Thomas Schaaf

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Student: Thomas Schaaf
Title: IT-supported Service Level Management: Requirements

and Specification of a Management Architecture

Affiliation: LMU
Supervisor: Heinz-Gerd Hegering
Committee: Johann Schlichter, Alexander Knapp, Christian Böhm
Start: 2006
End: 2008
Funding: Ludwig Maximilians University Munich


PhD project description

As a result of the increasing complexity of today's networked IT systems and the heterogeneity of IT services running on these systems, requirements on managing modern IT environments are becoming more and more sophisticated. It is generally well understood that facing these challenges by means of assistive technology on the resource and system layer only is not sufficient. A holistic and integrated approach rather has to consider organizational aspects of service-oriented IT management, too. Process-oriented frameworks that have gained soaring attention in practice recently pave the way towards this goal. As an international standard for IT Service Management, ISO/IEC 20000 states minimum requirements on processes in the areas of planning, control and fault clearance of IT services.

A problem which all process-oriented management frameworks have in common and that is relevant not only from a researcher's, but also from a practitioner's perspective, is given by the question of adequate computer-aided tool support for the processes enclosed. Most frameworks hardly provide any guidance with respect to this issue. While -- due to unambigious objectives and well-structured process workflows -- various tools have already been developed in the more operational field of service management, including for example incident handling, other fields are still suffering from major gaps concerning tool support. This situation also applies to Service Level Management (SLM) which is one of the core disciplines of IT Service Management. Aiming at providing IT services to customers in the quality required by those customers, Service Level Management encompasses a multifaceted scope of functions including the closure of service level agreements (SLAs), the specification of the service functionality and quality as well as the definition, measurement and reporting of performance parameters.

In that context, this work presents an architecture for IT-supported Service Level Management, aiming at supporting the design of a tool-based management system for SLM. A static classification framework realizes a highly modular design of the solution. Analogous to generic management architectures, it consists of an organizational, a functional, an information and a communication model. Each of these partial models is examined from two different view points: the process view and the system view. As an additional methodical building block, a development framework describes how functional requirements on the SLM architecture can be identified and how these requirements lead to the architecture's core elements.

The outcome of this work can be regarded as a generic, model-based, reusable and extensible "construction kit" for the design of a computer-aided management system in support of incidental tasks in Service Level Management. This construction kit consists of concrete functional requirements, use caes for a management system, process-related models, system models with regard to software development and automation aspects as well as practical implementation guidance.


Please refer to personal web page

Additional information

External links

  • [_URL_ Homepage] of Thomas Schaaf
  • Publications of Thomas Schaaf, as indexed by DBLP