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Home Page for the Information Technology (IT) Discipline

"Capacity Management"


Table of Contents

Introduction: Introduction: Introduction to Capacity Management
Framework: Using This Artifact as a "Capacity Management Framework"
Key Terms: Key Terms for Capacity Management
Glossary: The "Capacity Management Glossary"
Capabilities: Capacity Management as an Enterprise Capability
Ownership: Clearly Defined Capacity Management Ownership is Critical for Success
Verbs and Actions: Understanding Why Verbs and Actions are Important to Capacity Management
Roles: Key Verb and Action Driven Roles For Capacity Management
Taxonomy: Understanding Capacity Management Classifications or Categorizations
Ontology: Capacity Management Ontology as a Means for Language Standardization
Life Cycle (Lifecycle): Lifecycle Phases for Capacity Management
Inventories: Capacity Management Inventories
Environments: Capacity Management Environments
Metrics: Capacity Management Metrics
Services: Capacity Management as a Set of Services (a.k.a. Capacity Management Services)
Service Paradigms: Centralized Capacity Management vs. Federated Capacity Management
Principles & Best Practices: Common Principles and Best Practices for Capacity Management
Further Reading and Reference Material for Capacity Management


Introduction: Introduction to Capacity Management

This document represents an aggregated, ordered and contextualized view of the material we've been able to compile and publish that is related to the topic of "Capacity Management." The goal is to make this page a landing and launch point for all things related to this topic. As our content becomes more complete and more accurate, this page should become a very useful and powerful knowledge base for this topic and all parties interested in it.

You'll find that the content for this document is consistent with that of other discipline related documents. This is intentional. The consistency is based on a knowledge pattern that helps individuals learn more about different topics, quicker and more efficiently. We hope you find the material useful and easy to learn.

It's important to realize that content in this document and any related sub-documents are constantly evolving. Therefore, we recommend you check for updates, regularly, to keep up with the latest material.

The Foundation always welcomes your feedback and suggestions for improvement, as we're always looking for ways to improve our solutions and offerings to the general community.

All solutions published by the Foundation are subject to the terms and conditions of the Foundation's Master Agreement.


Framework: Using This Artifact as a "Capacity Management Framework"

This document or artifact, along with everything in it, is intended to act as a "Framework" that addresses various aspects of Capacity Management.

The readers will notice that most sections in the Table of Contents (TOC) use a format where the TOC entry is prefixed with a topic name, followed by a short descriptive title (i.e. "TOPIC_NAME: TOPIC_RELATED_SECTION_TITLE"). This is intentional and represents a format by which the Foundation may achieve things like the identification of appropriate topic areas, the segregation of distinct topic areas from each other, the appropriate ordering of topic areas, and achieve the maintenance of consistency, both, within and across different IT Disciplines.

To elaborate, this artifact is intended to:

  1. Organize different areas of the discipline known as Capacity Management into clear and compartmentalized areas that allow the Foundation to more effectively and productively collect, document and publish information that pertains to this discipline.
  2. Decompose each area of Capacity Management into smaller and, therefore, more digestible units for more efficient learning and understanding.
  3. Document common industry wisdom about each area, piece or subcomponent of Capacity Management
  4. Act as a set of Capacity Management related best practices and guidelines that have been collected, documented, and published for the benefit of IT Professionals, regardless of their specific industry, line of business, or area of expertise.
  5. Act as a consistent and repeatable pattern for documenting, publishing and learning, both, within this Discipline and across "all" Disciplines.

From the Foundation's perspective, if done correctly, all of the above will allow the Foundation to properly decompose, document and publish content related to each sub-area or sub-topic for each IT Discipline, including this specific discipline (i.e. "Capacity Management").

From the reader's perspective, if done correctly, all of the above will allow him or her to easily find and learn about specific areas of interest associated with this and all other IT Disciplines in a manner where the reader may effectively consume and digest material in small atomic segments that act as repeatable and more effective learning units.

As this artifact evolves and progresses, the reader will see it address key areas of the professional IT Discipline "Capacity Management" that range from its detailed definition through closely related terms, phrases and their definitions, to its detailed specification of Capacity Management Capabilities, and all the way through to defining, delivering, operating and supporting Capacity Management Services.

As mentioned previously, this document will continue to evolve and the Foundation recommends the reader check back, regularly, to stay abreast of modifications and new developments. It is also important to understand that the structure of this artifact may change to meet the needs of such evolution.


Key Terms for Capacity Management

Before moving on to learn more about the rest of the Capacity Management framework, we suggest that you take some time to familiarlize yourself with the following very basic term(s)...

Capacity:

"1. The measurable potential or suitability for accommodating, holding, storing or containing something within some quantified constraint or limitation, which is determined, in short, by comparing actual allocations and utilization to full potential for allocations and utilization."

Capacity Management:

"1. The professional discipline that involves working with, in or on any aspect of planning, delivering, operating or supporting for one or more Capacity Items or any and all solutions put in place to deal with such Items.

2. The solution set that a person or organization puts in place to manage one or more Capacity Items.

3. The process or processes put in place by a person or organization to assist in the management, coordination, control, delivery, or support of one or more Capacity Items.

4. The Enterprise Capability that represents the general ability or functional capacity for a Resource or Organization to deal with or handle one or more Capacity Items. Such a term is often used by Information Technology (IT) Architects when performing or engaging in the activities associated with general Capability Modeling."

In addition to the above basic term(s), you can also learn a great deal about Capacity Management by familiarizing yourself with the broader spectrum of terms that make up the Capacity Management Glossary...


Glossary: The "Capacity Management Glossary"

IT Glossary

Language between IT professionals and the businesses we serve is often a significant barrier to success, as we often spend countless hours trying to interpret each other's meanings. This is often also true between IT professionals who are taught to use certain terms and definitions as part of the organizations and industries they serve. It's when you start to jump from organization to organization, from enterprise to enterprise, and from industry to industry that you realize how much time and effort is wasted on just getting language and meanings correct. For these reasons, the Foundation puts a great deal of focus on terms and phrases, as well as their corresponding definitions. We highly recommend you spend time learning and understanding all of the related terms and phrases, along with their meanings, for all areas of "Capacity Management."

Capacity Management Glossary
Capacity Capacity Management Release
Capacity Automation Capacity Management Report
Capacity Catalog Capacity Management Reporting
Capacity Catalogue Capacity Management Roadmap
Capacity Configuration Capacity Management Role
Capacity Configuration Item Capacity Management Rule
Capacity Configuration Management Capacity Management Schedule
Capacity Cost Capacity Management Security
Capacity Data Entity Capacity Management Service
Capacity Database Capacity Management Service Assurance
Capacity Decommission Capacity Management Service Contract
Capacity Delivery Capacity Management Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Capacity Dependency Capacity Management Service Level Objective (SLO)
Capacity Deployment Capacity Management Service Level Requirement (SLR)
Capacity Document Capacity Management Service Level Target (SLT)
Capacity Document Management Capacity Management Service Provider
Capacity File Plan Capacity Management Service Request
Capacity Framework Capacity Management Software
Capacity Governance Capacity Management Solution
Capacity History Capacity Management Stakeholder
Capacity Identifier Capacity Management Standard
Capacity Inventory Capacity Management Strategy
Capacity Item Capacity Management Supply
Capacity Lifecycle Capacity Management Support
Capacity Management Capacity Management System
Capacity Management Application Capacity Management Theory
Capacity Management Best Practice Capacity Management Training
Capacity Management Blog Capacity Management Vision
Capacity Management Capability Capacity Management Wiki
Capacity Management Center of Excellence Capacity Management Workflow
Capacity Management Certification Capacity Metadata
Capacity Management Class Capacity Migration
Capacity Management Community of Practice (CoP) Capacity Plan
Capacity Management Course Capacity Portfolio
Capacity Management Data Capacity Portfolio Lifecycle Management
Capacity Management Data Dictionary Capacity Portfolio Management
Capacity Management Database Capacity Processing
Capacity Management Demand Capacity Record
Capacity Management Dependency Capacity Records Management
Capacity Management Discussion Forum Capacity Repository
Capacity Management Document Capacity Reuse
Capacity Management Documentation Capacity Review
Capacity Management File Plan Capacity Schedule
Capacity Management Form Capacity Schematic (Schema)
Capacity Management Framework Capacity Security
Capacity Management Governance Capacity Software
Capacity Management Knowledge Capacity Strategy
Capacity Management Lessons Learned Capacity Support
Capacity Management Metric Capacity Taxonomy
Capacity Management Operating Model Capacity Termination
Capacity Management Organization Capacity Tracking
Capacity Management Plan Capacity Tracking Software
Capacity Management Platform Capacity Transaction
Capacity Management Policy Capacity Unique Identifier
Capacity Management Portfolio Capacity Verification
Capacity Management Principle Capacity Version
Capacity Management Procedure Capacity Workflow
Capacity Management Process Centralized Capacity Management
Capacity Management Professional Decentralized Capacity Management
Capacity Management Program Enterprise Capacity Management
Capacity Management Project Federated Capacity Management
Capacity Management Reference Architecture Regional Capacity Management
Capacity Management Release

Please refer to the IT Glossary for other terms and phrases that may be relevant to this professional discipline.

Readers may also refer to the Taxonomy of Glossaries for terms and phrases that are semantically grouped according to IT Disciplines or enterprise domains.

This Capacity Management Glossary is a contextual subset of the master IF4IT Glossary of Terms and Phrases. The master glossary can be used by you and your enterprise as a foundation for broader understanding of Information Technology and can be used as a teaching and learning tool for those you work with, helping to ensure a common and more standard language.


Capabilities: Capacity Management as an Enterprise Capability

A Capability, as it pertains to Information Technology (IT) or to an enterprise that an IT Organization serves, is defined to be "A manageable feature, faculty, function, process, service or discipline that represents an ability to perform something which yields an expected set of results and is capable of further advancement or development. In other words, a Capability is nothing more than "the ability to do something" or, quite simply, a Feature or Function. Therefore, when applied to an enterprise, a Capability represents a critical Enterprise Feature or Enterprise Function.

When it comes to Capabilities, there are multiple types that an enterprise needs to be aware of. Examples include but are not limited to:

As can be seen above, there are Capabilities that are associated with Resources, Organizations, and Assets such as Systems. All are important to an enterprise.

In the case of this IT Discipline (i.e. Capacity Management), we use the word Capability in the context of an Enterprise Capability or an IT Capability, which are both equivalent to Enterprise Disciplines or IT Disciplines, respectively. In short, the Capability of Capacity Management represents the ability to deal with any and all Capacity Items and anything relevant that is related to or associated with any Capacity Items.

If you think about it, a capability is really nothing more than a "verb" or "action that represents "the ability to do something." Understanding this allows us to derive a consistent and highly repeatable set of sub-capabilities for any Noun we're dealing with. For example:

In summary, the implication is that the Enterprise Capability or Enterprise Discipline known as Capacity Management is the superset of all the above Sub-Capabilities, as they pertain to or are applied to the discipline-specific Noun: "Capacity." This now translates more specifically to:

For a more complete list of very specific Capabilities/Disciplines, refer to the Foundation's Master Inventory of IT Disciplines. It is important to note that this inventory is in a flat or non-hierarchical form, specifically because "hierarchy" is almost always a matter of personal preference or context (what hierarchy is important to one Resource or Organization may be unimportant to another's needs or requirements). Therefore, the Foundation has published its inventory of Capabilities in a non-hierarchical, flat form.

This now brings us to a very obvious problem that surrounds Capabilities, which is the fact that there are simply too many "granular" or "specific" Capabilities to document and publish in any single Capability Model. The end result is that a Capability Model may become unwieldy because of trying to incorporate so many different specific Capabilities. Also, Capability Modeling "Purists," who all have their own (and very differing) opinions about how Capability Models should or should not be represented, almost always refuse to get into the details. To address this, we recommend using a generic set of Capabilities that map to and are driven by the Systems Development Life Cycle. For example:

As you can see from the above, we now have a very limited, controlled and manageable set of Discipline-specific Capabilities for the Discipline Capacity Management.

As a reminder, the above Capability representations are "suggestions" for baselining or initializing your own Enterprise Capability Model (ECM). It's recommended that you take the time to work with your enterprise stakeholders to improve upon and/or customize your own ECM so that you can help meet their needs. However, with that being said, it's always a better idea to go in with a baseline that you can modify rather than building your own solution from scratch, especially if your goals are to standardize, not reinvent the wheel, and not deviate too far from what other enterprises are doing to model their own environments. This is especially true if you've never had any experience building ECMs that have gained and maintained full adoption.

Why do enterprises perform Capability Modeling? Enterprises most often build Capability Models that are associated with Capacity Management for the following reasons...

Capability Modeling Recommendations: Some things to consider and keep in mind when working on or creating your Capacity Management and Enterprise Capability Models...

Learn More About Capability Models: Taking the time to learn about and understand Capability Models, what they're for, and how they're used may help you learn how Capacity Management better fits into the broader enterprise. Therefore, we suggest you spend some time reviewing and understanding the IF4IT Enterprise Capability Model...

Enterprise Capability Model

Ownership: Clearly Defined Capacity Management Ownership is Critical for Success

IT Discipline Ownership

Here's a very simple fact... If an enterprise does not establish and enforce clearly defined Ownership (i.e. a Resources and his or her Organization are assigned as accountable ownership) for Capacity Management, the enterprise has automatically set itself up for failure in its implementation of that discipline. Therefore, if you and your enterprise want to implement and maintain a successful solution for Capacity Management, there must be a clearly defined Owner that can and will be held accountable for getting work done, providing transparency, helping with strategy setting, and coordinating implementation of Capacity Management as a fully functional and mature enterprise Service.

Having clearly defined Ownership should not be confused with having fully dedicated Resources that spend one hundred percent of their time working on Capacity Management. In fact, smaller enterprises can rarely afford to dedicate full time Resources, like larger enterprises can, to all enterprise IT Disciplines. This being the case, all IT Disciplines, including Capacity Management, should "always" have clearly defined Owners so that there is always a clear point of accountability and contact for any issues or work that need to be addressed.

In addition to the common best practice of having clearly assigned Ownership for Capacity Management, it is also considered a best practice to clearly publish and socialize Capacity Management Ownership details to a centralized location (often referred to as a "Service Catalog" or an "Enterprise Service Catalog"), along with Ownership details for all other IT Disciplines, so that the entire enterprise has constant access to it.

Canonical Ownership of an Enterprise Capability

Figure: How Ownership of the Capability Capacity Management fits into the Canonical Model for IT

The above figure helps us understand how Capability or Discipline Ownership fits into the Canonical Model for Information Technology (IT) (i.e. "Think," "Deliver," and "Operate"). Owners are assigned to individual Disciplines or Capabilities, such as Capacity Management, and are instantly made accountable to the enterprise for the results of all Capacity Management Thinking activities (i.e. Strategy, Research, Planning and Design), all Capacity Management Delivery activities (i.e. Construction, Deployment and Quality Assurance), and all Capacity Management Operations activities (i.e. Use, Maintenance and Support). Done correctly, Capacity Management Ownership is constant and ongoing. It's important to understand that such assigned Ownership should "never" end so that there is clear and constant accountability and transparency for all aspects of the Canonical Model to the enterprise.

Not having clear Ownership for Capacity Management means that there is no clear understanding of who is accountable for it, who can provide understanding of what's going on within it, who can help the enterprise provide short term and long term descriptions of work being performed within the Discipline area to improve it over time for its customers, and who can help with getting work done that's associated with it. It means your or your enterprise's implementation for Capacity Management will be highly incomplete and erratic because no one is constantly (or even partially) watching over the Discipline and its needs for maintenance and evolution. Not having clear Capacity Management Ownership is a recipe for confusion and, sometimes, even chaos.

In summary, if you and your enterprise truly want to be successful with your implementation of Capacity Management, ensure that a clear and highly accountable owner is identified and assigned to the Discipline. Publish those ownership details, preferably in an enterprise's Service Catalog, and socialize it so everyone knows whom to go to for answers and for help with Capacity Management related work. In other words, if you want to implement Capacity Management as an enterprise Service, then you absolutely must start with clearly defined, published and socialized Ownership.


Verbs and Actions: Understanding Why Verbs and Actions are Important to Capacity Management

Throughout the Foundation's documentation, you will continuously run into the references of "Nouns and Verbs." These concepts are key to consistency and standardization, throughout the IT Industry, down to each and every IT Discipline. Given that we've discussed the impact of "Nouns" on the discipline of "Capacity Management," this section will start to discuss the importance of "Verbs" or "Actions" that can be performed with or against the key Noun or Nouns associated with this Discipline. To reiterate, Verbs or Actions allow us to clearly understand what can be performed on or with the Noun in question. As will be discussed in the next section, Verbs or Actions will also help us clearly identify whom it is (i.e. the "who" or more specifically the Roles) that performs or executes such Verbs or Actions against a Discipline and its associated Noun or Nouns. As will be discussed later, Verbs or Actions will also help identify key Attributes (i.e. Field Names) that are necessary for the very data definition of the Noun or Nouns for this Discipline and will even help identify which Verbs or Actions can be automated for this Discipline.

As a reminder, the base Noun for the discipline known as Capacity Management is: "Capacity," which is sometimes referred to as a the Noun: "Capacity Item."

By now, it should be becoming apparent that verbs represent a baseline for defining solid functional requirements and sub-capabilities for what would be a part of any good Capacity Management System or Service. What this means is that if you and/or your Organization is looking for a solution in this space (e.g. the purchasing or building of a software solution or the implementation of a Service to address the needs of Capacity Management), you could use discipline-related verbs to drive the foundation of what the solution should or shouldn't do, as mapped to specific stakeholders that will use or provide the solution.

Examples of the types of Verbs or Actions that are important to this Discipline include but are not limited to:

The above list represents a very small subset of all Verbs or Actions that are relevant for this Discipline. The more complete set can be found in the Roles section of this document, where readers can see the direct correlation of Verb to Noun and to, both, Generic Role and Discipline Specific Role.


Roles: Key Verb and Action Driven Roles For Capacity Management

An "action" or a "verb" is something that can be performed on or with a specific "noun." The reason it is important to itemize all relevant verbs is because we can now start to determine what we can or cannot do with the noun in question, where in this case the noun is "Capacity."

Actions/Verbs Example as Applied to "Capacity" Generic Roles Discipline-Specific Roles
Administrate Administrate Capacity Administrator Capacity Administrator
Approve Approve Capacity Approver Capacity Approver
Architect Architect Capacity Architector Capacity Architector
Archive Archive Capacity Archiver Capacity Archiver
Audit Audit Capacity Auditor Capacity Auditor
Bundle Bundle Capacity Bundler Capacity Bundler
Clone Clone Capacity Cloner Capacity Cloner
Code Code Capacity Coder Capacity Coder
Configure Configure Capacity Configurer Capacity Configurer
Copy Copy Capacity Copier Capacity Copier
Create Create Capacity Creator Capacity Creator
Decommission Decommission Capacity Decommissioner Capacity Decommissioner
Delete Delete Capacity Deletor Capacity Deletor
Deploy Deploy Capacity Deployer Capacity Deployer
Deprecate Deprecate Capacity Deprecator Capacity Deprecator
Design Design Capacity Designer Capacity Designer
Destroy Destroy Capacity Destroyer Capacity Destroyer
Develop Develop Capacity Developer Capacity Developer
Distribute Distribute Capacity Distributor Capacity Distributor
Download Download Capacity Downloader Capacity Downloader
Edit Edit Capacity Editor Capacity Editor
Educate Educate Capacity Educator Capacity Educator
Export Export Capacity Exporter Capacity Exporter
Govern Govern Capacity Governor Capacity Governor
Import Import Capacity Importer Capacity Importer
Initialize Initialize Capacity Initializer Capacity Initializer
Install Install Capacity Installer Capacity Installer
Instantiate Instantiate Capacity Instantiator Capacity Instantiator
Integrate Integrate Capacity Integrator Capacity Integrator
Manage Manage Capacity Manager Capacity Manager
Merge Merge Capacity Merger Capacity Merger
Modify Modify Capacity Modifier Capacity Modifier
Move Move Capacity Mover Capacity Mover
Own Own Capacity Owner Capacity Owner
Package Package Capacity Packager Capacity Packager
Persist Persist Capacity Persister Capacity Persister
Plan Plan Capacity Planner Capacity Planner
Purge Purge Capacity Purger Capacity Purger
Receive Receive Capacity Receiver Capacity Receiver
Record Record Capacity Recorder Capacity Recorder
Recover Recover Capacity Recoverer Capacity Recoverer
Register Register Capacity Registrar Capacity Registrar
Relocate Relocate Capacity Relocator Capacity Relocator
Reject Reject Capacity Rejecter Capacity Rejecter
Remove Remove Capacity Remover Capacity Remover
Replicate Replicate Capacity Replicator Capacity Replicator
Report Report Capacity Reporter Capacity Reporter
Request Request Capacity Requestor Capacity Requestor
Restore Restore Capacity Restorer Capacity Restorer
Review Review Capacity Reviewer Capacity Reviewer
Save Save Capacity Saver Capacity Saver
Search Search Capacity Searcher Capacity Searcher
Split Split Capacity Splitter Capacity Splitter
Sponsor Sponsor Capacity Sponsor Capacity Sponsor
Store Store Capacity Storer Capacity Storer
Strategize Strategize Capacity (or Set Capacity Strategy) Strategizer (or Strategy Setter) Capacity Strategizer (or Capacity Strategy Setter)
Support Support Capacity Supporter Capacity Supporter
Test Test Capacity Tester Capacity Tester
Train Train Capacity Trainer Capacity Trainer
Upgrade Upgrade Capacity Upgrader Capacity Upgrader
Upload Upload Capacity Uploader Capacity Uploader
Verify Verify Capacity Verifier Capacity Verifier
Version Version Capacity Versioner Capacity Versioner
View View Capacity Viewer Capacity Viewer

At a minimum, the above list of Verbs can be used to help identify, track, and manage the basic "Features" required by and associated with Capacity Management, even if your enterprise doesn't maintain a Capability Model that lists specific Capacity Management Capabilities. Application designers, developers, and architects often find such Verb Lists or Feature Inventories to be invaluable.


Taxonomy: Understanding Capacity Management Classifications or Categorizations

IF4IT Taxonomies

A Taxonomy, in its noun form, is defined as:

...a documented and orderly set of types, classifications, categorizations and/or principles that are often achieved through mechanisms including but not limited to naming, defining and/or the grouping of attributes, and which ultimately help to describe, differentiate, identify, arrange and provide contextual relationships between the entities for which the Taxonomy exists.

From this general definition, we can derive that the definition for a Capacity Management Taxonomy is:

...a documented and orderly set of types, classifications, categorizations and/or principles that are often achieved through mechanisms including but not limited to naming, defining and/or the grouping of attributes, and which ultimately help to describe, differentiate, identify, arrange and provide contextual relationships between Capacity Items, Entities or Types.

In short, what this means all means is that a Taxonomy is nothing more than a classification or typing mechanism and that a Capacity Taxonomy is nothing more than a classification or typing mechanism that helps people and systems distinguish between different Capacity Items, Entities, Types, Records or any other Capacity Management element you can think of.

It's important to understand that Taxonomies can be as simple as a list of relevant terms or phrases with respective meanings or definitions or they can take on more complex forms, such as hierarchical and graphical model structures that can be homogeneous and heterogeneous in nature. More complex Taxonomies include examples such as "Visual Taxonomies" and "Audible Taxonomies" but, expect in the case of very special technologies, are typically out of scope for general Information Technology (IT) Operations.

The Foundation directs readers to its ever-evolving Inventory of Taxonomies for Standard Taxonomy suggestions. Specifically, readers may want to start with the Taxonomy of Taxonomies, which helps make it clear that the IT Industry is composed of many hundreds if not thousands of Taxonomies, Classifications, Categorizations or Types.


Ontology: Capacity Management Ontology as a Means for Lanagugae Standardization

While Taxonomies represent organized classifications or types, you can think of Ontologies as the design and representation of entire lanaguages, with the specific intent to control things like structure, behavior, representation, and meaning. Without getting into a theoretical conversations about Ontologies, you can view this entire article as a foundation for the ontology of Capacity Management. Or, in other words, a Capacity Management Ontology.

Throughout this artifact/framework, you will find things like Capacity Management related terms, phrases, definitions, roles, responsibilities, nouns, verbs, classifications, and so on, all as a means of definining a standard representation for and interpretation of the language of Capacity Management.

It is only through the definition, communication, and establishment of such Ontologies that we can standardize language and communication associated with Capacity Management, whether it be between humans and/or systems.


Life Cycle (Lifecycle): Lifecycle Phases for Capacity Management

When we talk about Life Cycle (or lifecycle) for Capacity Management, it's important to keep in mind that there are two different types of Life Cycles that apply. The first is a Data Life Cycle, which addresses Capacity Management data or entities, and the second is associated with delivering Capacity Management Assets like Systems or Software solutions.

Capacity Management Data Life Cycle Phases:

Data Lifecycle (or Life Cycle) for any and all data is the period from the "inception" of data through to its ultimately being "purged" from existence. This is no different for Capacity Management related data.

Like the data associated with any other professional IT Discipline, Capacity Management related data adheres to the following common Data Lifecycle Phases:

Data Lifecycle Phases

Figure: Capacity Management Lifecycle Phases

  1. Inception: Data is in it's raw idea-like form and is not ready for consumption by the general population because it has not been documented or registered, anywhere, in a formal manner.
  2. Creation and Registration: Data is formally put into existence for day-to-day use by appropriate stakeholders.
  3. Iterative Maintenance: Data is in a mode of constant use and is updated and modified, as needed, to meet the needs of daily use by various stakeholders.
  4. Decommission and Deletion: Data is prepared for deletion and eventually deleted from daily operational use but still exists for administrative or organizational purposes, such as historical auditing. It can be restored to any one of its relevant last states and, therefore, can be brought back into existence for day-to-day use.
  5. Purged From Existence: Data is completely removed from an environment with no means to restore or reconstruct it, without recreating it from scratch and with no guarantees that it will match it's previous state.

The above Life Cycle Phases represent the high level transitions that occur from the inception of Capacity Items or Entities all the way through to their complete elimination from existence. A more detailed breakdown of these transitions or phases represents what are referred to as "Capacity Management States."

Capacity Management Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Phases or Capacity Management Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Phases:

The SDLC is a means for facilitating and controlling how IT Professionals deliver Assets, such as Capacity Management Systems and Software. In this case, you should default to the master SDLC, which is used to deliver any Asset of any type, including those associated with the Capacity Management discipline.

Capacity Management SDLC Diagram

Inventories: Capacity Management Inventories

There are probably no greater or more important tools for providing Capacity Management transparency and direction than the collection, ordering, categorizing, grouping, and maintenance of all related Capacity Items. In other words, Capacity Management Inventories.

In short, an Inventory represents a list of individual things or instances of things that are typically all of the same Noun Type or Data Type, where these instances are described and detailed by their Attributes, along with the Data and Information that act as values for such Attributes.

At a minimum, Capacity Management Inventories are used for the establishment of solid Capacity Configuration Management practices, as the Capacity Instances tracked within such Capacity Inventories act as Configuration Items (in Target and/or Dependency form) for key Configurations (Capacity Management Configurations or otherwise).

Inventories are also used for solid decision making. Good decisions, either strategic or tactical, are made based on having good Data and Information. And, good Data and Information only come from taking the time to follow best practices associated with Inventory Management. It's only through building such Inventories that an enterprise can achieve solid Capacity Management Business Intelligence and Reporting.

Also, it's these very same Inventories that act as the foundation for understanding and managing Total Cost of Ownership (a.k.a. "TCO") for Capacity Management. Without such Inventories, trying to understand your costs can be nothing more than uneducated guessing.

The obvious place to start is with Capacity Inventories and then move on to surrounding Inventories that are directly and indirectly related to Capacity Management.

Additionally, there are many other types of Inventories that are common and important to Capacity Management, which include but are not limited to examples such as:

  1. People and Organizations related to Capacity Management
  2. Roles, Responsibilities, and Skills related to Capacity Management
  3. Products and Services related to Capacity Management
  4. Capabilities related to Capacity Management
  5. Contracts, Agreements, and Licenses related to Capacity Management
  6. Processes related to Capacity Management
  7. Tools and Technologies (e.g. Systems/Applications/Software/Computers) related to Capacity Management
  8. Data Types and Instances related to Capacity Management
  9. Data Interfaces related to Capacity Management
  10. Environments related to Capacity Management
  11. Facilities and Locations related to Capacity Management

If you and/or your enterprise are not collecting and maintaining such Inventories, you're probably considered to be very low on the efficiency and effectiveness maturity scale.

It's important to keep in mind that collecting and managing Capacity Management Inventories is something that should be performed across all phases of Capacity Management Lifecycle and across all Environments (i.e. Capacity Management Environments). Both are considered to be very important Best Practices. For example, you and/or your enterprise cannot get a complete understanding of Capacity Management costs or impacts without knowing all related Inventory Items in all environments. And, tracking across all lifecycle phases gives a temporal perspective that is important for things like problem analysis, historical reporting, and the reconstruction of state (i.e. Configuration Management).

NOTE: Capacity Management Inventories are also important for other enterprise functions, such as Architecture and Design. Such Inventories represent the foundation for understanding an enterprise's Current State and are critical for planning Future State and any related strategies, roadmaps, and transition plans for facilititating change.


Environments: Capacity Management Environments

Building environments that are specific to and for the discipline known as Capacity Management is no different than doing so for any other discipline area. The reader should, therefore, refer to the IT Environment Framework to understand such environments.

IT Environment Framework for Capacity Management

Metrics: Capacity Management Metrics

As with any professional Discipline, the place to start with when dealing with Capacity Management specific metrics is with standard metrics categorizations. Standard Metrics Categorizations, or what are commonly referred to as "SMCs," include but are not limited to...

Capacity Management Quantitative Metrics: Quantitative metrics for Capacity Management often revolve around the "counting" of key constructs that are associated with the Discipline. For example, the number of Capacity Items or Entities that have been Created, Edited or Modified, Copied or Cloned, Destroyed, Archived, Restored, etc. (Note the correlations to key Capacity Management Verbs!). Also, the counts for things like the number of Capacity Management Stakeholders, such as but not limited to Paying Customers, End Users, Employees, Consultants, etc. are also very useful.

Capacity Management Qualitative Metrics: Qualitative metrics for Capacity Management often revolve around concepts such as Capacity Management Defects, Failures, Problems, Incidents, and/or Issues. So, for example, if we were to capture the number of Capacity Management Defects (i.e. their counts) over time, we could do things like see if Defect quantities are going up or down, over time, allowing us to explore that area for things like correlating Causes and Effects.

Capacity Management Time Metrics: When dealing with Capacity Management Time Metrics, there are usually two forms. The first was introduced in the previous paragraph, which has to do with capturing and measuring things like Quantitative or Qualitative Metrics, over time. In this case, we capture other metric categories, over time, with the intent to see how they change and perform, based on modifications to the Capacity Management Operating Environment. The second form of Time related metrics has to do with system or operational performance, such as in the case of how long it takes to process a Capacity Management Request, from the time it is created to the time the Requester gets a satisfactory deliverable that allows him or her to move on with his or her work.

Capacity Management Utilization Metrics: Utilization Metrics specifically have to do with the consumption of Capacity Management specific solutions or deliverables. For example, tracking the number of Capacity Management Service Requests, over periods of time, along with their corresponding Capacity Management Deliverables, allows one to measure how active Capacity Management Services are against other Services that may exist within the Enterprise.

Capacity Management Financial Metrics: As is always the case for any single Discipline, Financial Metrics for Capacity Management always revolve around things like revenue, expenses, and profits, both, for operators of the Service or Services and for consumers of the Service or Services. For example, if a Capacity Management Request is invoked by a Capacity Management Customer (acting as the "Requester"), it becomes important to be able to identify and understand what the cost is to that Customer who is invoking the Request, and it also becomes important to understand why that cost is what it is. In the case of Services that do not yield revenue or profits, measuring costs is a strong way to, at very least, help understand the costs associated with each Service being performed by, within, external to, and for the Enterprise and its Customers.

Note: It's important to understand that, when it comes to metrics, enterprises should take a "Crawl," "Walk," "Run" approach to collecting, working with, and understanding them. That is, you cannot get to complex metrics collection, dissection, analysis, and understanding until you start with basic metrics and slowly work your way to more complex metrics representations.


Services: Capacity Management as a Set of Services (a.k.a. Capacity Management Services)

One of the most important concepts you will learn about Capacity Management (or any Discipline, for that matter) is the notion of implementing the Discipline as an accountable, planned, controlled, transparent, and managed "Service."

In short, Services represent a logically "bounded" and repeatable sets of work types, activities or tasks that are performed by humans and/or machines, with the specific intent to provide outputs or deliverables, in the form of solutions for the requesting Stakeholders who are commonly considered the customers of such Services. In other words, we perform and/or provide a Service to deliver very specific solutions to very specific Stakeholders who are looking for a means to solve a certain problem they have.

A Capacity Management Service is defined as:

"1. A set of solutions, either transactional (i.e. Transactional Capacity Management Services) or dial-tone (i.e. Dial-Tone Capacity Management Services), that are being or have been put in place to yield an intended, controlled, expected, repeatable and measurable set of results or deliverables for Capacity Management specific Customers, Consumers or Clients.

NOTE: Capacity Management Service Consumers or Clients can be either Human Resources or Systems."

All Services, including Capacity Management Services, can be performed manually (i.e. by people), automatically (i.e. by machines such as Computers), or by a combination of the two (i.e. a hybrid that is both manually and automated).

Also, all Services, including Capacity Management Services, can be either transactional or dial tone, in nature.

In the case of Transactional Services for Capacity Management, a Service Request is submitted and that Request is fulfilled as part of a process that is either manual, automated, or a hybrid of both (e.g. a Service to perform maintainance on your Capacity Management System).

In the case of Dial Tone Services for Capacity Management, a Service is expected to be up, running, available, and accessible to an End User so that he/she/it may perform some controlled and highly repeatable function (e.g. a "Capacity Management System" that is up and running all the time).

Capacity Management Service Components: The successful implementation of Capacity Management as a set of Services for your enterprise usually implies that a number of key components have been established to support it. These components are:

  1. A clearly documented and socialized Capacity Management Service Owner that is held accountable for Service performance, quality, and cost.
  2. A clearly documented and socialized Capacity Management Service Provider, Organization or Group who is performing the Service or work.
  3. A clearly documented and socialized inventory of all Capacity Management Service Inputs, including Capacity Management Service Requests and any artifacts necessary to support such Requests so that consumers of the Service know how to engage and request or take advantage of them.
  4. For every Capacity Management Service Input, a clearly documented and socialized inventory of Capacity Management Service Outputs, making it clear to consumers what they can expect to receive as a result of a successful Service Request.
  5. For every Capacity Management Service Input, a clearly documented and socialized inventory of the work being performed by the Service Provider to achieve such Outputs or Deliverables.
  6. For every Capacity Management Service Input, a clearly documented and socialized inventory Service Level Agreements (e.g. Service Availability, Service Duration, Service Guarantees, etc.) that can be used to set expectations and measure actuals against for said Service Outputs.
  7. Clearly specified Capacity Management Service Costs that help set expectations for Service Requesters (i.e. the cost of a request) and that provide clear transparency to the organizations that fund and sponsor such Services (i.e. the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) your Service(s).
  8. Capacity Management Service Request Patterns (Estimation Creation, Modification, Decommission, Support/Incidents, Complaints, etc.) in order to create intuitive and repeatable user experiences across different Service Types.
  9. Clearly understand what Capacity Management Service Resources are required, human or otherwise, to create and deliver your Capacity Management Service Deliverables, in a repeatable, cost-efficient, timely, and high quality manner.
  10. For every Capacity Management Service Request, understand the chargeback mechanism, in order to recoup your Service Costs.
  11. For every Capacity Management Service, it's important to understand the skills that are required, will need to be developed, and will need to be maintained by Service Resources, in order to deliver each Service Deliverable.
  12. It's important to understand who your Capacity Management Service Stakeholders are, this includes but is not limited to your Customers, Consumers, Clients, Sponsers, etc. are, as well as the types of problems it is that they're trying to solve or interests that they will have in your Services.

Capacity Management Ownership: The most important thing to understand about a Capacity Management Service is that, in order for such a Service to be successful, there must be a clear and accountable Owner for it. That is, there needs to be a very clear and accountable named person or organization that owns and is fully responsible for the Service, all of its sub-Services and, most importantly, all of the Service's "Outcomes." Without clear ownership, Services are almost never successful. And, for those few occasions where Services are successful without clear ownership, you can assume that they're successful because the people working in those Service areas are acting as heroes, or... the those Services are just plain lucky (that kind of luck doesn't last for long).

Capacity Management Service Inputs: There are typically two types of inputs to any Capacity Management Service. The first is what is known as a "Capacity Management Service Request" and the second really represents any and all supporting artifacts that are necessary to support such requests, including but not limited to Data and Information in the form of Documents, either electronic or paper in form. Many would argue that the "money" to pay for the Service execution of the Request would be the third but, for now, we will assume that payment is controlled through the Data and Information provided to the Service Operators, in support of the Request.

Capacity Management Service Outputs: The outputs of any Service are often referred to as the Service's Deliverables. Therefore, the readers should be aware that the terms "Capacity Management Outputs" and "Capacity Management Deliverables" are synonymous and interchangeable. All work performed in any enterprise is, by default, a Service that is being performed for someone else and, therefore, all work or Services yield results. These results are the Service's Outputs or Deliverables and a good Service ensures that such Outputs are appropriately documented to the consumers of said Service. This means that for any given Capacity Management Service Request Type or Category there will be one or more clearly defined and documented Outputs or Deliverables, making it clear to the consumer what he, she, or they will get in response to their Request. This can be as simple as an answer to a question or as complex as the Merger of two enterprises.

Capacity Management Service Levels: Service Levels represent "performance agreements," contractual or otherwise, that dictate how well a Capacity Management Service should perform, most often keeping the Customers, Consumers, Clients or End Users of the Service in mind. Capacity Management Service Levels can come in many forms and are often worked out by the Customers paying for the Services and the Service Providers who sell or provide the Services. In many cases, Service Levels are also self-imposed by the Service Providers performing the Services as a means to set expectations for Service Customers. In short, Capacity Management Service Levels are constraints, limitations, and/or expectations that are tied directly to Capacity Management Service Deliverables. They represent measures for things like quality, efficiency, and cost against said Deliverables or Outputs that allow the consumer of such Services to measure what they actually get against what they expected to get.


Service Paradigms: Centralized Capacity Management vs. Federated Capacity Management

Assuming an enterprise pursues the establishment of Capacity Management as a set of controlled Services, there are three common paradigms for doing so. These include:

  1. A "Centralized Capacity Management" implementation paradigm
  2. A "Federated Capacity Management" implementation paradigm
  3. A "Hybrid Capacity Management" implementation paradigm

NOTE: This section is a work in progress. More content on this topic will be published, shortly.


Principles & Best Practices: Common Principles and Best Practices for Capacity Management

A "Principle" is defined as being: "A professed assumption, basis, tenet, doctrine, plan of action or code of conduct for activities, work or behavior." Therefore, we can deduce the definition of "a Capacity Management Principle" to be:

Capacity Management Principle: "1. A professed assumption, basis, tenet, doctrine, plan of action or code of conduct for any activities, work or behavior associated with the Discipline known as Capacity Management."

A "Best Practice" is defined as being: "One or more Activities, Actions, Tasks or Functions that often do not conform with strict Standards and that have evolved, over time, to be considered as conventional wisdom for consistently and repeated achieving Outcomes or Results that can be measured as being equal to or above acceptable norms." Therefore, we can deduce the definition of "a Capacity Management Best Practice" to be:

Capacity Management Best Practice: "1. One or more Capacity Management related Activities, Actions, Tasks or Functions that often do not conform with strict standards and that have evolved, over time, to be considered as conventional wisdom for consistently and repeatedly achieving Outcomes or Results that can be measured as being equal to or above acceptable norms."

The plural form of this term would be "Capacity Management Best Practices."

Common Capacity Management related principles and best practices exist to help achieve higher than average expectations of quality and to ease in the implementation, support, operations, and future change associated with the solutions industry professionals put in place to address the needs of this Discipline and all its related stakeholders.

While this entire document is meant to represent and serve as a set of common principles and best practices for Capacity Management, the following list represents a summary of some very basic examples of what implementers, supporters, and operators of Capacity Management should constantly be working toward:

Principle or Best Practice Description
Establish and always have very clear Ownership for Capacity Management. Establishing, publishing and socializing clear Ownership for Capacity Management allows an enterprise and all its Resources, regardless of their geographic location, to assign accountability for all aspects of the Discipline. It also ensures that there's always at least one person that everyone can go to for transparency into the Discipline as well as for handling work that is associated with the Discipline.
Define, Collect, and Manage Relevant Capacity Management Inventories. As an IT professional, there are probably few things that are as important as knowing what is or is not in your portfolio, as well as understanding key traits about your portfolio. You cannot achieve this without the transparency provided by your inventories. Therefore, it is critical that you clearly define, collect, manage, and govern any and all relevant Capacity Management inventories. Lack of Capacity Management Inventories means no transparency, a chaotic and immature environment, and (even worse) the implication that you don't know how to do your job.
Always use standard terminology for Capacity Management, in order to standardize communications between stakeholders. It is often argued that the biggest mistake you can make is to create your own words and/or your own definitions, when communicating with others. There is no place where this is more accurate than in the field of Information Technology. IT Stakeholders make up their own words and definitions far too often, or let their business constituents do so. When you make up words or definitions, or you let others do so, you're creating a grave injustice for your organization. Self invented terminology and grammar often leads to poor communications, which in turn leads to redundancy of solutions, higher complexity of environments, slower delivery times, and much higher costs. Therefore, the IF4IT always recommends that you leverage standard terminology for Capacity Management, whenever possible.
Centralization of Capacity related data. While often impossible to centralize and collocate all Capacity related data and information, especially in a geographically dispersed environment, Capacity Management related stakeholders should always strive to centralize all data and information. The goals are to eliminate data fragmentation, improve source of truth for data, reduce the number of systems needed to support stakeholders, reduce the complexity of solutions, improve usability, and to ultimately reduce the costs associated with Capacity Management.
Clearly define, implement, track, and analyze Capacity Management Metrics. In order to successfully set up the discipline of Capacity Management and its related Services, it is critical to clearly define, track, and constantly analyze Capacity Management metrics. Such metrics include but are not limited to Supply and Demand Metrics (i.e. Operational Metrics), Performance Metrics, Quality Metrics, and Financial Metrics.
Transparency of Capacity related data. Stakeholders should always strive to make any and all Capacity Management data transparent to all other appropriate stakeholders, at a minimum, and often to the entire enterprises. The exception when private user data must be protected. Many stakeholders often make the mistake of treating internal operational data as private or protected. This often creates a data silo and will often lead to internally silo-ed organizations that revolve around such data silos.
Do not let "perfection" of Capacity Management solutions stand in the way of "good enough solutions". Often, Capacity Management stakeholders "overthink" solutions, leading to the impression that best-of-breed or perfect solutions are more effective than "good enough" solutions. Experience tells us that "good enough" is, almost always, the better path to follow. We live in an age where technologies grow old in the blink of an eye. Even the implementation of something that looks perfect, today, will look antiquated, tomorrow. This is especially true if your enterprise doesn't have a long term funding plan and commitment to improvements and upgrades of the solution(s) put in place.
Follow industry Standards, Best Practices, and Guiding Principles for Capacity Management, whenever possible". One of the most common errors many enterprises make is to create solutions from scratch or without the guidance, assistance and/or experience of others who have created such solutions, before them. Whenever possible, the IF4IT recommends that you research existing Standards, Best Practices, and Guiding Principles to avoid the mistakes of others, while also gaining from their successes. Remember, we live in a vast world. Chances are very high that someone else has already experienced the pain you're about to create for yourself. Wise people will always look to learn from such people's experiences before they go down the road of implementing their own solutions.
Work toward and maintain a Single Source of Truth (SSoT), whenever possible. While it may be impossible to truly maintain a Single Source of Truth (SSoT) for all data items at all times, especially in the case where the same data entity or instance enters an enterprise through unique data channels, it is an accepted, industry-wide best practice to always work toward such a goal.

Further Reading and Reference Material for Capacity Management

The Information Technology (IT) Learning Framework. A tutorial that helps understand Information Technology and how disciplines, such as this one, fits into the bigger picture of IT Operations.

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