Understanding ITIL and the Service Lifecycle from a “Non-IT” Perspective – Part 3

The last couple of weeks, we have learned about the first two phases of the Service Lifecycle in “non-IT” terms. In case you’re just joining us, we are comparing each phase of the ITIL Service Lifecycle to the different aspects of the dining experience at a restaurant. For the purpose of this series, the restaurant in review is called “Harbaugh’s” (after Jim Harbaugh – the NFL’s greatest coach). At this point, Jim and his team have developed strategy and have designed his restaurant (service, food, and atmosphere) according to his requirements and desires. Now lets move into the third phase of the Service Lifecycle, Service Transition…

Service Transition

At this stage, we’d like our staff to build, test, and train on the various aspects of providing these offerings (and experience) to the customers. We are truly validating the design of our services. At Harbaugh’s, the cooks will follow the processes developed for preparing and testing the dishes that were designed for the menu. Jim had his staff prepare and test the food to make sure it tasted as it was designed to taste, that it came out within the time expected, that the food was at the right temperature, and that the waiters knew exactly how to treat the customers. This included the responsibility of explaining (in detail) all of the restaurant offerings (including cost), dealing with any issues in the quality of the offerings, and closing out the experience by handling transactions and providing take-home packaging.

In the “IT world”, this would include training, building, testing, releasing, and deploying the services designed. We also provide a process to support changes made to services with minimum disruption (Change Management). The purpose of these activities is to ensure quality of services in the live environment. We do this by setting user expectations and reducing incidents caused by changes made. Service Transition activities can also help to reduce the costs associated with fixing a problem to a service once it is in operation as re-designing, re-testing, and re-deploying a service can be expensive (it pays to get it right the first time). At Harbaugh’s restaurant, if Jim finds out that a meal does not taste the way it was designed (when testing it), he has the ability to fix the problem before customers place an order and are left unsatisfied. Jim needs to feel confident that he can introduce new menu offerings (and services) and know that they will be delivered as advertised. He also needs his staff to know exactly how to handle any problems if they occur.

In the “IT world”, when used effectively, Service Transition can enable a high volume of changes and releases into the environment. It provides the organization an understanding to the level of risk during and after a change, aligns services to business requirements, and allows customers to use the services as they were intended. Once Harbaugh’s has gone through Service Transition, Jim and his staff will be prepared to run the restaurant efficiently and effectively.

I’m glad you were able to stop by Harbaugh’s this week. I’m looking forward to seeing you next week when we talk about the Service Operation stage of the ITIL Service Lifecycle. Lets see how Jim operates his restaurant once it has opened its doors for business. I’m ready to place an order… Read More

About the author:

Paul Solisis an Associate at Cask, LLC and is currently providing consulting services to both commercial and federal customers throughout the country. He has worked with clients, ranging from 500 to 500,000 users, to build Service Management programs, roadmaps, services, portfolios and processes in the Financial, Federal, Defense, Technology, and Gaming industries. Paul has over 13 years of IT experience in the areas of ITSM, Systems Administration, Web Development, Network Administration, and Project Management. Paul is a graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems and the University of San Diego with a Master’s degree in Business Leadership.

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