The Goals and Objectives of Agile Service Management

Part of the role of the Certified Agile Service Manager (CASM) is to ensure that ITSM processes engage and reflect agile values and that they are appropriately designed with “just enough” control and structure in order to effectively and efficiently deliver services that facilitate customer outcomes when and how they are needed.

The goals and objectives of Agile Service Management include:
  • Ensuring that agile values and principles are embedded into every service management process from design through implementation and continual improvement.
  • Improving IT’s ability to meet customer requirements faster.  This includes process and process integration, capabilities, knowledge transfer and the use of appropriate technologies for automation.
  • Being effective and efficient (lean).  It also means ensuring that we don’t bias too far in one direction.  I can be very effective but not efficient. On the other hand I can become too efficient but impact my effectiveness.  Either of these situations does not allow us to be in a lean state.
  • Designing processes with “just enough” scalable control and structure.
  • Provide services that deliver ongoing customer value.

These goals and objectives help to encourage a continuous learning environment and ensure better collaboration between development and operational teams by cross pollinating vocabulary and methods.  This leads us to be more successful in creating those cross functional teams during program and project development and deployment.

This in turn enhances our ability as an organization to ensure the two aspects of Agile Service Management, Agile Process Design and Agile Process Improvement, are successful. This creates an environment where process design applies the same approach to designing processes and IT infrastructure that software developers employ for product development.  This allows us to engage three concepts: “Cycle Time, Versioning Environments and Infrastructure as code”. (1)

“Cycle time is defined as the average time taken from the time a new requirement is approved, a change request is requested or a bug that needs to be fixed via a patch is identified, to the time it is delivered to production. Agile organizations want this time to be the bare bones minimum. It is what limits their ability to release new features and fixes to customers. Organizations like Etsy have cycle-time down to minutes! While this is not possible for enterprise applications, the current cycle time of weeks or sometime even months is absolutely unacceptable”. (2)

“The need to maintain multiple configurations and patch levels of environments that are now needed by development, on demand, requires Ops to change how they handle change and maintain these environments. Any change Operations makes to an environment – whether it is applying a patch or making a configuration change, should be viewed as creating a new ‘version’ of the environment, not just tweaking a configuration setting via a console. The only way this can be managed properly is by applying all changes via scripts. These scripts, when executed, would create a new version of the environment they are executed on. This process streamlines and simplifies change management, allowing it to scale, while keeping Ops best practices (ITIL or otherwise) intact”. (3)

“The solution to addressing both these needs – minimizing cycle time and versioning environments can be addressed by capturing and managing your Infrastructure as code. Spinning up a new virtual environment or a new version of the environment then becomes a matter of executing a script that can create and provision an image or set of images – all the way from OS to the complete application stack installed and configured. Hours can become minutes”. (4)

1.       Sanjeev Sherma, Understanding DevOps – Part 5, Infrastructure as code,
2.       Sanjeev Sherma, Understanding DevOps – Part 5, Infrastructure as code,
3.       Sanjeev Sherma, Understanding DevOps – Part 5, Infrastructure as code,
4.       Sanjeev Sherma, Understanding DevOps – Part 5, Infrastructure as code,

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