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Release, Control and Validation (RCV) – Service Management Secret Ingredients

In today's dynamic business climate, service outages cause real bottom line impact to the business. There are documented best practice processes and known critical success factors and yet outages that throw support organizations into reactive firefighting turmoil are far too common.
Mature processes with just enough control are needed to smoothly transition new and changed services into production, helping to ensure stability for IT and the business.  Most organizations will confirm that they do have Change and Release Management processes in place.  Service Providers will usually have some level of Service Asset and Configuration Management control.  There is generally a lot of buzz and focus on three core processes for Service Transition and the success and integration of these three are critical to business success. 
Three Core Processes for Service Transition are:
  • Change Management
  • Service Asset and Configuration Management
  • Release Management
Most IT organizations recognize the importance and the value of these three core processes.  There are two other very distinct and separate processes that you may not be aware of and in many ways these two processes could ensure success for all other Service Transition processes.
Two Processes that provide the secret ingredient for Service Transition are:
  • Validate and Test  - Unique process – Related to but separate from Release Management Early in the lifecycle the service validation and test process needs to work with the service design coordination, release and deployment management and change evaluation processes to plan and design the test approach. 

  • Change Evaluation   - This is not the same as Change Management - The output from testing is used by the change evaluation process to provide information on whether the service is formally judged to be delivering the service performance with an acceptable risk profile.

Many organizations will have to have some facsimile of these process activities in order to ensure successful change and release but few organizations have distinct and separate processes as defined in ITIL Best Practices.  These two very unique process activities should have clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, workflow, and deliverables. 
The value of these two processes (the secret ingredient) result in less defects, an increase in successful change, customer confidence and also the ability to meet business outcomes that increase bottom line.

For information, training and certification on these and other processes that ensure success for Release Control and Validation:  http://www.itsmacademy.com/itil-rcv/



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