The operations management reviews (OMRs) are a unique feature of the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF). Where the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) points out that reviews of operations activity for efficiency and effectiveness should be conducted and describes these reviews at a high level, MOF makes these reviews an explicit part of the Process Model and provides detailed guidance on how to conduct them. Although there are many reviews and process checks that take place in any IT environment, these OMRs are specifically labeled on the Process Model diagram because they warrant senior management attention and can be used as a regularly reported "health check" on the state of the operations organization. (This document provides an overview of them; see the Resources section for pointers to detailed OMR documents and templates.) The operations management reviews are:

  • Release Readiness Review
  • Operations Review
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA) Review
  • Change Initiation Review

The Process Model incorporates two types of management reviews: release-based and time-based. Two of the four reviews-Release Readiness and Change Initiation-are release-based and occur at the initiation and final installation of a release into the target environment, respectively. The remaining two reviews-Operations and Service Level Agreement-occur at regular intervals to assess the internal operations as well as performance against customer service levels.

The reason for this mix of review types within the Process Model is to support two concepts necessary in a successful IT operations environment:

  • The need to schedule and order the introduction of change through the use of managed releases. Managed releases allow for a clear packaging and scope of change that can then be identified, approved, tracked, tested, implemented, and operated. The release-based reviews accomplish this.
  • The need to regularly assess and adapt the operational procedures, processes, tools, and people required to deliver and optimize the specific service solutions. The time-based reviews accomplish this.

The following table summarizes the mission of service and the operations management reviews for each of the four quadrants.

Table: Mission of Service and Operations Management Review for Each Quadrant

Quadrant Mission of service Operations management review Evaluation criteria


Introduce new service solutions, technologies, systems, applications, hardware, and processes.
Performed prior to new release.


. The release (the changes)
. The release package (all of the tools, processes, and documentation)
. The target (production) environment and infrastructure
. Rollout and rollback plans
. The risk management plan
. Training plans
. Support plans
. Contingency plans


Perform day-to-day tasks effectively and efficiently.
Performed periodically.


. IT staff performance
. Operational efficiency
. Personnel skills and competencies
. Operating level agreements


Resolve incidents, problems, and inquiries quickly.
Performed periodically.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

. SLA-defined targets and metrics
. Customer satisfaction
. Costs


Drive changes to optimize cost, performance, capacity, and availability in the delivery of IT services.
Performed at change identification.


. Cost/benefit evaluation of proposed changes
. Impact to other systems and existing infrastructure