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We involve operations from early in the product development process. It's even reflected in the organizational structure where the teams are named things like Integrated Product Teams, Design/Build Teams, and Life-Cycle Product Teams, to emphasize that the planning must include both non-recurring and recurring work.
The up-front collaboration is essential to ensuring that the products meet the requirements and objectives of Operations on a recurring basis, and also to develop the transition plan that integrates the project into the other ongoing operations statement of work.
Shifting operations engagement as far "left" as possible is certainly a good approach to making for a cleaner transition, but I'd go a step further by saying aligning the people, process, tools & culture between delivery teams and operational support areas will be critical to make it fully seamless.
This is the Holy Grail end state of DevOps - reducing the friction of moving from Construction to ongoing operational support as much as possible.
It will depends on the life cycle you are using. In our case we select the life cycle based on different things but mainly the type of solution we need to create. At this time we are in the process to implement DevSecOps but type of way of working is not new and we have something similar working today. In other projects we transition the solution after the construction then we use a phase called Final Preparation where we check if the organization is ready to receive the solution and then we do the Go Live following by a Hypercare period. Usually business analyst role continue working after the solution is implemented because to monitor if expected benefit is achieved is needed.
In addition to involving ops as early as makes sense, include a readiness check as part of the go/no-go decision. Obviously, you want to check technical readiness and make sure there are no conflicting activities or events that someone (sales) scheduled without informing anyone. You also want to ensure that the right people have been trained, the support model has been documented, and the needed support processes and people are in place for an effective handoff.
If you're running a phased implementation, communicate the rollout plan and schedule lessons learned between implementations.
I agree with Sergio.
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