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Apr 2, 2012

ITIL Service Transition

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Service Transition is a stage which gives most pain to the IT Service Provider. Transition (add new, change existing, retire old service) is a source of many service disruptions. So we want our transition of service to be planned, built, tested, evaluated and deployed in an organized and controlled manner.
To ensure that new or modified services are in conformance with business requirements, as defined in previous Strategy and Design stages, and that services which are no longer needed are properly retired.

  • Efficiently and effectively plan and manage service changes
  • Manage change risks
  • Release planned changes
  • Manage expectations on new or changed services
  • Manage accurate knowledge and info on changed services and assets

  • Better estimation of cost, timing, resource requirement and risks
  • Higher volumes of successful change
  • Reduce delays from unexpected clashes and dependencies
  • Reduced effort spent on managing test and pilot environments
  • Improved expectation setting for all stakeholders
  • Increased confidence that new or changed services can be delivered to specification without unexpectedly affecting other services or stakeholders
  • Ensure that new or changed services will be maintainable and cost- effective
  • Improved control of service assets and configurations.

Creating new and changing existing services, implementing new and changed services, service retirement. Plan-build-test-evaluate-deploy.

Key principles
  • Align service transition plans with the business needs
  • Implement all changes through transition
  • Adopt a common framework and standards
  • Maximize re-use of established processes and systems
  • Manage relationships with stakeholders
  • Manage systems for transfer of knowledge and decision support
  • Plan release packages
  • Proactively manage resources across transitions
ITIL V2011 Service Transition Mind Map
ITIL V2011 Service Transition Mind Map

Service Transition Processes:
Transition Planning and Support
Since Transition is so important, ITIL  defines the separate Transition Planning and Support process in order to manage and control changes and releases, from overall planning to specific transition resources management. The accent here is on standardization and best practices, managing of overall resources and helping with major changes and releases but not detailed planning of individual changes.
Change Management
Change Management is the key Transition process, and one of the key ITIL processes altogether. Since changes are the main cause of service disruptions, we want as much control of change as possible. In Change Management we ensure that all changes are recorded and evaluated. Authorized changes are prioritized, planned, tested, implemented, documented and reviewed. This way number of failed and unauthorized changes is significantly reduced, as well as number of resulting incidents and problems.
Service Asset & Configuration Management
This process was previously named Configuration Management and dealt with Configuration Management Database (CMDB). It looked and sounded too technical which scared off some new business-minded people in ITIL. In fact, Conf. Management was in charge of our knowledge of infrastructure: what do we have, where it is and how it works. To be more in spirit of the business aspect of this process, Asset management flavor was added, so now we follow lifecycle of IT assets from cradle to grave and actual info on this assets is available from all processes, any time.
Release and Deployment Management
Previous Release Management was the most difficult to explain in an "Elevator presentation", so deployment was added in order to enable Americans to get it quicker. It would be less confusing if it was called only Deployment management from the beginning. In a nutshell (or elevator :)) RDM deals with consequences of Change Management process: build, test and deployment of releases.
Service Validation and Testing
This one is a separate process since it is a discipline used throughout the lifecycle, mainly from Change and Release management. Service Validation and Testing will ensure that the service will deliver expected outcomes, and that it is 'fit for purpose' and 'fit for use' (Utility and Warranty, remember them from Strategy?).
Change Evaluation
This was 'Evaluation' in V3, and probably since no one knew what it relates to, they added 'Change' in 2011. So now we know it is a process which deals with evaluation of change. It is implemented to identify all predicted and unpredicted change effects. Smaller changes can be evaluated within Change Management, and for more significant changes (up to company to decide).  It is triggered before every approval point.
Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management was such a hype in 90's! Here in ITIL Service Transition, it is added as a nice to have process which is even in the foundations syllabus. General idea is to capture and manage knowledge as Service Provider's intellectual property. Methods are classic KM, I even recommend the reading since it is digest version of all I once knew about Knowledge Management.

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