause of one or more Incidents.
A Process is a structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A Process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs. A Process may include any of the Roles, responsibilities, tools and management controls required to reliably deliver the outputs. A Process may define policies, standards, guidelines, activities and work instructions if they are needed.
A Release is a collection of hardware, software, documents, 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.
A generic term that includes IT infrastructure, people, money or anything else that might help to deliver an IT service. Resources are considered to be assets of an organisation.
Risk is defined as uncertainty of outcome, whether positive opportunity or negative threat. A possible event that could cause harm or loss, or affect the ability to achieve Objectives. A Risk is measured by the probability of a Threat, the Vulnerability of the Asset to that Threat, and the Impact it would have if it occurred.
A set of responsibilities, activities and authorities granted to a person or team. A Role is defined in a Process. One person or team may have multiple roles (e.g. the roles of Configuration Manager and Change Manager may be carried out by a single person).
A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes that customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.
Service Change is the addition, modification or removal of anything that could affect IT services. The scope should include all IT services, CIs, processes, documentation etc.
|Service Design Package|
(Service Design) Document(s) defining all aspects of an IT Service and their Requirements through each stage of its Lifecycle. A Service Design Package is produced for each new IT Service, major Change or IT Service Retirement.
|Service Improvement Plan (SIP)|
A formal Plan to implement improvements to a Process or IT Service.
|Service Level Agreement|
ITIL defines a Service Level Agreement (SLA) as an agreement between an IT service provider and a customer. The SLA describes the IT service, records service level targets, and specifies the responsibilities for the IT service provider and the customer. A single SLA may cover multiple IT services or multiple customers.
|Service Level Package|
A Service Level Package is a defined level of Utility and Warranty for a particular Service Package. Each SLP is designed to meet the needs of a particular Pattern of Business Activity.
Service Management is a set of specialised organisational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.
ITIL defines a Service Package as a detailed description of an IT service that is available to be delivered to customers. A Service Package includes a Service Level Package (SLP) and one or more Core Services and Supporting Services.
A Service Request is a request from a user for information, for advice, for a Standard Change or for access to an IT Service.
A Standard Change is a pre-approved Change that is low risk, relatively common and follows a Procedure or Work Instruction.
Strategic assets are assets that provide the basis for core competence, distinctive performance, durable advantage, and qualifications to participate in business opportunities. IT organisations can use the guidance provided by ITIL to transform their Service Management capabilities into strategic assets.
A third party responsible for supplying goods or services that are required to deliver IT services.
Functionality offered by a product or service to meet a particular need. Utility is often summarised as ‘what it does’.
A promise or guarantee that a product or service will meet its agreed requirements.