With all the hype around Windows 7 I have been thinking about the release and deployment processes that would be associated with a large and very visible project as this one. Obviously, there has been quite some customer feedback from the previous releases and versions (Vista). This would have been the basis for the RFC (request for change). So how would the ITIL processes be applicable to this project?
- It will all be under control of Change Management, as this process is meant to manage all risk associated with changing the IT infrastructure and IT Services. As there will be a major potential business impact for faults and mistakes, I would expect a rigid process and procedures around this project and a strong CAB with firm decision making powers.
- Change Management will rely on the process of Evaluation to gain a better understanding of the expected performance and quality criteria for this changed service and product. This is most likely the reason for the current public beta testing that is being performed, as this is a fantastic way to gather performance information from the production environments.
- Service Validation and Testing definitely plays an important role! Especially as we are talking about software development as well as the development of associated support services. Not only will the project team need input from the support engineers early in the project (as is appropriate when one follows the V-model for testing), but the formal transfer of knowledge – including, but not limited to Known Errors – is very important for future client support. Knowledge Management is considered to be a separate process that is very closely related to both Service Validation & Testing and Evaluation.
- The project will also be heavily involved with the Release and Deployment process of the organization. How are we going to make sure that we manage the transfer from one environment to another with out disrupting the status quo? (things should only get better.. not worse). Who do we include in the training and education, as well as the communication plans around this release? As this project is delivering a product that will be for sale to the general public, you will receive direction and input from the Sales and Marketing departments as well as the technical support areas.
It all sounds so easy, and on paper it will be. However, I haven’t even talked about the connection with Service Asset & Configuration Management, Capacity Management, the Service desk and all the operational processes. It is much more involved than you can type up in 400 words but… in order to manage a project this large and this visible, maybe you have to start very simplistic and state the obvious processes, procedures and work instructions that are needed for a smooth transition. Maybe, just maybe, this will help in identifying all the people involved and the gaps in the initial thought patterns.
Who knows… it might even help Microsoft in delivering a product to the market that actually does what it is supposed to do and is accepted and revered by clients across the world?!
Or would that be too good to be true?!