Successful transition of business application services

Change Management

Across many businesses, the way in which support for its key applications is provided has changed over the past few years. It has evolved from a model involving a combination of largely in-house development and business teams, to delivery by experienced, dedicated external support organisations or partners.

This presents the challenge of transitioning large groups of applications from the current support model to new service providers operating under specific contractual arrangements.

In order to ensure success, one key objective is to provide clear overall management and coordination of the transition programme, working with the third parties to ensure that the work is completed within the required timescales, to a pre-defined budget and meets the specified level of service throughout the change.

As you would expect, the role of the programme manager in a transition initiative is to plan, organise and manage the resources to bring about the successful completion of the project goals to time, desired quality and budget. The approach though, is specifically designed for this rather unique situation (see model below).

Another key success factor is to manage the relationship with the third party suppliers in a positive and collaborative manner. Similarly, the establishment of good governance for transition programmes is essential and this should include all parties involved in the change, including the suppliers and end customers of the service. The PM should deal with day to day issues on the project as they arise and escalate any issues impacting on time, quality/service performance and budget back to the governance board.

All of this helps to support the smoothly managed transition to an external support organisation, providing strong liaison and communications between business representatives at one end, through the internal application support departments, out to the third party organisation.

A rigorous approach to managing transition programmes enables significant benefits in support provision:

  • Formally documented, tracked and reported SLAs
  • Defined processes, and clear responsibilities for all support activities
  • Agreed, communicated and guaranteed support hours
  • Potential for extended hours of support

Keeping sight of these benefits throughout the change helps to ensure success and sets the groundwork for the delivery of the services into the future.

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