MSP-05h » Software Upgrades

Service Blueprint Bricks » Managed Services Series

Process Details

Learn More

Process Description

Businesses are driven to upgrade their key applications for several reasons: new functionality, regulatory compliance, enhanced performance, and continued eligibility for vendor support.

When there are multiple environments (production, training, development, etc.), customizations, or integration involved, the complexity of the upgrade introduces significant business risk. To minimize the risk, the upgrade must be planned in detail, implemented in a controlled manner, and thoroughly tested.

MSP Module 05h, Software Upgrades, describes the deliberate end-to-end process for complex upgrades, from project kickoff through support transition. Designed around the ITIL ® Release Management framework, this module includes sections on release planning, baseline build and test, implementation planning, readiness checks, implementation, testing, and transition.

Throughout the process, there is close coordination with the client to ensure all participants and systems are ready for the upgrade.

This module consists of the Module Overview Diagram plus 14 pages of detailed process maps personalized for your company.

  • Reduced risk of adverse business impact following the upgrade
  • All participants and systems are prepared for the upgrade
  • Fewer post-upgrade incidents and issues for the provider to address

Included with your first Service Blueprint Brick for a series:

  • Life Cycle Diagram depicting process modules for the service offering
  • Tutorial on "How to read a Service Blueprint"
  • Kaizen-based guide on "How to deploy a Service Blueprint module"

Included with each Service Blueprint Brick:

  • 11x17 and Legal  PDF versions (A3 version for international clients)
  • Detail Report (describing roles, systems, documents, and KPIs for the module)
  • Task Report (listing all of the onstage and backstage tasks in the process module)
  • Personalization with your logo, roles, and service automation systems

Additional features for Service Blueprint Subscription clients:

  • Editable native MS Visio version of the Service Blueprint
  • Accompanying AntFarm tools and templates such as agendas, project plans, planning tools
  • Access to online Service Blueprint training
Entry Conditions
Exit Conditions
Process Topics
KPIs / Metrics

The goals of this process are to:

  • Ensure that all participants and systems are prepared for upgrade
  • Implement the upgrade with minimal adverse impact on the business
  • Provide initial support for upgrade-related issues
  • Transition upgraded system to the full-time support team

At the onset of this process:

  • Vendor has released an upgrade that has applicability to the client base
  • Client has requested that an upgrade be performed (or)
  • Managed Services / Support Team has identified the need for the upgrade and the
    recommendation has been communicated to the client
  • Client has signed a contract for the upgrade, including the preliminary Statement of Work

Upon completion of this process:

  • Upgrade was unsuccessful and backed out


  • Upgrade was successful
  • Acceptance testing is complete and critical issues resolved
  • Change Management is closed out
  • Configuration Database is updated

This process module includes these sub-processes:

  • 05h.01 Transition from Sales
  • 05h.02 Upgrade Kickoff
  • 05h.03 Vendor Software Release Analysis
  • 05h.04 Client-Specific Upgrade Analysis
  • 05h.05 Baseline Upgrade Build and Testing
  • 05h.06 Upgrade Implementation Planning
  • 05h.07 Upgrade Preparations
  • 05h.08 Upgrade Readiness Check
  • 05h.09 Upgrade Implementation and Testing
  • 05h.10 Initial Support and Transition
  • 05h.11 Upgrade Project Closeout

These metrics and KPIs provide an indication of process performance:

  • Upgrade Failure Rate
  • Cost of Non-billable Time Performing Upgrades
  • Client Satisfaction - Upgrades
  • Post-upgrade Incident Rate
  • Upgrade On-Time Completion Rate

Process Overview Diagram