ITIL Terminology - T to W

Technical Management

The function responsible for providing technical skills in support of IT services and management of the IT infrastructure. Technical management defines the roles of support groups, as well as the tools, processes, and procedures required.

Technical Observation (TO)

A technique used in service improvement, problem investigation and availability management. Technical support staff meet to monitor the behavior and performance of an IT service and make recommendations for improvement

Trend Analysis

Analysis of data to identify time-related patterns. Trend analysis is used in problem management to identify common failures or fragile configuration items, and in capacity management as a modeling tool to predict future behavior. It is also used as a management tool for identifying deficiencies in IT service management processes.

Unit Cost

The cost to the IT service provider of providing a single component of an IT service. For example, the cost of a single desktop PC, or of a single transaction.

User Profile (UP)

A pattern of user demand for IT services. Each user profile includes one or more patterns of business activity


An activity that ensures a new or changed IT service, process, plan or other deliverable meets the needs of the business. Validation ensures that business requirements are met even though these may have changed since the original design.

Value Chain

A sequence of processes that creates a product or service that is of value to a customer. Each step of the sequence builds on the previous steps and contributes to the overall product or service.

Value on Investment (VOI)

A measurement of the expected benefit of an investment. The value on investment considers both financial and intangible benefits. 

Variable Cost

A cost that depends on how much the IT service is used, how many products are produced, the number and type of users, or something else that cannot be fixed in advance


The difference between a planned value and the actual measured value. Commonly used in financial management, capacity management, and service level management, but could apply in any area where plans are in place.

Vital Business Function (VBF)

Part of a business process that is critical to the success of the business. Vital business functions are an important consideration of business continuity management, IT service continuity management and availability management.

Work in Progress (WIP)

A status that means activities have started but are not yet complete. It is commonly used as a status for incidents, problems, changes etc.

Work Instruction

A document containing detailed instructions that specify exactly what steps to follow to carry out an activity.A work instruction contains much more detail than a procedure and is only created if very detailed instructions are needed.