Friday, May 9, 2008

Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0 released

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) is a framework that provides practical guidance for managing IT practices and activities.

MOF version 3 described itself as being based on ITIL foundations and ITIL complaint. MOF version 3 I thought was very practical and I am hoping version 4 builds on that. MOF version 4 at first look seemes to be more generic. I still have to have a good read of all of the docs so I can't make an assesment yet.

MOF 4.0 is available at and the MOF Community is at


Pinching a bit from the MOF 4 FAQ:

How is MOF different from ITIL?

There are many similarities between MOF and ITIL. Both help IT organizations achieve reliable and cost-effective IT services; each uses the entire IT service lifecycle as the context for work activities. ITIL v3 is a vast compendium of information that addresses the breadth of IT activities by providing considerable detail in a number of areas. ITIL content consists of more than 1300 pages of concepts and models that address how IT organizations can provide valued services.

Similarly, MOF 4.0 contains core IT service management guidance, but takes a more streamlined approach to meet the needs of the overburdened IT professional. MOF 4.0 presents fundamental IT processes and their associated activities in an easy-to-grasp table format. And because busy IT professionals still have to implement, execute, follow or report IT policies and navigate risks every day, MOF 4.0 includes policy creation in the Plan Phase as well as support for IT governance, risk management, and compliance throughout the entire IT service lifecycle. Risk management and internal controls provide a coherent focus throughout the lifecycle and demonstrate the interconnectedness of all IT activities.

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) 4.0 is contained in a set of 23 documents.

Don Lemmex, MOF Program Manager describes in the MOF forums the differences between 3.0 and 4.0. as:

  • The biggest difference is that 4.0 is that we have established a complete lifecycle for IT services. Now the IT organization and the business have a map for making decisions, the kinds of activities involved in providing IT services, and when the activities should happen.
  • MSF is now integrated into the overall IT lifecycle to make a deeper relationship between development and operations.
  • The material is much more streamlined and focuses on essential concepts. We wanted to give the IT professional enough context to understand what is involved right away, and not force them to immerse themselves in an entire body of knowledge before applying it to their situation.
  • Governance, risk management, policy and compliance are new in 4.0 in recognition of their critical importance to successful IT services.
  • The Team Model in MOF 3.0 is now a Team SMF in MOF 4.0 and provides a much improved way to consider roles and accountabilities throughout the lifecycle.
  • The community for MOF is even more important for 4.0 than it was in 3.0, since much of the “making it real in my situation” will take place here on these forums. This is the place to look for and contribute adaptable, pragmatic examples that show “this is what I did, and it worked really well for us.”
So the goal of MOF 4.0 is practical guidance that provides the right concepts and a community that constantly develops and extends the application of these concepts through discussion, examples, and job aids.