Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) – Changing Quadrant: the "What", "Why", and "How"

WHAT?

This week, Wednesday till Friday, I took part in the MOF – Changing Quadrant training. I already had some background about MOF and IT Operations in general:

¾     Rough knowledge of ITIL (be sure to check a great ITIL overview on Wikipedia)

¾     MOF Essentials course

 

WHY?

It was an interesting training, but frankly speaking, I was highly skeptical about the real business value and application of MOF in “real” IT environments. But during the training I had 2 phone calls from 2 different customers about an unexpected, urgent problem in their IT environment. Fortunately we managed to correct all of the issues pretty quickly, but nevertheless it was impossible to avoid the stress. The most interesting part was finding the root cause of the problems. And surprise, surprise… The cause of the problem in both cases was an uncontrolled and unapproved change introduced to the live, production environment. It may be hard to believe but over 60% of problems in IT environment are due to this kind of changes.

The whole concept of MOF is very difficult to grasp at first, since it involves a total switch of approach to IT operations: from technology-oriented to process-oriented. However when you make the first, most difficult steps forward, you will begin to see lots of benefits:

a more pro-active focus on IT environement management and monitoring, higher ROI, lower TCO). If you want more exact information and numbers, have a look at some of the MS IT Showcases, e.g. IT Change and Configuration Showcase.

This is what the Changing Quadrant of MOF is about: how to introduce approved changes into the production IT environment effectively, quickly and with minimal downtime.

 

HOW?

How to go about MOF in your organization? This is what I would suggest:

1.      If you are totally new to MOF, start with the overview to understand how the 4 MOF quadrants in the process model work

2.      Perform an internal (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/cits/mo/mof/moftool.mspx) or external (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/cits/mo/mof/coned.mspx) MOF assessment – this will result in a scorecard-type result of the review. You will be able to see where you are now, and how to improve.

3.      Use the MOF IT service management toolkit to execute service improvement in your organization.

4.      After setting up a plan on how to improve, be sure to check out the possible solutions/technologies to aid you in deploying these processes. The SMS Desired Configuration Monitoring is one of such solutions for the changing quadrant.

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~ by alipka on April 1, 2006.

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