by Umasankar Diddi, Director, ISG
The success of your Application Development & Maintenance (ADM) services transition depends as much on a solid transition plan as it does on a number of key activities leading up to the plan. These Top 5 activities require significant lead time and can prevent unexpected hiccups to an otherwise smooth and successful transition:
1. Ensure buy-in for a transition framework. Establish consistency and quality for the transition project with a framework that delineates the key activities in each of the transition phases along with the ownership, acceptance criteria, unambiguous and well-articulated deliverables, and any required formats or templates to be followed. For each phase, determine a process for evaluating the effectiveness and implementing formal sign offs with named evaluators and approvers at an application bundle or subportfolio level, and specify a governance method to address transition project issues. Socialize this transition framework with internal stakeholders and service providers. Incorporate their input, publish the finalized framework and provide required training for use.
2. Connect and test the wires. Be prepared to deliver the required secure network connectivity and the application access infrastructure (for example, using Citrix/VDI) across global locations. Plan for a long lead time and involvement from multiple internal and external parties including the infrastructure, network, and security teams working in tandem with the ADM service providers. Be sure to have the infrastructure ready to record the knowledge transfer sessions between your subject matter experts and the service providers’ teams so that the sessions can be reused over the entire contract term. Obtain express approval from the participants for recording, if needed. Plan for thorough testing of the network connectivity, application environment access and session recording.
3. Facilitate third-party handshakes. Refresh your list of current ADM contractors, including key descriptors of the relationships with incumbent service providers. Address the formalities required for exit assistance with the incumbents, and facilitate formal handshakes between them and the new service providers. Establish how the incumbents will be involved in the transition planning, create a timeline to determine the incumbents’ resource requirements during transition, and have the incumbents and the new service providers sign required non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Establish requirements for how to access the incumbents’ facilities, register the new service provider resources, reserve conference rooms and follow connectivity and security protocol.
4. Map your processes. A roadmap that defines new or modified service delivery and governance processes as agreed in the ADM contracts will put everyone on the same track. Focus on those that are required early on and involve long lead time, such as user access management, security policy compliance, forecasting, and demand management processes in addition to the core service delivery processes such as incident, change and service level management.
5. Refresh your list of in-flight projects and releases. Identify the impact of in-flight projects and releases as well as future releases on the transition project and vice versa. Establish a strategy for executing the projects and releases based on their specific characteristics and the current phase. Be sure to take into account key risk areas for the new service providers with respect to specific application development capabilities.
It's never too early to focus on internal change management and beginning to align your retained organization to the new contractual arrangements. For more information about how to ease your ADM transition, contact the author at +44 7876 503473 (Europe mobile) or +91 99456 02865 (India mobile). Visit us on the Web at http://isg-one.com/web/expertise/application/.