Every single project manager wants to deliver a high-quality piece of work that integrates seamlessly into the live environment. So why is it that so many projects and initiatives overlook the importance of good Service Transition?
In simple ITIL terms, Service Transition is being able to move new or modified services into the live business environment as smoothly as possible. In reality it is the proper engagement of all key stakeholders early in the project lifecycle and maintaining that involvement throughout the project so there are no surprises when something is ‘hurled over the fence’ for the operations and service teams to support.
Key Service Transition processes include Change Management, Service Asset and Configuration Management, Release and Deployment Management, and Knowledge Management.
When Service Transition is done badly, or not at all, it can have a damaging impact. Back in 2008 British Airways paid the price for poor Service Transition when they moved operations to the new, state of the art Terminal 5. Almost every component of the transition was ignored causing a huge backlog of reservations, 28,000 lost bags and no opportunity for passengers to have their luggage checked in. During the post-mortem of events, it was revealed that employees and stakeholders weren’t adequately engaged in the project and had not been trained on the processes and functions of the new operation, while numerous software bugs appeared in the system proving that proper testing, release and change management had not been conducted.
When Service Transition is done properly you have a fully engaged set of stakeholders who are involved throughout the process. Testing, Release and Change Management are given sufficient time and resource so they can ensure the highest quality product is being delivered into live. Training is seen as a key deliverable so the handover into ‘BAU’ is much smoother from a business and IT service perspective.
There are many elements that make up Service Transition, but the most important point is to consider it at the beginning of the project, not at the end. Bake time into your project plans for it. Don’t compromise on the quality of the testing, training and documentation. Think of all the different stakeholders you need to engage and communicate to them regularly. Do this right and they will champion the successful delivery of the project on your behalf and ensure their teams are bought into the concept rather than feeling this is being ‘done’ to them.
If you want to know more about Service Transition or any other service-related topics please have a look at the Service section on the Fundamentals First website and let us know if we can help.