Matching the business needs with a streamlined transition from project to operations, providing a “seal of approval” for all systems.
Guaranteeing Minimum Disruption of Business Service Continuity
Operational Readiness can be defined as “the capability to efficiently deploy, operate, and maintain the systems and procedures to reduce operational risks”. It includes a set of processes and practices to assure that all functional and non-functional requirements, along with all operational deliverables, are completed, available and certified.
Like Quality, Operational Readiness must be built into the project, rather than dealt with at the end. It plays a pivotal role in its’ success - avoiding a gap between what is available in a solution and the users’ expectations.
The “go live” of a new system can typically follow either a big-bang or a phased approach, the first meaning a total replacement of the legacy system (forcing users to migrate and use the new solution) and de second, implying a period, during which, smaller modules of the legacy system will be replaced (running in parallel with others until all the modules are replaced).
Regardless of the chosen strategy, business continuity must not be jeopardised. It’s critical to have a global alignment between all stakeholders - IT departments, suppliers or business teams.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Taking a Project Live:
- Planning and implementing the operational requirements in the project final stages;
- Not including both IT Operations and Business teams in the project design phase;
- Considering observability processes as external to the project;
- Not ensuring that the tools stack used during build phase are the same as the ones used after the project go-live;
- Skipping dress rehearsals until all installation processes and timelines are aligned with the project go-live date.
Before diving into Celfocus Operational Readiness Framework it’s essential to explore how it fits in with Celfocus Delivery Framework and the differences between the alternative delivery methods from Waterfall to Agile and DevOps.
How Operational Readiness fits with different Delivery Methodologies
Waterfall Solution Framework:
- orchestrating the different parties involved in the project and the ones that will use and support the solution after the live roll-out;
- alignment with existing processes, delivery frameworks and pre-existing tooling;
- guaranteeing that the necessary Non-Functional Requirements (NFR) are planned, and the requirements that ensure the operability and resilience of the solution are ready before the end of the live roll-out.
Celfocus Agility Flow:
- setting the operational requirements, practices and guidelines that should be used during the delivery cycles to evaluate the live availability of a feature.
DevOps Delivery Approach:
- setting the operational runbook that reviews the system and software changes, to make sure it meets the agreed-upon set of operational requirements.
Celfocus Operational Readiness Vectors
Operational Readiness is a critical success factor for any project, regardless of size or complexity. Notwithstanding the delivery methodology, Celfocus merges market best practices, across several phases of the Delivery Framework, with proven field experience combined with Smart Operation Framework, to address and comply with the Non-Functional Requirements (NFR’s) or Operational Requirements.
Celfocus Operational Readiness approach and practice is anchored in four key building blocks:
- Transformation and Customer Success Management;
- Operational Orchestration;
- Solution Assurance;
- Support Enablement.
The Celfocus Smart Operations Framework enables a full and real-time 360-degree view of operations to enable quicker, insight-led decision making, allowing for complete IT systems control, providing the data to improve customer experience continuously.
This integrated modular framework delivers a unified view over the entire IT ecosystem, bringing together crucial operational indicators from business, applications, infrastructure, and the software delivery process.
The framework guarantees that Development and Operations Teams use a common toolset to monitor and analyse application and infrastructure events. These include low-level application, system and security logs to provide meaningful indicators that drive observability and actionable insights.
Celfocus Smart Operations Framework delivers meaningful insights from system data, namely: Logging, Traceability and Metrics. Additionally, this framework helps security analysts, IT operators and managers to anticipate and address problems that could negatively impact the business.
- Security and compliance;
- Enhanced customer experience.
The mission of Operational Readiness is to enable the customer to see past the challenges of operating a new solution and focus on the opportunities for value capture that only a working solution delivers.
Improving Network Operations through Cognitive Intelligence and Automation
The development and deployment of the Cognitive Intelligence Automation Suite (CIAS) for the Vodafone European Network Operation Centres was a strategic project. This transformation project involved a complete change in the way NOC teams were working, along with the integration of the built software with different networks and infrastructure modules, and comprised two streams - Automation & Cognitive Suite Setup and DevOps Automation Improvement.
The Operational Readiness stream on the CIAS project was set up from the start with the following focus areas:
- Transformation Readiness Role: CIAS completely transformed the everyday work of the NOC engineer, introducing new roles like Automation Monitoring and Digital Process Analyst;
- Delivery Readiness: solution preparation for live roll-out using Celfocus Operational Readiness best practices and established a transformation in the delivery from a Waterfall approach (used during the project phase) to a DevOps collaborative model between Vodafone and Celfocus (after solution live roll-out); Value-oriented and multidisciplinary teams working in a unique backlog;
The implementation of these practices allowed Celfocus to deliver three major software feature drops using a Waterfall approach merged with features from DevOps teams, guaranteeing business continuity and allowing the customer to capture the value delivered by the solution.