One of the ITILnews community have sent in the following question:
"Hello, why is not much material available regarding service validation & testing? Is it because noone really engages into the process? Or is it that we have still the idea that testing is for software, not for the service? Or could it be that we just simply don't understand the difference of the software testing, and this 'service validation' thing?"
We tend to agree with your view that Validation and Testing is focused around software and not around the Service itself.
We have alluded to the fact in an article, which can be found at the following location: ITIL Change Management - The Missing Link
Primarily it validates a Change prior to it 'going live'. The practice I believe could apply to almost any Change, I have seen it for example with administrators setting up new users on an application and they simply check the password is correctly spelt before notifying the requestor.
On more complicated or larger Changes, which could be classed as 'Significant' or 'Major' Changes (or Projects) there is a need to provide a series of validation activities, including Application, System and Infrastructure, Security, Continuity Management (IT and Business perspective) and as you have stated Service.
The non-functional requirements should be gathered and documented in the early stages of the project and then confirmed as part of the Validation and Testing activities.
In recent times I have conducted workshops where various parties have attended including Business, Service Desk, Change, Configuration, Third Party Supplier(s) representatives, Business and Supplier Relationship Managers, project/program manager(s) and relevant project team members, other parties as required attend to define the Service Support Model. Various scenarios (identified and circulated in advance of the workshop) are described and then the support process is stepped through and each party's roles, responsibilities and actions are captured. The information is then captured in a document, circulated, corrections made and then agreed by all parties.
All the above provide the opportunity to prevent the Service being literally dropped into the 'production' or 'live' environment and failing to be supported and delivered to the expectations of the Business or Customer community.
Having read this response would you agree or have you more to add. Please let us know here at ITILnews.