An introduction to the MOF Deploy SMF

Our previous blog articles in this series explain the role of the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF), service management functions (SMF’s) and introduce ITIL IQ™ which is the first step in implementing MOF within your business. Before you use this SMF, you may want to read the following ITIL IQ™ guidance to learn more about the MOF IT service lifecycle, the MOF Plan Phase and the MOF Deliver Phase:

Blog Article 1: What’s your ITIL IQ™? Meet MOF

Blog Article 2: The MOF Plan Phase

Blog Article 7: The MOF Deliver Phase

Blog Article 8: The MOF Envision SMF

Blog Article 9: The MOF Project Plan SMF

Blog Article 10: The MOF Build SMF

Blog Article 11: MOF Stabilise SMF

The MOF IT service lifecycle encompasses all the activities and processes involved in managing an IT service: its conception, development, operation, maintenance, and ultimately its retirement. MOF organises these activities and processes into Service Management Functions (SMFs), which are grouped together in phases that mirror the IT service lifecycle. Each SMF is anchored within a lifecycle phase and contains a unique set of goals and outcomes supporting the objectives of that phase. An IT service’s readiness to move from one phase to the next is confirmed by management reviews, which ensure that goals are being achieved in an appropriate fashion and that IT’s goals are aligned with the goals of the organisation.

Each SMF is anchored within a lifecycle phase and contains a unique set of goals and outcomes supporting the objectives of that phase. The SMFs can be used as standalone sets of processes, but it is when SMFs are used together that they are most effective in ensuring service delivery at the desired quality and risk levels.

The Deploy SMF belongs to the Deliver Phase of the MOF IT service lifecycle. The following figure shows the place of the Stabilise SMF within the Deliver Phase, as well as the location of the Deliver Phase within the IT service lifecycle.

MOF-Deploy-SMF

 

Figure 1. Position of the MOF Deploy SMF within the IT service lifecycle

Why Use the MOF Deploy SMF?

This SMF should be useful for anyone who is involved with releasing a stable IT service solution into the production environment, including stabilising the solution in the production environment and transferring responsibility for the solution from the project team to the Operations and Support teams.

It addresses how to do the following:

  • Deploy core IT service solution components.
  • Deploy sites.
  • Stabilise deployment.
  • Review the Deployment Complete Milestone.
Deploy Service Management Function Overview

Deployment begins when stabilising ends with the Release Readiness Milestone, which is a MOF Management Review. During deployment, the project team deploys the core solution and the site components into the production environment; stabilises the deployment; transfers the project to operations; and gets final customer approval for the new solution.

Even though the Stabilise process is finished, stabilisation continues during deployment as the team transfers the solution from a test environment into the production environment. After deployment, the team conducts a project review and customer satisfaction survey.

The Deployment Complete Milestone concludes deployment. By this milestone, the solution should satisfy the customer’s expectations and specifications—providing the expected business value to the customer. The customer must explicitly agree that the solution meets its objectives before the team declares that the solution has been successfully deployed to production. This requires a stable solution and clearly communicated criteria for success. Additionally, the appropriate operations and support systems must be in place. Upon reaching the Deployment Complete Milestone, the team should have finalised all activities and effectively terminated the project.

Deployment SMF Role Types

The primary team accountability that applies to the Deployment SMF is the Solution Accountability. The role types within that accountability and their primary activities within this SMF are displayed in the following table.
Table 1. Solutions Accountability and Its Attendant Role Types

Role Type Responsibilities Role in this SMF
Solution Manager Accountable role

Owns all SMFs in this accountability

Acts as project director for all projects

Resolves conflicts between projects

Ongoing oversight
Program Manager Drives design, schedule, and resources at the project level Sets design goals

Describes the solution concept

Creates the project structure

Documents requirements to test against

Developer Builds the agreed-to solution Creates solution

Fixes bugs

Tester Tests to accurately determine the status of solution development Tests strategies

Tests acceptance criteria

Tests solution

Documents project implications

Product Manager Acts as the customer advocate

Helps drive shared project vision

Manages customer expectations

Participates in overall testing

Brings organization’s needs to testing process

User Experience Acts as the user advocate on project teams

Helps define user requirements

Helps design to meet user requirements

Documents user performance requirements

Documents project test implications

Participates in bug triage

Release Management Evaluates the solution design

Documents operations requirements to ensure they’re met by the design

Creates a pilot, deployment plan, and schedule

Manages site deployment

Documents deployment implications

Documents operations management and supportability

Documents operations acceptance criteria

Prepares for release

Operations Experience Advocates for operations on the project team

Brings in operations experts as needed for detailed information

Coordinates with release management

Documents operations performance requirements

Participates in bug triage

Prepares for release

Test Manager Owns all testing across all project teams

Develops testing strategy and plans

Ensures that best practice test methods are used

Ongoing oversight
Goals of Deployment

The goal of deployment is to release a stable solution into the production environment. This includes stabilising the solution in the production environment and transferring responsibility for the solution from the project team to the operations and support teams. Table 2 shows the desired outcomes of the Deploy SMF goals and lists measures that you can use to gauge how successfully you have achieved these goals after completing this SMF.

Table 2. Outcomes and Measures of the MOF Deploy SMF Goals

Outcomes Measures
Stable solution deployed to the production environment Number of support issues opened post deployment
Customer is satisfied with and accepts the deployed solution All sites are fully deployed

Signoff on the Deployment Complete Milestone

Solution successfully transferred from the project team to the operations and support teams No project team members still actively involved in the project

Number of support escalations from operations and support teams

Key Terms

The following table contains definitions of key terms found in this SMF.

Table 3. Key Terms

Term Definition
Baseline A known state by which something is measured or compared. Baselining is placing something under change control. Baselines make managing change in complex projects possible.
Customer The person or organisation that commissions and funds the project.
Pilot test A test conducted by a subset of users in a production environment. The pilot group uses the solution, providing feedback and reporting any bugs the group finds.
Quiet period The period between the Deployment Stable Interim Milestone and the Deployment Complete Milestone. During this period, the project team is no longer active but does respond to issues as operations and support escalates them to the team. Typical quiet periods last from 15 to 30 days.
Stakeholders Individuals or groups who have an interest in the outcome of the project, although their goals and priorities are not always identical to the customer’s. Examples of stakeholders include departmental managers who will be affected by the solution, IT staff who are responsible for running and supporting the solution, and functional managers who contribute resources to the project team.
Users The people who interact with the solution to perform their jobs.
Final release The final, fully tested version of the solution. A final release is considered to be stable and relatively bug free with a quality suitable for wide distribution and use by end users.
Conclusion

The Deploy SMF describes how to release a stable solution into the production environment. This SMF specifically describes how to stabilise an IT service solution in the production environment and transfer responsibility for the solution from the project team to the Operations and Support teams.
The major deployment processes described by the Deploy SMF are:

  • Deploy core IT service solution components.
  • Deploy sites.
  • Stabilise deployment.
  • Review the Deployment Complete Milestone.
How do we implement MOF?

At First Solution, we’re experts in MOF and have even developed a unique ITIL IQ™ process that benchmarks a business’s current state, identifies their desired state and provides an action plan (called a Service Delivery Plan) that helps organisations of all sizes achieve their desired business outcomes. Most importantly, our unique ITIL IQ™ process begins with a Proactive Services Maturity Review (PSMR) which identifies a score (out of 100) that clearly communicates the current state of your businesses IT operational maturity. Armed with your ITIL IQ™ score, a finance or procurement professional can concisely present to the board the businesses current state, desired state, and ITIL IQ™ score with an action plan to improve the ITIL IQ™ score and thereby ensure that IT’s goals are aligned with the goals of the business and that both are progressing together.

How can I deploy better IT services?

Simply get in touch to arrange a free Proactive Services Maturity Review and one of our MOF experts will conduct an interview with the person responsible for the IT function within your business and provide an ITIL IQ™ score with which you can measure the performance of your IT function. Once you know your ITIL IQ score we can provide a Service Delivery Plan to help you improve it each month and measure and report progress back to you during a Monthly Service Review. And there we have it, an ITIL based solution to simply identify and measure the performance of your IT function. So, are you ready to deploy better IT services?

 

The Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0 is provided with permission from Microsoft Corporation. 

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