The ITIL Service Lifecycle divides the ITIL service management framework into five distinct stages that supports an organization in determining the most ideal approach to designing, delivering, managing, and improving how their IT services are used. The ITIL Service Transition stage is the third stage in the ITIL Service Lifecycle, and focuses on building and deploying IT systems by improving the organization’s capabilities for introducing new services into supported environments.
The ITIL Service Transition Stage
The ITIL Service Transition stage focuses on bridging the gap between design and development activities (also known as projects) and operational activities (known as business-as-usual tasks). The ITIL Service Transition stage also concentrates on the changes that are being implemented into live service by bringing together all the assets within a service and ensuring these are integrated and tested collectively.
The ITIL Service Transition stage supports the organization to evolve from Service Design state to the Service Operation state through a number of critical processes:
- Transition Planning
- Change Management
- Service Asset and Configuration Management
- Release and Deployment Management
- Service Validation and Testing
- Change Evaluation
- Knowledge Management
The purpose of the Transition Planning process within the ITIL Service Transition stage is to plan and coordinate the organization’s resources to deploy a major Release within the estimated cost, time and quality targets. This process ensures that the change is planned effectively while also mitigating risks for the organization, and utilizes key project management sub-processes like:
- Project Initiation – defines stakeholders, responsibilities, and resources assigned to the projects; also focuses on documenting risks, constraints, assumptions, and dependencies for the change.
- Project Planning – co-ordinates activities and resources across projects, and triggers planning activities for other Service Transition processes.
- Project Control – monitors project progress and resource utilization.
- Project Reporting & Communication – provides an overall summary of all planned and in-flight initiatives as information for other Service Management processes.
The purpose of the Change Management process within the ITIL Service Transition stage is to ensure that the organization understands and executes to minimize risks of changes to the IT environment. This process utilizes standard methods and procedures to create, assess, approve, and implement the changes in scope for the transition phase. The Change Management process ensures that the change is managed efficiently, while also maintaining balance between the need for the change and the potential negative impact of the change.
Service Asset and Configuration Management
The purpose of the Service Asset and Configuration Management process within the ITIL Service Transition stage is to maintain the organization’s information about configuration assets required to deliver IT services. This process is focused on the management and traceability of all aspects of a configuration items from beginning to end, by applying a number of sub-processes:
- Configuration Identification – specifies the attributes describing the configuration item, including the type, its sub-components, and any inter-relationships.
- Configuration Control – ensures that all configuration assets are added or modified with appropriate approval and documentation of such.
- Configuration Verification and Audit – performs regular check to ensure that the configuration item is an exact representation of what is currently installed in the production environment.
Release and Deployment Management
The purpose of the Release and Deployment Management process within the ITIL Service Transition stage is to plan and control the release of the organization’s software and hardware components into the live environment. This process ensures that the integrity of the live environment is protected, by leveraging the following sub-processes:
- Release Management Support – provides guidelines for the deployment of Releases.
- Release Planning – defines the scope and content of Releases; develops a schedule for building, testing, and deploying the Release.
- Release Build – ensures the Releases are bought from third-party vendor, or developed and customized in-house, and then ready to enter the testing phase.
- Release Deployment – distributes the Release components into the live production environment; also ensures that end-users and operating staff are trained.
- Early Life Support – resolves any operational issues and defects of the Release for a specified warranty period.
- Release Closure – ensures configuration item log is up-to-date prior to formally closing a Release.
Service Validation and Testing
The purpose of the Service Validation and Testing process within the ITIL Service Transition stage is to verify that the deployed Releases and the new or changed services meet customer expectations. This process also ensures that IT Operations are able to support the new service, by employing a few sub-processes:
- Test Model Definition – specifies how the Release will be tested and the quality assured; also defines the testing approach and specific test cases to be executed.
- Release Component Acquisition – obtains and submits the components of a Release for initial assessment.
- Release Testing – tests al Release components, and tools required for deployment, migration, and back-out procedures.
- Service Acceptance Testing – verifies that all conditions are met for the new service to be activated, and obtains consent from the customer that the new service meets agreed upon Service Level Agreements.
The purpose of the Change Evaluation process within the ITIL Service Transition stage is to assess major changes prior to these changes proceeding to the next phase in their lifecycle. This process evaluates all major changes like the introduction of a new service or a significant change to an existing service, through a number of phases:
- Change Evaluation prior to Planning – measures a proposed major change before authorizing the Change Planning phase.
- Change Evaluation prior to Build – gauges a proposed major change before authorizing the Change Build phase.
- Change Evaluation prior to Deployment – measures a proposed major change before authorizing the Change Deployment phase.
- Change Evaluation after Deployment – considers a major change after it has been implemented, to verify if the change has met its objectives and to identify any lessons learnt.
The purpose of the Knowledge Management process within the ITIL Service Transition stage is to gather, analyze, and share knowledge and information within an organization. This process improves efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge. The Knowledge Management process aides decision makers by allowing access to pertinent Service Transition information.
In summary, the ITIL Service Transition stage ensures that the new or changed services satisfy the business expectations as documented in the Service Strategy and Service Design stages, and ultimately the needs of customers. Learn more about the other stages in the ITIL Service Lifecycle and how this framework supports business transformation:
- The ITIL Service Strategy stage is the first stage in the ITIL Service Lifecycle and guides the development of IT service management by understanding the organization’s objectives and customer needs.
- The ITIL Service Design stage is the second stage in the ITIL Service Lifecycle, and focuses on meeting customer needs by turning the organization’s service strategy into an executable plan for delivering business objectives.
- The ITIL Service Operation is the fourth stage in the ITIL Service Lifecycle, and focuses on ensuring IT systems run efficiently by effectively managing the organization’s services in the supported environments.
- The ITIL Continual Service Improvement stage is the fifth and final stage in the ITIL Service Lifecycle, and focuses on re-aligning IT services to changing business needs by identifying and implementing incremental service improvements for the organization.
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