Knowledge of systems software and components Low Knowledge of network software and components Low Low Step 3: Solicit Executive Support Production acceptance requires much cooperation and support between the applications development and infrastructure departments. Executive support from both of these departments should be solicited to ensure that policies and decisions about the design of the process are backed up and pushed down from higher levels of management. Step 4: Assemble a Production Acceptance Team The process owner should assemble a cross-functional team to assist in developing and implementing a production acceptance process. The team should consist of key representatives from the development organization as well as those from operations, technical support, capacity planning, the help desk, and database administration. In cases where the development group is larger than a few hundred programmers, multiple development representatives should participate.
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Knowledge of systems software and components Low Knowledge of network software and components Low Low Step 3: Solicit Executive Support Production acceptance requires much cooperation and support between the applications development and infrastructure departments. Executive support from both of these departments should be solicited to ensure that policies and decisions about the design of the process are backed up and pushed down from higher levels of management.
Step 4: Assemble a Production Acceptance Team The process owner should assemble a cross-functional team to assist in developing and implementing a production acceptance process. The team should consist of key representatives from the development organization as well as those from operations, technical support, capacity planning, the help desk, and database administration. In cases where the development group is larger than a few hundred programmers, multiple development representatives should participate.
It is important that all key areas within development are represented on this team to ensure support and buy-in for the process. An effective executive sponsor and the soliciting of executive support steps 1 and 3 can help to ensure proper representation.
At one company where I managed a large infrastructure group, there were more than programmers in the development department grouped into the four areas of finance, engineering, manufacturing, and logistics.
A representative from each of these four areas participated in the development of a production acceptance procedure; each brought unique perspectives, and together they helped to ensure a successful result to the process. Step 5: Identify and Prioritize Requirements Early in my career I participated on a number of production acceptance teams that fell short in providing an effective production turnover process.
In looking for common causes for these failed attempts, I noticed that in almost every case there were no agreed-upon requirements at the start; when there were requirements, they were never prioritized. Later on, as I led my own production acceptance design teams, I realized that having requirements that were prioritized and agreed upon by all participants added greatly to the success of the efforts.
Requirements vary from company to company, but some are common to almost all instances. Table lists some of the more common requirements I have witnessed in successful implementations of production acceptance, along with their typical priorities.
Ensure that operations, technical support, help desk, network services, and database administration are all involved early on in implementing a new application. High 2. Ensure capacity-gathering requirements are compatible with the capacity planning process.
High 3. Provide application documentation to operations prior to production turnover. High 4. Develop and enforce management policy statements. High 5. Ensure adequate service desk support from applications during the first week of production. Medium 6. Implement a pilot subset for very large applications. Medium 7.
Do not set up a separate help desk for a new application. Medium 8. Ensure that a user test plan is developed and executed. Medium 9. Ensure that a user acceptance plan is developed and executed. Medium Analyze daily the types and frequencies of service desk calls during the first two weeks of production; then weekly thereafter.
Leverage the use of existing tools and processes. Simplify forms as much as possible for ease of use. Low Involve appropriate groups in the design and approval of forms. Ensure that developers estimate the type and volume of service desk calls during the first week of production. Include desktop capacity requirements.
For systems being upgraded, ensure that all impacts to end-users are identified up front. Low Step 6: Develop Policy Statements The cross-functional team should develop policy statements for a production acceptance process. These statements should then be approved by the executive sponsor. Policy statements help ensure that issues such as compliance, enforcement, and accountability will be supported by senior management and communicated to the applicable levels of staffs.
The following lists some sample policy statements: All new mainframe- or server-based applications are to go through the formal production acceptance process prior to deployment into production.
All major new versions of existing production applications are to go through the formal production acceptance process prior to deployment into production. Key support groups such as operations, technical support, network services, database administration, and the help desk are to be informed about the application from its start and involved with its development as prescribed by the production acceptance process.
Development owners of applications that are deployed through the production acceptance process are expected to regularly update the capacity plan for their applications to ensure adequate resource support in the future. Any applications deployed through the production acceptance process that require substantial desktop capacity upgrades are to provide specific requirements to capacity planners with sufficient lead time for planning, ordering, delivering, and installing all upgrades.
Schiesser has also written IT Production Services. Pilot System A pilot system is a small-scale version of an application used to try out new processes, functions, or features associated with the application. A single purchasing module of a comprehensive enterprise-wide financial system is an example of a pilot system. Step 7: Nominate a Pilot System When a production acceptance process is designed and implemented, particularly in environments that have never had one, there is normally a major change in the manner in which application systems are deployed.
Therefore, it is usually more effective to introduce this new method of production turnover on a smaller scale with a minimal-impact pilot system. If a small system is not available as a pilot, consider putting only an initial portion of a major system through the new process.
Step 8: Design Appropriate Forms During the requirements step, the cross-functional team normally discusses the quantity, types, and characteristics of forms to be used with a production acceptance process.
The following list details some of the forms that are typically considered here. Some shops elect to combine some or all of these forms, depending on their complexity.
Primary production acceptance form.
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