Flow of Work
Agile Software Development is very well known and practiced in most organizations today in order to respond quickly to the ever increase in demand for IT Services. Many of these organizations, while making some improvement, are not seeing the outcomes they had expected. Why is this? We are applying Lean methods, cycle time is increasing and yet, unplanned work, delays in deployment and unstable production environments remain.
Consider the time from idea to delivery as the “Value Stream”. Through this Value Stream we want to increase the “Flow of Work”. We will never see the type of optimization that is required unless we look at this Value Stream as a whole. Applying Agile, Lean, and even tools in development without integrating Change, Security and Operations will break down and decrease the Flow of Work.
DevOps helps with this idea. Many companies, both large and small, are attempting to integrate the development and operations teams. We have cloud services and things like infrastructure as code and Continuous Delivery (CD) techniques, which all help, but why aren’t we getting there?
If we really are to consider the entire Value Stream and the Flow of Work service providers must look at “Agile Service Management”. Being Agile in only one segment of the Value Stream (development) will most likely create a huge bottleneck when you get to Change. If the development team is working faster, faster, faster and it takes two or more weeks to turn around an approval for change what have you gained? As demand increases, and it will, the bottleneck becomes more and more of an impediment in the Flow of Work throughout the entire Value Stream. We can no longer afford to silo Agile.
Agile Service Management
Agile Service Management (Agile SM) ensures that ITSM processes reflect Agile values and are 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.
There are two aspects of Agile Service Management: Agile Process Design and Agile Process Improvement
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 entire ability to meet customer requirements faster
Being effective and efficient (lean)
Designing processes with “just enough” scalable control and structure
Provide services that deliver ongoing customer value
Agile Service Management encourages a continuous learning environment and promotes better collaboration between development and operational teams. It enables DevOps and Continuous Delivery. Without incorporating Agile Service Management service providers are at risk to miss the mark when it comes to the velocity and cadence that is required to meet changing business requirements and customer results.