Service transitions are ‘about people, not technology’

Public sector organisations are underestimating the complexity of managing a service transition and their new services will fail if they don’t get the full backing of their staff. These are the words of Romy Hughes, co-founder and director of Brightman, and comes at a time when more companies are trying to cope with an increased demand in digital services.

In a new white paper Managing a Service Transition: How to navigate the operational and human challengesthe IT transformation and change management consultancy has revealed that changing people’s behaviour to accommodate a new or changed service is the biggest challenge.

“Implementing a service isn’t as straightforward as many organisations think,” comments Romy. “Much like any other large-scale technology implementation, a service transition’s effect on processes, people, technology, tools and information must be considered. The impact on people and culture is by far the hardest part of any successful transition. People’s behaviour to accommodate a new or changed service will need to change. If this fails to happen, the transition itself will also fail.

“A service transition places great demands on staff, so there is a high risk that staff will become resistant to the change and feel de-motivated. To overcome these barriers, it is important to prepare stakeholders and leadership in developing a culture that buys into the transition and supports it.”

Public sector organisations in particular are showing an appetite for outsourcing business processes to multiple third party experts to maximise cost savings, reduce operational risk and ultimately improve services by leveraging specialists for each task. Gone are the days of one “mega-vendor” picking up every aspect of a government department’s operations.


Shared service models

As such, many have moved to a shared service model or Service Integration and Management (SIAM) – yet managing the implementation of a new service, or switching existing services from one provider to another, can be difficult. There could be a reduction in the quality and control of services, employee resistance to change, misunderstood roles and responsibilities, and the inevitable longer-than-expected transition and unexpected costs.

This complex and time-consuming process necessitates the need for a service transition approach. In its latest white paper, Brightman has distilled findings from its recent service transition projects to make recommendations of the role of people, processes, technology and culture in the successful delivery of a new service into live operations.

Romy adds: “A successful and well managed service transition requires the adoption of a complete business transformation plan which fully accounts for the organisational and cultural changes. It will establish a strong relationship between the organisation and its service providers and provide clarity of accountability and areas of responsibility. New business processes will be delivered more seamlessly with a much lower risk to live operations and ongoing service levels will be achieved. Staff will be retained, reskilled and will fully adopt the new ways of working.”

The full white paper can be downloaded here.

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