Akash Sharma

All You Need to Know About Service Transition

By Akash Sharma

Last updated cal_iconMay 10, 2021

Before starting with the process of service transition and how the benefits of transition help in the growth and improvements of the business and services provided to the end-user/client. Let’s understand the meaning of transition in the simplest form.

Transition- It is the process of changing, or a change from one form or condition to another. If someone transitions, they make changes, which may be social, legal, technical or medical, that lead to them living as a person with a different persona to the one they were said to have at birth.

Now let’s understand the term Service Transition in the technical way-

“Service Transition manages transition of a new service, ensuring all the changes are carried out in a well-coordinated and smooth way. It further helps in planning and managing the change of state of a service in its lifecycle.

Service Transition in ITIL Framework

Here is a diagram showing how ITIL Framework is designed and how all the processes are related to each other including Service Transition-

Managing the risks for new, changed and any retired services safeguards the product environment. This helps businesses deliver value to their customers.

Moreover, curating service knowledge helps all the stakeholders make informed and reliable decisions with service delivery. For a successful service transition, both managing service risk and curating service knowledge are crucial.

During service transition, these are the following organizational elements that need support:

  • Strategy
  • People
  • Process
  • Technology
  • Suppliers of the service
  • Organizational culture
  • Governance
  • Risk

No change happens without risk and challenges. One of the biggest challenges in service transition is people’s changing behavior to put up a new or different service. People have a psychological need to feel secure and comfortable with changes around them.

ITIL in such a case analyzes changes before they move to the next phase. The lifecycle of a change includes several points at which a go/no-go decision requires, such as

  • Authorization to build and test
  • Authorization to check software into the definitive media library (DML)
  • Authorization to deploy

Besides, for significant changes, a formal evaluation process should be invoked. Every organization must understand what “significant change” is.

The evaluation should include:

  • Evaluating the intended effects of the change
  • Anticipating any unintended effects of the change
  • Identify risks
  • Presenting a recommendation to change management on whether to proceed to further stage
  • The change management process can make the go/no-go decision on proceeding to the next stage.

Service Transition – Processes

  • Transition Planning & Support (TPS)
  • Service validation & Testing (SVT)
  • Change Evaluation
  • Release & Deployment Management
  • Change Management

1. Transition Planning & Support (TPS)

Goal:

The Service Transition Planning and Support process facilitates that the orderly transition of a new or modified service into production, along with the necessary adaptations to the service management processes. This must combine the service design and operational requirements within the transition planning.

Transition Planning and Support has two prime objectives:

  • Planning and Coordination
  • Standardization and Improvement

Objectives:

Planning and Co-ordination-

  • Coordinate resources and activities across projects, suppliers and service teams required to introduce a new service or update an existing service or retire a service successfully.
  • Manage risks to minimize failures chances.
  • Monitoring and improving service transition performance

Standardization and improvement objectives:

  • Ensure adoption of the standard and re-usable processes and supporting systems.
  • Constantly improve the performance of the service transition.

Benefits: A well-managed transition planning and support process will deliver the given below advantages to an IT service provider.

  • Consistency in the Service Transition activities through the utilization of an accepted set of policies, standards and models.
  • High ability to manage multiple transitions at once.
  • Management and deliberate prioritization of resources required by several projects and change activities that results into cost efficiencies as well as continual alignment with changing business goals.
  • Future budget and resource necessities for service transition are anticipated and procured cost-effectively avoiding expensive last-minute decisions.

2. Service validation & Testing (SVT)

Goal:

The goal of service validation & testing is to deliver objective evidence to the new or changed service support, business and stakeholder’s, and customer requirement.

Objectives:

  • To assure that customer and stakeholder needs are well-defined.
  • Assures that the release will provide service which is fit for purpose ‘performance’ and fit for use ‘specifications’
  • Remedy errors early and fast in Service Lifecycle

Scope:

  • Supports Release and Deployment Process allowing appropriate levels of testing are performed during the overall release, build and deployment.
  • Can be applied throughout the lifecycle for quality assurance.

Key Definitions:

Service Level Package (SLP) is a defined level of Utility and Warranty for a Service Package. Each SLP is designed to complete the unmet needs and particular Pattern of Business Activity (PBA). They are associated with a set of service levels, pricing policies, and a core service package.

Service Level Requirement (SLR) is a Customer Requirement for an aspect of an IT Service. SLRs are based on business objectives and are widely used to negotiate Service Level Targets.

Service Design Package (SDP) is a document(s) defining all features of an IT Service and its Requirements throughout its Lifecycle.

Service V Model:

The Service V-Model is a unique concept providing a path to follow with regard to defining the requirements for a service package, designing, building and testing.

The model provides baseline points together with the path that are used as checkpoints to ensure that what is being designed, built and delivered versus what was required.

Service V-Model for Service Validation and Testing provides a framework to effortlessly organize the Configuration Items levels that are needed and the associated testing and validation activities within and across all the stages.

The V-Model approach is associated with the waterfall lifecycle but applied to other approaches as well.

3. Change Evaluation

Change Evaluation process aims to assess major changes, such as the introduction of a new service or a substantial change to an existing service, before those changes are allowed to proceed to the next phase.

Example –

  • Before authorizing the Change
  • Before authorizing the Release Build
  • During the Post Implementation Review

Focus and Output:

Focus

  • Ensures that the expectations are realistic
  • Independently evaluates actual performance
  • Evaluate the intended and unintended effects of service changes
  • Delivers precise and correct information to the change management

Output: The results of a formal Change Evaluation are documented in a Change Evaluation Report

The change evaluation functions in the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) way.

4. Release and Deployment Management

Release and Deployment Management basically aims to build, test and deliver the capability to provide the services by design, which will accomplish the stakeholder’s requirements and deliver the appropriate solution.

Goal:

To deploy releases into production and make effective use of the service for delivering customer value.

Objectives:

  • Build, Install, Test & Deploy the release packages on schedule
  • To ensure that clear and comprehensive plans are in place
  • Knowledge Transfer to Users, Operations & Support Staff
  • Checks that the utilities, warranties and service levels are delivered

Scope:

The processes and functions are included in the scope of Release and Deployment Management.

Approaches:

  • Big Bang vs. Phased
  • Push vs. Pull
  • Automation vs. Manual

An organization may decide that the release unit for business-critical applications is the overall application to ensure that testing is comprehensive.

A key to Release and Deployment Management is defining the appropriate release package type for a given type of release.

Key Definitions:

Release is any CI or group of CIs, that requires to implement one or more approved changes to IT Services. Release Unit is a major component of an IT Service that is normally released together. A Release Unit typically includes sufficient Components to perform a useful function.

One Release Unit could be a Desktop PC, including Hardware, Software, Licenses, and Documentation.

A different Release Unit might be the complete Payroll Application, including IT Operations Procedures and User training.

ELS – Early Life Support

During early life support, Service Transition and Service Operation works altogether.

5. Change Management

Goals:

  • Respond to the customer’s changing business requirements
  • Respond to the business and IT needs for change
  • Maximize RFC value and minimize incidents, disruption and re-work

Objectives:

  • To make sure that changes are recorded and then evaluated, authorized, prioritized, planned, tested, implemented, documented and reviewed in an administrative manner
  • Overall business risk is effectively optimized

7 R’s:

7 R’s are the questions that needs to be answered before. Without this, the Risk & Impact assessment cannot be completed.

  1. Who RAISED the change?
  2. What is the REASON for the change?
  3. What RESOURCES are required to deliver the change?
  4. What is the RETURN required from the change?
  5. What are the RISKS involved?
  6. Who is RESPONSIBLE to build, test & implement the change?
  7. What is the RELATIONSHIP between this change & others?

Types of Changes:

  1. Normal Change are changes which must go through assessment, authorization and may require Change Advisory Board (CAB) agreement before implementation
  2. Emergency Change are only for critical changes needed to restore failed high availability or widespread service failure, or that will prevent the failure from imminently happening. Emergency changes are handled through ECAB (Emergency CAB)
  3. Standard Change are used for pre-authorized repetitive, low-risk, well-tested changes.

Service Transition Benefits

Service Transition has multiple benefits−

  • Quick flexibility to new requirements
  • Transition management of mergers, de-mergers, acquisitions and service transfer
  • Success rate of changes and releases for the business
  • Predictions of service levels and warranties for new as well as different service
  • Confidence in the degree of compliance with business and governance requirements during change
  • Variation of actual against estimated and improved plans and budgets
  • Productivity of customer staff
  • Timely cancellation or changes to maintenance contracts for software and hardware when components are decommissioned.
  • Analyzing the risk during and after transition

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