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DevOps and the North Pole

T’was a month before Christmas on the pipeline, not a heart was beating not even mine.


For the product owner there is work to be “DONE”, so into the “Sprint Log” the work has begun! ­­­­

On Dasher! On Prancer (Development Deer) - QA and Security, they are all here.

Red hats worn by all and only one “White”; The teams almost ready, so don’t you fright.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear, a massive build from the Ops Engineer!

This today, that tomorrow, “Fail Fast” and learn there is no sorrow!

Ho Ho Ho! A jolly Scrum Master appears; impediments removed we all give a cheer!

Ops leads the way with their nose shining bright; we are agile and fast and we’re out of site!

Off with a flash, then “deer-to-deer” review”; here comes the surprise, it's coming to YOU.

We stand all amazed, and straight is our gaze. 
The Christmas tree stands all tall and bright; its branches are massive and covered with lights! 
On top is a star that streams long bright bars, spreading LOVE, PEACE and JOY both n…

Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE)

There are many frameworks and standards that define best practices for achieving quality IT service management (ITSM) - ITIL, ISO/IEC 20000, COBIT, CMMI, DevOps, Knowledge-Centered Support, etc. While each describes processes and controls (what to do), none provide clear, step-by-step methods and techniques for actually designing, re-engineering and improving processes (how to do it).

IT organizations must not only do the right things, but they must also do the right things right. CPDE takes a practical step by step approach to developing and implementing ITSM processes across the entire lifecycle of IT services. It ensures integration with project and program management and the application and software development processes as well. Allowing for strategic, tactical and operational alignment across the entire organization. CPDE is well suited to utilize these different best practices and additionally play a significant role in the DevOps movement that is taking hold in IT organization…

Inclusion – Required for DevOps Continuous Delivery Pipeline

As a noun the official definition of the word inclusion is defined as the state of being included or being made a part of something. When a book covers many different ideas and subjects, it is an example of the inclusion of many ideas. When multiple people are all invited to be part of a group, this is an example of the inclusion of many different people. There are many certification classes available for DevOps, Agile and ITSM. All of them will speak of Inclusion.

When considering inclusion in a DevOps Continuous Delivery Pipeline, service providers frequently miss the inclusion of some very necessary elements. In order to ensure real value, and cost-effective solutions fast, it is back to basics. Consider the inclusion of the following:

Best Practices and Methodologies: These are the answer for how to. It is not just one best practice, methodology or standard that will get you there. “There” is where you are trying to go. Consider methods such as DevOps, ITSM, Agile, Lean and standar…

DevOps Leader: 5 Tips for Managing Cultural Change

Originally Published on the DevOps Institute Site
It has become a truism within the DevOps movement that embracing DevOps is much more about making a cultural change than about adopting new processes and technologies.

But changing an organization’s existing internal culture can be profoundly difficult. As Peter Drucker famously noted, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” All the best-laid DevOps plans in the world might not make a bit of difference if you can’t get your team to shift its mindset.

As a DevOps leader, managing this cultural change will likely be one of your most frustrating — but ultimately most rewarding — challenges.

Here are five tips from DevOps experts to help manage that change:

1. Cultivate the 5 leadership traits that lead to high performance.
Pick up any self-help book, and you’re sure to read some variation on the mantra that you can’t control whether other people change, you can only control yourself. It might be trite, but it’s true.

Fortunately, as a DevO…

Process Design

I looked up “Process Design” and found:
“The activity of determining the workflowequipment needs and implementation requirements for a particular process. Process design typically uses a number of tools including flowcharting, process simulationsoftware and scale models.” 
Hmm… that is good but “So What”?  Why should a service provider care about process?  I have heard some say that process is secondary to automation.  Okay, sounds good, but then we have to consider, “What are we going to automate?”
Every Certified Process Design Engineer knows that when it comes to process we are talking about activity.  The key is that we need just enough process and just enough governance to meet requirements.  Process design contributes to our ability to balance speed and agility with stability.   Having good process design allows for a smooth service belt that delivers value to customers and also gives a service provider the ability to meet business and customer demand at a cost that won’t break t…

Skilling The Squad

Originally Published on the DevOps Institute Site

One of the most interesting trends in DevOps adoption is the evolution of the IT silo into the cross-skilled squad.
This is not just a semantical name change. Most IT teams today are comprised of like-skilled individuals such as a Scrum team of developers. The modern squad takes a slightly different approach, is more static than dynamic and is more product-focused than project based. Squads are built around T-shaped professionals –where each member has a specialty competency, but all members have a broad scope of skills across multiple disciplines. A high performing squad essentially has all of the skills needed for the product or feature to which it is assigned and is not generally constrained by the availability of an individual resource. There is enough breadth of knowledge inside and outside the squad to shift more activities to the left so as to allow them to move more quickly and with more agility. While the squad model originated…

The Top Benefits of ITIL

Stronger alignment between IT and the business:
Historically IT has not been a participant in helping to create business strategies, it was normally in the role of supporting them. Recently, with the speed of innovation impacting businesses position in the marketplace, IT has been playing a greater role in helping to develop that business strategy. The ITIL framework enables IT to act as a service provider and become a core and more strategic part of the business. Pre-defined processes and best practices from the ITIL framework enable businesses to react quickly to today's rapidly changing technology landscape, focus on innovation and ultimately keep customers satisfied.
Improved service delivery and customer satisfaction:
Event, incident and problem management processes included within the ITIL framework enable businesses to review performance, perform root cause analysis, resolve issues and through problem management, prevent future incidents from occurring and allows us an end t…

DevOps Stakeholders – Who Are They?

IT professionals attending the DevOps FND Certification class offered by the DevOps Campus at ITSM Academy are sometimes surprised to discover that DevOps in not just about Dev and Ops.

The DevOps pipeline and value stream for the continuous delivery of products and services mandates that an integration of requirements and controls be orchestrated in such a way that speed and value are achieved. DevOps extends far beyond software developers and IT operations.

One way to consider the stakeholders for DevOps:

Dev Includes all people involved in developing software products and services including but not exclusive to:
Architects, business representatives, customers, product owners, project managers, quality assurance (QA), testers and analysts, suppliers …Ops Includes all people involved in delivering and managing software products and services including but not exclusive to:
·Information security professionals, systems engineers, system administrators, IT operations engineers, release eng…

You too can Take Action! – Key Takeaways from DevOps Foundation Certified Professionals

Taking action is one of the most necessary steps in effectuating life changes. However, as most of us know, sometimes it is very difficult to take that first step and commit to a desired achievement. When delivering DevOps/Agile/ITSM certification classes, I like to stress that as leaders we must inspire. And this is true because Inspiration leads to motivation and motivation triggers ACTION!

Although this is true, a recent Forbes article opened my mind to another way of looking at this. In this article Svetlana Whitener states that: “You don’t need to wait to feel inspired before you implement a new behavior. You can immediately begin by gathering your willpower (a strong self-control determination that allows you to do something difficult) and stop procrastinating.”

So whether you dig deep into your inner self and use will power or you are inspired by others, take action! Both motivation and will power are necessary. The bottom line is this: Digital Transformation is real and IT ser…

DevOps Leaders Take Action – Key Takeaways

Education, learning and certifications are necessary. Taking ACTION shapes our world.

Getting certified is certainly valuable for career driven DevOps practitioners and leaders but what is most rewarding is listening to attendees of the course talk about the results and key take aways. Below are examples of key take aways from learners who attended a recent DevOps Leader course from the ITSM Academy’s DevOps Campus. Read through them. Get some tips for your DevOps leadership! Be inspired and take action!

I liked the shared practices and discussion in class for the idea of figuring out who the "friends" of DevOps are. What I learned in this class will stay with me forever.Our value stream maps (VSM) are very detailed and complex. Therefore, I plan to go back and simplify our VSM’s so that we are seeing the highest-level view of the value stream. I learned from the VSM activity in this class how powerful that can be. This will allow us to "sell" the improvement oppor…

ITSM, ITIL and DevOps – an education process

Originally posted on The AXELOS Blog - by @itsm_Donna


In IT service management (ITSM) education is critical: it helps organizations get a shared understanding of terms and concepts and a proven body of knowledge such as ITIL®.

The IT industry is rife with buzzwords carrying varied interpretations, so education helps get everyone on the same page. But while ITSM professionals may well understand the “what?” and “why? – for example why to minimize risk or restore services ASAP – today it’s the how that needs to evolve and change.

And while there is always value in education, achieving certification creates a different level of engagement: people get involved and – critically – seek to understand. Getting certified allows you to represent your competence and understanding of the concepts you’ve learned. After that, you need to get out there and apply them to benefit your organization and add to your credibility and your baseline of experience. Today’s hiring managers are looking for that co…

DevOps and ITSM Required

Organizations adopting DevOps culture and practices are able to deliver high-quality products faster and therefore the business can deliver value to customers faster. You sometimes hear that DevOps and ITSM aren’t compatible. An IT professional attending the ITSM for DevOps course said “Everything would be OK if we could get change and compliance people out of the way!” Sound familiar? The reality is that high-performing organizations aren’t achieving success without ITSM processes. In today’s digital world organizations are performing ITSM processes Understanding Agile Service Management is key to ensure agility across the entire lifecycle. These high performers streamline, integrate and automate the process into the DevOps pipeline so that people don’t even realize that they are executing ITSM processes. We can not optimize DevOps without them and we can not accelerate our ITSM processes without DevOps.

In an enterprise, DevOps doesn’t eliminate the need for controls and data. Regula…

Continuous Delivery vs. Continuous Deployment

One of the most frequently stated key takeaways from DevOps Foundation Certification Candidates is the big AAH-HAA moment when they realize the difference between Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment. Terms matter and the context in which we use them can make or break the success of any DevOps pipeline for digital transformation.

Which one of these you select for your organization will have a significant impact on the way you orchestrate ­­­­your DevOps Pipeline and your Continuous Delivery Architecture. It will most definitely help to define the appropriate tool pipeline, determine how you will utilize and program those tools for automation and will have an impact on the context of your communication plans to your stakeholders. How will you approach integrated testing?

There is not one element of development and delivery that Continuous Delivery or Continuous Deployment will NOT impact. Therefore; It is critical to understand what they are, how they are the same, how they are…

Kickstart ITIL 4

ITIL 4 is coming! ITSM Academy is working hand and hand with the experts to ensure you achieve your mission. ITIL 4 Updates will be kept current for you so that you can stay the course. As a Global Strategic Partner of AXELOS (the owners of ITIL) we have been working with their teams, and the global community, to help ensure that ITIL 4 is "worth the wait".
ITSM professionals have the opportunity to expand on the work, effort and skillsets that they gained from ITIL v3 and allow newcomers the opportunity to accelerate their ITSM and transformation initiatives. ITIL 4 will help us all to accelerate our productivity and to integrate Best Practices across the entire organization for real transformation and business value.
ITIL 4 retains the best of ITIL v3/2011, with most of the operational and tactical practices and processes you know. The release also includes focus on integrating many best practice "frameworks". Think DevOps, Agile, Lean, etc. All good news – and …

Golden Keys to Unlock Agile Success

Communication and Education before Collaboration 
An engineer attending a recent DevOps FND class for certification said “OMGosh! I have been trying to do DevOps and I really did not understand what it really was!” He knew that a self-organizing team was defined as a group of motivated individuals who work together toward a goal, have the authority to take decisions and readily adapt to changing demands. Solutions are derived from inter team collaboration. Innovation is the name of the game for digital transformations. All true but … “authority” without ability is dangerous. 
Let’s not forget that before these teams are able to recommend innovative ideas for improvement that we must communicate the strategy and outcomes that deliver value. Also true is the fact that we must educate teams to continuously enhance their skills. 
Challenge: During your next virtual or face to face meeting with staff, ask a few questions to validate that all are on the same page. You could ask “What is Agil…

DevOps Continuous Delivery Architecture (CDA) – Should I get Certified?

A Continuous Delivery Architect (CDA) is a tool-agnostic individual engaged in the design, implementation and management of DevOps deployment pipelines and tool chains that support Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Testing and, potentially, Continuous Deployment. A continuous delivery architect is also involved in defining or integrating underpinning processes, metrics, APIs and cultural considerations. Getting CDA certified prepares any IT professional engaged in the Continuous Delivery value stream. Not only will they know what to expect but could save a lot of time, money and effort to expedite the systems required to deliver.
While earning a CDA Certification is a great compliment to the DevOps Foundation Certification, you might also find that it can help boost your career or prepare you for very needed positions coming up. The information and perspectives that one gains from shared experiences and class discussions is invaluable. Sometimes it is just as va…

DevOps Leader

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." Peter Drucker
“Every company wants to behave like a software company.” Sanjay Mirchandani
As the business environment continues to evolve and change, an adoption of a digital-first mindset is taking place in boardrooms across the globe. Today’s organizations face a never-ending torrent of change from the dynamics of global economics and competition, to the ever more rapid advancements in technology. These can be perceived as both an opportunity and a threat. The ability to adapt and innovate rapidly in this environment has become a core organizational competency. A leader is needed to bring about this change.
Adoption of DevOps can bring about those needed changes that allow an organization to remain competitive in today’s market space. A successful DevOps transformation begins with a value stream map which can allow us to see a time diagnostic of our delivery lifecycle. This flow-based representation gives us an end to end view of how…

ITIL® 4 is Coming. ITIL Practitioner Provides a Sneak Peak.

AXELOS® is currently working on ITIL 4, a community and industry-led initiative. A key finding from ongoing research is that ITIL is still widely adopted and used. So too are practices such as Agile (including Agile Service Management), Lean and DevOps. These practices don’t make ITIL irrelevant. The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of ITIL – such as the need to focus on value and design for customer experience – continue to be relevant.  ITIL 4 also keeps many of the core practices and processes found in ITIL V3/2011 intact. It’s the ‘how’ that needs to be adapted as organizations learn and benefit from these modern practices. ITIL Practitioner introduces guiding principles that embrace the ‘essence’ of ITSM and Agile and Lean and DevOps. These guiding principles – which will be carried forward into ITIL 4 – serve as succinct reminders that modern ITSM requires new ways of thinking and new ways of working. 
Numerous books have been written about how Toyota was able to dramatically improve its perfo…

DevOps - Driving Mainframe Agility

Applying DevOps principles and practices will be needed to ensure the DevOps values for Culture, Automation, Measurement and Sharing (CAMS). As major industries consider how to optimize for 2016, busting out of silos should be at the top of their list. This is true in all areas of service management and includes mainframe systems and applications. 
Mainframe application and system development, like all areas of development, face many obstacles that include broken processes, obsolete tools and the common us vs. them mentality. Mainframe systems remain crucial for critical business knowledge and back-end support for customer engagement. What are service providers going to do when the mainframe developers retire or move to other positions? We have seen decades of progress on many platforms but in many cases mainframe code is still managed by siloed teams. Even so, things are moving in the right direction to increase and optimize the value stream for the development, deployment and ongoi…

Insights for ITIL “Managing Across the Lifecycle” (MALC) Course

While implementing individual ITIL processes will net some immediate gain, it is the integration of those processes across the service lifecycle that delivers true value. Based on the five core ITIL publications, ITSM Academy's Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) prepares learners to show the world they are ITIL Experts. It pulls together all of the aspects of the service lifecycle; "its stages, processes and best practices", and translates that knowledge into practical workplace skills.
This information and certification is great for CIOs, senior IT managers, IT managers, supervisors, IT professionals and IT operations and development professionals who require a business and management level understanding of the ITIL service lifecycle and how it may be implemented to enhance the quality of IT service provision within an organization
Get ready...
Learner preparation for this course is critical. The class includes access to ITSM Academy's “Learner Portal”. This prov…

Orchestration vs. Automation

It is important to understand the difference between orchestration and automation for any DevOps continuous delivery pipeline initiative. We orchestrate processes and we automate the activities within the process. In a recent DevOps Test Engineer (DTE) certification class I learned how to deconstruct the DevOps pipeline. Understanding the constructs of the pipeline and what your test strategies are will prove helpful for both the orchestration and automation of your delivery pipeline. Benefits of that knowledge generate better alignment and cadence with the business demand and greater deployment velocity. Orchestration and automation take advantage of standardization throughout the DevOps pipeline for integrated tools, integrated code, integrated build and integrated test all the way through. The results? Not only can we deliver product faster but that product or service is now delivered into an anti-fragile, secure and stable environment. 
Confirmation that the process is repeatable…

It’s Still All About “The Process”

Organizations adopting DevOps cultures and practices are able to deliver high-quality software faster. This means the business can deliver value to customers faster. You sometimes hear that DevOps and ITSM aren’t compatible. In a recent ITSM for DevOps workshop an attendee asked whether process is still relevant for digital transformation initiatives in today’s environment.  The answer is emphatically Yes.   Now more than ever before the attention to process is critical.  Whether your company is striving to achieve traction for a cultural shift, for a digital transformation, to create a DevOps pipeline or any other improvement initiative, Process will always be a critical success factor.   Remember we are talking about just enough process. We cannot have over engineered bureaucratic processes. For our purpose here, we will focus high level on some of the process design considerations and mistakes to avoid.  To learn more about what is just enough and how to design or redesign your exi…