GSX Blog

ITIL for your Messaging and Collaboration environment (Part 4B: Service Transition)

Posted by Carl Drechsel on Wed, Feb 22, 2012

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Last week I posted the first three processes associated with Service Transition, in this post I will cover the final four important processes to take into account when adhering to ITIL standards

  • Release and Deployment Management
  • Service Validation and Testing
  • Change Evaluation
  • Knowledge Management

1.       Release and Deployment Management

    The primary goal of release and deployment management is to plan and manage the release of a new service by taking a holistic view into what each new initiative requires.  This encompasses the planning, design, build, configuration and testing of all new hardware and software required for a particular service.

    Major activities that are part of release and deployment management include:

    • Planning for service rollout
    • Managing build components
    • Developing and managing procedures to be followed for changes to IT systems
    • Communicating to and managing customer expectations
    • Initial post deployment support (Early Life Support)

    So how does this impact your Messaging and Collaboration environment?

    When deploying a new service into your messaging and collaboration environment Release and Deployment Management will help ensure proper system components are deployed meeting the demands of the business process. This includes licensing and version certification. It is important to work with the release manager to throughout the project lifecycle to be sure that release and deployment is considered from design to rollout.  

    2.       Service Validation and Testing

      The goal of Service Validation and Testing is to provide insight into a particular service before and after its initial release. This process validates that the deployed service is meeting the expectations of your users and that the service is operating and supported as planned. Much of this process is concerned with testing and evaluation. Service Acceptance Testing (Similar to UAT) is completed prior to the service being launched to receive agreement from the customer regarding the service fulfilling requirements.

      So how does this impact your Messaging and Collaboration environment?

      Service Validation and Testing is important because it does two main things:

      • It validates that the product you deliver meets the core feature functionality required
      • It validates that your service operates and performs as expected

      Having sign off in these two areas makes your job easier, project completed successfully. Moving forward any issues and problems that arise become part of Service Operation.

      3.       Change Evaluation

        Change evaluation aims to evaluate major proposed changes before implementation to prevent any impact to IT Services.  Change Evaluation has three primary objectives:

        • Limit the disruption of IT services
        • Efficient use of IT resources
        • Decrease the amount of unsuccessful changes

        So how does this impact your Messaging and Collaboration environment?

        For many in IT Change Management can be seen as an unnecessary burden, and if implemented for the sake of implementing it can be simply a rubber stamp process. However, if done properly Change Management can actually improve change implementation and turn around. One of the key things needed for a successful Change system is team buy-in. It is critical that the individuals taking part in change management are all working to a common goal, Change Management is one place where silos definitely won’t work.

        4.       Knowledge Management

          The goal of knowledge management is to maintain a repository of information gained and lessons learned in order to improve efficiency by reducing the need to relearn knowledge. This information is maintained in the Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS).

          There are four basic stages of gaining knowledge:

          • Data-Metrics
          • Information-The result of qualifying metrics
          • Knowledge-Information combined with context, experience and interpretation
          • Wisdom-Making the right decisions utilizing properly interpreted knowledge

          So how does this impact your Messaging and Collaboration environment?

          If we never learn from our experiences or we forget how we solved an issue how can we take advantage of the experience? Knowledge management aims to ensure that if an issue occurs a second time, the answer is waiting for you.  A key part of knowledge management from a Messaging and Collaboration perspective is ensuring lessons learned make their way into the knowledge management system.  Discovering the solution to a problem has a cost and rediscovering it is a cost that could have been avoided.

          Transitioning Services into a production environment successfully takes a great deal of planning and preparation.  Following the best practices associated with ITIL Service Transition will help ensure that things go smoothly.

          The next article I post will be Part 5A of ITIL Service Operation, covering three highly related processes Event, Incident and Problem Management.

          Stay tuned and as always if you see anything that you would like to discuss or need further clarification on please send me a comment, I really appreciate your feedback.

          Also we’re going to be Exhibiting at SPTechCon in San Francisco next week so if you’re attending please stop by and say hi, we are at booth #905

          Tags: Collaboration, ITIL, sla, Service Transition, Service Delivery, Lotus Domino Monitoring, Messaging, Reporting, lotus domino, Framework