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Reference Models

In 1999 the US Federal Government took a step toward improving the quality, performance, delivery and support of IT-based services. This step was the creation of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF). 

This framework consists of five reference models. A reference model is an abstract or logical framework or structure that describes the interconnections between ideas, concepts, elements or components that make up a whole system. We can look to the FEAF reference models as a guide for how we might approach an ITSM implementation regardless of industry or organizational structure.
  • Performance Reference Model: Used to measure the performance of major IT investments 
    • This equates to a CSI or Metrics Program 
  • Business Reference Model: Process-driven structure that describe business operations regardless of the organization that performs them
    • This equates to a Service Portfolio framework
  • Services Reference Model: Classification of service components and elements with respect to how they support business and/or performance objectives 
    • This equates to a Service Catalog framework
  • Data Reference Model: Describes the data, information and knowledge used to support business and performance objectives
    • This equates to a Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS) framework
  • Technical Reference Model: Categorizes the technical standards, elements and components used to deliver and support IT Services
    • This equates to a Configuration Management System framework
Each of the models support the one above it to create a holistic picture of how to ensure that value is being delivered to customers through top-down design of the models and bottom-up delivery of the capabilities and resources.
If you are struggling with how ITSM works in the big picture of your organization, you might take some time to investigate and research the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework and its associated reference models.

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