Monday, January 31, 2011

Why your Service Transition needs to be institutionalized

If, like most IT organizations, you have a strong project management culture, the importance of a strong service transition process should be a priority especially if service excellence is your goal.

A common scenario that I see all too often is that your PMO spends months or even years managing that industry busting project and then it comes to implementation time.  The customers are happy, it tested well.  You have a strong implementation plan and everything seems to be in place for the project to be declared a success.  But then almost as soon as pat each other on the back for a job well done something goes wrong.

Something small at first, maybe an IP address changed and the application is unavailable.  Easy enough, you identify the issue and fix it pretty quickly.  Then another issue where a file is surprisingly over capacity.  Whoops!  Easy, fixed in a matter of minutes.

Here's the real problem.  Your project resources that are troubleshooting the issues are saying things like "Oh, it was only a small issue",  "There's no way we could have tested that" or "It wasn't our fault, it was the infrastructure team who screwed up" while your customers are all saying "This new system is worse than what it replaced!".  The fact you just had a successful project carries no weight with your now disenfranchised customers.  What matters is whether they can do what they want to, when they want to.  they feel like you don't value their concerns and that IT is inefficient and even infighting.

So how does a good service transition process solve this problem for you?  If your process is thorough you'll know who is supporting every aspect of the new service as well as every component that needs to be in place, monitored and exactly what the service level expectation of the customer is.  Everyone involved will know what is chaning, when and what the expectation is on them.

If you ensure the service transition process is institutionalized into your PMO requirements for all projects and included in your change management process you'll have everything in place to give consistent service delivery.  If you find something that wasn't put in place you can always fix it through your continuous improvement process!

To find out more information on Service Transition best practices, contact

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