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Showing posts from March, 2016

You Can’t Automate Chaos

In a recent DevOps Foundation Certification class one IT executive said “You can not automate Chaos”! Another learner spoke up and said “Yes you can… that is what we are doing”!   Although that was meant as a LOL moment, it is true that when it comes to velocity and improving cadence all too often service providers jump the gun and look at automation as the silver bullet.  While recognizing that tools, technology and automation are key elements, process and governance must also be considered. Automating before we get management control of these is likely to lead to bigger and faster CHAOS!
Executive buy in and support is rewarded when the business and IT are integrated to the point that IT alignment with the business is a given.  Properly designed and well governed process will enable any automation initiative.  Remember we are talking about “Just enough process” and “Just enough governance”.  If your process is the roadblock then you might have created exactly what you are trying to…

Your Comfort Zone is NOT Comfortable

We have all heard mantras and messages like “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. Some might still cling to values like “We have always done it that way” but great leaders in contrast will see a different vision and say “There is a better way to do this”. IT service providers in today’s industry need to get uncomfortable. This is especially true for executive management. Some of the best leaders in the world make it their business to experiment, get creative and challenge the status quo.
Whether your needs and interests correspond with the early stages of innovation, like education and professional enhancement, or at a later stage like funding and business development, Innovation is key and cannot be propagated by cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. So how do we manage the naysayers?
Successful DevOps, Agile, ITIL and ITSM all require cultural change. One thing we can all agree on: Change is Hard. However, with the right knowledge your team can be guided…

The Year of Shattering Silos

This is the year to shatter the silos.  Consider any best practice, method or standard that you have or are thinking of implementing.   In any DevOps, ITSM, ISO or Lean initiative the biggest challenge that any CIO or organization as a whole will have to address is how to meet the rate of demand and the dynamic business requirements.  Dynamic business requirements are a norm not an exception and the service provider will need to ensure fluidity throughout the value stream.  Shattering Silo’s will be a prerequisite to achieving end-to-end workflow and agility. 
Functional Silos When talking about silos most practitioners immediately think of integrating departments or functional teams.  One of the more obvious silos to address here is the division between development and operational teams (DevOps).  While there is a lot of buzz in the industry on how to bridge that great divide, the real chasm that hinders efficiency and optimization is that between the business and IT.  Business perf…

The Great Divide

Historically there has been a divide between the Systems Administration (Operation folks) and Software development (Application folks). This divide often results in services being released that only partially meet customer/business requirements and leaves the organization with the perception that operations is often inefficient and ineffective. This riff is not of our own making. In the past it has been caused by a combination of conflicting goals, objectives, processes, and tooling. 
Development-centric people tend to believe that change is good. As a matter of fact it’s the thing that they are paid to realize. The business depends on them to be agile to the changing business environment. Because of this correlation, they are often rewarded to create as much change as they can and do it as quickly as possible.
Operational people on the other hand, have institutionalized the belief that change is the nemesis of who they are. The business depends on them to keep the lights on and…

Your Process Is Either Improving or Deteriorating

Do you ever notice you can hear things over and over and then there is that one moment where a comment or phrase all of a sudden shouts at you with real meaning and significance? I’d like to share one of those aha moments with you. I recently took a class called Certified Agile Process Owner (CAPO). During that class the instructor, Donna Knapp responded to a learner and said …  “Remember that your process is either improving or it is deteriorating”.  For some reason while thinking about that from an Agile Service Management perspective I thought REALLY?! That is so very true. If we think about it, by the time we define, deploy and utilize any set of process activities the objectives could change, the technology used certainly has changed and the overall requirements for any one of those process activities or procedures could have changed.
Today we all know that business requirements are dynamic. All the more reason for taking an iterative approach to process design. For those …

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