ITIL for BAs – Part X; BAs and ITIL Service Transition (continued)

In our last post we began reviewing the Service Transition phase of the IT Service lifecycle, specifically looking at the first seven of 14 policies:

3.2.1 Define and implement a formal policy for Service Transition
3.2.2 Implement all changes to services through Service Transition
3.2.3 Adopt a common framework and standards, and
3.2.4 Maximize re-use of established processes and systems
3.2.5 Align Service Transition plans with the business needs
3.2.6 Establish and maintain relationships with stakeholders
3.2.7 Establish effective controls and disciplines

Without further ado, let’s look at the remaining seven, keeping in mind the business/IT relationship and how these policies ought to be supported by your BA practice:

3.2.8 Provide systems for knowledge transfer and decision support
Constant change, the iterative refinement of a solution, traceability, test and acceptance activities – all of these, and many others, are underpinned by the need for information. Organizations that rely on knowledge retained in contributors’ heads are at a serious disadvantage and introduce significant risk, delay, and probable loss of business value. Furthermore, the requirements management and solution design/development team should ensure that the operations/support teams are equipped with all relevant knowledge about the requirements and the solution.

3.2.9 Plan release and deployment packages
IT organizations rarely rely on a one-to-one relationship between a solution and a release. For the sake of efficiency, releases frequently comprise multiple solutions, or even parts of multiple solutions. Solution developers and testers are not necessarily familiar with the tools and processes used in the release process, so a smooth transition to operation depends in large part upon the release team’s ability to plan, test, and document a specific release plan that minimizes disruption to the business.

3.2.10 Anticipate and manage course corrections
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft agley.” Managing variations gracefully is of course a cultural challenge. With the BA in the middle of it all, the BA practices are a significant driver behind the nurturing of such a culture.

3.2.11 Proactively manage resources across service transitions
In other words, be not passive in the formation of the release teams. Formulate teams from individuals who specialize in the risks, procedures, and skills needed for smooth transition. Every glitch in a transition to operation takes a chink out of the business value of that solution.

3.2.12 Ensure early involvement in the service lifecycle
This is a really great policy for, and admonition to, the IT organization. Especially in organizations with software development teams hosted by the lines of business (LOBs), there is a tendency for those teams to operate independently and then initiate transition with the shared services organization to implement a solution. To remedy this, it is really important for the IT team to take the IT Service Management message to those LOB development teams and work together early. (Similarly, it is important for the BA to stay involved with the solution through its entire lifecycle, rather than handing the requirements off to the project team and then moving on to a different requirements effort.)

3.2.13 Assure the quality of the new or changed service
This is such a core part of BA that not much comment needs to be added here.

3.2.14 Proactively improve quality during service transition
In other words, do not ignore incidents, problems and other deficiencies detected during transition activities. It’s easy to recognize the sense in this, but when push comes to shove and a release deadline is looming, this policy is frequently disregarded.

Hopefully this policy summary has adequately suggested that the BA/IT relationship can be greatly empowered through the development of and adherence to these policies, in order to drive desired business outcomes.

Next time we’ll look at the specific processes related to Service Transition.

Meanwhile, please leave your thoughts/comments: what does this all mean to you?

And thanks again for visiting!