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Streamline Application Maintenance

Harness best practices to build confidence, efficiency, and consistency with maintenance delivery.

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Contributors

  • Alan Page, Principal Application Developer, Los Angeles Country Sheriff’s Department
  • Jing Min, Director, Quality Assurance, Information Technology, OMERS

Your Challenge

  • Application maintenance teams are accountable for the various requests and incidents coming from a variety business and technical sources. The sheer volume and variety of requests create unmanageable backlogs.
  • The increasing complexity and reliance on technology within the business has set unrealistic expectations on maintenance teams. Stakeholders expect teams to accommodate maintenance without impact on project schedules.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Improving maintenance’s focus and attention may mean doing less but more valuable work. Teams need to be realistic about what can be committed and be prepared to justify why certain requests have to be pushed down the backlog (e.g. lack of business value, high risks).
  • Maintenance must be treated like any other development activity. The same intake and prioritization practices and quality standards must be upheld, and best practices followed.

Impact and Result

  • Justify the necessity of streamlined maintenance. Gain a grounded understanding of stakeholder objectives and concerns, and validate their achievability against the current state of the people, process, and technologies involved in application maintenance.
  • Strengthen triaging and prioritization practices. Obtain a holistic picture of the business and technical impacts, risks, and urgencies of each accepted maintenance requests in order to justify its prioritization and relevance within your backlog. Identify opportunities to bundle requests together or integrate them within project commitments to ensure completion.
  • Establish and govern a repeatable process. Develop a maintenance process with well-defined stage gates, quality controls, and roles and responsibilities, and instill development best practices to improve the success of delivery.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our Executive Brief to understand the common struggles found in application maintenance, their root causes, and the Info-Tech methodology to overcoming these hurdles.

2. Instill maintenance governance

Identify the appropriate level of governance and enforcement to ensure accountability and quality standards are upheld across maintenance practices.

3. Enhance triaging and prioritization practices

Build a maintenance triage and prioritization scheme that accommodates business and IT risks and urgencies.

4. Streamline maintenance delivery

Define and enforce quality standards in maintenance activities and build a high degree of transparency to readily address delivery challenges.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is an eight call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Understand Your Maintenance Priorities

Call #1 - Discuss the business and technical priorities that are motivating you to optimize your maintenance practice.
Call #2 - Discuss the issues, constraints, and opportunities of your maintenance practice.

Guided Implementation #2 - Instill Maintenance Governance

Call #1 - Review your application maintenance target-state roles, responsibilities, and process.
Call #2 - Review your metrics to gauge success.

Guided Implementation #3 - Enhance Triaging and Prioritization Practices

Call #1 - Create a prioritization scheme and techniques for maintenance requests.
Call #2 - Discuss a plan to regularly review your backlog and ensure release practices accommodate maintenance.

Guided Implementation #4 - Streamline Maintenance Delivery

Call #1 - Discuss your approach to monitor maintenance tasks.
Call #2 - Discuss best practices to enforce quality standards and streamline development and deployment practices.

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Application Maintenance

Focus on your SLAs, not costs, for driving your maintenance activities.
This course makes up part of the Applications Certificate.

Course information:

  • Title: Application Maintenance
  • Number of Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Cole Cioran, Senior Director, Application Practice
  • Ben Mackle, Consultant Analyst, Application Practice
  • Now Playing: Academy: Application Maintenance | Executive Brief

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This 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: Understand Your Maintenance Priorities

The Purpose

  • Understand the business and IT stakeholder priorities driving the success of your application maintenance practice.
  • Understand any current issues that are affecting your maintenance practice.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Awareness of business and IT priorities.
  • An understanding of the maturity of your maintenance practices and identification of issues to alleviate.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Define priorities for enhanced maintenance practices.

  • List of business and technical priorities
1.2

Conduct a current state assessment of your application maintenance practices.

  • List of the root-cause issues, constraints, and opportunities of current maintenance practice

Module 2: Instill Maintenance Governance

The Purpose

Define the processes, roles, and points of communication across all maintenance activities.

Key Benefits Achieved

An in-depth understanding of all maintenance activities and what they require to function effectively.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Modify your maintenance process.

  • Application maintenance process flow
  • List of metrics to gauge success
2.2

Define your maintenance roles and responsibilities.

  • Maintenance roles and responsibilities
  • Maintenance communication flow

Module 3: Enhance Triaging and Prioritization Practices

The Purpose

  • Understand in greater detail the process and people involved in receiving and triaging a request.
  • Define your criteria for value, impact, and urgency, and understand how these fit into a prioritization scheme.
  • Understand backlog management and release planning tactics to accommodate maintenance.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of the stakeholders needed to assess and approve requests.
  • The criteria used to build a tailored prioritization scheme.
  • Tactics for efficient use of resources and ideal timing of the delivery of changes.
  • A process that ensures maintenance teams are always working on tasks that are valuable to the business.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Review your maintenance intake process.

  • Understanding of the maintenance request intake process
3.2

Define a request prioritization scheme.

  • Approach to assess the impact, urgency, and severity of requests for prioritization
3.3

Create a set of practices to manage your backlog and release plans.

  • List of backlog management grooming and release planning practices

Module 4: Streamline Maintenance Delivery

The Purpose

  • Understand how to apply development best practices and quality standards to application maintenance.
  • Learn the methods for monitoring and visualizing maintenance work.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of quality standards and the scenarios for where they apply.
  • The tactics to monitor and visualize maintenance work.
  • Streamlined maintenance delivery process with best practices.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Define approach to monitor maintenance work.

  • Taskboard structure and rules
4.2

Define application quality attributes.

  • Definition of application quality attributes with user scenarios
4.3

Discuss best practices to enhance maintenance development and deployment.

  • List of best practices to streamline maintenance development and deployment

Module 5: Finalize Your Maintenance Practice

The Purpose

  • Create a target state built from appropriate metrics and attainable goals.
  • Consider the required items and steps for the implementation of your optimization initiatives.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A realistic target state for your optimized application maintenance practice.
  • A well-defined and structured roadmap for the implementation of your optimization initiatives.

Activities

Outputs

5.1

Refine your target state maintenance practices.

  • Finalized application maintenance process document
5.2

Develop a roadmap to achieve your target state.

  • Roadmap of initiatives to achieve your target state

Search Code: 74300
Published: February 28, 2014
Last Revised: July 30, 2018