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Pratik Daga Discusses The Importance Of Operation Readiness In Software Systems

“Operational Readiness” is defined as a state that is moved toward incrementally by performing tasks and creating deliverables throughout the Project Life Cycle. An Operational Readiness Assessment ensures the operating environment is prepared to effectively support and accept the changes resulting from the project. 

Pratik Daga, a tech lead for the communications team at Asana, has said that operational readiness can also, more simply be defined as the capability to efficiently deploy, operate, and maintain the systems and procedures. He goes on to discuss that the main purpose of operational readiness is to reduce operational risks during changes. 

An Operational Readiness Assessment ensures the system/platform is prepared to effectively support and accept the changes resulting from the project. The assessment helps determine the readiness state of the system and defines how close this system/platform is to the desired state. The life cycle of the project can be divided into four phases:

These four phases can be broken down and further explained, to give a better understanding of the procedures that are required during an Operational Readiness Assessment.

Starting with phase one, which is the Project Initiation Phase:

The goal is to define your project at a high level and tie it into the business case you wish to solve. You should be able to answer two questions: why are you doing this project and what is the business value you expect to deliver? Consider the feasibility of your project and all of the stakeholders that may be affected or require involvement.

There are other things to consider when working on phase one, including, evaluating the impact on upstream and downstream systems, Identifying new dependencies, and Informing stakeholders of the developments. 

Then onto phase two–Requirement/Design Phase: 

Requirement Analysis Phase is to transform the needs and high-level requirements specified in earlier phases into measurable, testable, traceable, complete, consistent, and stakeholder-approved requirements. 

Companies should define SLAs, provisioning, scaling and monitoring considerations, all while involving stakeholders. They should also evaluate integration points and prepare for testing strategies.

Which brings us to Phase three–Implementation/Test Phase: 

Pratik Daga explains that the Implementation phase is when the system is actually built based on the plan created during phase two. Another key task of this phase is to test the system thoroughly and perform changes and improvements as needed. The changes to the system should be sustainable in every aspect. Setting up runbooks and documentation is critical to the smooth long term maintenance of the project. 

Finally, phase four–Post Implementation: 

Document best practices and procedures that led to project success and make recommendations for applying them to similar future projects. Handover runbooks, documentation and key metric monitoring to on-call for seamless support.

Assessing readiness is not a single instance event, but rather an essential part of the planning and management of a project. 

Many of these steps are already included in the majority of project life cycle approaches. Their added value is seen in the project preparedness emphasis they bring. When combined, these steps provide the framework of a preparedness program that is established during project beginning and facilitates efficient reporting and quick decision-making throughout the project.