Blog Posts Process Analysis

Project Delivery Process D870

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

D870 – Transition to Live Control

SIIPS Delivery Processes (D).png


SIIPS D870.pngPlan and instigate phased transition to live operation, and support and phasing out of Project Team support.


A plan should be agreed and executed to pass control and support of the system from the project team to line departments.  This should normally be done in a phased manner so that resistance is managed and there is no sudden change in levels of support.
While it is important to retain a high level of support during the initial live running, it is also important that the line departments take ownership and responsibility for the new system.
This process is  linked with the definition of the live support and management arrangements (see Process D850) and the definition of the System Handover plan (see Process D830).


Normal practice


Prerequisites (Finish-Start):
  • definition of live management and support arrangements (D850)
Prerequisites (Finish-Finish):
  • System support and administration Implementation Paper (D850)
  • System Handover plan IP (D830)
  • System cutover (D900)
Dependent procedures (Finish-Start):
  • final withdrawal of project team
Dependent procedures (Start-Start):
  • early care for the live system (P060)


  • System Support and Administration Implementation Paper
  • System Handover Plan IP
  • various User Procedures and IPs relating to organisational set up, roles and functions
  • various IPs relating to functional and technical design


  • Transition Plan
  • full live management and support of the system
  • System Transfer Signoff Letter (if appropriate)
  • withdrawal of project team


  • Examples: Terms of Reference for System Administration
  • Examples: System Transfer Signoff Letter


The System Support and Administration Implementation Paper
The approach to management and support of the live system was considered in an environmental implementation paper – the system support and administration IP (see Process D850).  This will have defined the target live environment.

Transition to live control

The required transition is from the project environment to the full live environment.  Even if the system becomes live in a single “big bang” implementation, the changeover from project control to live line management should be a gradual one.  Ideally the project and live management functions should overlap to allow an easy transfer of skills and to help the system to settle down successfully.
Key elements to consider may include:
  • staff managing the system need time to learn their roles and tasks
  • abnormally high levels of support are likely during the initial operation of the system
  • additional staffing requirements are likely to occur due to conversion, changeover, parallel running and training requirements
  • where appropriate, project staff will be analysing, planning and agreeing requirements for the next stage of the overall programme or for additional or deferred elements of the system to be implemented
  • project staff will be involved in winding up activities such as finalising the documentation, decommissioning equipment and reallocating staff etc
  • staff may be transferring from secondments on the project team to new key roles running the system
  • other project staff may be returning to regular line duties
Details will need to be negotiated and agreed with the management.  Very often the details will affect the contractual relationships, for example, detailing the precise schedule for withdrawing external resources.  Any contractual issues should be agreed and evidenced in writing.  Legal advice should be sought if appropriate.


The transition to live control of the system is often a gradual process with no clear beginning and end.  At an appropriate time, it should be made clear that the project team no longer accepts operational responsibility for the system.  If appropriate, a signoff letter may be issued.

Phased cutover and “early care”

Live cutovers are normally most successful when the project team support is eased out gently as the live support organisation builds its capabilities, experience and competence.  In addition to easing the transition to live support, it is often wise to provide abnormally high support levels to allow for the normal start-up problems of a new system and to help the inexperienced user population.  The high level of support at this time is referred to as “early care” – see Process P060.
The chart below shows an example of phasing from a project environment into live running plus the definition and conduct of a further phase of development.
In the example, staffing requirements for support from the project team and for starting up the live systems administration function are initially high.  As the initial workload reduces, some staff can be released and some effort can be put into defining the next stage of the programme.  The staffing then settles down as systems administration tasks become more routine, support requirements reduce and normal work on the next phase of the project commences.

SIIPS Staffing Requirements.PNG

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