The Agile Process Owner

Let’s face it, IT service management (ITSM) processes get a bad rap. Sometimes deservedly so. Bureaucratic and overly risk-adverse processes can be a real constraint in the IT value stream; particularly in organizations that are adopting agile, lean and DevOps practices. To keep pace, today’s IT organizations must be built on ITSM policies and processes that facilitate speed and change. So who ensures that ITSM processes are designed with ‘just enough’ control to meet an organization’s needs? Here’s where the role of Certified Agile Process Owner comes into play.
A Certified Agile Process Owner (CAPO)SM adapts agile and Scrum values and practices to ITSM processes and process design and improvement activities. Much like a Scrum Product Owner, a Certified Agile Process Owner manages stakeholder requirements and strives to translate those requirements into process activities and features that deliver value.
What’s different is that CAPOs and Process Improvement Teams use Sprints to deliver those activities and features in usable increments, in much the same way that Product Owners and developers deliver software increments. A CAPO plays a critical role before, during and after Sprint events by:
  • Managing and prioritizing a Process Backlog
  • Capturing and mapping user stories
  • Facilitating backlog grooming activities
  • Collaborating with stakeholders, Process Improvement Team members and the Agile Service Manager
  • Deciding when and how process increments are released
Traditional process design and improvement projects are sometimes prolonged efforts with little opportunity for experimentation, learning, and stakeholder feedback. To more quickly deliver value, a CAPO learns to focus on critical process activities and to deploy those activities in small, frequent releases. Fast feedback and a focus on measuring outcomes that matter to the business enable continuous process improvement and processes that are fit for purpose.
While it’s often perceived that processes stand in the way of progress, the reality is that the highest performing organizations don’t get there without efficient and effective ITSM processes. Nor do these organizations become high-performing with overly-rigorous processes. They get there by having agile processes and by using agile methods and techniques to continuously improve those processes.
Realizing the value of a process is dependent on the steps taken to ensure the process is agile, sustainable and constantly evolving. Selecting Process Owners with the right level of authority, the right mindset and the right skillset is critical to ensuring the value is fully realized. A CAPO brings an agile mindset and the ability to adapt agile practices to process design and improvement activities.
What our alumni are saying about Certified Agile Process Owner (CAPO)SM:
 Excellent course. Our entire ITSM Center of Excellence needs this sort of class.

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