Develop an Annual Maintenance Program for Critical Applications

Focus on your SLAs, not costs, for driving your maintenance activities.

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Your Challenge

  • Organizations address maintenance issues on a one-off basis, rather than investing the necessary resources for a long-term maintenance strategy.
  • IT often finds itself in the position of being a firefighting department in taking the fall for poorly performing applications, dissatisfied end users, and significant application rework efforts.
  • Your development teams are tasked with operating within the unknown and consequently lack the ability to effectively prioritize and allocate tasks to team members. 

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Focus on your SLA. Meeting your SLAs will ultimately level out your maintenance budget.
  • Ad hoc prioritization is not enough. Establishing a prioritization method helps to focus maintenance work on tasks that help the business do its job effectively.
  • Value the relationship that you have with the business. Justifying your maintenance issues, tasks, and optimization initiatives to the business will help you increase the chances of meeting your SLAs in the long term.

Impact and Result

  • Maintenance must be viewed as more than defect analysis, troubleshooting, and bug fixing. Instead, greater emphasis should be on preventative measures to ensure application quality across the entire SDLC.
  • IT must develop a standardized approach to developing a maintenance release plan that optimizes maintenance capabilities.
  • Our methodology provides simple-to-follow steps to develop a maintenance release schedule that provides clear insight into your current maintenance practices.
  • We will help you establish a synchronous relationship between the business and IT to help stakeholders understand the importance and relative value of maintenance tasks to its current costs.

Develop an Annual Maintenance Program for Critical Applications

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should develop an annual maintenance program for your critical applications, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.


1

Assess the current maintenance landscape

Assess and understand your current maintenance capabilities as well as the degree to which application SLAs are being met.

2

Develop a maintenance release schedule

Prioritize your applications and maintenance tasks, and build your maintenance release schedule.

3

Optimize maintenance capabilities

Build your maintenance capability optimization schedule and maintenance release and optimization communication plan.

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Expert Analyst Perspective

Video screengrab
Assess the current maintenance landscape
Develop a maintenance release schedule
Optimize maintenance capabilities

Onsite Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Assess Your Current Maintenance Landscape

The Purpose

  •  To help you assess and understand your current maintenance landscape as well as the degree to which application SLAs are being met.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An analysis of current maintenance practices to provide insight into potential inefficiencies, opportunities, and to provide the business with sufficient rationale for conducting maintenance 

Activities:
Outputs

1.1

Determine where the IT budget is being spent within maintenance

  • Percent of IT budget being spent on maintenance and where resources are being allocated

1.2

Determine your organization’s top business priorities and the applications that support them

  • Identified top business priorities and the applications that support them

1.3

Determine SLAs that your maintenance teams need to meet

  • Identified SLAs that your maintenance team must meet

1.4

Determine the level of impact business strategy has on your maintenance activities

  • Understanding of how business changes impact your maintenance activities

1.5

Realize your capacity constraints for maintenance through utilization analysis

  • Identified capacity constraints

1.6

Determine the level of complexity of your application ecosystem

  • Determined level of complexity of your application ecosystem

1.7

Determine the impact that vendors’ application roadmaps have on your maintenance tasks

  • Determined level of impact vendor roadmaps have on your maintenance tasks

1.8

Determine the impact on maintenance for home-grown application updates

  • Determined level of impact vendor roadmaps have on your maintenance tasks

1.9

Determine the competency of your maintenance practice

  • Determined level of competency of your maintenance practice

1.10

Establish metrics to determine the level of post-implementation success

  • Established metrics for post-implementation

Module 2: Prioritize Your Maintenance Tasks and Develop Your Release Schedule

The Purpose

  • To help you define critical applications to the business and prioritize maintenance tasks to complete incoming service requests in tandem with available maintenance windows.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A documented prioritization of key applications that drive business value and their associated maintenance tasks required to proactively manage future maintenance activities

Activities:
Outputs

2.1

Determine the priority levels of your applications

  • Defined and documented application priority levels

2.2

Categorize your service requests

  • Categorized service requests

2.3

Derive your maintenance tasks from your service requests

  • Defined and documented maintenance tasks derived from service requests

2.4

Estimate the effort required to complete maintenance tasks and assign timelines to their associated service request

  • Estimated level of effort required to complete maintenance tasks and their associated service request

2.5

Determine and document your maintenance windows for the year

  • Documented maintenance windows

2.6

Assign service request timelines required to complete each service request

  • Assigned and documented timeline dates

Module 3: Prioritize Your Optimization Initiatives and Develop Your Optimization

The Purpose

  • Based on discovered inefficiencies, define optimization initiatives required to improve your maintenance practice. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Discovered optimization initiatives and associated tasks required to address gaps and improve maintenance capabilities 

Activities:
Outputs

3.1

Brainstorm optimization initiatives for critical application maintenance issues

  • Listed optimization initiatives for critical application maintenance issues

3.2

Define tasks for your maintenance optimization initiatives

  • Identified tasks for maintenance optimization initiatives

3.3

Estimate the effort required to complete optimization tasks and assign timelines to their associated initiative

  • Identified level of effort required to complete optimization tasks and assign timelines to their associated initiative

3.4

Determine the ability for optimization initiatives to improve the application’s SLA fulfillment

  • Identified ability for optimization initiatives to improve the application’s SLA fulfillment

3.5

Prioritize your optimization initiatives based on level effort and degree of SLA fulfillment

  • Prioritized optimization initiatives based on level of effort and degree of SLA fulfillment

3.6

Identify the enablers and blockers of your maintenance optimization initiatives

  • Identified enablers and blockers of your optimization initiatives

3.7

Assign timelines to your optimization initiatives based on prioritization and release schedule

  • Assigned optimization timelines in tandem with your release schedule

3.8

Provide a business case for each key optimization initiative to help communicate the importance to the business

  • SLA-focused justification for implementing optimization initiatives

3.9

Determine where the IT budget is being spent within maintenance post-optimization

  • Resource spend post-optimization for maintenance activities

Module 4: Refine Your SLA and Develop Your Communication Plan

The Purpose

  • Effectively communicate your findings and the steps required to improve SLA alignment and successfully complete the project to business stakeholders.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Best practice scenarios and a presentation template to communicate the application maintenance and optimization release schedule to business stakeholders

Activities:
Outputs

4.1

Determine business cases for each optimization initiative to help communicate the importance to the business

  • Defined business cases for each optimization initiative

4.2

Discover how to communicate application maintenance constraints with business stakeholders to refine your SLA

  • Best practices to communicate required SLA refinements

4.3

Develop a presentation to communicate your application maintenance and optimization release schedule to business stakeholders

  • Completed presentation template to communicate the application maintenance and optimization release schedule to business stakeholders