Challenges, Critical Success factors and Risks Tutorial

8.1 Challenges, Critical Success Factors and Risks

Learning Unit 8 is about Challenges, Critical Success Factors and risks relating to Service Transition.

8.2 Challenges, CSFs and Risks

Let us look at the topics covered under this module: • First we will understand the Challenges facing service transition • Second is to identify the Measurement through analyzing critical success factors • Third is to identify Potential implementation risks that could affect services currently in transition and being planned • And lastly record the External factors that affect the approach to service transition We will learn about them in detail in the coming slides.

8.3 Challenges Pertaining to Service Transition

We are by now familiar with the importance of Service Transition stage within the overall service lifecycle. We are also aware of the complexity involved in transitioning services from Service Design stage to Service Operation stage. This complexity poses a number of challenges for Service Transition to be successful. The challenges pertaining to Service Transition are : • Managing many contacts, interfaces and relationships through Service Transition, including a variety of stakeholders, namely, customers, users, project teams, suppliers and partners; • Little harmonization and integration of the processes and disciplines that impact Service Transition; • Achieving a balance between maintaining a stable live environment and being responsive to the business needs for changing the services; • Achieving a balance between pragmatism and bureaucracy; • Being an enabler of business change and, therefore, an integral component of the business change programmes; • Establishing leaders to champion the changes and improvements; • Establishing ‘who is doing what, when and where’ and ‘who should be doing what, when and where’; • Developing a culture that encourages people to collaborate and work effectively and an atmosphere that fosters the cultural shifts necessary to get buy-in from people; • Developing standard performance measures and measurement methods across projects and suppliers; • Ensuring that the service transition time and budget are not impacted by events earlier in the service lifecycle; and • Understanding, and being able to assess, the balance between managing risk and taking risks.

8.4 Measurement Through Analyzing CSFs

As discussed earlier, identifying and defining critical success factors help in ensuring that process and service management activities are directed towards meeting stated objectives. The overall service management objective is to continually improve the quality of service and aligning services to changing business requirements, in a cost effective way. In this direction, the critical success factors relating to overall Service Transition stage are : • Understanding and managing the different stakeholder perspectives that underpin effective risk management within an organization and establishing and maintaining stakeholder buy-in and commitment; • Having clearly defined relationships and interfaces with programme and project management; • Integrating with the other service lifecycle stages, processes and disciplines that impact Service Transition; • Understanding the inherent dependencies among the legacy systems, new technology and human elements that result in unknown dependencies and are risky to change; • Creating and maintaining new and updated knowledge in a form that people can find and use; • Good service management and IT infrastructure tools and technology; • Being able to understand the service and technical configurations and their dependencies; • Establishing a culture that enables knowledge to be shared freely and willingly; • Demonstrating improved customer and user satisfaction ratings during Service Transition ; • Demonstrating that the benefits of establishing and improving the Service Transition practice and processes outweigh the costs; and • Being able to communicate the organization’s attitude to risk and approach to risk management more effectively during Service Transition activities. In the next slide let us look at the risks of Service transition.

8.5 Risks

Implementing the Service Transition practice should not be made without recognizing the potential risk to services currently in transition and those releases that are planned. A baseline assessment of current Service Transitions and planned projects will help Service Transition to identify implementation risks. These risks might include: • Change in accountabilities, responsibilities and practices of existing projects that de-motivate the workforce • Alienation or isolation of some key support and operations staff • Additional unplanned costs to services in transition • Resistance to change and by passing of the processes due to perceived bureaucracy. As we are aware of the risks involved, let us understand the factors that affect the approach to service transition in the next slide.

8.6 Factors Affecting the Approach to Service Transition

In some circumstances, Service Transitions will be required under a typical or difficult conditions, such as: • Short timescale • Restricted finances • Restricted resource availability – not enough people or lack of test environments, inadequate tools etc. • Absence of anticipated skills sets • Internal political difficulty, staff disincentivesRedundancy/outsourcing or similar threats • Difficult corporate culture of confrontational management style • Internal rivalries and competitiveness • External difficulties such as weather, political instability, post-disaster, legislation. Clearly, some of these circumstances overlap with Continuity planning, and many of the approaches set out in the Service Design publication will be relevant to successful transition in difficult circumstances. In continuation to these factors, let us discuss the test of the ST approach in the next slide.

8.7 Factors Affecting the Approach to Service Transition

Here are some critical situations in the service transition stage and dealing with such situations: • When speed is more important than accuracy or smoothness • Restricted resources • Safety critical services and high risk environments • Working with difficult Customers We will discuss each of the situations in the coming slides.

8.8 Factors Affecting the Approach to Service Transition

Let us start with the first condition that is when speed is more important than accuracy or smoothness which emphasizes that speed is critical. In time of critical situations, implementation of a new or changed service may be more important than a degree of disruption. This is effectively a risk management decision, and general risk management principles apply. Some of the key factors that assist with delivering success in this context are: • Empowerment – with staff given the authority to take appropriate levels of risk. In volatile industries Service Transition must act in a way that reflects the corporate risk culture and not suppress or undermine Business risk decisions. • A need to know the absolute cut-off date or time that Service Transition must deliver by – is too often either ‘safety margins’ are built in, meaning - a product is delivered early that could have been improved, or people assume there is some leeway and there isn’t – meaning critical deadlines are missed. It is often better to be totally open and trust key staff. • Deciding which components of the transitioned service must be available at the cut-off date, and which could be added later. • How separable are the components and what are the dependencies? What elements might be required although not initially on the ‘essentials’ list? • Which users or customers or locations etc. must be in place at the cut-off date? Have to be decided. Moving on let us discuss the restricted users in the next slide.

8.9 Factors Affecting the Approach to Service Transition

In out last slide we learned the first condition when speed is more important than accuracy or smoothness. This slide explains the Second situation when we have restricted resources; When resources are in short supply, a key aspect here is deciding what to measure and sticking to that decision and the framework for delivery, e.g.: • What is the important parameter – speed, or low cost or whatever? And knowing that will be the measure of importance afterwards, e.g. no blame for it being expensive when the understanding was ‘get it in by 3 p.m. whatever the cost’. • Establish an applicable hierarchy of measures – speed – money – full functionality etc. with some subordinate ones having absolute limits, e.g. as quickly as possible, but not more that £12,500; or as cheaply as possible but must be in by 30th September. This requires involving budget holders, Business decision makers etc. to ensure the correct parameters are built in. • Awareness and documentation. All actually and potentially aware staff needs to be aware of requirements, and a mechanism for keeping staff informed quickly about changes to those requirements is essential. In the next slide let us understand the safety critical services and high risks environments.

8.10 Factors Affecting the Approach to Service Transition

In out last slide we discussed about the Second situation when we have restricted resources. This slide explains the Third situation that is “Safety critical services and high risk environments”. Ever-increasingly, IT services directly support or actually deliver’s services on which lives depend, such as hospital services, emergency services call-taking, flood control and aircraft ‘fly-by-wire’. Extra security and fool proof approaches are required, with features such as: • Appropriate documentation, which is essential and often includes counter-signatures and extra checks on stage approval; however, excessive documentation can be counter-productive; high risk can often be found in conjunction with time-restricted situations (e.g. emergency services coordination) meaning careful balancing of safety and speed is required; in such circumstances skill and experience andor extensive training is a major factor • Accuracy typically taking priority over speed • More rigorous testing, longer time periods and more detailed Data collected and maintained within the CMS • Measures of safety accurately assessed by an accepted authority, e.g. what constitutes acceptable levels, such as safe radiation doses within X-ray or radioactive Environments • Setting the sign off authority, and ensuring those responsible are not overly influenced by inappropriate pressures, such as concern about company profit or staff bonuses as opposed to risking human lives • In extreme circumstances ensuring more than one individual must be involved for certain actions to be taken (e.g. typically the procedures for launching nuclear weapons require simultaneous confirmation by two trained officers) • Consider ‘veto’ rights for sub-groupings whereby those controlling any key component of the service can stop implementation – as a ‘no-go’ from one of a dozen teams can stop a launch of a space shuttle. Let us now move on to the next slide where we will discuss about working with difficult customers.

8.11 Factors Affecting the Approach to Service Transition

Of course there is no such thing as a bad customer, really, but often there are Customers who are unclear of their role as a customer and so act in a way that prevents rather than supports successful implementation. Examples include Customers who: • Feel the need to get too involved in the detail of how things are done, instead of judging by the service delivered • Are not able to deliver the decisions and choose options to suit their Business needs • Do not make staff and resources available to facilitate effective Service Transition, for example providing Data and staff to assess the transitioned service, or to effect user testing. These kinds of situation can often be improved by awareness and education of: • Customers. • Users. • Transition staff (e.g. patience and diplomacy skills). • Account management working with the Customers to reassure Customers and ascertain their requirements. • Careful budgetary control, so that Customers can see the value returning for their investment of staff time and other resources. • Clear and Accurate Documentations. • Demonstrate value through proper budgeting and ROI(pronounced as R-O-I) This summarizes the module on CSF, Challenges and Risks in Service Transition. With this we come to the end of all module topics of Service Transition. The next module is a summary of Service Transition along with the study material.

8.12 Learning Unit 8 Summary

The topics covered so far under this learning unit were about : • The complex nature of services as well as the underlying components results in various challenges and risks for service providers. It is essential to identify as far as possible these challenges and risks and implement mitigation plans. • Similarly, the critical success factors and relevant key performance indicators, metrics and measurements should be put in place to achieve the objectives of Service Transition as well as service management. • There are a number of factors affecting the efficient execution of Service Transitions. Shorter timescales, restricted resources, critical environments and demanding customers are some such factors. Suitable plans, empowerment of staff, close interactions with customers by Business Relationship Management and understanding and managing risks are key to overcome or manage these factors. With this we have come to the end of learning unit 8, next is the quiz section!

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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