Tag Archives: DevOps

Will the new ITIL Practitioner qualification create trained Specialists or Generalists?

ITIL Practitioner level is being developed to help organizations and individuals increase the value they obtain from using ITIL by offering additional practical guidance to adopt and adapt the framework to support the business. It will be the next step after ITIL Foundation for professionals who have already learned the basics of IT Service Management (ITSM) and the business value of well-designed and delivered services.

Addressing the demand from ITSM practitioners and organizations of all sizes worldwide, the first ITIL Practitioner exam will be available globally by the end of 2015 and will equip ITSM professionals with added practical guidance to enhance leveraging ITIL in line with their organizations’ business goals.

Key points of ITIL Practitioner

  • Providing practical guidance on how individuals can leverage Continual Service Improvement (CSI) to maximize the benefits of adoption and adaption of ITIL.
  • Aiming to improve the capability of individuals throughout the business, to adopt and adapt ITIL in their day-to-day roles to generate maximum business benefits.
  • Making use of technological capabilities, such as automation, real-time reporting and Cloud computing, to increase the quality of service design and the efficiency of service delivery.
  • Leveraging other frameworks and good practices and methodologies – such as Lean, DevOps, Agile and SIAM – to further enhance the value of ITSM.

specialist v generalist

There is a well known saying that describes the difference between a specialist and a generalist?

A specialist knows more and more about less and less until eventually he or she knows everything about nothing.

A generalist knows less and less about more and more until eventually he or she knows nothing about everything.

So let’s compare the Specialist with the Generalist?

  • Specialists typically make more money because they are seen as IT Service Management Subject Matter Experts who are sought after for the value they can deliver.
  • Specialists get famous faster for the contribution they make to the IT Service Management community and body of knowledge.
  • Clients trust Specialists more as they have proven experience and credentials that back up previous projects that have been successfully delivered.
  • Specialists develop deeper skills because they correctly identify which skills will be in demand 2-3 years ahead of need and get involved in the early adopter phase of new initiatives e.g. ServiceNow “Outside the Walls”

Generalists are seen as individuals who are adept at understanding the wider context and what the Business aims to achieve. It is perceived that generalists are better at putting the pieces together to make sense of how it all works so that they are better able to navigate uncertainty.

One way to think of a world of specialists, according to Vikram Mansharamani all the specialist content in the world is meaningless without putting it in the proper context — and that context tends to be provided by generalists. A great generalist’s breadth of knowledge helps link new breakthroughs and technologies to existing ideas.

how google works

“Fundamentally, we’re focused on learning animals or generalists as opposed to specialists. And the main reason is that when you’re in a dynamic industry where the conditions are changing so fast, then things like experience and the way you’ve done a role before isn’t nearly as important as your ability to think.

So generalists, not specialists, is a mantra that we have internally that we try to stick pretty closely to. Specialists tend to bring an inherent bias to a problem, and they often feel threatened by new solutions.” LINK

It is generally accepted that new ideas and innovation are the result of connectedness and collaboration across a wide body of knowledge that is not limited to a particular area of specialisation.

Looking ahead a combination of knowledgeable specialists and generalists is required to help shape the future direction of the practice for the benefit of all practitioners for example the itSMFBig4 Agenda item Service Management of the Future for the benefit of practitioners at all levels.

Profit

What is driving the introduction of the new ITIL Practitioner qualification given that it introduces a new exam in an already congested certification scheme such that a new Training Navigator is required?

Screen shot 2015-03-22 at 14.46.02

The 2014 ITIL exam results LINK to PDF to view table above indicate that we may have reached saturation point for ITIL examinations.

I have been at several events where I am consistently told that we were told to complete ITIL Foundation training.

I will never forget the animated CIO who told me that “We do ITIL” because he had sent 500 individuals across the globe on ITIL Foundation training.

What do I think is the ITIL Practitioner qualification Revenue Opportunity?

Axelos is working on an Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme which will create and establish lifelong personal brand value by enabling individuals to stay current in their knowledge and protect the investment they have made in the AXELOS Global Best Practice qualifications.

Global delivery will continue to be overseen by global strategic partners and Axelos recently announced that the big six Examination Institutes (EIs) APMG, BCS, CSME, EXIN, LOYALIST, PEOPLECERT have extended their contracts for a further three years from January 2015.

This video clip describes the all in $250 price for the ITIL Foundation Course & ITIL Exam Bundle linked to LOYALIST Certification Services.

The new ITIL Practitioner qualification must be immersive so that virtual study groups can be formed to discuss and agree Continual Service Improvement plans that deliver quick wins and chart the 60, 90, 180 day view.

These virtual study teams will connect via Mobile App, e-Learning, Simulation, Gamification and SocMedia.

My rough order of magnitude estimate for 2016, when the new ITIL Practitioner qualification is introduced, is a conservative 200,000 individuals will take the exam so if the ATOs have designed a low cost offering yet charge a £600 combined course and exam bundle that equates to a £120M training market just for one new course.

So metrics drive behaviours and maximizing training revenues is the key driver for Axelos growth plans which is OK as long as the IT Service Management community profit for contributing their ideas, know how to ITIL Practitioner training content and share in the rewards.

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What did I learn from 2014 Service Management Practices and it is all about Connectedness in 2015

In 2014 the need to attend the premier annual conferences [ITSM14, SITS12, FUSION14, LEADIT14, NowForum…] to hear from the “opinion formers” has been less of a priority given the increasing power of individual practitioners to openly share their proven solutions to business issues with whoever is interested across any channel of digital interaction (e.g. webinar, slideshare, blog, video clip etc.)

It was perceived that the format of the UK ITSMF conference was a little tired because the focus was more on Theory (Shoulds and Oughts) with some degree of proven implementation guidance from the practitioners who have delivered outcomes that address real business challenges.

ITSM14 has become a meeting place to connect with colleagues either on the exhibition floor or dance floor with the dinner and industry awards ceremony the main event.

The highlight of the conference was the announcement of the ITSMBig4 Agenda for 2015.

ITSMBig4 Agenda

“The Big4 Agenda refers to the set of key professional issues members have indicated they are facing, and the programme of information and activities being delivered by ITSMF UK to help deal with those issues.

In 2014 the Agenda items were Back to Basics (reliability), Skills, Managing Complexity, and Agile ITSM.

At the 2014 Conference four new items were agreed for the 2015 Agenda:

COLLABORATION – how do we work with others?

SERVICE MANAGEMENT OF THE FUTURE – what do we need to look like?

CAPABILITY FRAMEWORK – how do we build it?

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE – how do we ensure it is relevant?

we need to have a clear agenda, so as soon as one thing is done, we’re starting the next.”

John Windebank & Rosemary Gurney (Chair & Vice-Chair ITSMF UK) led the discussions on the recently announced ITSMF UK Big4 Agenda topics for 2015

LINK to Twitterchat compiled by Jane Suter @Jane_RTC

 

stalled

Started, Stalled or not Sustained

It was deeply disappointing that community initiatives launched in 2013 were not further developed or sustained in 2014. I did not envisage the level of change resistance and negative knock-back for the inaugural SM Congress core values and declaration.

Charles Araujo, the driving force behind SM Congress, provided an update in March LINK however there has been radio silence since.

The ITIL Manifesto is a SM Congress look-a-like and states the following:

“A community driven effort (with the knowledge and support of the Intellectual Property holder Axelos Ltd) to add structure to existing or new ideas on how ITIL is viewed/used/adopted and to create a manifesto which formalises these principles”.

Here is what the AXELOS declaration has to say:

“The Manifesto, which began life as a Google document before moving to Tricider, has been created to capture the thoughts of the ITSM community and is designed to gather ideas about ITIL – what it should be and what it shouldn’t be – as well as understand the core values of the proposition”. LINK

 

So as we enter 2015 the community is still fragmented playing into the hands of For Profit (AXELOS ITIL Manifesto) vs Non-Profit (ITSMF and the ITSMBig4 Agenda) with these initiatives covering the same ground and some industry experts Claire Agutter @ClaireAgutter involved in both initiatives.

TFT14Tomorrows Future Today – TFT14

Thanks to BrightTALK for hosting these events and for enabling the community to hear directly from Subject Matter Experts.   You can peruse an extensive set of TFT Summer webinars here LINK

TFT14 saw a marked increase in submissions but did not have the same impact as TFT13 because viewer expectations had already been set very high and the wow factor had lessened second time around.

Having said that this slide presentation by Jon Hall (BMC) titled “The end of ITs monopoly on trust vital lessons from the consumer space” is worth a look LINK

 TSFI

In addition the Taking Service Forward – Adaptive Service Model has not been sustained.

It was lauded as “Future best practice for governing, managing, providing and consuming services will be dynamic, emerging, empirical and holistic. Bodies of knowledge will continually emerge based on input from real people consuming, brokering or providing real services”.

In May I tweeted the following question:

@TSF_ASM It has been over a month since the last tweet. Are you guys still part of the #Axelos roadmap? http://t.co/iviUIuRVAq #stalled

servicenow

With respect to the Supplier / Product provider agenda ServiceNow continue to lead the Market.

One example is the NowForum London event which transferred to the Excel centre to accommodate the huge numbers of attendees. Registration at this event is complimentary with KPMG and Accenture as “big time consulting’ premium sponsors recognising the opportunity to generate leads.

The ServiceNow Community is vibrant. LINK

ServiceNow Community

How to Navigate the ServiceNow Smartphone Interface

The Service-Oriented Enterprise with ServiceNow LINK

“Every department in the enterprise is a service provider. While service relationships are well defined and automated within IT, they are often inefficient, unstructured or non-existent in other enterprise service domains. Georg Maureder, Solution Architect EMEA at ServiceNow will tell you how savvy IT leaders view this as an opportunity to help their business peers replace inefficient email-based service request and fulfilment processes with a proven IT service model”.

BMC Smart it my it

BMC – Smart IT + MyIT

“Make your customers the center of attention, and your service desk the life-blood of the organization. Whether accessing personal applications on a mobile device or requesting a business application at work, people expect it to be easy. BMC helps you deliver a better user experience on both sides of the service desk. Delight IT teams and business users with a personalized IT experience, and intelligent, mobile access to IT services”.

Video: Better together: Smart IT + MyIT (1:13) LINK

 

HP Service Anywhere

HP Service Anywhere

December Update offers an Enhanced Trial Experience

“Trial users can take our new guided tours through the Self-Service Portal, Hot Topics Analytics and Live Support. These tours highlight the differentiated value of these key Service Anywhere features.

The Self-Service Portal uses an engaging user experience and big data driven knowledge to drive self-sufficiency and the move to ticketless IT”

HP Mobile User Experience – Mobile Application Pulse


 

 

Axelos GBP

Missing a Vital Component

It was a refreshing surprise to see the marketing campaign and kudos to the AXELOS team.

“Global Marketing Campaign ‘Missing a vital component’ has been really well received and we have had a phenomenal response. As an example, we have run full page adverts in the Economist worldwide and the Financial Times to further raise the awareness of Global Best Practice”.

It would be very helpful if AXELOS provided more detail to support the “phenomenal response” statement and the CEO value proposition. Did any CEOs / CIOs sign-up for ITIL or Prince training.

As to be expected AXELOS placed the needs of the Pupil over Practitioners and imposed stringent controls for training organisations to become accredited by AXELOS.

It will be interesting to gauge community response when the full year training exam numbers and results of the AXELOS Profit Share are released.
After a bumpy start Kaimar Karu made a big difference as Head of ITSM in June he tweeted

@kaimarkaru: A little something I wrote on the future of #ITIL – LINK

There were new and refreshed ITIL White papers from “practitioners for practitioners”.

Maximize the Synergies Between ITIL and DevOps by Anthony Orr @AnthonyOrrAtBMC is a very good read and very much on topic. LINK

For all the good work that AXELOS delivered in 2014 I did not understand why there was such a low key celebration of the 25th Year Anniversary of the ITIL Service Management practices. Here is a blog post from AXELOS LINK

CPD

“The CPD programme will create and establish lifelong personal brand value by enabling individuals to stay current in their knowledge and protect the investment they have made in the AXELOS Global Best Practice qualifications”.

Moreover the role based focus on Continuous Professional Development is marketing spin to infer that a clear career path has been defined and agreed by the Service Management Community.

SFIA Framework

It would be very helpful to align the CPD with the Skills Framework for the Information Age

“SFIA is an industry framework (free to use, subject to licence) which contains the descriptions of 96 professional skills, each of which is defined in terms of up to seven skill levels. It also identifies generic levels of responsibility in the areas of autonomy, business skills, complexity and influence.

SFIA offers an invaluable tool to help individuals understand their own strengths and areas of weakness, and to assist employers and HR departments to understand training requirements, potential skills gaps, and specific skills requirements for particular roles”.

Matthew Burrows @MatthewKBurrows has been an evangelist for development and adoption of the SFIA framework over several years and his voice should be heard by AXELOS.

G2G3

Capita group, which has a 51% stake in AXELOS, acquired G2G3 I guess for their Gamification capabilities. It was a surprise that Ken Gonzalez @ken_gonzalez became G2G3 Americas VP for Delivery given that he had a successful consulting practice.

G2G3 promote the Service Management Office – “We are happy to offer a one-hour complementary Service Management Office (SMO) consultation to help you get started”.

Here is a LINK to the SMO Start-Up Kit and 8 Steps for implementing a SMO

 

Apple watch

In 2015 it is all about Connectedness

Smarter connected Customers will increase use of Mobile Self-Service Apps for swift and easy information access to obtain immediate resolution that puts the Customer firmly in control.

Smarter Customers are increasingly choosing digital interactions rather than use Voice / IVR calls. They demand consistency across channels so that their Customer record and a full history / notes are always accessible. Digital interactions include voice, text, email, web chat, posting on social media and/or using a connected app.

Smarter Self-Service Portals will identify and know the Customer guiding them along the Customer Journey thereby removing the need to join lengthy call centre queues. Virtual Agents will also become part of an improved Customer Experience.

Smarter peer-to-peer support from always connected practitioners will help to identify solutions for common Service Management and DevOps challenges.

In 2015 creativity will continue to come from random connections, cross-pollination and easy sharing of ideas.

So it is up to you to choose how you connect to the world of DevOps and Service Management industry relevant content that will provide you with the most engaging experience and value.

Listed below is a selection of my tweets from the last twelve months:

DEC

@wdgll: @GoNavvia: Maximize your investment in #ITSM
#Collaboration brings ITSM process management to the #Social era
http://t.co/C6S4t13ajN

@wdgll: #AXELOS CEO Peter Hepworth on progress this year & 2015 plans
http://t.co/ryUFxogV8W
Better interview than last year
http://t.co/TxuNyAzyyd

@wdgll: Next generation mobile support tools
Smart IT with support for smartphones
#Remedy #ITSM
@BMCSoftware
@JonHall_
http://t.co/IOegiuWCtu

Kaimer Karu
@wdgll: Leveraging #ITIL we can create conditions for success; but we still need people to achieve that success and autonomy
http://t.co/cMWwwJzD8k

NOV

@wdgll: @RobertEStroud: #ISACA BELGIUM video from my recent visit to the chapter
http://t.co/HSJ7lk1RvA
Run on a membership model to share knowledge

@wdgll: Improve appreciation of what other group is doing by having Dev and Ops participate in each other’s daily activities
http://t.co/2gs5uUq2G2

@wdgll: @AXELOS_GBP: new corporate video
“Always ahead of the curve”
Prince 2 Agile published early next year
http://t.co/kLjGQm2EJd
@KaimarKaru Leveraging #ITIL we can create conditions for success; but we still need people to achieve that success and autonomy
http://t.co/cMWwwJzD8k

OCT

@wdgll: To Help DevOpsify The World @scriptrock Raises $8.7M
http://t.co/l7XQfTizvK

How to @DevOpsify Release & Deployment http://t.co/aLCev7ROMY

@wdgll: Bring IT to Life with #BMC
Introducing Living IT the @BMC_ITSM Vision for who we are and how we work today
Video – http://t.co/O7OQlpJKzN

@wdgll: Customer Care as a Service is a white-branded service offered to anybody that thinks it important enough to provide
http://t.co/mU0v7ShhAP

@wdgll: @servicenow Changing the way IT and Business gets done
IT must be a Business accelerator not just an IT caretaker
http://t.co/0nfT3FKP9P

SEP

@wdgll: Real-Time #DevOps = Dev is looking to compress delivery cycles and adopt experiment and learn mentalities.
http://t.co/ph8S5i2kpr

@wdgll: Real-Time #DevOps = Ops is looking to institute controls and more tightly govern change.

@wdgll: So we have #ITILManifesto, Taking Service Fwd @TSF_ASM, #SMCongress, #ITSM, #ITSMBig4, #itSMF and #ITILRoadmap & @StuartRance ubiquitous

@wdgll: #ITILManifesto Phase 1-106 ideas half of which have 0 votes
Familiar ideas in top 10 #ITIL = I Think It’s irreLevant
http://t.co/TlnureHlJU

@wdgll: #ITSM14 agenda http://t.co/4lTahbKPzM
Service management next generation operating model
Nathan McDonald & Zoe Benedict Deloitte Consulting

@wdgll: @RobertEStroud: My discussion of the benefit of #COBIT Online
http://t.co/UERDN7xFSH

@wdgll: @PhilipHearsum Article on Cultural differences in ITSM
ITIL is the universal language of IT Service Management #ITSM
http://t.co/SFDU8S9O3L

AUG

@wdgll: DevOps vs the Enterprise video clip
“Think of #DevOps as process improvement for #ITIL”
@scriptrock http://t.co/vJwFAuAMJz

@wdgll: #DevOps is successful when ways of working flow quickly and unimpeded to allow for rapid decision making and to spur on continuous delivery

@wdgll: Global-Mobile-Social (Glo-Mo-So) intg via Global comms, universal delivery via Mobile devices & Social collaboration http://t.co/FgIYqoRHe5

@wdgll: http://t.co/wpL3Cddur5 take Service Management beyond IT into other areas of business so they are integrated and not separate entities.

@wdgll: The IT world is re-inventing itself. For CIOs imperative is to lead IT to become backbone of the modern enterprise
http://t.co/KD9nlX1QPX

@AnthonyOrrAtBMC: Enjoy new whitepaper – ITIL and DevOps
http://t.co/g4J3X8KBOl

@wdgll: #Agile and #ITIL – http://t.co/fxAcXeEBFz SLA targets are met month on month but the customer is still not happy with the service provided

JUL

@DortchOnIT: What #ServiceNow does & why it matters, to organizations from Coca-Cola to CERN & the NBA — in <2.5 minutes!
https://t.co/xk3x9osWVG

@wdgll: @AXELOS_GBP @PhilipHearsum Adopt&Adapt #ITIL Please shift left in the service lifecycle away from Ops-Service Desk/CAB to Strategy & Design

@wdgll: ITIL vs Kanban
http://t.co/znobKCOzuo
Emphasis is on individuals and interactions over processes and tools
@CharlesTBetz

@wdgll: COBIT Focus Volume 3: July 2014
#COBIT5 Helps Find Value in the Cloud
Plus Mapping COBIT5 with IT Governance http://t.co/dYyg5NKODZ

#Devops Pushes Agile to IT’s Limits
Software engineering is changing and DevOps is at the heart of it. http://t.co/7UB5IiERRW

@wdgll: #DevOps Stats for Doubters
DevOps spends 60% less time handling support cases
63% release new s/w more frequently http://t.co/MWiSqhiySP

@wdgll: VIDEO : #ServiceNow Expands IT Operations Management Portfolio with ServiceWatch
@NeebulaSystems
http://t.co/4BHAtS2aQb

JUN

@wdgll: #DevOps philosophy and movement that sits at the intersection of (software) Development, (service) Operations and QA http://t.co/CawgLXlgHz

@wdgll: #ISACA is a great org and I am proud of the passion, experience and energy that we bring to all our stakeholders
http://t.co/v3U8aKM89C

@wdgll: combined benefits of ITIL® & Knowledge-Centered Support
http://t.co/vbbJUPHW1y
Good job HDI although Summary real value para is > exec summ

@wdgll: Now the scope has gone beyond devices, Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is probably a better more future-proof term
http://t.co/JDG7QNAUFh

MAY

NEW YES NEW #Axelos White Paper – Using ITIL to seize the opportunities of the Cloud and rise to the challenges http://t.co/LRXrAplM6l

@wdgll: David Paine, CIO of ITSM at Toyota Financial Services (TFS) urged fellow CIOs not to live on an ‘ITIL island’
http://t.co/uuPv4SuhFz
#know14

#Know14 was bigger and better than ever! @jason_wojahn shares his take on the event and its key message: http://t.co/9z2HjAHXEk

@ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman “Genius hits a target that no one else can see” http://t.co/jbL1Ki0xlK another fine performance #Know14

IT Service Management Must Evolve http://t.co/41TbOxlKtn
As Business Units sidestep IT, will #CIOs become glorified Service Managers

In the new end-to-end services model, the handover to the end-customer is just the start of the process http://t.co/A6MOO3I0VO #CBR #ITSM

#ITIL value proposition http://t.co/BVWxlb5PjB
Thought it was meant to target the C Suite as per the global survey responses 72% relevance

@wdgll: Benefits of #ITIL Allow the Business to focus on the service and value received, not on the technology utilized to deliver tangible outcomes

@wdgll: benefits of #ITIL-Optimize Customer Experience
#Forrester says perpetually connected customers demand Service @ Speed
http://t.co/DTvknqVC0k

@wdgll: #Know14 the best keynote speaker slides can be accessed here “Get to know Now” http://t.co/M8LzWSx2wt “the New Age of Service is NOW” @ITSM

@wdgll: #ITSM professionals need to adopt a combination of Customer centric & Service centric. The “Don” Page
http://t.co/5b8HdCg1aH
#sits14

APR

@AXELOS_GBP It is deeply disappointing that your Head of #ITSM @kaimarkaru fails to act with integrity causing harm to your company #ITIL

#itsmcommunityportal full ownership of a common purpose increases motivation and information-sharing.

@AXELOS_GBP: See the latest #AXELOS eBulletin
http://t.co/ALX5YvS2wO
Looking forward to the launch of the #ITIL Value Proposition for CIOs

@DavidM2 practitioners know that change is driven by #transformation getting people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. #ITIL irrelevant

@DavidM2 @kaimarkaru the challenge for #Axelos profits is do they favour PUPILS and gamification revenue or PRACTITIONERS and collaboration

#COBIT5 online will offer an enhanced user experience when launched in Q3/14 http://t.co/3dnlPySJ2V

In the new business landscape there’s no room for slow-slowness is death. Slow processes are like heavy chains around an org @outsourcemag

Tanya Rose introducing #cobit online beta
link describes the Features of COBIT 5 Online
bit.ly/1mQ45UH

#servicenow CEO Rock Star Slootman @SiliconANGLE http://t.co/mSpaAkBWJs
Inspiring
IT as a Value Producer
Capture Lightning in a Bottle

MAR

@charlesaraujo: A future for #SMCongress? http://t.co/4EBu9XLrVi
intl. consortium under SMCongress “brand”. Light Governance is required

@wdgll: #SMCongress consortium must set standards of Service Excellence that will be validated by the core community of (global) practitioners

@SophieDanby http://t.co/N7EsAcyVGk
What is the community trying to achieve?
Reap & Sow “good”practice which is endorsed by your peer group

@wdgll: #SMCommunity pooling of proven practices and individuals sharing their insight with whoever is interested across any channel of interaction

Good practises that you create where you work instead of Best Practises learned in a book.

Wow, celebrate 25 yrs of content gifted to #Axelos for profit.

@wdgll: #gamingpaul Excellent Proposal-Make the current ITIL expert certificate an ’ITIL expert in THEORY’, make a new one ‘ITIL expert in PRACTICE’

@wdgll: #AXELOS Head of ITSM talks about value propositions for different size organisations
http://t.co/LOZidV2jDm

FEB
#Forrester : Top trends for customer service in 2014 http://t.co/09t9wcfQEK Trend 2: Customer Service Will Adopt a Mobile-First Mindset

@AnthonyOrrAtBMC The perfect combo: #ITIL, I.T. servIce management and socIaL medIa #ITSM
http://t.co/fKBsyhlB6T
Experience & Expectations

What’s The Future Of ITSM? By @stephenmann http://t.co/spOxdP716q also read http://t.co/E3Ubl34Hso who will lead Service Management in 2014

@ITILExpert Pink Interviews Peter Hepworth CEO, Axelos http://t.co/9DiALzzDUo Investment in the exam cash cow and making ITIL relevant #itsm

JAN

@servicenow: Frank Slootman blog – Lightning in a bottle http://t.co/9EB4WntmmW one CEO with a distinctive point of view #BeginningofNow

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Overcoming challenges facing adoption of a DevOps mindset

DevOps Circles

DevOps is a philosophy and movement that sits at the intersection of (software) Development, (service) Operations and quality assurance (QA).

DevOps is considered “Beyond Agile” and institutionalises the idea of what Agile was supposed to deliver.

It is also important to understand that DevOps requires a cultural and mindset shift.

05:10 A culture change is needed in the mindset of the two groups who need to work close together.

Traditionally DevOps is described as a change journey toward the target state of continuous delivery involving continuous integration and continuous deployment

  • Continuous Delivery is the practice of building software and automated deployment into the target environment for the purpose of testing
  • Continuous Integration is about integrating software as early as possible and performing testing early in the development lifecycle
  • Continuous Deployment promotes software into production through an automated build and deployment pipeline of QA/Pre-Prod environments

DevOps – Common Hurdles Faced

Wall of Confusion

  • It is perceived that IT focuses on what was needed yesterday whilst the Business focuses on what is needed tomorrow,
  • The business drives demand for increased software release frequency / speed which creates friction between Development and Operations,
  • Large enterprises have spent years building separate Development and on-going Service Operations capabilities in siloed teams, dividing tasks and organisational accountabilities,
  • The conflict of interest between the goals of those who create the software product and those who maintain it leads to poor relations,
  • Development teams focus on building software that meets functional and quality requirements to create effective change whilst Operations teams focus on operability (e.g. availability, stability), service improvement and cost efficiency,
  • Breaking barriers across the extended Development and Operations organisation will require changes including reshuffle and relocation of several team members,
  • With such changes one can expect resistance from the functional silos when trying to adopt a DevOps mindset for development and operations teams,
  • Strong resistance can be expected especially from people who do not see the benefits that might be gained from it who are unwilling to change their attitude or shift their behaviour,
  • People who are not used to working in cohesive, cross functional teams will find it difficult to adjust to the new normal,
  • Teams that are culturally not disciplined, which is very essential for Agile methodologies and DevOps, may not realise desired benefits,
  • Development and Operations teams blame each other when something goes wrong,
  • Communication challenges could arise between team members due to a lack of common terminology.

overcoming

Overcoming Challenges

  • Adoption of DevOps practices support the business need to quickly deliver software products / services without sacrificing operational quality,
  • Enterprise IT has started migrating to Agile methodologies and by performing requirements creation, development, and testing in parallel, development teams focus completely on business value and time-to-market,
  • Organisations must assess their current state and create a roadmap for the desired future state by applying the values of Agile collaboration to Development and Operations staff,
  • Formal plan should be put in place to introduce DevOps practices incrementally in order to involve more teams in modern Agile and DevOps practices,
  • Improve communications to raise awareness of the plan to be shared with the teams about how they will be involved in adopting these new modern practices,
  • Cross-functional teams should be created to repair the schism that exists between Development and Operations using collaboration tools, job rotation, knowledge sharing, mentoring, etc.
  • Prescribe the incorporation of operational staff into self-empowered cross-functional development teams. This change will enable teams to identify issues in the development cycle faster when they are easier to fix, thereby increasing the team’s end-to-end velocity rate,
  • Remove barriers between teams by creating incentive programs which are targeted towards recognising the team’s performance and rewarding “One Team”,
  • Encourage collaboration across disciplines by introducing revised roles, co-locating team members and established continuous feedback loops,
  • Focus on the partnership between Developers and Operations staff coupled with automation tools, for an end to end streamlined, rapid, and repeatable release cycle,
  • Ensure that business, development, testing, deployment and operations staff use a common language while interacting with each other,
  • Foster an end-to-end service mindset to improve service quality by treating “DevOps-as-a-Service”

The Emergence and Benefits of DevOps

Is your organization dealing with a “digital disconnect” between the Business and Technology?

DIRECTV uses DevOps to speed time-to-market

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Gartner Survey Shows Why Projects Fail

Analyst : Lars Mieritz

Published: 1 June 2012 ID:G00231952

A recent Gartner user survey shows that, while large IT projects are more likely to fail than small projects, around half of all project failures, irrespective of project size, were put down to functionality issues and substantial delays.

Key Findings

  • Runaway budget costs are behind one-quarter of project failures for projects with budgets greater than $350,000.
  • Small is beautiful — or at least small projects are easier to manage and execute. The failure rate of large IT projects with budgets exceeding $1 million was found to be almost 50% higher than for projects with budgets below $350,000.

Recommendations

  • To optimize success, look for ways to limit the size, complexity and duration of individual projects, and ensure funding has been committed.
  • Stay on top of costs, especially for the largest projects. Ensure that there are the appropriate mechanisms in place to identify budget variances and/or overruns early. Regularly review how cost estimation is done to understand how accurate and effective your approaches are, and pursue improvement opportunities.
  • Keep the schedule realistic. Many large projects fail because business conditions keep changing after the project scope has been set, leaving a significant disconnect between the agreed-on scope and budget versus what the business will require and pay for by the time the project is delivered.
  • Invest in truly capturing and understanding the business expectations and functionality sought from the project, and ensure that there is initial, adequate allocated funding, as well as good processes in place for revisiting the expectations and required funding at multiple points during the project.
  • Increase the frequency of project status and review meetings, as well as ongoing confirmation of the project’s alignment with business strategy — with an eye toward identifying and cancelling projects at the earliest possible stage that no longer meet company needs. 

Survey Objective

The survey was conducted to provide insights into IT project performance in organizations across North America, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Data Insights

Survey data is a useful tool for heads of project management offices (PMOs) to gain a broad perspective on the major causes of IT project failures and to assist in the challenge of identifying, building, and developing the skills and staff required for highly effective project and program leadership.

This research explores the survey results with regard to causes of project failure across three project sizes and provides a tangible reminder for all project and portfolio management (PPM) professionals not to lose sight of the trade-offs sometimes required for delivering projects on time, on budget and with the agreed functionality.1 For the purposes of this survey, small, midsize and large projects were defined as follows (see Figure 1):

  • A small project was one with a budget of less than $350,000.
  • A midsize project was one with a budget of $350,000 to $1 million.
  • A large project was one with a budget that exceeded $1 million.

Figure 1. Distribution of Success and Failure Across Project Sizes

 Source: Gartner (June 2012)

Figure 1 illustrates the distribution of success and failure across project size. The respondents were asked to indicate the percentage of their organization’s IT projects over the past two years that were deemed a success or failure by the business.

In analyzing the collective responses of some 150 participants in the 2011 Gartner five-country survey, the failure rate of IT projects with budgets exceeding $1 million was found to be almost 50% higher than for projects with budgets below $350,000.2 At 25% and 28% respectively, the failure rates of midsize and large projects are similar, and in both cases, nearly one-third higher than the 20% failure rate observed for small projects (with budgets below $350,000). Overall, the results of this survey are consistent with what we have observed when we have polled this question previously, and we are seeing a pattern emerging where small IT projects experience a one-third lower failure rate than large projects 3

Many small brooks make a great river. The survey results give a clear indication that, by ensuring that projects are kept small, and as a rule of thumb, not exceeding six months in duration, a much lower failure rate can be achieved. As such, setting clear criteria around limiting project size will be a hallmark for successful PMOs, and the guiding principle revolves around establishing projects whose scopes and functionality can indeed be delivered in the time frame and, thus, maintaining a clear focus of the endpoint.

Rather than taking on large, expensive and lengthy projects, it will be more prudent to view them as programs consisting of a series of small projects, each delivering its piece of the overall initiative. This will also enable the use of regular program oversight reviews to ensure that the big picture is maintained and to rapidly reassess and recalibrate should any of the individual efforts get off track.3

No matter what the reason, no one likes failures, so in seeking to understand the causes behind the project failures, Gartner asked the respondents to distribute the projects that were deemed to have failed in their organizations over the past two years across six frequently mentioned reasons or causes of project failure:

  • Functionality issues
  • Substantially late
  • Quality issues
  • High cost variance
  • Canceled after launch
  • Rejected or not implemented for other reasons

Figure 2 explores the project failures shown in Figure 1, and illustrates the percentage of failures that respondents allocated to these six typical causes of IT application project failure (see Note 1 for project failure definitions).

Figure 2. Why Projects Fail

 Source: Gartner (June 2012)

It is not entirely surprising to see that the challenges of bringing projects in on time, on budget and with the agreed functionality are mentioned by two-thirds of the respondents as causes of project failure, because this is largely in line with previous observations.4 However, that fact underlines the ongoing nature of these three challenges in the sense that, no matter where you stop and take a snapshot, these three are likely to appear. The key is not to be complacent (we are not the only ones with projects running over), and take steps to understand the particular circumstances in the enterprises so that the right mix of processes, people, tools and skills can be developed or put in place.

Figure 2 also highlights the improvement opportunities that can be achieved simply from improved communications, in the sense that nearly half the projects fial for not doing what they need to do (functionality) or doing it too late to be valuable (late). This hints at project planners not asking the right questions, such as “When is late too late?” or “What scope would you give up to have something delivered sooner?” or reassessing functionality needs with enough regularity that no gap is allowed to develop. Project planners need to be aware of and address changes in the environment, and understand that cost, scope and schedule are not weighted equally. By maintaining close ties to sponsors and stakeholders, and being upfront regarding the trade-offs between functionality scope and schedule, expectations can be recalibrated on an ongoing basis, thus improving success rates.

For organizations at the lower levels of PPM maturity, any effort toward improving scheduling, cost estimation and functionality will yield significant results. For organizations at the higher levels of maturity, we recommend broadening the suite of performance metrics that are used to provide deeper insight into the factors that might be driving the rather persistent greater than 20% failure rate we’ve seen over the years.

Methodology

Gartner conducted a research study in October 2011 to examine current performance of IT projects in North America (the U.S. and Canada), France, Germany and the United Kingdom (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Geographic Distribution of Respondents

 Source: Gartner (June 2012)

In all, 154 organizations with at least one PMO or related office were qualified and interviewed via a Web-based survey. All respondents were required to manage or work within their organization’s project management function. The resulting sample consists of organizations across various industry segments (see Figure 4) with $500 million or more (see Figure 5) in annual revenue.

Figure 4. Distribution of Respondents by Industry

Source: Gartner (June 2012)

These findings and recommendations from the Gartner survey are in line with conventional wisdom.  

So what can we do differently to help ensure project success?  

The people side of any change programme must be addressed in order to secure success.  

In addition, provide regular feedback to the customer, for example by adopting Agile SCRUM principles of iterative development or implementing new Systems of Engagement practices.  

One fresh area to be considered is Cloud based Development and Deployment.

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