Organizations that consistently do an excellent job of using IT to deliver substantial value are committed to managing IT functions as they manage other strategic business functions. Understanding the organization’s business model is crucial for any project that introduces changes to the IT environment. While planning and preparing to incorporate these changes, the Operations Readiness feature team must first understand the current status of the organization’s environment, identify other sources of change that may affect this project, perform a risk-mitigation approach to the changes, and then incorporate the approved changes. This process implies active risk analysis and management throughout the project life cycle and into the production mode.
The goal of this guide is to integrate the activities of the BDD 2007 feature teams with the ongoing management and operating functions of the IT Operations staff. To meet this goal, the Operations Readiness feature team must accomplish the following tasks:
Confirm that the workstation roles identified in the functional specification are still valid.
Analyze and evaluate the management tools currently in use.
Assess the current maturity of the operations environment in key operational areas.
Establish effective management processes and tools in deficient key areas.
Develop a training program for operations and support staff.
Prepare the operations staff for the pilot.
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The tasks that this guide presents pertain largely to the Deploying Phase of the project but extend throughout the project life cycle, as well. The team begins its work during the Planning Phase by performing operational assessments of the current IT environmental status. This information is used during the Developing Phase and subsequent phases to guide strategy, create appropriate processes, and train the IT personnel who will ultimately be responsible for operating the BDD 2007 solution. The Operations Readiness feature team performs a considerable amount of its work in the transitional period as the deployment is stabilized before, during, and following the pilot in preparation for deploying the solution organization-wide.
This guide describes several tasks that the Operations Readiness feature team will complete. Although this feature team is organized as an MSF feature team, under the MSF Team Model, team members should be familiar with their counterparts within the MOF model, which is typically used to structure IT Operations staff. Similarly, although the activities that the Operations Readiness feature team performs are considered project tasks, it is important to place these tasks within the context of operational practices and processes to ease the transition from development to operations.
To help gather the required information for this phase of the project, certain prerequisites must be met or recognized. The Operations Readiness feature team requires personnel who are familiar with the concepts of:
Network infrastructure and support.
Computer imaging and deployments.
Software licensing and asset tracking.
The Operations Readiness feature team will rely heavily on the development teams that created the computer images, Microsoft Windows® User State Migration Tool (USMT) process, application packages, network analysis, application-remediation strategies, and hardware inventories to act as escalation contacts for troubleshooting and resolving problems that may arise in the transition to operations. In particular, the team will need the assistance of its team associates in identifying specific training issues and developing the training that must be provided to the operations staff. The team may consist of internal organization staff members acting as consultants to the IT staff, third-party consultants, or a blend of the two. Additionally, this guide assumes that a senior-level IT or independent agent will act in the role of consultant or project team leader.