Service Transition : Think Negative to Succeed!!

By Sairam Bollapragada

Many a times, we are obsessed with positive thinking – perceived as the only KEY to success.

Service Transition is different!! You need to think Negative to be successful here!! Surprised?!! That’s a fact and let me draw few points for you.

Transition being a one-time activity with no loop for coming back, you are in an irreversible situation. You know you will not get another chance…you know the incumbent is gone if you battle an eyelid and don’t value their presence and your time….so you need to take a two-pronged approach:

  1. Bring all your experiences to the table and get equipped to insure against any mishaps.
  2. Be prepared also to resolve or recover from any mishaps that occurs mid-way – the delta corrections

More than what can go wrong, the critical success factor for a proper planning should be based on the theory: “Victory favors the team making the fewest mistakes”.

Transitions are like quick sand. The feeling of winning sinks way too fast, before you realize the inertia. And while you have the inertia, with the fresh experience in mind and action, you need to take over the next one or plough the lessons learnt which can become your insurance building exercise between transitions to cover you from the next set of risks.

If you had a great transition story to tell, you cannot stay fixated on that success for long.

An if-then exercise helps transition managers to visualize the failures upfront. While many advocates of success mantras would say, think-imagine-visualize success, many times thinking only GOOD also can leave you overconfident and unprepared for the failures that can hit you. The source could be any of the 12 areas of transition we speak often about…

The if-then exercise with a what-if checklist from previous experience can boost your confidence levels to tackle issues and risks as they arise during the course of the transition.

Few of the if-then combined with what-if scenarios can include:

  1. What if there is lot of tacit knowledge with the incumbent subject matter experts?
  2. What if there are unknown in-flight activities which are going-live in few months time – how will I still stick to my SLAs?
  3. How do I know I am getting all the knowledge which is needed for me to sustain or take the current activities forward?
  4. What if I discover the knowledge transfer done was by a person who was replaced recently with insufficient knowledge? And the list goes on….

Some of these thought processes would lead to allow you build a silver bullet not to allow the failure to succeed. As they say – “ the fear of failure is bigger than the failure itself” and hence it automatically promotes additional capability to prepare to fight against potential failures. It provokes you to be that much more passionate and willing to succeed!


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