The Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) Partner Role Cluster includes a broad collection of IT partners, service suppliers, and outsourcing vendors who work as virtual members of the IT staff in providing hardware, software, networking, hosting, and support services.

The Partner Role Cluster is most closely associated with the Financial Management service management function (SMF). Financial management encompasses many of the same accounting principles found in use today across a wide variety of industries. In common practice today, cost management for IT includes budgeting, cost accounting, cost recovery, cost allocations, charge-back models, and revenue accounting. The key aspects of financial management that the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and MOF address are its linkage to other service management functions.

The context for this example is that someone acting in the Partner Role Cluster is doing financial management work, thinking about the impacts on IT if the labor market tightens.

The following table shows various examples of risk components pertinent to a scenario involving the Partner Role Cluster.

Table: Partner Role Cluster risk components

Risk component Statement

Root cause:


Condition: The following event occurs...

The labor market tightens, making it harder to retain qualified IT staff.

Operations consequence:... operations will be hurt in this manner...

The Partner Role Cluster faces increased costs for recruiting, training, and retaining staff.

Downstream effect:... and the business as a whole will be hurt in this manner...

Cost overruns for staffing cause cuts elsewhere in the IT budget (which can affect the business) or in non-IT budgets.

Mitigation: Prior to the condition occurring, we will try to reduce the impact and/or probability by...

Implement automated labor-saving tools.

Trigger: If the condition is imminent (but has not yet occurred), we will know because this happens.

The staff turnover rate reaches a particular threshold; the cost of new labor contracts reaches a particular threshold.

Contingency: If we are unable to prevent the condition, we will respond to the trigger in this way:

Implement non-monetary reward systems to encourage staff retention.