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Minimum Viable IT Service Management (MVITSM)

The aim of Minimum Viable IT Service Management (MVITSM) is to put in place “just enough” process to meet your organizations, needs, goals and circumstances.

Minimum Viable Product
To understand this concept let’s take a look at some of the origins.  The term Minimum Viable Product (MVP) originated in software development.  If we research the definition we find that in product development, the MVP is a product which has just enough features to gather validated learning about the product and its continued development. Gathering insights from an MVP is often less expensive than using a product with more features which increase costs and risk in the case where the product fails, for example, due to incorrect assumptions.

Minimum Viable Process
In a recent workshop Donna Knapp from ITSM Academy indicated that the Minimum Viable Process is really a matter of looking at what are the minimum critical activities that need to be performed in a process.  Complex bureaucratic processes tend to become rigid and rarely get scaled back.  To ensure outcomes we really need to start with the most basic form of a process and if the process is already in place then look to scale back to only those minimum critical activities.

Minimum Critical Activities
The following are some characteristics that could help identify what your critical activities should be.

Critical Activities will:
  • Represent activities that must be performed to provide evidence of compliance 
    • (Legal and regulatory controls / standards)
  • Define “what to do” not “how to do it”
  • Are not based on a single framework
  • Provide a starting place to assess current practices
    • Red – not performing
    • Yellow – Performing / Needs improvement
    • Green – Performing Successfully
It helps to bring transparency to work in progress, cycle time and completed work. Exposure of waste is the first step to eliminate it and to produce quality service at the speed and cost that is relevant to today’s standards.  New ways of speaking and acting will lead to new behaviors.  As we start moving into a more nibble system for service management we understand that we need to bring ”Agile” and “Lean” values to our process design or redesign activities.  As the process and the behavior shifts your culture will change. Why?  Bigger, Better, More …. Faster than ever before at the least amount of cost!

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