ITIL Capacity Management | ITIL Foundation | ITSM

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In this tutorial, we will discuss the ITIL Capacity Management Process. In this chapter, you will learn the Definition, Objective, Steps, Procedure, Roles, and Sub-Process of Capacity Management - ITIL V3 Process.

What is ITIL Capacity Management Process?  

Capacity Management is one of the well-defined ITSM processes operating under Service Design process group of the ITIL best practice framework.

As defined in ITIL V3, Capacity Management is a process used to ensure that the Service Provider has adequate IT resources to meet current and future business requirements in a cost-effective manner.

ITIL Capacity Management Process helps to determine the current demand of services, and also, how their demands may change over time.

ITIL Capacity Management Scope: 

The Capacity Management Process provides the necessary information on current and planned resource utilization of individual components to enable organizations to decide which components to upgrade, when to upgrade, and how much would be the cost.

For example, as the usage of IT services change and functionality evolves, an organization may require an increasing number of central processing units (CPUs), memory, and storage devices time to time.

ITIL Capacity Management works closely with other ITIL Processes, such as with Service Level Management, Availability Management, and  IT Service Continuity Management to access the current IT infrastructure and plan for the resource capacity needed to maintain the desired Service Level.

It also coordinates with Financial Management process to get the budget allocation information for every type of resources and also to inform the organization's finance department in case any farther budget allocation is required.

ITIL Capacity Management Objective: 

The primary objective of ITIL Capacity Management is to ensure that the capacity of IT services and the IT infrastructure is able to deliver the agreed service level targets in a cost-effective and timely manner.

The Capacity Management process considers all resources required to deliver the IT service while preparing the plans for short, medium and long-term business requirements.

ITIL V3 Capacity Management Activities: 

According to ITIL V3, below are the major activities performed under Capacity Management Process:

  • Designing a service so that it meets Service Level agreement (SLA) targets after its implementation.
  • Managing resource performance so that services meet their SLA targets.
  • Periodically reviewing current service capacity and service performance.
  • Assisting with the diagnosis of performance-related issues.
  • Creating and maintaining a capacity plan that aligns with the organization’s strategic plans.
  • Gathering and evaluating data regarding service usage, and document new requirement if any.
  • Guiding the implementation of changes related to service capacity.

ITIL V3 Capacity Management Process Steps: 

Below lists the broad steps of activity described under Capacity Management (ITIL v3) and used to maintain coordination with other ITSM Processes. These steps are later arranged into suitable sub-process, which we will discuss later in this tutorial.

So the steps of ITIL V3 Capacity Management are:

Step 1 - Gather the Data:

This step includes few activities like working with the business to determine what are the expected service-level & quality requirements. Then work with Demand Management to predict the demand based on user roles, and take inputs from Finance Management team to determine the costs.

Step 2 - Design a Service and Create Agreement:

Once all of the above information is taken, then it works with Service Level Management to build an SLA that everyone can agree to.

Step 3 - Build the Service:

In this step, the actual service is built. This involves purchasing the components and building the necessary IT infrastructure, processes, and documentation to support the new service.

The financial management team would be involved at this stage to facilitate purchasing of components and other resources, and the development team will be engaged to develop the service.

The responsibility of the ITIL Capacity Management process, in this step, is to monitor the current business needs to ensure that the service being built will have the necessary capacity for delivering quality performance.

Step 4 - Operation:

Once the service is built and everyone agrees that the service meets the Acceptance Criteria (SAC), then the go-live time for that service is finalized.

This is when Service Operation takes over the control. Capacity Management then plays a supporting role to support Service Operation for delivering services within the SLA targets.

ITIL Capacity Management Sub-Process: 

There are three officially defined sub-process of Capacity Management (ITIL V3) Process. Below are the objectives and short descriptions about those sub-processes, followed by a diagram showing the Capacity Management Process Flow:

1) Business Capacity Management:

Used to translate the business needs into IT requirements. It also ensures that future capacity and performance needs can be fulfilled.

Business Capacity Management should predict changing requirements for capacity demand and manage such demand on a tactical level.

For example, offices are not reducing the usage of papers & replacing the paper with softcopy documents, which sequentially requires purchasing of more Desktops and Laptops.

2) Service Capacity Management:

Used to manage, control and predict the performance and capacity of operational services. This includes initiating proactive and reactive action to ensure that the performances and capacities of services meet their agreed targets.

This target meeting is achieved by measuring performance and comparing it to requirements that are set in Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or Service Level Requirements (SLRs). Such as if the company is increasing the number of Desktops and Laptops, then they must also consider hiring more IT support Engineers.

3) Component Capacity Management:

Used to manage, control and predict the performance, utilization, and capacity of IT resources and individual IT components. This sub-process requires in-depth knowledge of each individual component and their contribution towards service performance.

The goal is to reduce the total amount of service downtime by monitoring current performance and predicting future performance.

For example, If the softcopy and software usage is increasing then the organization should consider upgrading the individual PC components such as Hard Disk, RAM, CPU etc.

4) Capacity Management Reporting:

Although this is NOT an officially defined sub-process of ITIL Capacity Management, it is worth to know the process flow.

This sub-process is responsible for generating reports on the service information, resource capacity, utilization and performance, which is called Capacity Report. This report is then circulated to other Management processes and IT Management for planning & monitoring purpose.

Important Terminologies & Definitions: 

Below lists some of the important terminologies of Capacity Management - ITIL V3 Process:

Capacity Management Information System:

  • This is a virtual repository of all Capacity Management data, usually stored in multiple physical locations.

Capacity Plan:

  • A Capacity Plan is used for planning & managing the resources required for delivering IT services.
  • The Capacity plan contains the prediction of required resources and their costs for different business scenarios to achieve the agreed service level targets.

Capacity Report:

  • The Capacity Report provides information about the services, their resource utilization, and current performance.
  • This report is then used as an input to other Service Management processes and IT Management.

Event Filtering and Correlation Rules:

  • Rules and Criteria are used to determine if an Event is significant and to decide upon an appropriate response.
  • Event Filtering and Correlation Rules are typically used by Event Monitoring Systems in the Event Management process. But some of those rules are defined during the Capacity Management process (at Service Design Stage), to ensure that events are triggered when the required service availability is endangered.

ITIL Capacity Management Roles and Responsibilities: 

Capacity Manager:

  • This role is the Process Owner of ITIL Capacity Management process.
  • Capacity Manager role is responsible for ensuring that services and infrastructure are having adequate capacity and can deliver the agreed performance targets in a cost-effective and timely manner.
  • The span of control of Capacity Manager role includes all resources required to deliver the service and is also responsible for planning according to short, medium and long-term business requirements.

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