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Home Page for the Information Technology (IT) Discipline

"Service Level Objective (SLO) Management"


Table of Contents

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


Introduction: Introduction to Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 "Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 "Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Framework"

This document or artifact, along with everything in it, is intended to act as a "Framework" that addresses various aspects of Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  4. Act as a set of Service Level Objective (SLO) 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. "Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 "Service Level Objective (SLO) Management" that range from its detailed definition through closely related terms, phrases and their definitions, to its detailed specification of Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Capabilities, and all the way through to defining, delivering, operating and supporting Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management

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

Service Level Objective (SLO):

"1. A goal, milestone, aim, target or purpose that is associated with a very specific Service, that is usually formally documented, often as part of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) or Service Contract, and that is intended as an outcome of one or more activities or actions but that is not considered to be a formal contractual Term, Agreement, Obligation, or Commitment."

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management:

"1. The professional discipline that involves working with, in or on any aspect of planning, delivering, operating or supporting for one or more Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management by familiarizing yourself with the broader spectrum of terms that make up the Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Glossary...


Glossary: The "Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 "Service Level Objective (SLO) Management."

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

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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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: Service Level Objective (SLO) 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. Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management represents the ability to deal with any and all Service Level Objective (SLO) Items and anything relevant that is related to or associated with any Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management is the superset of all the above Sub-Capabilities, as they pertain to or are applied to the discipline-specific Noun: "Service Level Objective (SLO)." 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management for the following reasons...

Capability Modeling Recommendations: Some things to consider and keep in mind when working on or creating your Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management, it is also considered a best practice to clearly publish and socialize Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management, and are instantly made accountable to the enterprise for the results of all Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Thinking activities (i.e. Strategy, Research, Planning and Design), all Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Delivery activities (i.e. Construction, Deployment and Quality Assurance), and all Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Operations activities (i.e. Use, Maintenance and Support). Done correctly, Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management related work. In other words, if you want to implement Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 "Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management is: "Service Level Objective (SLO)," which is sometimes referred to as a the Noun: "Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 "Service Level Objective (SLO)."

Actions/Verbs Example as Applied to "Service Level Objective (SLO)" Generic Roles Discipline-Specific Roles
Administrate Administrate Service Level Objective (SLO) Administrator Service Level Objective (SLO) Administrator
Approve Approve Service Level Objective (SLO) Approver Service Level Objective (SLO) Approver
Architect Architect Service Level Objective (SLO) Architector Service Level Objective (SLO) Architector
Archive Archive Service Level Objective (SLO) Archiver Service Level Objective (SLO) Archiver
Audit Audit Service Level Objective (SLO) Auditor Service Level Objective (SLO) Auditor
Bundle Bundle Service Level Objective (SLO) Bundler Service Level Objective (SLO) Bundler
Clone Clone Service Level Objective (SLO) Cloner Service Level Objective (SLO) Cloner
Code Code Service Level Objective (SLO) Coder Service Level Objective (SLO) Coder
Configure Configure Service Level Objective (SLO) Configurer Service Level Objective (SLO) Configurer
Copy Copy Service Level Objective (SLO) Copier Service Level Objective (SLO) Copier
Create Create Service Level Objective (SLO) Creator Service Level Objective (SLO) Creator
Decommission Decommission Service Level Objective (SLO) Decommissioner Service Level Objective (SLO) Decommissioner
Delete Delete Service Level Objective (SLO) Deletor Service Level Objective (SLO) Deletor
Deploy Deploy Service Level Objective (SLO) Deployer Service Level Objective (SLO) Deployer
Deprecate Deprecate Service Level Objective (SLO) Deprecator Service Level Objective (SLO) Deprecator
Design Design Service Level Objective (SLO) Designer Service Level Objective (SLO) Designer
Destroy Destroy Service Level Objective (SLO) Destroyer Service Level Objective (SLO) Destroyer
Develop Develop Service Level Objective (SLO) Developer Service Level Objective (SLO) Developer
Distribute Distribute Service Level Objective (SLO) Distributor Service Level Objective (SLO) Distributor
Download Download Service Level Objective (SLO) Downloader Service Level Objective (SLO) Downloader
Edit Edit Service Level Objective (SLO) Editor Service Level Objective (SLO) Editor
Educate Educate Service Level Objective (SLO) Educator Service Level Objective (SLO) Educator
Export Export Service Level Objective (SLO) Exporter Service Level Objective (SLO) Exporter
Govern Govern Service Level Objective (SLO) Governor Service Level Objective (SLO) Governor
Import Import Service Level Objective (SLO) Importer Service Level Objective (SLO) Importer
Initialize Initialize Service Level Objective (SLO) Initializer Service Level Objective (SLO) Initializer
Install Install Service Level Objective (SLO) Installer Service Level Objective (SLO) Installer
Instantiate Instantiate Service Level Objective (SLO) Instantiator Service Level Objective (SLO) Instantiator
Integrate Integrate Service Level Objective (SLO) Integrator Service Level Objective (SLO) Integrator
Manage Manage Service Level Objective (SLO) Manager Service Level Objective (SLO) Manager
Merge Merge Service Level Objective (SLO) Merger Service Level Objective (SLO) Merger
Modify Modify Service Level Objective (SLO) Modifier Service Level Objective (SLO) Modifier
Move Move Service Level Objective (SLO) Mover Service Level Objective (SLO) Mover
Own Own Service Level Objective (SLO) Owner Service Level Objective (SLO) Owner
Package Package Service Level Objective (SLO) Packager Service Level Objective (SLO) Packager
Persist Persist Service Level Objective (SLO) Persister Service Level Objective (SLO) Persister
Plan Plan Service Level Objective (SLO) Planner Service Level Objective (SLO) Planner
Purge Purge Service Level Objective (SLO) Purger Service Level Objective (SLO) Purger
Receive Receive Service Level Objective (SLO) Receiver Service Level Objective (SLO) Receiver
Record Record Service Level Objective (SLO) Recorder Service Level Objective (SLO) Recorder
Recover Recover Service Level Objective (SLO) Recoverer Service Level Objective (SLO) Recoverer
Register Register Service Level Objective (SLO) Registrar Service Level Objective (SLO) Registrar
Relocate Relocate Service Level Objective (SLO) Relocator Service Level Objective (SLO) Relocator
Reject Reject Service Level Objective (SLO) Rejecter Service Level Objective (SLO) Rejecter
Remove Remove Service Level Objective (SLO) Remover Service Level Objective (SLO) Remover
Replicate Replicate Service Level Objective (SLO) Replicator Service Level Objective (SLO) Replicator
Report Report Service Level Objective (SLO) Reporter Service Level Objective (SLO) Reporter
Request Request Service Level Objective (SLO) Requestor Service Level Objective (SLO) Requestor
Restore Restore Service Level Objective (SLO) Restorer Service Level Objective (SLO) Restorer
Review Review Service Level Objective (SLO) Reviewer Service Level Objective (SLO) Reviewer
Save Save Service Level Objective (SLO) Saver Service Level Objective (SLO) Saver
Search Search Service Level Objective (SLO) Searcher Service Level Objective (SLO) Searcher
Split Split Service Level Objective (SLO) Splitter Service Level Objective (SLO) Splitter
Sponsor Sponsor Service Level Objective (SLO) Sponsor Service Level Objective (SLO) Sponsor
Store Store Service Level Objective (SLO) Storer Service Level Objective (SLO) Storer
Strategize Strategize Service Level Objective (SLO) (or Set Service Level Objective (SLO) Strategy) Strategizer (or Strategy Setter) Service Level Objective (SLO) Strategizer (or Service Level Objective (SLO) Strategy Setter)
Support Support Service Level Objective (SLO) Supporter Service Level Objective (SLO) Supporter
Test Test Service Level Objective (SLO) Tester Service Level Objective (SLO) Tester
Train Train Service Level Objective (SLO) Trainer Service Level Objective (SLO) Trainer
Upgrade Upgrade Service Level Objective (SLO) Upgrader Service Level Objective (SLO) Upgrader
Upload Upload Service Level Objective (SLO) Uploader Service Level Objective (SLO) Uploader
Verify Verify Service Level Objective (SLO) Verifier Service Level Objective (SLO) Verifier
Version Version Service Level Objective (SLO) Versioner Service Level Objective (SLO) Versioner
View View Service Level Objective (SLO) Viewer Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management, even if your enterprise doesn't maintain a Capability Model that lists specific Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Capabilities. Application designers, developers, and architects often find such Verb Lists or Feature Inventories to be invaluable.


Taxonomy: Understanding Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Taxonomy is nothing more than a classification or typing mechanism that helps people and systems distinguish between different Service Level Objective (SLO) Items, Entities, Types, Records or any other Service Level Objective (SLO) 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: Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management. Or, in other words, a Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Ontology.

Throughout this artifact/framework, you will find things like Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management.

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


Life Cycle (Lifecycle): Lifecycle Phases for Service Level Objective (SLO) Management

When we talk about Life Cycle (or lifecycle) for Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management data or entities, and the second is associated with delivering Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Assets like Systems or Software solutions.

Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management related data.

Like the data associated with any other professional IT Discipline, Service Level Objective (SLO) Management related data adheres to the following common Data Lifecycle Phases:

Data Lifecycle Phases

Figure: Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 "Service Level Objective (SLO) Management States."

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Phases or Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Phases:

The SDLC is a means for facilitating and controlling how IT Professionals deliver Assets, such as Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management discipline.

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management SDLC Diagram

Inventories: Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Inventories

There are probably no greater or more important tools for providing Service Level Objective (SLO) Management transparency and direction than the collection, ordering, categorizing, grouping, and maintenance of all related Service Level Objective (SLO) Items. In other words, Service Level Objective (SLO) 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, Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Inventories are used for the establishment of solid Service Level Objective (SLO) Configuration Management practices, as the Service Level Objective (SLO) Instances tracked within such Service Level Objective (SLO) Inventories act as Configuration Items (in Target and/or Dependency form) for key Configurations (Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management. Without such Inventories, trying to understand your costs can be nothing more than uneducated guessing.

The obvious place to start is with Service Level Objective (SLO) Inventories and then move on to surrounding Inventories that are directly and indirectly related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management.

Additionally, there are many other types of Inventories that are common and important to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management, which include but are not limited to examples such as:

  1. People and Organizations related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  2. Roles, Responsibilities, and Skills related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  3. Products and Services related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  4. Capabilities related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  5. Contracts, Agreements, and Licenses related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  6. Processes related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  7. Tools and Technologies (e.g. Systems/Applications/Software/Computers) related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  8. Data Types and Instances related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  9. Data Interfaces related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  10. Environments related to Service Level Objective (SLO) Management
  11. Facilities and Locations related to Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Inventories is something that should be performed across all phases of Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Lifecycle and across all Environments (i.e. Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Environments). Both are considered to be very important Best Practices. For example, you and/or your enterprise cannot get a complete understanding of Service Level Objective (SLO) 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: Service Level Objective (SLO) 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: Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Environments

Building environments that are specific to and for the discipline known as Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management

Metrics: Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Metrics

As with any professional Discipline, the place to start with when dealing with Service Level Objective (SLO) 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...

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

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Qualitative Metrics: Qualitative metrics for Service Level Objective (SLO) Management often revolve around concepts such as Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Defects, Failures, Problems, Incidents, and/or Issues. So, for example, if we were to capture the number of Service Level Objective (SLO) 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.

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Time Metrics: When dealing with Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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.

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

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Financial Metrics: As is always the case for any single Discipline, Financial Metrics for Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Request is invoked by a Service Level Objective (SLO) 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: Service Level Objective (SLO) Management as a Set of Services (a.k.a. Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Services)

One of the most important concepts you will learn about Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service is defined as:

"1. A set of solutions, either transactional (i.e. Transactional Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Services) or dial-tone (i.e. Dial-Tone Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management specific Customers, Consumers or Clients.

NOTE: Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Consumers or Clients can be either Human Resources or Systems."

All Services, including Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Services, can be either transactional or dial tone, in nature.

In the case of Transactional Services for Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management System).

In the case of Dial Tone Services for Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 "Service Level Objective (SLO) Management System" that is up and running all the time).

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Components: The successful implementation of Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Owner that is held accountable for Service performance, quality, and cost.
  2. A clearly documented and socialized Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Provider, Organization or Group who is performing the Service or work.
  3. A clearly documented and socialized inventory of all Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Inputs, including Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Input, a clearly documented and socialized inventory of Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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. Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Resources are required, human or otherwise, to create and deliver your Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Deliverables, in a repeatable, cost-efficient, timely, and high quality manner.
  10. For every Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Request, understand the chargeback mechanism, in order to recoup your Service Costs.
  11. For every Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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.

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Ownership: The most important thing to understand about a Service Level Objective (SLO) 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).

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Inputs: There are typically two types of inputs to any Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service. The first is what is known as a "Service Level Objective (SLO) 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.

Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 "Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Outputs" and "Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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.

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Levels: Service Levels represent "performance agreements," contractual or otherwise, that dictate how well a Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service should perform, most often keeping the Customers, Consumers, Clients or End Users of the Service in mind. Service Level Objective (SLO) 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, Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Service Levels are constraints, limitations, and/or expectations that are tied directly to Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management vs. Federated Service Level Objective (SLO) Management

Assuming an enterprise pursues the establishment of Service Level Objective (SLO) Management as a set of controlled Services, there are three common paradigms for doing so. These include:

  1. A "Centralized Service Level Objective (SLO) Management" implementation paradigm
  2. A "Federated Service Level Objective (SLO) Management" implementation paradigm
  3. A "Hybrid Service Level Objective (SLO) Management" implementation paradigm

Centralized Service Level Objective (SLO) Management is defined as:

"1. The term or phrase that implies establishing and/or practicing the Discipline known as Service Level Objective (SLO) Management as a concentric and singular set of organizations and services, usually in order to serve an entire enterprise, regardless of geographic location, further implying full centralization and no federation of any and all Service Level Objective (SLO) Management associated Work, Activities, Actions, Tasks, Capabilities and/or Services."

Federated Service Level Objective (SLO) Management, which is also referred to as Decentralized Service Level Objective (SLO) Management, is defined as:

"1. The term or phrase that implies establishing and/or practicing the Discipline known as Service Level Objective (SLO) Management in multiple pockets, communities, or organizations, further implying no centralization in the implementation and execution of Service Level Objective (SLO) Management associated Work, Activities, Actions, Tasks, Capabilities and/or Services."

There are clear tradeoffs to each of the two models. For example, in a Centralized paradigm, it's normally easier to coordinate work and provide broad coverage, across many areas of the enterprise and relevant stakeholders. However, it becomes far more difficult for a centralized organization to properly fund and staff resources and services in order to perform all required work across all stakeholders, in a much larger enterprise.

It's also important to note that a third paradigm also exists as an option. This is known as a Hybrid Service Level Objective (SLO) Management paradigm or model. In this case, there is a centralized Service Level Objective (SLO) Management organization that is often responsible for things like centralized governance, command, control, and communications, while federated staff and services deal with localized forms of Service Level Objective (SLO) Management. In this type of paradigm, federated staff and services usually report direclty into their local management but may have matrix reporting or responsibilities into the Centralized Service Level Objective (SLO) Management organization.


Principles & Best Practices: Common Principles and Best Practices for Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Principle" to be:

Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Best Practice" to be:

Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Best Practice: "1. One or more Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 "Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Best Practices."

Common Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management, the following list represents a summary of some very basic examples of what implementers, supporters, and operators of Service Level Objective (SLO) Management should constantly be working toward:

Principle or Best Practice Description
Establish and always have very clear Ownership for Service Level Objective (SLO) Management. Establishing, publishing and socializing clear Ownership for Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management inventories. Lack of Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management, whenever possible.
Centralization of Service Level Objective (SLO) related data. While often impossible to centralize and collocate all Service Level Objective (SLO) related data and information, especially in a geographically dispersed environment, Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management.
Clearly define, implement, track, and analyze Service Level Objective (SLO) Management Metrics. In order to successfully set up the discipline of Service Level Objective (SLO) Management and its related Services, it is critical to clearly define, track, and constantly analyze Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) related data. Stakeholders should always strive to make any and all Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) Management solutions stand in the way of "good enough solutions". Often, Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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 Service Level Objective (SLO) 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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