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Microsoft Operations Framework: Why Bother?

David Pultorak January 25, 2016 Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF)

I've been an advocate of the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF, www.microsoft.com/mof) for many years now.  Some IT professionals in the Microsoft space get hung up with a "versus" mentality, i.e., why bother with MOF when there are other generally accepted frameworks out there for managing IT as a services organization, including ISO 20000, COBIT, and ITIL? There are many reasons.  Firstly, MOF supports these generally accepted frameworks and even provides a map to them--so you can be assured that what you do with MOF will not be out of line with other frameworks. Next, MOF guidance and training materials are free to download and use, with creative commons licensing, so no high cost of use, squirrely issues associated with IP, copyright, use, etc. And now for the two most important reasons for leveraging MOF in my book: #1 Please take the following test: go to any page in any other service management publication, e.g., any of the ITIL books; go to microsoft.com/mof and download any part of MOF.  Compare the two, and ask yourself, can I tear out these pages and take them to a meeting, which would be more readily useful in getting something done.  I'll bet it's the MOF page, and that's for a reason: while other frameworks were written in a textbook style, describing service management activities, deliverable, processes, functions, roles, key concepts and models, MOF was written with the IT pro in mind, to be applied directly.  That is why it features clear outcomes, key questions, inputs, outputs, goals and measures, in a concise, relevant checklist style, a refreshing departure from more academic treatments of service management ideas. #2 Even if you completely ignored MOF guidance (which you shouldn't, because it is readily applicable where other such guidance is not necessarily so), you ignore a fundamental truth at your own peril: MOF provides navigation into Microsoft's service management assets--the additional guidance, training, solution accelerators, services, and products--that help you implement service management concepts on and with the products and technologies that make up the Microsoft platform.  Since the Microsoft platform is a key part of most IT shops, you need ot understand what Microsoft has to offer, and MOF helps organization these assets so you can quickly discover, grasp, and apply them. That's all for now--I am interested in your thoughts on the subject.

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  • Cleber Marques on

    First of all, congratulations for this great blog post.

    MOF is wonderful since their first version, from 1999, always having a lifecycle to guide us through process. I work and study with ITIL, COBIT, PMBOK, but MOF and MSF are the most used frameworks in my day to day projects, because these are more focused on practice and how to do.


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