MOF v.4 IT Service Lifecycle Defined

Development has continued at a frenzied pace over the past couple of months on the MOF update and we do have some work to show for it.  But before I present the MOF IT Service Lifecycle, its phases, and our new graphic, I'd like to review a few of our core design principles with you to make sure we're all on the same track.  Simply put, our design goals are:

    • Update MOF to include the full end to end IT Service Lifecycle

    • Let IT Governance serve as the foundation of our lifecycle

    • Provide useful, easily consumable best practice based guidance

    • Simplify and consolidate SMFs as needed, emphasizing workflows, decisions, outcomes, and roles

Now with that understanding, let's take a look at the new MOF Lifecycle graphic.

Looking at the graphic, you'll note there are 4 distinct phases, or parts, of the lifecycle.  Like the previous version of MOF with its four quadrants, each of these has a unique mission of service, yet are comprised of closely interrelated Service Management Functions (SMFs).  In no particular order, the four phases with their mission statements are:

Plan & Optimize

Ensure services offered to the business are valuable, predictable, reliable, and cost-effective while responding to ever changing business needs.


Design & Deliver

Ensure that those services the business and IT have agreed on are developed effectively, deployed successfully, and ready for operations.


Operate & Support

Ensure that deployed services are operated, maintained, and supported in line with the Service Level Agreement targets agreed to between the business and IT.


Manage & Adapt

Ensure that the investment in IT delivers expected business value at an acceptable level of risk using controlled and documented processes.

And if you're wondering where some of your favorite SMFs now live, take a look at this next graphic for our Service Management Function breakdown.

And while we have reduced the total number of SMFs from previous versions of MOF, I hope you'll find that by consolidating and simplifying SMFs where it made sense, and by creating a new structure for the SMFs that focuses on workflows, decisions, outcomes, and roles, we have made MOF more easily consumable and adaptable to your unique environment and needs.  But still, we'd like to hear your opinions on the above graphics and decisions.

In the next few days, I'll start breaking down each of these phases and talking a bit more about the SMFs that comprise them.

Jason Osborne

Frameworks PM


Comments (8)

  1. josephmi says:

    Seems like you have missed the "unit of work" concept in the MOF v3 and tried tied inject too much MSF into the operations space.  Changing the v3 Process model simply to change it is couter-productive to refining what was already a working model.  This simply adds more work onto all those that understand the current version and I frankly don’t see the benefits.

    Understanding the process model in terms of service delivery with the a particular service as the unit of work (such as Messaging) shows that there is nothing lacking in the current version.

    You all have gone way too far in this revision.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I recently saw the slides from Mark Gilbert's presentation –”Can the CIO survive Microsoft SharePoint

  3. Anon says:

    I would personally like to see MOF become more prescriptive.  I.e. I would like MOF to have packages that help you implement ITIL v3 as opposed to being another framework.  In my opinion it can confuse the marketplace.

  4. davidl says:

    I really like the new MOF Lifecycle model and SMF structure. In particular, I’m very pleased with the addition of the "Design & Deliver" SMFs. In my experience, a significant percentage of avoidable production incidents are rooted in people & process errors that occur during the project phases of the lifecycle. MOF v3 guidance does not address this space, but MSF guidance does. If the intent is to leverage MSF guidance in the Design & Deliver phase, I think that constitutes a brilliant move.

    I also think the new model could help IT Management teams, Solution Development teams and Production Ops teams learn to think more holistically about their work. This, in turn, could help reduce instances of "throw-it-over-the-wall" syndrome. I really think you are on the right track. Nice work!

  5. Gary Roos says:

    Really thinking about why operations has so many challenges, and following the root cause, it would be hard to go past the fact that operations is not generally regarded as strategic. This is probably why ITSM has relatively low adoption and an inordinate amount of difficulty in justifying improvement investments. On the flip-side, maintenance and operations consume 70-80% of IT spend. You can probably figure out some of the reasons for this yourselves.

    MOF v4 takes a more pragmatic approach to ITSM. All the underpinning principles and concepts of ITIL and MOF are still there. Now it is wrapped in a governance layer – which really will help to bring the strategic value to the surface, and all the goodness that comes with this understanding. Practically there is more IT Pro guidance to help the IT organisation better understand their respective contributions.

    It is not such a radical departure as you may initially think. MOF v4 is a different, more practical way of looking at what service management is and how it is performed. I am sure as more details are revealed that this will become clearer. What really is fantaastic is the community contribution – that helps to shape and evolve this thinking – so I would strongly encourage the continued submission of ideas and good open discussion.


  6. prinz says:

    What about MOF Team Model? how its going to align with new service cycle model? And will be there any changes in Team model it self?

  7. Cleber Marques says:

    Hi Jason,

    I’m anxious for news about MOF, let me say to you a great news: I’m the first MOF Foundation Certified in Brazil.

    See you

    Best regards,

    Cleber Marques

    Projeto MOF Brasil

  8. hagel IT-Services Hamburg says:

    Thanks for the writings, very usefull for us.

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