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What is Agile – The Wild, Wild West Meaning

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“IT can’t be nimble and responsive if it needs to be constant, repeatable, and dependable.”

Have you ever heard that?  Have you ever thought that?

The very fact is that being constant, repeatable, and dependable are the keys to IT being nimble and responsive.

Nonetheless, the issue with many IT organizations is that they’ve primarily change into (or are perceived to be) ‘Rube Goldberg’ machines.  A Rube Goldberg machine is a tool that has been needlessly over-engineered to carry out easy duties in an advanced trend.[1]    These IT retailers didn’t essentially intend to over-engineer their processes and controls; they had been solely responding to what was considered as necessities to make sure consistency and reliability.

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However enterprise has advanced. The digital financial system is taking form.  And as a consequence of a notion that IT is needlessly over-engineered, pockets of ‘shadow IT’ have appeared.  Make no mistake – simply the truth that ‘shadow IT’ exists doesn’t essentially imply that it’s ‘unhealthy’.   However it might imply that IT has change into too troublesome to do enterprise with. Or that the processes and controls in use aren’t permitting IT to maintain up with demand.

The irony of ‘shadow IT’ usually is that within the rush to be nimble and responsive, the result’s usually inconsistent and unreliable techniques that didn’t think about governance, requirements, and good practices.  Consistency, repeatability, and reliability – all attributes of an IT group that companies rely on.

So “nimble and responsive” can not imply operating IT just like the “wild, wild west” with lax controls.  However controls that will have appeared applicable just some years in the past have now change into outdated or ineffective.  The pipeline that facilitated work so nicely just some years in the past has now change into the bottleneck

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To be nimble and responsive, IT should be constant, repeatable and dependable

What are the essential components for being a nimble and responsive IT group?  Amazingly, it’s the identical essential components for being a constant, dependable, and repeatable IT group.  A clearly outlined imaginative and prescient.  A well-defined plan.  Applicable governance.  Robust management. Clear and frequent communication.  Excessive ranges of collaboration.  Nicely-designed and measurable processes.  Establishing and driving the suitable tradition.

How can IT be nimble and responsive whereas on the identical time, be constant, dependable, and repeatable?  IT Service Administration.  However not the often-overengineered-IT-operations-only ITSM implementations that appear to be so prevalent, however ITSM that’s built-in inside the enterprise.   What can IT do to get there?

We’ve had the solutions all alongside

Standardization – Standardization eliminates fixed reinvention with each new alternative offered to IT.  Standardization improves service high quality whereas decreasing prices related to growth and testing.  By standardizing, enterprise and IT are capable of shortly deploy providers utilizing current know-how and experience.

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Put money into take a look at environments – Having stated the above, enterprise and IT want a spot to experiment with and study from new applied sciences and potential enterprise fashions.  To be nimble and responsive requires investments in strong take a look at environments.

“Proper first time” – A core Lean idea, doing it proper the primary time is should extra nimble and responsive than the rework that comes with poor efficiency and sloppy effort.

“Enablement” governance – An often-overlooked (ignored?) space, governance (or the shortage thereof) usually prevents IT from being nimble and responsive.  In lots of instances, governance has been carried out utilizing a “restriction” mindset.  Enhance responsiveness and nimbleness by implementing governance following an “enablement” strategy.  Quite than outline insurance policies when it comes to what can not be achieved, outline insurance policies that encourage what ought to be achieved.

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Automate the plain –  I’m nonetheless amazed on the variety of IT organizations that haven’t automated fundamental routine actions, reminiscent of password resets and server builds.  The know-how for automating these routine actions have been obtainable for years. Frankly, there are higher issues that may be achieved with the human assets presently performing these duties.

Proper-sized processesDon’t implement process for process sake.  Outline the wanted worth and outcomes that should outcome from the execution of a course of.  Borrow a web page from Agile and outline the minimal viable course of that delivers these outcomes and values.

Delegate authority – The delegation of authority is a pure and optimistic end result of governance carried out utilizing an enablement mentality.  Present the people who find themselves closest to the work being achieved with the authority to get the work achieved.

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Invite IT to the enterprise technique desk –  IT should change into a frontrunner in how companies can leverage know-how to use new alternatives.  Most IT organizations work laborious to study the enterprise of the enterprise, keep its technical expertise, and keep abreast of rising technical developments.   But when IT isn’t on the technique desk, IT can not take part in these strategic discussions and reply in a well timed trend to rising business drivers.

[1] “Rube Goldberg Machine”, Wikipedia, retrieved 10/22/2016

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