IT is a large and growing slice of the overall budget for many companies. That money spent on IT is anticipated to create business value and support business growth. However in many IT organizations, a considerable percentage of this budget and IT labor is consumed on managing of incidents. First, second and third tier levels of support along with support technology and tools can become expensive to retain and maintain. In fact this is unplanned work which inhibits value creation and business growth. Many people will advocate a solid proactive problem management process to eliminate the root cause of these incidents and I am right there alongside them. However, I think we need to look even earlier in the service lifecycle.
The standard statistic that I see most often quoted is that up to 80% of all incidents are cause by undocumented and unauthorized changes. So for the sake of this argument let us take that as our baseline and discuss critical success factors facing service transition and how we might actually impact business value and growth in a positive way. The complexity of service delivery across the supply chain is ever increasing. This becomes a difficult challenge for the service provider who implements new services or makes both large and small changes to existing services.
As IT has become a primary part of the business process, our objective as the service provider of choice is to be agile and lean enough to be able to continually improve the quality of our services and meet the rapidly changing customer & business requirements. To do this we must consider the following critical success factors:
- Understand and manage different stakeholder perspectives.
- Have a clearly defined relationship with program and project management, allowing us early engagement when there is an IT component involved.
- Stay focused on the holistic picture by integrating with all of the other service lifecycle stages, processes and functions that may impact service transition.
- Work closely with SACM, Knowledge and the Release and Deployment processes to ensure and understanding of the dependencies of legacy systems, new technologies and the human elements that can result in risks when making changes.
- Develop a workforce with the necessary knowledge and skills, with clear and accountable roles and responsibilities, along with the appropriate training and knowledge sharing.
- Demonstrate that the benefits of establishing and improving the service transition practices and processes outweigh the costs through the use of meaningful measures, metrics and risk reduction.