How does project transition really work? A break down.
Project transition is a liminal phase in which unexplored nuances and unchecked assumptions come to light causing friction or in some cases, process overhauls. A successful BPO transition involves planning, preparing and accounting for all elements of transition from process, people, technology and infrastructure, to management.
Joint stakeholder analysis and transition planning are paramount for a smooth transition of business processes to an outsourcing provider.
Project Transition Plan
A project transition plan lays out the requirements, methodologies, and risks associated with service delivery. It should identify the long term governance model – responsible teams, service levels, relevant checkpoints, and reporting frameworks for the entire outsourcing relationship.
A comprehensive project transition plan includes members from development, quality assurance and support in the execution of every transition milestone. This establishes continuity through various project phases in the outsourcing process and creates consensus on aspects such as process/product assumptions and performance metrics.
Building transparency into the requirement gathering process will make sure teams at distinct points in the transition cycle are on the same page. This helps the transition team navigate support effectively in the event of a failure/issue in delivery.
Effective knowledge transfer is key for a smooth transition. A good practice here is to build a centralized repository of knowledge documents highlighting known problems and solutions, and standard operating procedures. Well documented code makes life easier when it comes to resolution of production issues.
Change and Incident Management
Change Management should account for operational procedures such as Disaster Recovery and batch schedules, where appropriate, to prevent business/service outages. Project team should institute change advisory boards encompassing both parties to assess risks and impacts to functionalities, applications and infrastructure over new service deployments.
Service level agreements with the outsourcing partner, can streamline workflow, and establish key responsibilities in the event of incidents. Appropriate escalation levels and contacts need to be in place to avoid oversight and spare the support team from unpleasant surprises.
Agile Tools for Transition
Smooth and efficient project transition calls for agile methods and practices. Adopting a robust measurement strategy with specific targets ensures that both parties are aligned and equipped to track progress.
Application Lifecycle Management tools such as JIRA and Confluence are indispensable for project transition. JIRA facilitates project-wise tracking of deliverables, bugs and changes. Confluence is a knowledge/document management tool that enables friction-less team work quickening learning cycles and resolution times.
The way to go
New cloud-based tools for transition simplify application integrations. These ALM tools, used collaboratively by cross functional teams through the project life cycle, constitute the blood and bones of transition.
A technology enabled outsourcing provider offers measurable, repeatable and predictable deliverables through smart process alignments/improvements backed by automation and analytics. With deeper insights into process bottlenecks, and continuous process improvement, moving to an outsourcing provider can translate into better resource management, and significant cost savings.