This article describes, at a high level, the maintenance plans model including business continuity that could be followed to support a particular system/product/service.
Both support and maintenance are essential components that need to be considered as a part of a project delivery framework. It is also there to ensure the ongoing support model during the lifecycle of the product or service is proactively managed and sustained to ensure business continuity.
There is no definitive definition of the following categories but is presented here for information and as a guide for the maintenance plan so that it can be adopted in some form into ones project plan and continuous support of the service it is meant to deliver.
When the decision is made to introduce a new service or to make changes to an existing service, there is usually an immediate business reason to do so. If there is new service or product being installed, then someone has developed the business case to justify the purchase of that new service. This justification should have also included the life cycle costs as part of the business continuity model, which should include the cost of performing the preventive maintenance throughout the life of that service and product.
Having a roadmap to preventive maintenance allows us to manage the lifecycle of a service or system to ensure it is available to our customers with minimal disruption with managed risks. This approach also allows us to move away from a reactive to a proactive approach and enable us onto a planned phase of all our services, be it be in the form of a contract renewal, server hardware upgrade, software upgrade, resource allocation etc.
The initial costs of setting up a preventative maintenance plan for some services (systems) could be seen as high but the Rate of Investment (ROI) can actually bring higher benefits. The model below is an illustration of a maintenance plan that can be used as a reference when the business case or Business Opportunity Document (BOD) is introduced and referenced within the project planning phase as well a post go-live to ensure services are kept proactively maintained.
There is no definitive definition of the following categories but is presented here for information and as a guide for the maintenance plan so that it can be adopted in some form into ones project plan and continuous support of the service it is meant to deliver. Whilst this is a generic model, it can be adapted for cloud based solutions which may require a slightly different approach in managing a service such that instead of a hardware refresh, a cloud solution/contract review will be required. In terms of testing system failovers we would expect the cloud based solution provider to validate system integrity.
A business plan is a written document that describes and outlines not only what the business is all about but also how a business is going to meet its business objectives. In this example to deliver a service or a product.
The strategic plan is a document that outlines a business’s vision, mission statement, goals and objectives over a specified time frame. Consider the strategic plan as a road map for insiders to be used a guide to achieve success. Eg: the goals and objective set by the business plan.
Whilst the strategic plan provides the general idea of how to reach a goal(s), the tactical plan is where one lays out the steps and the actions that must be taken to achieve that goal(s). Tactical planning is a short range planning proposal to ensure successful outcomes from operational risks.
The Maintenance Maturity Model in this illustration includes four levels of maintenance maturity:
The aim is to strive towards the proactive model.
This is about aligning ones resources to ensure delivery of the project is successful. Ongoing maintenance and support has not been forgotten but is being proactively planned and managed.
Business continuity is the capability of your enterprise to stay online and deliver products and services during disruptive events, such as system failures, communication failures, and cyberattacks. It can also include systems inability to failover safely to secondary backup systems. This should be captured in the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and ultimately as part of a Disaster Recovery(DR) strategy document.
Failover is a backup operational mode that automatically switches to a standby secondary system, a database, a server or network if the primary system fails, or is shut down for servicing. Failover is an extremely important function for critical systems that require always-on accessibility.
Since IT systems and technologies are constantly changing, we need to: