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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 existing process there is a Certified Process Design Engineering class that goes into more depth and detail. 

The true success to any improvement initiative will most likely fall back to your process.  Remember that a process is a predefined set of activities.  Some believe that process does not matter if your focus is on automation.  That is not true.  The Process is what you are attempting to automate.  It also does not matter whether you focus on LEAN, ITSM, DevOps or another best practice/standard.  The process maturity lifecycle reflected in various frameworks and standards is essentially the same.

The Process must be:
  • Defined
  • Documented (just enough)
  • Managed (via performance metrics)
  • Continually Improved

Failing to recognize the effort required to complete these seemingly simple steps is a common mistake that organizations make. Failing to establish clear and measurable improvement targets is another common mistake.  Failing is simply a road to overall failure. Setting improvement targets and selecting a process design approach begins with understanding the factors triggering a process design or improvement initiative. Understand why a process design initiative is needed. This will help you focus and to prioritize efforts and processes that lead to success!

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