ITIL Terminology - P to S

Pareto Principle

A technique used to prioritize activities. The Pareto principle says that 80% of the value of any activity is created with 20% of the effort. Pareto analysis is also used in problem management to prioritize possible problem causes for investigation.

Passive Monitoring

Monitoring of a configuration item, an IT service or a process that relies on an alert or notification to discover the current status.

Performance Management 

Activities to ensure that something achieves its expected outcomes in an efficient and consistent manner.

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)

A four-stage cycle for process management, attributed to Edward Deming. Plan-Do-Check-Act is also called the Deming Cycle. Plan – design or revise processes that support the IT services; Do – implement the plan and manage the processes; Check – measure the processes and IT services, compare with objectives and produce reports; Act – plan and implement changes to improve the processes.

Planned Downtime

Agreed time when an IT service will not be available. Planned downtime is often used for maintenance, upgrades, and testing.


A number of projects and activities that are planned and managed together to achieve an overall set of related objectives and other outcomes.


The ability of a product, service or process to provide the intended value. For example, a hardware component can be considered to be of high quality if it performs as expected and delivers the required reliability. Process quality also requires an ability to monitor effectiveness and efficiency and to improve them if necessary.


A model used to help define roles and responsibilities. RACI stands for responsible, accountable, consulted and informed


A measure of how long an IT service or another configuration item can perform its agreed function without interruption. 


A measurement of the time taken to respond to something. This could be response time of a transaction or the speed with which an IT service provider responds to an incident or request for change etc.


The ability of an IT service, process, configuration item etc. to perform its agreed function when the workload or scope changes.

Security Management Information System (SMIS)

A set of tools, data, and information that is used to support information security management. The security management information system is part of the information security management system. 

Service Analytics

A technique used in the assessment of the business impact of incidents. Service analytics models the dependencies between configuration items, and the dependencies of IT services on configuration items.

Service Management

A set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.

Service Level Target

A commitment that is documented in a service level agreement. Service level targets are based on service level requirements and are needed to ensure that the IT service is able to meet business objectives. They should be SMART and are usually based on key performance indicators.


A person who has an interest in an organization, project, IT service etc. Stakeholders may be interested in the activities, targets, resources or deliverables. Stakeholders may include customers, partners, employees, shareholders, owners etc.


A number of related things that work together to achieve an overall objective. For example A computer system including hardware, software, and applications

System Management

The part of IT service management that focuses on the management of IT infrastructure rather than process.