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Microsoft Frameworks Integrated Glossary

The Microsoft Integrated Glossary contains terms for: MSF - Microsoft Solutions Framework MOF - Microsoft Operations Framework MSPMO - Project Management Office
Mar 4, 2004

ITSM Watch Staff


P - Q


package release
A release that includes a package of software configuration items that are introduced into the production environments.


partner role
One of six roles in the MOF team model. It includes management of a broad collection of IT partners, service suppliers, and outsource vendors who work as virtual members of the IT staff in providing hardware, software, networking, hosting, and support services.


An update (commonly called a fix) to a version or release. Each patch introduced into the environment needs a corresponding version adjustment.


performance support plan
A plan drawn up by the user education role for how to support end users of a software product.


A distinct division within a process model or product life cycle, typically culminating in a major or external milestone, or representing a fundamental transition in the development of a product or service. In Microsoft Solutions Framework, process models and the product life cycle comprise four phases.


Phase in MSF correlates with "quadrant" in MOF. Phase as used in MSF infers that activities or tasks within each phase occur sequentially, with distinct demarcations between phases, although some overlap may occur. Quadrant is used in MOF to distinguish the fact that tasks or activities from each quadrant may begin nearly simultaneously and may continue concurrently for the life of the project.


physical design
The third major stage in the design process, in which the project team determines how to specifically implement the logical design.


physical environment
The geographic and workspace layout and artifacts that affect and support work.


Introduction of the solution into the production environment, and trial by installers, systems support staff, and end users; an "opening night."


pilot complete interim milestone
The point during the developing phase at which the project team has piloted the solution and is ready for deployment.


plan, build, manage IT life cycle
The fundamental IT life cycle upon which MSF is based. Enterprise architecture focuses on the planning aspects of the MSF life cycle.


planning phase
In MSF, the second phase of the four-phase process model. In this phase, the project team and other major stakeholders define the project scope, create the schedule, and prepare for the next phase. The planning phase culminates in the project plan or EA project plan approved milestone.


A formal process of reviewing what went right and what went wrong with a project as a way of learning for the future.


predecessor task
A task or activity that must start or finish before another, dependent task


preliminary deployment model
The proposed network, data, and component topologies, determined by physical constraints of the infrastructure, physical requirements of the application, the enterprise architecture, and proofs of concept that will all still be evolving throughout the validation of physical design.


preproduction test complete interim milestone
The point during the developing phase at which the project team has tested and validated the elements created during development.


preventive maintenance
Maintenance directed at preventing errors so that they don't recur and cause future disruption in operations.


A responsible party who is formally empowered to enter into service level agreements.


print and output management
A MOF service management function in the operating quadrant. It is responsible for managing the costs and resources associated with business output. The output could be printed documents, faxes, e-mail, Web pages, electronic transactions, or computer files.


The sequence in which an incident or problem needs to be resolved, based on impact and urgency.


proactive analysis
An evaluation of how new and unused technologies can be applied to the organization. In this approach, planners do not treat the boundaries of current business practices as limitations, but try to change business processes through a new application of technology in a way that adds value to the organization. The proactive approach means that IT professionals have to imagine future directions that the organization might take and look for ways to apply new or unexploited old technologies to business. See also reactive analysis.


In the MOF risk model, the likelihood that the condition will occur. (Note that this is not the likelihood of the consequence. It is assumed that if the condition happens, the consequence is a guaranteed result.) Probability is measured on a numeric scale, and it is never zero (because a risk that can't happen isn't something to manage) and never 100 percent (because that condition would be guaranteed: a known problem, not a risk).


Underlying cause of one or more incidents.


problem diagnosis
The actions leading to the acknowledgement of an error, including the localization of the malfunction and establishment of the cause.


problem management
A MOF service management function in the supporting quadrant. Its primary objective is to effectively address the underlying/root cause of incidents in order to reduce the quantity and severity of incidents within the production IT environment. It employs the processes aimed at detecting and effecting structural improvements in the technical infrastructure and the settlement of problems arising from the use and management of information systems.


problem resolution owner
The person to whom a problem is assigned. This person owns responsibility for solving the problem, although not implementing the solution. Implementation is done by change management.


problem statement
A concise summation of the problem that the project is intended to solve.


The description of a formalized method of working (when and in what order actions are to be carried out) for a specified process or part thereof. Procedures provide for coordination between departments. Among other things, a procedure can be described as:

  • The course taken through the company.
  • What one department supplies to another, in what form, and at what moment.
  • Rules relating to several departments.

A collection of activities that yield a result, product, or service; usually a continuous operation. A series of actions or operations designed to achieve an end.


process control
The process of planning and regulating, with the objective of performing a process in an effective and efficient way.


process model
See process model, MOF and process model, MSF.


process model, MOF
A spiral process model that provides a structure for the continuous assessment of all aspects of IT operations. It provides a mechanism for the rapid identification and incorporation of required changes to provide highly reliable and cost-effective services and solutions. This spiral process does not happen serially, but rather occurs in parallel across the service solutions. The MOF process model supports the successful provision of IT services by addressing four key principles: structured architecture, rapid life cycle and iterative improvement, review-driven management, and embedded risk management.


process model, MSF
The MSF project life cycle model that establishes the order for all development cycle activities up to the initial release. The model comprises four distinct phases: envisioning, planning, developing, and deploying the solution into the enterprise.


The daily operation of all systems in the IT environment.


product management role
One of six team roles in MSF, this role's key contribution to lead the team to a shared vision of the requirements for meeting a customer need. The role acts as liaison between the team and customer; manages customer expectations; promotes shared project vision/scope; develops, maintains, and executes the business case; promotes features versus schedule trade-offs; and develops, maintains, and executes the communications plan.


product mindset
A best practice or principle of a successful team. It means treating all work as part of a project and treating the final deliverable of the project as a product. It is important because it focuses the team on execution rather than process, enables the team to use product development techniques such as versioned releases, and increases team identity and accountability.


product scope
The deliverables a project creates.


product-level vision
A long-term vision of what the product is intended to do.


A group of related projects, managed in a coordinated way. Programs usually include an element of ongoing work.


program management role
One of six team roles in MSF, it is responsible for driving the timely completion of an IT solution project. The program manager expedites critical trade-off decision-making, manages resource allocation, manages the project schedule and reports project status, manages the product specification, facilitates team communication and negotiation, and drives the development process. Conceptually, this role is roughly equivalent to the traditional project manager; however, in MSF the program manager acts as a coordinator among several peer roles, each of which has responsibility for its own set of tasks and activities. In PMO, a program manager usually directs the operations of several projects, either simultaneously or sequentially. This aspect of the MSF program manager role may be true, but it is not required. The program manager in PMO is also responsible for the success of the entire project-this is a shared responsibility in MSF.


program manager
The title for a person holding the program management role in an MSF team or the titular head of a large IT (or other) program involving several projects, ongoing projects, or other complex management activities. See also program management role.


programming model
Prescribes how to use implementation technologies, sets design guidelines as the foundation for component specification, and uses different considerations to address different aspects of the solution: stateful and stateless objects, in-process and out-of-process function calls, connected and connectionless modes, synchronicity, threading, error handling, security, and distribution.


A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.


project assurance
A PMO role that provides overview, consultation, and advice on complex projects. Role typically assumed by a principal consultant, not involved in day-to-day project activities.


project closure
The definitive end point of a project, agreed upon and documented by the consultant and project sponsors. Project closure may occur due to successful project completion, loss of project viability (no longer appropriate), or risk exposures that have become unacceptably high.


project documents
One of the deliverables leading to the release milestone. They archive project artifacts for future reference.


project lead
Synonym for MSF program manager within an engagement.


project life cycle
A collection of generally sequential project phases whose name and number are controlled by the needs of the organization or organizations involved in the project.


project manager
The individual responsible for managing a project.


project phase
A collection of logically related project activities, usually culminating in the completion of a major deliverable.


project plan
A formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control. The primary uses of the project plan are to document planning assumptions and decisions, facilitate communications among stakeholders, and document approved scope, cost, and schedule baselines. A project plan may be summarized or detailed.


project plan approved milestone
In MSF, the second of four major milestones. It represents the culmination of the planning phase, indicating the project team, customer, and key project stakeholders agree on what will be delivered and when.


project schedule
The planned dates for performing activities and the planned dates for meeting milestones.


project scope
The work (schedule and resources) required to create the deliverable in the product scope.


project structure document
A deliverable of the envisioning phase, leading to the vision/scope approved milestone.


project trade-off triangle
A model that displays the relationships between the three components of a project that describe the scope of work (resources, schedule, features). See also resource and trade-off triangle.


project variables
The three sides of the trade-off triangle. They include resources, schedule, and features.


project-level vision
A short-term vision of what the project team wants the current version of the product to do.


proof of concept complete interim milestone
The point in the developing phase at which the project team has deployed the selected technology in a lab environment designed to simulate the production environment.


The standardized way in which communication takes place between two components.


The four distinct divisions of the MOF process model, culminating in a major or external review. Quadrant in MOF correlates with "phase" in PMO and MSF. Quadrant is used in MOF to distinguish the fact that tasks or activities from each quadrant may begin nearly simultaneously and may continue concurrently for the life of the project. Phase as used in PMO and MSF infers that activities or tasks within each phase occur sequentially, with distinct demarcations between phases, although some overlap may occur.


The totality of those properties and characteristics of a product or service that are important in enabling the fulfillment of established or self-evident needs.


quality assurance
A role some organizations use to ensure that a quality bar is set and met; not to be confused with the testing role in the MSF team model, which is responsible for tracking the status of product development.


quality level
A measure of quality, expressed as a measurable quantity (the response time or availability percentage, for example).