An Introduction to the MOF Deliver Phase

The guidance in Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) encompasses all of the activities and processes involved in managing an IT service. It’s conception, development, operation, maintenance, and ultimately its retirement. MOF organises these activities and processes into Service Management Functions (SMFs), which are grouped together in phases that mirror the IT service lifecycle. Each SMF is anchored within a lifecycle phase and contains a unique set of goals and outcomes supporting the objectives of that phase. An IT service’s readiness to move from one phase to the next is confirmed by management reviews, which ensure that goals are being achieved in an appropriate fashion and that IT’s goals are aligned with the goals of the organisation.

MOF begins with the Plan phase and our previous blog articles in this series explain the role of the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF), service management functions (SMF’s) and introduce the Planning SMF which is the first step in implementing MOF within your business. If the topics introduced below don’t make sense or perhaps you feel they’re missing context then please refer to the following articles for background context and explanation.

Blog Article 1: What’s your ITIL IQ™? Meet MOF

Blog Article 2: Plan for Success

Overview of the Deliver Phase

If one thinks of the IT service lifecycle as a continuum that begins with the efforts of IT to understand the services that the business needs and ends with those services operating in a production environment, then the Deliver Phase is the part of the continuum where the services are planned, designed, built, and deployed. It is also the part of the continuum where an infrastructure project or deployment of a packaged product are planned, designed, built, and deployed. And finally, it is the process through which any change must go, large or small. The degree of change will depend on the nature and size of the change. Generally, standard changes, which are already known and tested, will move through the process more quickly than other sorts of changes, such as a minor, significant, or major change.

This process starts with an early form of planning called “envisioning,” moves through a more formal project planning stage, continues with the design and build stage, follows up with testing, and ends with deployment. There are several choices that those managing a project can make in terms of a management discipline to apply to the project. Possibilities include Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF), agile software development, Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) process management, Scrum, and Project Management Institute (PMI). While MSF is the basis for the SMFs in the Deliver Phase, organisations can easily adapt the information in those SMFs to any management discipline.

The Deliver Phase contains the following service management functions (SMFs):


Goals of the Deliver Phase

The primary goals of the Deliver IT service lifecycle phase are to ensure that IT services, infrastructure projects, or packaged product deployments are envisioned, planned, built, stabilised, and deployed in line with business requirements and the customer’s specifications.

Specifically, that means ensuring that the project team:

  • Captures the business needs and requirements prior to planning a solution.
  • Prepares a functional specification and solution design.
  • Develops work plans, cost estimates, and schedules for the deliverables.
  • Builds the solution to the customer’s specification, so that all features are complete, and so that the solution is ready for external testing and stabilisation.
  • Releases the highest quality solution by performing thorough testing and release candidate piloting.
  • Deploys a stable solution to the production environment and stabilises the solution in production.
  • Prepares the operations and support teams to manage and provide customer service for the solution.
Meeting these goals requires:
  • Alignment with the service management functions (SMFs) for this phase.
  • Using periodic management reviews (MRs) to evaluate the effectiveness of the phase. How do we implement MOF?

This article provides a broad overview of the MOF Deliver Phase and its related SMFs, management reviews, and controls. The next step in implementing MOF 4.0 is to consider your organisation’s needs, and then read and use the relevant SMFs. Their step by step guidance will be of value to IT organisations whose goal is reliable, efficient, and compelling IT services.

How do I implement MOF?

At First Solution, we’re experts in MOF and have even developed a unique ITIL IQ™ process that benchmarks a businesses current state, identifies their desired state and provides an action plan (called a Service Delivery Plan) that helps organisations of all sizes achieve their desired business outcomes. Most importantly, our unique ITIL IQ™ process begins with a Proactive Services Maturity Review (PSMR) which identifies a score (out of 100) that clearly communicates the current state of your businesses IT operational maturity. Armed with your ITIL IQ ITIL IQ™ score, a finance or procurement professional can concisely present to the board the businesses current state, desired state, and ITIL IQ™ score with an action plan to improve the ITIL IQ score and thereby ensure that IT’s goals are aligned with the goals of the business and that both are progressing together.

How can I work out my ITIL IQ™?

Simply get in touch to arrange a free Proactive Services Maturity Review and one of our MOF experts will conduct an interview with the person responsible for the IT function (and other senior business decision makers) within your business and provide an ITIL IQ™ score with which you can measure the performance of your IT function. Once you know your ITIL IQ™ score we can provide a Service Delivery Plan to help you improve it each month and measure and report progress back to you during a Monthly Service Review. And there we have it, an ITIL based solution to simply identify and measure the performance of your IT function. Are you ready to deliver reliable, efficient, and compelling IT services?


The Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0 is provided with permission from Microsoft Corporation. 

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