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Process Practitioner Examples – Roles and Responsibilities Revisited

Assigning clearly defined roles and responsibilities are critical to the success of every process. These roles need to be defined early and reviewed periodically to ensure proper training, communication and education.  A process without clearly defined roles will fail at some level.  
There is a very clear distinction in the activities or the roles that are played out by individuals in your organization.  You should determine and communicate who is accountable and who is responsible for the process activities.  A role is like a hat.  One individual could wear two or more hats.  Watch out for titles.  You might have a title such as Service Transition Manager.  What role(s) would this individual fulfill? It all depends on WHO is best suited for the role or task that needs to be performed when it comes to assigning roles. The Service Transition Manager could be accountable or OWN the “Release and Deployment” process but might also be a practitioner and be responsible to perform tasks in o…

Agile Service Manager

What is an Agile Service Manager? The following is a definition from the University of California Santa Cruz for an IT Service Manager. “The Service Manager has overall accountability for defining the service, ensuring services meet the business need and are delivered in accordance with agreed business requirements and managing the service lifecycle – often in conjunction with a Service Team”. I also looked up some jobs offerings from around the globe that were described as Agile Service Management and took some pieces from them.  Here are a couple of examples: Has responsibility for defining and creating the global service, developing the reliability and performance of the services in line with the business requirements, and managing the overall service lifecycle within an agile environment. This includes stability, performance, capability, risk acceptance and analysis of the services.Developing a deep understanding of what is important to the service, you will be prioritizing and dri…

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) – An extension of Test-Driven Development (TDD)

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) is a process or best practice for the development (and testing) of code. Behavior-driven development is a design and testing practice that is utilized to ensure that the outcomes and the behaviors of products and services are articulated in terms of business value.  It means that we should step aside from the technical aspects of coding, development and testing and consider, in real everyday terms, what the behavior and usage aspects are of the application or product.   We will still require technical skills, insights, automation and more, but when thinking about the defining and development of a product, business and service providers can articulate in PLAIN ENGLISH exactly what they are attempting to achieve. BDD helps design and development practitioners scope appropriate testing for a variety of test types including: Unit tests: A single piece of code (usually an object or a function) is tested, isolated from other piecesIntegration tests: Multipl…

Network Neutrality – Heads Up!

Network Neutrality preserves your right to communicate freely online. The term Network Neutrality was coined in 2003 by a Columbia University media law professor named Tim Wu.  Back in the day it was referred to as “Open”.  Network Neutrality is a principle where internet service providers and government regulators must treat all data on the Internet the same.  This means that you cannot discriminate or have differential charging and costs based on user, based on content, website, platform, application, equipment type, or mode of communication.
It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online.  Our fair and level playing field is at risk.  Big phone and cable companies and their lobbyists filed suit against the FCC guiding principles for Network Neutrality.  Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) have much to gain financially if they can discriminately charge for varied services that are currently free.  Free Press jumped in and helped …

Service Offerings - Activities for Service Portfolio Management

Service Portfolio Management (SPM) is a process that is defined by ITIL best practices in the Service Strategy Lifecycle Stage.  The initiation of activities for Service Portfolio Management is often a result of changes to strategic plans or the identification of a service improvement plan and are triggered by a proposal that must have executive approval to proceed. For existing services, Service Portfolio Management considers investments that have already been made along with new investments required.  The combined may result in the service being too expensive for what the business will achieve.  Investment decisions will need to be made.  There are many possible procedures and workflows to fulfill all the details of this process but overall the activities can be clearly understood with four high level process activities.
Define – In this stage of the process SPM must document and understand existing and new services.  Every proposal for a new or changed service must be accompanied by…

Work Holistically

ITSM best practice frequently suggests working holistically.   This is particularly true when defining a strategy and architecting a design solution but when you think about it, this holistic viewpoint should permeate every investment, improvement, and action in the entire value stream from thought to end of life for every service or product deployed.
At a high-level thinking holistically involves looking at things from a people process technology perspective but cannot leave out our partners and suppliers.  No service, process, or functional team stands alone.   Changing one element of a complex system will impact others.  This is a real challenge because no one team can know everything about all aspects of the system.  Therefore, working holistically requires a balance between specialization (functions and departments) and the coordination of complex integrated process activities.  It is only then do we get a clear picture of the lifecycle of a service and any hope of managing it eff…

DevOps Testing – Do it Right

One of the key principles of DevOps stresses that we need to fail and fail fast.   A key part that frequently gets omitted.  That key element of the principle is that we fail fast so that we can LEARN. When we learn it is always best to act and to share.   In the spirit of learning and sharing here are some consequences of not performing DevOps testing properly that might help to mitigate some of your challenges.
Consequences of NOT doing DevOps testing properly – challenges and thoughts
Culture Conflict Culture Conflict can exist between business leaders, developers, QA testers, infrastructure/tools staff, operations staff or any stakeholder in the entire value stream. When there are unclear roles and responsibilities for the testing of a new or changed service or product, a friction begins.  This friction propagates conflict.  Be aware.  Make management of organizational change a priority.
Test Escapes (False Positive)           False Positive Test Escapes occur when the DevOps testing s…

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