Heights Applications Maintenance Solution Series
Transition Management is the key to achieving a smooth transition to application outsourcing. By absorbing the client’s systems expertise, the outsourcing provider can design an application management plan based on best practices.At Heights, Transition Management is part of a 90-day, structured, three-stage process for transferring application maintenance from the customer’s internal IT staff to Transition Management System (TMS). Under the Heights phased transition approach, Transition Management begins once planning for the outsourcing service is complete, accounting for up to half of the three-month process.
This is the stage where Heights deploys TMS on-site to learn about the customer’s computing environment, the applications to be outsourced, and existing maintenance procedures. In many cases, Heights knowledge gathering often helps customers learn more about their systems.
Technical Environment Study
TMS study and document the system environment, comprising factors such as user profiles, transaction volumes, batch windows, available test beds, security and access control procedures, maintenance practices, error resolution processes, and training requirements.
TMS learn the functionality of the application(s), and prioritize applications based on the level of business criticality to the customer. TMS closely analyze the system, mapping business functions to program and data sources, generating process flows, documenting user profiles, and studying error history to identify key system problem areas. If no documentation exists, the TMS team will write it.
Maintenance Process Study
TMS learn and document the processes triggered by error reports or enhancement requests, tracking all events through the entire fix/develop life cycle, identifying all tools used, and learning the customer’s change control procedures and error classification schemes. Leveraging Heights long experience in delivering application maintenance solutions, the TMS team will then write a maintenance plan that fits the customer’s requirements.
Offshore Transition Planning
The final deliverable involves conducting a gap analysis to identify areas requiring future work (e.g., incomplete or missing documentation, or the need for additional tools or training), beginning the handing over of maintenance responsibilities to Heights on-site team, and the transferring of knowledge to offshore staff. At this point, Heights on-site team gradually assumes responsibility for maintenance tasks such as end user support, bug fixes, and enhancements under the customer’s guidance. At the end of the transition, maintenance methodologies and operational guidelines are fully documented, and the first version of the Knowledge Repository is completed.
The organization’s IT environment is completely inventoried. Because enterprise applications are complex ecosystems, all supporting platforms, related applications, tools, and databases must be documented. That includes all relevant hardware and software configurations.Expertise
Who are the authorities on hardware and software system configurations, end user access rights? Who are the domain experts that provide the expertise on business processes? The Transition Management process requires that the key players who own the knowledge of the application environment be identified and interviewed to ensure that best practices reflect the client’s needs.
Do any systems require specialized training? Is the training commercially available, or are homegrown systems involved that require training from internal sources?
Heights employs a wide range of tools as part of its TMS structured solutions. During the Transition Management phase, Heights uses a tool that parses legacy code to analyze application business logic and architecture.
Heights supplies experts who know how to maintain applications for a wide range of customers. Their expertise, combined with the customer’s knowledge, are used for building a maintenance strategy that synthesizes the lessons learned from Heights’s and the client’s experiences.
An on-site team is deployed to learn the client’s application and operating requirements, and then transfer that knowledge to offshore TMS. The team includes TMS Engagement leader and platform and application specialists, who are backed by experienced TMS professionals at Heights offshore development centers. Heights TMS use a variety of approaches for building their knowledge base, including interviews, discussions, side-by-side project work, and in some cases, questionnaires.
Heights TMS work with systems (technology) administrators, operations, application (domain) experts, and end users, to learn the customers system. The customer should prepare for the TMS engagement organizing a transition team, designating a leader with background in maintaining the application portfolio that is backed by system and application experts. They work alongside the Heights TMS team in providing key knowledge about the system. Although, at the outset of the Transition Management process, customer team may dedicate most or all of their time, as Heights staff grows more knowledgeable about the systems, they can reduce their time commitments dramatically.
Heights TMS build a Knowledge Repository, the tool that provides the road map for the TMS solution, the offshore transition plan, and the reference point for documenting the system. The Heights Knowledge Repository organizes Meta data covering business processes, application functionality and workflow, the program (e.g., code and command structure), database structure, and tracks all modifications that are made to the system.
Based on Meta data from Heights repository, extensive discussions with system administrators and end users, and information from any existing documentation, Heights produces comprehensive documentation explaining how the system works, and detailing key operating parameters and configuration settings. For many customers, the result is that their systems and applications are often fully documented for the first time.
Heights Knowledge Repository Provides Complete TMS Roadmap
Knowledge = Competitive Edge
Heights TMS methodology has been built from years of experience, resulting in a body of best practices on how to maintain applications for corporate clients. The Transition management process plays a crucial role in ensuring that the transition of application maintenance from internal resources to Heights TMS precedes as smoothly as possible.Transition Management bridges the process, from planning to ramp-up of TMS, the application maintenance solution. The process is highly structured, designed to absorb the customer knowledge, and producing an operating plan that synthesizes the customer’s own application and business knowledge with Heights application maintenance expertise. The result is codified, with meta data about every aspect of the application, platform environment, and business practices captured in a repository. Then, based on data form the repository and information gathered during the Transition Management process, Heights thoroughly documents the customer’s application systems.