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Who Moved My Process?

There are some misconceptions about ITIL ® 4 and its use of the term ‘practice’ vs. ‘process’ as a component of its recently introduced service value system. One misconception is that processes aren’t important anymore. Another is that organizations think they must completely redesign their tools in order to accommodate this change. Neither is true. Let’s begin by taking a look at how ITIL 4 defines these terms. Process: a set of interrelated or interacting activities that transform inputs into outputs [to accomplish an objective]. Processes define the sequence of actions and their dependencies. Practice: a set of organizational resources designed for performing work or accomplishing an objective. Practices include resources based on the four dimensions of service management which include: organizations and people, information and technology, partners and suppliers, and value streams and – wait for it – processes.   Both processes and practices focus on achievin

Who needs to be informed and knowledgeable about DevOps Test Engineering?

Testing starts with the first line of code!   It is NOT a downstream activity. DevOps testing has a critical role to play in a Continuous Delivery Pipeline. Without integrated testing DevOps simply will not work!   With the advent of DevOps and the movement to breakdown silos between developers, QA, security, and operations, it becomes critically important that all members of an IT team - regardless of what tools they use, or role they play - understand the essentials of testing. Every member of your development team should also integrate to ensure Compliance and Audit outcomes!   It is a new world.   In this new world, we can leverage from existing but must be open to walking through new doors of opportunity. Understanding traditional test strategies is helpful but when and where, and most importantly how we proceed with our test strategy must shift.   Knowing how to code is not enough, Quality Assurance in and of itself is not enough.   We cannot afford to have our products

Calling All ITIL Experts

What is an ITIL Expert?  An evangelist?  A champion?  A coach? D.    All of the Above .  Holding the ITIL Expert designation (or being an expert in ITIL) means that an individual has a broad and balanced understanding of ITIL concepts and is able to effectively apply and integrate that knowledge to the benefit of an organization. So, what happens when ITIL evolves? ITIL 4 has been introduced and now it’s time for ITIL Experts to evolve their knowledge as well. But that doesn’t mean simply expanding their knowledge of ITIL. ITIL 4 provides the guidance organizations need to address changing service management challenges and to utilize the potential of modern technology. This includes integrating Agile, Lean and DevOps concepts and understanding how these concepts influence new ways of thinking and working. So how do we bring these concepts together? Agile Service Management describes how to adapt Agile and Scrum values and practices to ITSM process design and improve

DevSecOps - Identity and Access Management

Testing starts with the first line of code!   It is NOT a downstream activity. DevOps testing has a critical role to play in a Continuous Delivery Pipeline. Without integrated testing DevOps simply will not work!   With the advent of DevOps and the movement to breakdown silos between developers, QA, security, and operations, it becomes critically important that all members of an IT team - regardless of what tools they use, or role they play - understand the essentials of testing. Every member of your development team should also integrate to ensure Compliance and Audit outcomes!   It is a new world.   In this new world we can leverage from existing but must be open to walking through new doors of opportunity. Understanding traditional test strategies is helpful but when and where, and most importantly how we proceed with our test strategy must shift.   Knowing how to code is not enough, Quality Assurance in and of itself is not enough.   We cannot afford to have our product

Continuous Delivery Architect (CDA) – “The Role”

Continuous Delivery Architects are engaged in the design, implementation, and management of DevOps deployment pipelines. This infers the inclusion of all tools and tech to support Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Testing and even Continuous Deployment.  Subjective viewpoints and misunderstandings of what is involved and how to orchestrate a pipeline can lead an entire organization in the wrong direction. Every “Continuous Delivery Architect” should consider formal education and certification to ensure that they do not proceed in error. I see in practice that the emphasis is on the tooling and although that is a key element, even more, critical is the process flow are the API’s and the inclusion of practices to ensure things like security, compliance, and resilience are built into the orchestrated an automated pipeline. Let us not forget the importance of CULTURE and the role that plays. There are three primary ingredients for continuous delivery:

Site Reliability Engineer – Explosion

The Practice Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a discipline that incorporates aspects of software engineering and applies that to operations with the goal of creating ultra-scalable and highly reliable software systems. It is an Explosion!  If you have taken any classes including ITIL4, DevOps, Agile, or Lean , you have probably heard how critical Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is to the Value Streams and Pipelines that deliver products and services to this world. New concepts like understanding “Error Budgets” and the creation of anti-fragile environments are explored. You only need to visit one of the job sites and do a search on “Site Reliability Engineering” to see that there is a huge uplift in demand for Site Reliability Engineers. Try it! T he Role As a Site Reliability Engineer, you'll build solutions to enhance availability, performance, and stability for the resilience of services. You will also work towards a Continuous Delivery Pipeline by automati

Anatomy of an XLA

That is not a typo!   Alan Nance of CitrusCollab recently spoke about The Anatomy of an XLA in an ITSM Academy webinar.   I learned that the days of SLAs are behind us and the future lies with digital experience and eXperience Level Agreements (XLA’s).  If this is the first time you have heard of XLAs then this is a sticky-note moment.    By that I mean; find a sticky note, write down today's date.   Now write down XLA.   Remember that this is the day that you heard it and you heard it here!  XLAs are the foundation of a fresh and optimistic approach to managing the business of technology. Research for yourself and staff members. Learn and explore more about XLA’s! A little history: “Service Management exists to guarantee a valuable experience to customers and colleagues. Despite years of implementing best practices, the reputation of most technology departments is below par in the eyes of business leaders. Consider that 90% of CEOs feel they aren’t meeting their cu

A Dash of Neuroscience – DevOps Leaders Listen Up!

As leaders, we need to understand the people that we are leading.   It is critical to understand that this is a new world and if we are to lead the global enterprise into a successful future, we need to understand strategic, tactical and operational objectives of our organization and also that we must have a passion for learning. “A Dash of Neuroscience“ is one of many topics introduced by the DevOps Institute for the new updated DevOpsLeader course .   This information is taken from that course and is just a smattering of what you will learn as you prepare for your certification. Learn how to optimize speed to value as a DevOps Leader.   Live in a perpetual world of learning Many people feel their brains limit their potential and prevent them from learning.   However, learning can change our brains in terms of function, connectivity, and structure.   Our brain shapes our learning but learning shapes our brain, and research has shown that simply knowing about brain plastici

Continuous Delivery Architect – T-Shaped, PI-Shaped & COMB skills Required!

Is your organization transforming with AGILE, ITSM, DevOps or LEAN and looking forward to optimizing a Continuous Delivery Pipeline?  Do you want to be a Continuous Delivery Architect? This is an amazing and exciting time where you can dream and build upon what you have and develop the “COMB” shaped skills that will shape your future! The “2019 Upskilling Report for Enterprise DevOps Skills” reinforces that organization not only need “T” shaped skilled practitioners or even “PI” shaped skillsets. Many high performing organizations are looking for individuals that have “COMB” shaped skillsets. An individual with “COMB” skills would have a broad base of knowledge forming the top of the comb and then also have multiple expertise areas which gives the shape of a comb. You can start developing your skillsets or those of your team to shape individual career opportunities and also to shape the future of your organization. Expanding your skills is particularly needed for those inv

Continuous Delivery Architecture, A Rainbow of Tools

The Age  of Architecture   Architecture is one of those universal roles that no matter the job, it's critical you have a good understanding of the architecture to be successful in both development and operations. As with any architectural role, there are so many moving parts that if you can’t see the machine for the cog you’ll never be able to master your craft. The problem seems that because of the siloed nature of the business no one but those in architecture gets the lay of the land, it is in this challenge, Continuous Delivery Architecture was created to help ALL practitioners understand not only the big picture but the why and how every component is vital to success. What’s In The Toolbox To help you get an idea of the sheer quantity of tools that will be at your disposal I’ll give you the highlights reel. It starts with what we call a collective body of knowledge. This is a collection of materials (books, blogs, websites, etc.) to help you on your journey to learn. Th

DevOps – Skills For The Future – Am I ready?

Currently, 68% of organizations have begun to adopt, or plan to adopt #DevOps within the next two years. If you are reading this because you want to embrace DevOps certification, knowledge and skills be sure to visit the DevOps Campus .  This is all about DevOps skills? Are you ready? DevOps Institute recently generated a very unique and interesting report title “UPSKILLING: Enterprise DevOps Skills Report”. Below are a few excerpts with some thoughts added. Soft skills and technical skills “There is an equal balance between those who look for soft skills and those who seek technical skills when hiring externally or internally. About 30% of survey respondents said they look for soft skills first, as they believe they can always train or educate on the process and technical skills. And 32% looked first for technical skills to get benefits from the new hire. Thoughts: It’s easy to become absorbed in a need for technical knowledge. Although that is required it is really the people

DevOps and ITSM… Are They Compatible?

Many are surprised to learn that ITSM practices ARE compatible with their DevOps pipelines and even more important that they are a critical element in order to ensure the effectiveness, efficiency and the value that is expected. Those that are struggling with silos us vs. them blame games, or roadblocks and impediments for change and test, are shocked to learn how accelerated, modernized ITSM practices can enable their outcomes!  Topics and discussion from a recent ITSM for DevOps class were exciting as practitioners, managers, and leaders discovered together how It is possible to streamline and even automate their ITSM processes and practices so that people don’t even realize that they are executing ITSM processes. We don’t need to change “what” needs to be accomplished. Policy, Governance, and Compliance are a reality. In order to achieve true value and business outcomes service providers must change the way that they think. A change in thinking provokes a change in h

Service Continuity vs. Incident Management

According to ITIL 4 best practice, Service Continuity focuses on events that would impede business operations so drastically that it would be considered a disaster. Other events that have a less significant impact to the business might be considered as an incident to be managed through the Incident Management Practice or the Major Incident Management Practice. This means that there are different levels of importance and that the distinction between what is a normal incident, major incident or one that might require disaster recovery must be predefined and agreed upon. Documentation then must include clear thresholds and triggers to provoke the appropriate response and recovery into action without delay and additional risk.  There is no question that your organization is increasingly dependent on services that are tech-enabled. The need for resilient solutions are critical to success. A combination of business planning as well as being proactive with security, incident and proble

ITIL 4 – Why and Why NOW?

To Understand Why and Why NOW, I will use some of the “Guiding Principles” that are the golden chords steaming through all practices defined in ITIL 4. These guiding principles are themes throughout the concepts and precepts that were discussed in a recent ITIL 4 Foundation certification class. Practitioners and thought leaders gathered together from all over the world to discuss and learn more about ITIL 4 best practices There are seven guiding principles discussed in ITIL 4. I will begin with these three to answer the question: Why and Why Now? Focus on Value ITIL 4 is a holistic approach for managing value. Based on the Service Value System and the integration of dimensions that tie together practices, ITIL 4 enables speed to value for all service providers. Value is the results of all of our people, practices, and technology. Value is what we deliver. ITIL 4 stresses the need to co-create value with all stakeholders none more important than with the customer. If we are

The Four Dimensions of Service Management

For every system that is utilized to provide a service, there are four dimensions of service management. If we are to think and work holistically that means that every practice, and every aspect of service management for services need to be considered in light of these four dimensions. Organizations and People The aspects of the organization and people dimension are all related to the creation, delivery and improvement of services. To improve these aspects, everyone in an organization must understand its objectives and how they contribute to those objectives. It is not uncommon to see organizations restructuring in an effort to reap the benefits of Agile, Lean and DevOps practices. Organizations are increasingly forming cross-functional teams or product teams in an effort to break down silos and enable more effective collaboration. None of this can be accomplished without understanding how powerful the culture is in terms of its influence on organizations and individuals. Focu

What Is A Service Offering?

The ITIL4 Best Practice Guidance defines a “Service Offering” as a description of one or more services designed to address the needs of a target customer or group .   As a service provider, we can’t stop there!   We must know what the contracts of our service offering are and be able to put them into context as required by the customer.     Let’s explore the three elements that comprise a Service Offering. A “Service Offering” may include:     Goods, Access to Resources, and Service Actions Goods – When we think of “Goods” within a service offering these are the items where ownership is transferred to the consumer and the consumer takes responsibility for the future use of these goods.   Example of goods that are being provided in the offering – If this is a hotel service than toiletries or chocolates are yours to take with you.   You the consumer own these and they are yours to take with you.               Note: Goods may not always be provided for every Service

Transform to Excellence with ITIL4

Digital and Cultural transformation is survival.   Every living breathing moving service provider today is challenged to innovate and radically rethink the way that they deliver value.   All services that create value are supported by technology.   Creating, expanding and improving IT Service Management is not only beneficial but is critical for our future.   ITIL 4 has improved upon and modernized an approach to service management with proven best practices that support a systems approach to the entire value system.   As service providers, we must be able not only to deliver a product at the speed of light but must also be capable to ensure a resilient and anti-fragile environment. These improved upon best practices for all aspects of service management give organizations the ability to balance the need for stability and operational agility with increased velocity. Shatter the Silo’s, get real support from your DevOps, Agile and Lean investment .   Ensure service manageme

ITIL 4 and VeriSM

I was recently asked about VeriSM and ITIL4, and how they fit together... VeriSM aims to elevate service management to the enterprise level. Like ITIL 4, it advocates leveraging Agile, Lean, DevOps, ITSM, etc. as needed to achieve enterprise goals. It also emphasizes understanding emerging technologies and their influence on business and service management. VeriSM introduces the management mesh as a way to bring those concepts together and determine what is required to achieve organizational goals. As the focus is on enterprise service management, the aim is to take service management principles and concepts out of IT and extend them to other parts of the enterprise; specifically in the context of digital transformation. VeriSM introduces a value chain but does not introduce any specific service management processes. ITIL 4 also aligns with Agile, Lean, DevOps, SIAM, etc. and aims to modernize IT service management in an effort to enable digital transformation. To quote the boo

10 Types of People Who Need to Understand DevOps

If your organization hasn’t adopted DevOps approaches yet, it probably will soon. In the InteropITX 2018 State of DevOps Report , only 9 percent of the business technology decision-makers surveyed said that their organizations had no DevOps plans. A third said their organizations had already adopted DevOps principles and another 46 percent had plans to do so within the next two years. As DevOps spreads, many IT leaders have questions about which types of employees should get basic training on the fundamentals of the approach. We recommend that at least the following ten types of people get a foundational education about DevOps: 1. Developers In many organizations, DevOps begins with the application development team adopting Agile methodologies. DevOps begins to spread as those in the operations team start to follow some of the same principles. 2. IT operations professionals DevOps is all about closer integration between development and operations, so it stands to r