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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 of you that understand how taking an iterative approach to software development brings value, the idea and concepts are the same. I learned that each process is built and potentially released in small, frequent increments. New procedures and behaviors are introduced gradually, providing greater opportunity for normalization as well more frequent feedback and input to guide the future direction of the process. The Agile Service Management Guide also states that, dependent increments can be built simultaneously or in succession. Most importantly, the organization can test the boundaries of “just enough” process throughout the service lifecycle.

While considering ITIL best practice guidance I thought that this is what ongoing CSI is really all about? Agile Principles and Scrum allow us to optimize our ITSM processes in an efficient manner. Agile Service Management is agnostic when it comes to frameworks and best practice. It is clear that elements of LEAN, DevOps, ITIL, Scrum and Agile can all be leveraged for the two main aspects of Agile Service Management, those two being “Process Design” and “Process Improvement”. Hmmm… If my process is deteriorating is it dying? An iterative and incremental approach to process design allows ITSM processes to mature organically and holistically. Let’s do the right things right, improve rather than deteriorate and consider Agile Service Management. It is the next logical step.

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