We present a way to deal with dispersion-dominated 'shock-type' transition in the absence of completely integrable structure for the systems that one may characterize as strictly hyperbolic regularized by a small amount of dispersion. The analysis is performed by assuming that, the dispersive shock transition between two different constant states can be modelled by an expansion fan solution of the associated modulation (Whitham) system for the short-wavelength nonlinear oscillations in the transition region (the so-called Gurevich-Pitaevskii problem). We consider as single-wave so bi-directional systems. The main mathematical assumption is that of hyperbolicity of the Whitham system for the solutions of our interest. By using general properties of the Whitham averaging for a certain class of nonlinear dispersive systems and specific features of the Cauchy data prescription on characteristics we derive a set of transition conditions for the dispersive shock, actually by-passing full integration of the modulation equations. Along with model KdV and mKdV examples, we consider a non-integrable system describing fully nonlinear ion-acoustic waves in collisionless plasma. In all cases our transition conditions are in complete agreement with previous analytical and numerical results.