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Our Guide to an Effective IT Managed Service
In this five-part series ‘Our guide to an effective IT Managed Service’ we will cover the entire managed services lifecycle.
1. Three steps to building a business case for an IT Managed Service
2. Three considerations when defining your IT Managed Service
3. Five steps to running an end-to-end RFP
4. Three key steps to a seamless service transition
5. Getting the most value out of your Managed Service
In part four of the ‘Our guide to an effective IT Managed Service’ series, we look at three key steps to a seamless service transition.
Three key steps to a seamless service transition
You have been through the selection process and signed commercial contracts with your new IT Managed Service provider. The focus is now firmly on transitioning the management of your IT to the new service provider with minimal disruption to end-users and the business.
Having spent a great deal of time and effort working towards this point, you are looking forward to having IT services running like clockwork and seeing all your efforts come to fruition.
However, there are several details that need to be considered, documented and transitioned. With any successful transition plan, the devil is in the detail.
A typical managed service transition process plan would include:
- Staff interviews to ensure contractual alignment
- Staff onboarding
- Process engagement and documentation
- Engage on security compliance
- Build service improvement register for action under CSI
- User communication
Firstly, let’s consider the transition requirements. This is a crucial step and you should not underestimate the amount of time and knowledge to get this right.
Have you been able to quantify and document the requirements, the operational details and the expected outcomes? While this fundamental step might seem straightforward, it requires a lot of thought and collaboration. Although you may not be involved in the day-to-day activities of the new service, it is vital to have an understanding and awareness of the new provider's processes how the service will run.
During the transition phase, you should remain fully engaged with your new supplier. This ensures you do not miss out on potential opportunities or efficiencies your own knowledge and experience may identify.
Three points to remember:
- Be fully involved in the process
- Maintain open communication
- Knowledge share each way to improve services and upskill
As a part of the initial transition, you will need to support the service provider with the following:
- A senior point of contact for IT to ensure a smooth transition
- Involve HR to address and respond to any personnel concerns
- Guidance on any potential issues that may arise
- Advice on the points of contact at new sites
- Access to all required systems, folders, documentation and reports
- Contacts and processes for escalations
- Disclosure of current service level status and CSI
- Information of where services need to be improved, developed and support your personnel may require
When you plan your transition, you should prepare resource requirements in advance. The transition of the service is effectively changing skills, personnel, knowledge and technology.
A service transition can be an uncertain time for your team. An open dialogue must be maintained with your existing service professionals throughout the process, answering and allaying any concerns that may arise. This will ensure your existing team understand the rationale behind the transition and fully support the process. Current processes and their outputs should be analysed, and documented and compared to the new processes ensuring they will deliver or exceed current outputs.
The next step is to document the transition deliverables in a full transition plan. Your plan should include a complete breakdown of all the tasks that are being transitioned along with the details of personnel, data, timelines and deliverables involved.
What do you expect to achieve at the end of the transition phase? Having this clearly defined enables you to measure the success of the transition against your objectives.
Key points to consider:
- The transition should be focused on people, and process rather than just the requirements
- The transition must be focused on how the service will be delivered going forward to ensure it doesn’t become a process focused on itself
- Work on targeted staff retention
- Ensure existing knowledge is retained and verified as correct
- Risk mitigation
- Service evaluation - conduct a gap analysis on skills, requirements, deliverables and metrics
- Relationships - Who does what? Who needs what? why? and by when?
- Commercials - Lower implementation cost from knowledge base
- Liabilities – Money and labour, how we can realign/ re-task?
- Full Documentation Suite - SOM, JDs, Processes, Contacts, etc. – This keeps key-stakeholders aligned and aware of their responsibilities in the transition
Post transition, you need to reinforce the output based SLAs in the contract and as highlighted in part two of the series ‘Three considerations when defining your IT Managed Service’, you must continue to review and update them as necessary.
Crucial to a successful transition and service is keeping communication lines open, building your relationship with the service provider. This will support the service to grow, evolve and keep the service running optimally in terms of efficiency and cost.
In part five of “Our Guide to an Effective IT Managed Service”, we explore in more detail how to continue to get the best out of your IT Managed Services contract.
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