Agile & IT Service Management

Agile ITSM: How Agile & IT Service Management Can Work Together

The term “agile” as it relates to service management is often thrown around loosely. However, just because a few bugs are fixed sooner or data is reported faster, this does not mean an organization has embraced agile ITSM. The true value of service management is found in the adaptability of the process to new ways of operating. Agile demands a certain level of flexibility, which must also be present in the management techniques and practices used.

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Origins of Agile & Service Management ITSM 

The origins of agile are often traced back to the software development community. However, at its core, agile is an operational management methodology designed for service delivery within IT organizations – not a specific methodology for developing software. Agile has been used in IT service management (ITSM) since the early 2000s, and this is not surprising given that ITSM is all about delivering IT services, including application development. 

Agile vs. ITSM 

Agile software development and ITSM have several benefits through their aims can sometimes be mutually exclusive. Following the principles outlined by Abraham Maslow (1966), it’s important to have a balance between the organizational, team, and personal requirements when deciding which the better option for your business is. To determine which approach will work best for your needs, you will have to examine things such as your core competencies, values, company structures, departmental organizations, culture, and history.

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Agile & ITSM Together 

Agile is often described as an improvement methodology whereas IT Service Management (ITSM) covers the full spectrum of performance management. These two methodologies are complementary in many ways. While agile software development approaches are very well known to deliver higher quality, more flexibility, and increased productivity, ITSM is crucial for monitoring project performance and governance. In other words, applying both methodologies together improves organizational performance in an optimal way.

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Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools

In the web development field, and some other tech fields, processes, and tools are valued instead of the individuals using and creating them. This is extremely alien to us. We value the user and interactions even above the tools we might be using because our goal is to make things as easy and clear for you as possible. You’re in charge of your data, your words, information that you create, and we’re here to help you get it out there.

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Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation 

There are too many companies out there who spend lots of time documenting their products. The problem with this is that no matter how much time and effort you put into it, the documentation will never be as good as the real thing: working software. Sure, we could spend six months writing comprehensive usage docs, a user manual, and training materials, but if the product isn’t any good then what’s the point? Customers would rather have a buggy version one that they can try out and possibly give feedback on than a perfect version six months from now.

Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation 

Customer collaboration is a development practice that encourages the active collaboration of customers in the creation process of new products or services. People believe in this method because it enables them to better understand customer’s needs and ensures they are building a product that fits those needs. Rather than negotiating contracts that only create barriers. 

Responding to change than Following a Plan 

We are used to being told what to do, and so are good at rationalizing our way around a challenge. But when a new challenge presents itself, our brains automatically seek out comfort. We become polarized: one side believing that ignoring the problem is the path to success, while the other beliefs ignoring the problem is the only way to fail. This happens in two important ways: first, we become convinced that doing nothing is the best option, and second, we quickly learn that telling ourselves that we’re doing nothing is useful.

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Service Management can be agile 

If we make the effort to focus on process- and standardization, instead of prescribing a specific tool. The service becomes a lot more useful; we get a lot of benefits out of it.

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