Service Planning Glossary

Link to OIT Service Planning

Availability

Ability of a component or service to perform its required function at a stated instant or over a stated period of time. It is usually expressed as the availability ratio, i.e., the proportion of time that the service is actually available for use by the customers within the agreed service hours.

Charging

The process of establishing charges as they relate to business units, and raising the relevant invoices for payment by customers.

Enterprise-Level Service

An IT enterprise-level service is a one that is provided by OIT to the campus community in support of University business needs and objectives. Each enterprise-level service is composed of multiple components or supporting services that provide a specific function within the enterprise-level service. The campus community is frequently not aware of these underlying supporting services, nor should OIT expect them to be; rather they view the enterprise-level service as a coherent whole.

Escalation

If an incident cannot be resolved by first-line support within the agreed time, then more expertise or authority will become involved as a result of escalation.

ITIL

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of guides on the management and provision of operational IT services.

Metric

Measurable element of a service process or function.

Service

A described set of facilities, IT and non-IT, sustained by the IT ServiceProvider that:

  • Fulfills one or more needs of the customer
  • Supports the customer’s business objectives
  • Is perceived by the customer as a coherent whole

In this definition OIT is the IT Service Provider and the university is the customer. The customer is the entity that pays for the service, whether directly via charges for the service or indirectly via allocated funds. There are no “free” services.

Click to expand a detailed definition of Service.

An IT enterprise-level service is a one that is provided by OIT to the campus community in support of university business needs and objectives. Each enterprise-level service is composed of multiple components, or supporting services, that provide a specific function within the enterprise-level service. The consumer of the service is frequently not aware of these underlying supporting services, nor should OIT expect them to be; rather they view the enterprise-level service as a coherent whole.

As an example, email is an enterprise-level service provided by OIT recognized as a “coherent service” by the consumer. Email includes multiple component services including mail relays, spam filtering, networking, and others. In many cases the supporting services are not unique to any single service, but are utilized in multiple service offerings. Identifying which supporting services are most widely used across enterprise-level services can help to drive strategic planning as well.

Definition Background
OIT has adopted the definition of service as provided in the “Service Strategy” book of version 3 of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework, which states:
A described set of facilities, IT and non-IT, sustained by the IT Service Provider that:

  • Fulfills one or more needs of the customer
  • Supports the customer’s business objectives
  • Is perceived by the customer as a coherent whole

In this definition, OIT is the IT Service Provider and the university is the customer. The customer is the entity that pays for the service–whether directly via charges for the service or indirectly via allocated funds. That is, there are no “free” services.

This definition stresses not only the importance of identifying the customer for any service provided by OIT, but also focuses on aligning our services with the business needs of the University. It also defines services from the viewpoint of the customer by requiring that the service be a “coherent whole,” whereas the natural inclination for service providers might be to focus on the underlying technology that drives a service. Focusing on the underlying technology approach can lead to the point of losing sight of the service itself. The ITIL-based definition forces the organization to approach understanding its service offerings as its customers might.

At the same time, though, OIT does need to have a clear understanding of the technical underpinnings of its service offerings in order to provide them to the University efficiently and effectively. Each of the OIT services are themselves made up of components or supporting services that allow OIT to provide the larger service to the University. Frequently, the customer is not aware of these component services and yet without them the services the customer is aware of would not be able to function. Any adequate service planning effort will need to properly document and quantify these supporting services in addition to the enterprise-level services as well.

Service Component

Service Components are the different components that together constitute the complete service and include such items as servers (hardware and software), infrastructure, monitoring processes, documentation, and support processes and tools.

Service Component Manager

The manager who is responsible for the delivery and maintenance of a service component.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A written agreement between a Service Provider and the customer(s), which documents agreed upon levels of service for the service.

Service Owner

The Service Owner is the person (position) or small team responsible for the oversight and governance of a service. The Service Owner is also the person who “speaks for” the service and would be the key contact in case of a major service failure.

Click to expand a detailed definition of Service Owner.

The Service Owner is assumed to be an assistant director, a first-line manager or a technical staff member in a leadership role. The Service Owner has the primary responsibility to ensure that a service delivers what it promises. The Service Owner is the primary point of contact for the service, and has final responsibility for decision-making or escalation of decisions.

Authority
In order to successfully perform their responsibilities, service owners must have a mechanism for holding the other service team members accountable for providing their part of the service. This requires assignment of authority for the service by management at an organizational level that spans the reporting structure of team members. Support of team members’ managers is essential. As part of of a working agreement, the following must be established with the employees’ manager.

  • Amount of time that team member will spend supporting the service
  • Responsibilities of staff members
  • Priority of the agreed-upon work
  • Responsibilities in scope
  • Designation of technical lead and backup
  • Training program to ensure that all staff are sufficiently trained and cross-trained to adequately support the service
  • Representation of service to management
  • Coordinate communication among support staff and systems staff
  • Ensure that performance meets the requirements of SLAs and OLAs
  • Develop and maintain Service Catalog descriptions
  • Provide reporting and metrics on performance of service
  • Serve as point of contact in an emergency
  • Initiate new projects
  • Plan for service future (assess customer requirements, determine costs of solutions)
  • Maintain service catalog entry

Responsibilities Out of Scope

These responsibilities are not part of the role of Service Owner. In some cases, the person who is serving as the Service Owner will have one or more of these responsibilities in addition to the service owner role, but not every service owner will have these responsibilities.

  • Budget and purchasing (unit manager or designee)
  • Performance management (employee’s supervisor)
  • Vendor negotiations
  • Technical/system design (technical lead)
  • Gather customer requirements
  • Develop SLAs and OLAs
  • Representation of service to customers and staff

Stakeholder

Any individual or group who has an interest, or ‘stake’, in the IT service organization.

Support Task

Support Tasks are the tasks associated with the maintenance of a service. They are important to note because they allow us to assign responsibilities to individuals and/or groups, and they also can be measured—usually in units of time. There are internal support tasks such as server monitoring, as well as external support tasks such as communicating service outages. A support task list is devised in Phase II.

System

An integrated composite that consists of one or more of the processes. Hardware, software, facilities and people, which provides a capability to satisfy a stated need or objective.

Tier 1 task

Tier 1 tasks usually can be completed or solved by front-line support, such as the Help Desk or local support. Tasks at this level may be completed without high levels of system access, and problems at this level may usually be easily replicated and solved through the use of support tools or available documentation.

Tier 2 task

Tier 2 tasks usually require moderate-level system access, time and expertise. Problems at this level usually require intermediate- to advanced-level troubleshooting and have usually been replicated by Tier 1 or unit IT staff.

Tier 3 task

Tier 3 tasks generally require highly privileged system access, or access to programming code. Problems at this level have generally been replicated by Tier 1 or 2 staff.

User

The user is the person with “hands on the keyboard.” They use the IT services for their routine activities.