Skip to main content

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.

Educate & InspireTo Increase Your “Flow of Work”!


Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you. Roles and Responsibilities: Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance. Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables.  An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and the

Four Service Characteristics

Recently I came across several articles by researchers and experts that laid out definitions and characteristics of services. ITIL provides us with a definition that can help drive the creation of value-laden services: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. An area that ITIL is not so clear is in terms of service characteristics. Several researchers and experts put forth that services have four basic characteristics (IHIP): ·          Intangibility—Services are the results of actions not things. They have no physical presence and represent a logical set of elements. One way to think of service is “work done for others.” ·          Heterogeneity—Also known as “variability”; services are unique items because of the mechanisms used to deliver services-that is people. Because the people element adds variability, the service is variable. This holds true especially for th

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service". I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize: SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle. ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with