So, you’ve put your heart and soul into the latest project that you have been working on. You are exceptionally proud of what the team has achieved, especially given the tight timescales, budget constraints and business pressures. The project has now been released into the production environment and you can relax knowing that all your hard work is now going to realise significant business benefit.
A couple of hours later you are called into your managers office. They aren’t happy. Their phone has been ringing off the hook. They want to know what has gone wrong!
So, what went wrong?
There are so many different things that can go wrong as a result of a change to the production environment, including;
- Services that are delivered that don’t meet current customer requirements
- Support teams that are not aware or ready to support new or changed services
- New or changed services that are not ‘accepted’ by operations
- A lack of supporting documentation or knowledge about the release
- The perceived success of projects not reflected in the day to day operation by the business
- Service Level Agreements that have never been agreed, or cannot be met
- A lack of a continuity plan in the case that there is a major incident with the service
- Unclear accountability for resolving any of the above
Chances are the project was so focused on the delivery of functionality, to time and budget, that elements were missed in the preparation of the business and operational teams to be able to use, or support, the product. This reflects that changes tend to be pushed out by project teams rather than pulled by operational teams, and the collaboration between the two is often limited, with them working in distinct silos.
Unfortunately, this is not surprising. Project teams and operational teams, while both having the same goal of providing business value, come from two different ends of the technology spectrum. Project teams are driven by change, generating value to the business by providing new functionality and opportunities, whereas operational teams are driven by stability, ensuring that the services used by the business are always available and performing.
The art of bridging the gap between projects and operations
There is no need for project teams to invest time in coming up with their own way of bridging the gap between projects and operations, instead they should be adopting an agreed, repeatable and structure methodology.
The ITIL Service Management best practice framework has dedicated a whole section to addressing this critical requirement, Service Transition, and, as with all best practice frameworks, this can provide organisations with a pragmatic structured way of working that can be tailored to the particular demands of the business.
Service Transition is about safely operationalising new, or changed elements of IT, helping “Change the Business” in a way that does not compromise “Run the Business” in the process, enabling organisations to become more agile, providing the capability and capacity to respond more rapidly, and with greater certainty of success, to change.
Service Transition is led by an organisations operations team collaborating with the project team to pull a release into production, rather than a project team pushing, or throwing, it over the fence. Teams espousing Agile techniques will decry this as evidence that ITIL and ITSM slow down their ability to deliver to the business, but this is far from the case. Modern Service Transition methods, especially embraced as part of a DevOps or Agile ITSM approach, ensure that business service and stability is maintained, while enabling the rapid and flexible release mechanisms demanded by today’s development and project teams.
Effective Service Transition is an essential part of good governance. Change can be embraced more rapidly and more effectively without impacting the business. As a result, the business, its customers and its employees are all able to face change with greater confidence in the outcome.
If you would like to find out how iCore can help you with your Service Transition requirements then contact us on 0207 868 2405 or alternatively join us for a free breakfast briefing on Agile Service Transition and Proactive Service Assurance on 19th September 2017 in London.