Service Introduction- In IT space
The concept 'Service Introduction' is gaining rapid popularity in IT world as an 'effective tool' to introduce a new application/service into an established system.
In short, Service Introduction is the management of activities to ensure that applications/systems being developed to meet all operational requirements before getting introduced to 'Production or Live' environment. It also has to ensure 'Maintenance teams' are comfortable in providing the required services from the day one.
Typically the SI team needs to work closely with the following stakeholders...
• Application Development Team (functional/technical team)
• Project Manager - Application Development
• SI Lead/POC - Client Team
• Contract Management team
• Sales/Client facing group
• Client SMEs
• Project Managers - Third party tools/systems (if involved)
• Application Maintenance -Client team
• Application Maintenance- Service provider
• End users
Key SI activities and Deliverables:
Here are some of the key activities and deliverables from SI manager / team in the relevant Project life cycle phases.
a. Justify & Initiate phase - Receive Purchase order and provide initial response to Statement of Work (SOW)
b. Plan phase - Identify and finalize the 'Service Acceptance Criteria' for the introduction of the new application/service
c. Design Phase -
• Produce Final and Firm commercial response and estimates
• SI work plan
• Support Impact Statement ( A comprehensive document, which talks about the support team's understanding of the new application/service getting developed)
d. Build Phase -
• Review Testing Approach, plan and schedule of AD team
• Identify KT topics along with AM team
e. Test Phase -
• Publish KT plan and Schedule
• Coordinate KT and Reverse KT activities
f. Deploy Phase -
• Review of Test results /Test report
• SAC review and Go/No Go decision
• Finalize 'Warranty timelines' and 'Support Model' during warranty
g. Close Phase -
• Observe ticket/issues pattern during warranty
• Closure of pending SAC & other SI activities
• Work on other PMO docs like 'Lessons learned' etc
To have a successful 'Service Introduction' of new application, it requires maximum possible support from all stakeholders. Here are some of the responsibilities of Application Development and Application Maintenance teams.
Application Development Team's responsibilities:
• Intimate and communicate appropriately incase of any change in project scope, deliverables and timelines etc.
• Place all project deliverables in applicable place holders
• To work with client SMEs to identify key business scenarios to be included as part of testing
• Complete comprehensive and detailed KT sessions with concerned support teams
• To make sure all 'Must Have' requirements have been met as part of application development
• To close all open tickets as part of testing phase
• To work proactively for the closure of SAC
• To work with End users and Third party tool/service providers for the benefit of overall solution
AM (Support Team's) responsibilities:
• Through review of basic project documents like User Requirement specification, Business blueprint and Configuration rationale.
• To identify the key personnel to work on SI activities of the development project
• Review the testing approach, plan and schedule of AD teams and to provide the inputs as required.
• Indentify KT topics and duration of KT
• Prepare and present Reverse KT activities
• Review Test scripts and results
• Proactively involve in resolution of issues/tickets identified in testing phase.
• Make sure relevant Support roles are in place and resourced in advance of the 'Service commencement' into support
Successful 'Service Introduction' into support functions isn't that easy as it appears, simply because of involvement of
• Multiple stakeholders
• Different vendors
• Customer specific requirements
• Organizational change management aspects
• Budget and time constraints and
• IT related technical aspects
Each organization can have its own approach towards 'Service Introduction' but prime focus on some of the key activities like, thorough understanding of priorities of multiple stakeholders/vendors, defining the SI responsibilities of each team, effective monitoring & review mechanism and quantifiable SI deliverables are important for success.
Needless to say right people in right places can only enhance overall system.