Skip to content

Glossary

Activity

Set of actions designed to achieve a particular result. Activities are usually defined as part of processes or plans, and are documented in procedures.

Agreement

A document that describes a formal understanding between two or more entities. An agreement is not legally binding, unless it forms part of a Contract.

Assessment

The Process responsible for verifying a new or modified IT Service to ensure that risks have been managed and to help determine whether we should proceed with a change. Assessment is also the term used for when we want to compare a real result with an intended one, or compare one alternative with another.

Asset

Any resource or capability. The assets of a service provider include anything that could contribute to the delivery of a Service. Assets can be any of the following types: Management, Organization, Process, Knowledge, People, Information, Applications, Infrastructure and Financial Capital.

Asset Management

Asset Management is the business process responsible for tracking and presenting the value and financial responsibility of Assets throughout their lifecycle. Asset Management is, in general, part of the Service Asset and Configuration Management process.

Audit

Formal inspection and verification to check whether a standard or set of guidelines is being followed, that records are correct or that efficiency and effectiveness targets are being met. An audit may be carried out by internal or external groups.

Baseline

Reference used as starting point for a comparison in the future, that is, initial data that represent the process situation, where this information is used to compare with the current situation to know if the service or process needs improvement. For instance: A Configuration Management Baseline can be used to enable the IT Infrastructure to be recovered back to its known configuration if a change or release fails.

Best Practice

Proven activities or processes that have been successfully used by multiple organizations. ITIL is an example of Best Practice.

Business

An overall corporate entity or organization formed of a number of business units.

Business Service Catalogue

A viewing of what services the IT provides to the customer and which processes use that service.

Category

A named group of things that have something in common. Categories are used to group similar things together.

Change

The addition, modification or removal of anything that could affect the IT Services. The scope should include all IT Services, Configuration Items, Process, Documents, and others.

Change History

Information about all Changes made to a Configuration Item during its life. Change history consists of all the change records that apply to the CI.

Change Management

The process responsible for controlling the lifecycle of all changes. The main purpose of Change Management is to enable benefit changes made with minimum disruption to IT Service.

Change Record

A record containing the details of a change. Each change record documents the lifecycle of a single change. A change record is created for every request for change that is received, even those that are subsequently rejected. Change record should reference the Configuration Items that are affected by the change.

CI Type

A category that is used to classify CIs. The CI type identifies the required attributes and relationship among the configuration record.

Classification

The act of assigning a category to something. Classification is used to ensure consistency in management and reporting. CIs, Incidents, Problems, Changes, and so on, are usually classified.

Client

Someone who buys products or services. The Customer of an IT Service Provider is the person or group that defines and agrees to the service level goals.

Configuration

A generic term used to describe a group of Configuration Items that work together to deliver an IT Service, or a recognizable part of an It Service. Configuration is also used to describe the parameter settings for one or more CIs

Configuration Baseline

The baseline of a configuration has been formally agreed and is managed through the Change Management process. A configuration baseline is used as a basis for future Builds, Releases and Changes.

Configuration Item (CI)

It is an asset, service component, or other item that is, or will be, under the control of Configuration Management. E.g.: hardware, software, buildings, documentation, and so on.

Contract

A legally binding Agreement between two or more entities.

Configuration Management

Process responsible for maintaining information about the Configuration Items required to deliver IT Services, including their relationships. This information is managed throughout the lifecycle of the CI. Configuration Management is part of the more comprehensive process called Service Asset and Configuration Management process.

Contract Management

A database or structured document used to manage Contracts or Service Agreements between an IT Service Provider and its customers. Each IT service delivered to a customer must have a Contract or other Agreement which is part of Contract Management.

Design

A process that identifies requirements and then defines a solution that is able to meet these requirements.

Event

A change of state that has significance for the management of a Configuration Item or IT Service. Events are typically notifications created by IT Service, Configuration Item or monitoring tool.

Event Management

The process responsible for managing events throughout their lifecycle. Event Management is one of the main activities of IT Operations.

Impact

A measure of the effect of an incident, problem or change on business processes. Impact is often based on how service levels will be affected.

Improvement Plan

A formal plan to implement improvements to a process or IT Service.

Incident

An unplanned interruption to an IT service or reduction in the quality of an IT Service.

Incident Management

The process responsible for managing the lifecycle of all incidents. The main purpose of Incident Management is to re-establish the IT Service to user as quickly as possible.

Incident Record

A record that contains the details of an incident. Each Incident Record documents the lifecycle of a single Incident.

Information Technology (IT)

Set of all activities and solutions provided by computing resources that allow the storage, communication, access and use of information.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

A Set of Best Practices that guide IT Service Management.

IT Infrastructure

All of the hardware, software, networks, facilities, and so on, that are required to develop, test, delivery, monitor, control or support IT services. The term includes all of the Information Technology, but not the people, processes and documentation associated.

Knowledge Base

A logical database that contains data of the Service Knowledge Management System. This information can be used in solving presented problems.

Knowledge Management

The process responsible for collecting, analyzing, storing and sharing knowledge and information with the rest of the organization. The main purpose of Knowledge Management is to improve efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge.

Known Error

It is a problem that has cause and a workaround. Known Errors are created and managed throughout their lifecycle by Problem Management.

Lifecycle

The many stages in the life of an IT service, Configuration Item, Incident, Problem, Change, etc. The lifecycle defines the categories for status and the status transitions that are permitted. For instance: The Lifecycle of an application includes requirements, design, build, test, deployment, operation, optimization.

Monitoring

Repeated observation of a Configuration Item, IT Service or Process to detect events and to ensure that the current status is known.

Not applicable

Indicates that a particular item or session is not applied to the subject in question.

Operational Level Agreement (OLA)

An agreement between an IT service provider and another part of the same organization that assists in the services to be provide.

Priority

A category used to identify the relative importance of an Incident, Problem or Change. The Priority is based on impact and urgency, and is used to identify required times for actions to be taken.

Problem

It is the cause of one or more incidents.

Problem Management

The process responsible for managing the lifecycle of all problems. It intends to find the cause of the problems that happens in the IT infrastructure. The main objectives of Problem Management are: preventing incidents from occurring and minimizing the impact of unforeseen incidents.

Problem Record

A record containing the details of a problem. Each problem record documents the lifecycle of a single problem.

Process

A coordinated set of activities combining and deploying resources and skills, with the objective of producing an output, which, directly or indirectly, creates value for a client or stakeholder.

Record

Document containing the results or other output from a process or activity. Records are evidences of the fact that an activity took place and may be paper or electronic.

Release

A collection of hardware, software, documentation, processes, or other components necessary to deploy one or more approved changes to the IT Services. The content of each Release is managed, tested and deployed as a single entity.

Release Management

The process responsible for planning, scheduling and control of moving releases to test and product environments. The primary goal of Release Management is to ensure that the integrity of the production environment is protected and that the correct components are released.

Request for Change (RFC)

A formal proposal for a change to be made. A RFC includes details of the proposed change, and may be recorded on paper or electronically.

Request Fulfilment

The process responsible for managing the lifecycle of all service requests.

Requirement

A formal statement of what is required. For example: a service level requirement, a project requirement or the required deliverables for a process.

Service

Act essentially intangible. It represents a set of activities that aim to add value to customers, facilitating the results they want to achieve.

Service Asset and Configuration Management

Process responsible for both Configuration Management and Asset Management.

Service Catalogue

A database or structured document with information about all live IT services, including those available for Deployment.

Service Contract

A contract to deliver one or more IT Services. The term Service Contract is also used to mean any agreement to deliver IT Services, whether this is a legal contract or a SLA.

Service Design

A phase in the lifecycle of an IT Service. Service Design includes a certain number of processes and functions.

Service Level

Measured and reported achievement against service level targets. The term is sometimes used informally to mean service level target.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A document where it describes the agreement between a Customer and an IT Service Provider in relation to the service given.

Service Level Management

The process responsible for negotiating Service Level Agreements and ensure that they are met. Service Level Management is responsible for providing that all IT Service Management process, Operational Level Agreements and Underpinning Contracts are appropriate for the agreed Service Level Targets. Service Level Management monitors and reports the Services Level and holds regular review meetings with customers.

Service Level Requirement (SLR)

A customer requirement in relation to an aspect of an IT Service. SLRs are based on business objectives and used to negotiate agreed service level targets.

Service Management

Service Management is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of Services.

Service Portfolio

It represents all services under analysis, in development, in production or obsolete.

Service Provider

An organization supplying services to one or more It customer.

Service Request

It is a user request for information, advice, standard change or access to an IT service. A Service Request is usually handled by the Service Desk and does not require the opening of an RFC.

Solicitation

A solicitation may result in the recording of an Incident or a Service Request.

Solicitation Type

Category that is used to distinguish requests made to the Service Desk. The most common request types are: Incident, Service Request and Work Order.

Status

The name of a required field in many types of Record. It shows the current stage in the lifecycle of the associated Configuration Item, Incident, Problem, etc.

Supplier

A third party responsible for supplying goods or services that are required to deliver IT Services.

Technical Service Catalogue

It shows the relationship between the services and the components used to produce them.

User

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.

Version

A Version is used to identify a specific Baseline of a Configuration Item. Versions typically use a naming convention that enables the sequence or date of each Baseline to be identified. For example: “payroll” application version 3 contains updated functionality from version 2.