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Agile_ITSM – Ingredients for Success! Part 2

In part one of this topic we discussed the “dynamic” needs of business and also discussed how we the service provider must be “agile” to meet those dynamic needs.  Understanding of course that none of that can be done without the support of “processes and technology” and the best practices that enable them. 

In part two of “Agile_ITSM – Ingredients for Success” I would like to discuss the most important ingredient for the success of all service providers: people.  


People with their skills, their diversity, their productivity and innovation are at the heart of agility and speed to deliver quality in a world where business needs and demand are dynamic.

Empowerment! Trust the intentions of your people.  We have to be careful not to hobble the productivity with micro management of staff members and their effort.  When considering trust, it is not just a matter of whether a single member of the team or workgroup is trustworthy but do you trust that the team will fulfill the mission?  Will it be ok if they do not do that in the way that you would? Do you trust it enough to get hands off and let it run?  There will always be check-in points and deadlines but sometimes it is difficult in a culture where management has been all about control. Agile encourages self-organizing teams. Let the team govern themselves with guidance and leadership and most importantly support from management and then they will truly be empowered.  Guide, coach, encourage and lead the group.  Empower with clear direction to the individual but also empower the team or workgroup to work as a single entity able to ebb and flow with the changing tide.  Being rigid will not help us to deliver with quality and speed when the business requirements and demand are dynamic.

Shifting the Culture – It’s all about the “People”.  When it comes to provisioning a service and Agile_ITSM we are really talking about a cultural shift.  Many of us have been or are still caught in the internal or external silos that manage the design, transition and/or operation of our services. Those silos often end up in a lot of finger pointing with crossing T’s and dotting I’s for the sake of saying “I did my job”.   How much time, money and resources are wasted collecting data, documenting tasks, and reporting on “It’s not my fault”?  We know this is counterproductive.  In the same way that we want our departments to function with clearly defined roles, common goals and outputs, we also want our processes, technology and workgroups that form to focus on business value.  We cannot continue to silo departments, processes, and technology and expect to be agilet. 

I particularly like this quote from a recent Scrum Alliance webinar where Bob Hartman stated “SCRUM is a framework for completing work that recognizes and embraces the realities of life and the value of people."

Process cannot be executed without people.  Projects cannot be completed without people.  “People” are our single most important and not-so-secret ingredient.  If empowered, it will be the “people” that make it work!


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