The OPSASTO approach is a holistic blend of the combined ITIL Service Design, Transition and Operation ideas. It is an assurance framework for ensuring operational readiness of an IT service by focussing on eight key areas.
LOOKING PAST THE PROJECTS’ ENDING.
A Project does not generate value until it has delivered something that can be used. With an agile delivery approach, this point comes quicker than with a waterfall approach. Still, all projects end and thus have a limited horizon. It is difficult for a project to look past its own shadow and prepare for the period after the project is finished.
OPERATIONAL READINESS MATTERS! An organization that does not prepare for this operational phase, can be found struggling with issues long after the introduction and risk diminished returns on their investment
THE EIGHT OPSASTO ASSURANCE AREAS The assurance areas help focus our attention on the things that matter for secure, reliable and affordable operation.
1. Budget: Ensure the end-to end operational costs are clear and that it is known how these costs will be (re)covered.
2. Architectural Assurance: Verify that the service can deliver on the quality requirements through test, simulation and production verification.
3. Support Model: Design and implement an end-to-end support model with the needed functions, the selected providers that are involved in delivering the support for the service according to the Service Level Objectives.
4. Knowledge Capturing & Transfer: Ensure documentation required by the support teams is in place. That it can be easy found and accessed. Ensure training of the users and support teams has taken place.
5. Contracts: Ensure that SLA’s, OLA’s,3rd party support contracts, SOW’s, and any other contracts needed to deliver the end to end operational service are in place.
6. Tooling and Processes: Design and Implement relevant support tools and processes
7. Information Risk Management: Verify that required IT controls are in place and are working as expected (Design Effectiveness tested)
8. Cutover Plan: a plan that describes how after Go Live the support is transferred from the project team to the support organisation and what the criteria are for operations to accept operational accountability.
BENEFITS OF FIRST TIME RIGHT. The cost for resolving an issue is generally significantly higher when the service is in full use. That is why Opsasto aims to do it right the first time and ensure operational readiness before GoLive. A capable and ready organization will enable a business or the customer to use the IT service to its full potential.
OPSASTO BRINGS A LIFECYCLE AWARENESS TO A PROJECT. Opsasto is a structured, risk-based and scalable approach for assuring the quality of an IT Service and its operation.The methodology enhances “Operational Readiness” at the point of Go Live by looking at eight assurance areas and gives the operational IT aspects a stronger voice in the project. The longer term operational horizon will balance out the project’s shorter-term focus.
HOW TO USE OPSASTO. For a waterfall approach, include Opsasto deliverables in each project phase. When using an agile delivery approach, Opsasto deliverables can be included in the project backlog or the definition of done.
BENEFITS OF OPSASTO
- An organisation can focus on harvesting business value and further maturing service stead of fixing operational issues
- More secure & reliable operation of the service
- More reliable estimates of operational costs
- Opsasto is a risk-based, Fit for purpose approach. It uses risk analysis to determine initial Opsasto scope
- It is Scalable with project and organisation needs.
- It is flexible. Can be run as an independent work stream in waterfall projects or included as product backlog items and definition of done requirements in agile projects.
The OPSASTO approach is a write-up of good practices from my seven years at Shell as a Supportability and Transition Management Lead (S&TM Lead). S&TM started in Shell around 2008 after the formation of the Global IT Services & Application Management Group. S&TM was the response to the troublesome operation of a number of new global applications. Our aim was to get ahead of the game and engage early in the project/program to ensure in operational readiness. You could say that Supportability & Transition Management is a holistic blend of the combined ITIL Service Design, Transition and Operation ideas.
S&TM has now become a Shell enterprise-wide approach and has taken a prominent role in Shell’s Project Delivery Framework. The tooling that I developed in the early years has been the basis for the development of the enterprise-wide toolset. Please feel encouraged to contact me for questions, suggestions and observations.