The first step in a transition is for the incoming service provider to obtain a baseline of the enterprise’s existing environment (the “as is” state). The outgoing team may or may not be under contractual obligation to co-operate with the internal team/ the incoming provider in the knowledge transfer process. Therefore, the onus is on the organization or the internal team to facilitate this.
Some steps that can be taken to facilitate a proper knowledge transfer are:
- Retain key incumbent personnel or incentivize them to stay until the transition is complete to ensure knowledge retention in critical areas.
- Encourage the use of templates, questionnaires, best practices and checklists to ease the demands of this phase.
At the service management level, good governance and oversight are instrumental to the success of a transition. Service level objectives and goals for each phase of the engagement should be clearly defined in the contractual agreements. An organizational structure with well-defined roles and responsibilities both at the internal team and provider’s end is necessary. Operational stability is an important requirement of service delivery. To ensure a smooth transition, mock drills of critical support elements and training of incoming personnel is necessary.
IT organizations need performance measurement metrics to evaluate service provider performance. Automation can help accelerate the transition process by providing self-help tools to users for faster resolution of issues in areas such as desktop support to reduce dependence on support staff. It is also useful in monitoring the critical health parameters of servers and the network. Automated tools can help reduce the risk of failure at a later stage.
When an enterprise switches service providers to derive better value, the transition from incumbent to incoming provider can become very challenging or even hostile. The first step is in selecting the best-fit service provider starting with evaluating if the service provider has the right approach, right set of tools and framework to enable a smooth transition. Further, sufficient checks and balances combined with a well-defined transition plan can turn a hostile transition into a smooth one.
Do you have any other framework in mind? Do write back.