Why Build and Modify stages in the Service Factory Workflow requires effective Agile project management
I’ve got good news and bad news. Which one do you want to hear first?
First, let me tell you the good news. ServiceNow is a modern Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) style solution that is very flexible, easily configurable, and fast to build and modify. From ideation to functional definition to initial capability to building and modifying, ServiceNow is much faster than the tools and solutions of the past. You’d do well by taking full advantage of what ServiceNow has to offer.
Now to the bad news. Building and modifying today’s solutions, like ServiceNow, requires that you move at the speed of innovation, while lowering the risk of poor outcomes. Why is this bad news? Because older style implementation methodologies like Waterfall are too monolithic and slow to respond to growing and evolving demands; what’s required is the Agile development approach. The bad news isn’t that we MUST adopt a new development process, it is that most IT operations organizations don’t know WHERE to start.
To that end I’ll offer some insights in this article. But before I go into that, and in case you missed it from my recent blog posts, there are four stages in the services factory workflow: Consider, Build, Modify and Retire.
I recently talked about the Consider stage, which is where your demand or intake funnel is located – at the front end of the entire service factory workflow process. Customers make their demands for services, and through proper assessments, you get to determine which services are worth pursuing. You can read more about the Consider stage in this blog post, “ServiceNow Demand: How to Bring Good Customer Ideas to Life.”
The Consider stage clears the path forward so that you can commence building and modifying your solution to meet customer demands.
Let’s dig in.
Adopting the Agile project management approach
The most important thing you need to remember in both Build and Modify stages is that adopting an Agile project management approach isn’t a recommendation; it’s a REQUIREMENT.
The Agile approach allows your teams to work in shorter cycles than what is typical with more traditional methodologies – following more of an incremental improvement approach to development. You can adjust the scope of your IT service management project to address rapidly changing needs and demands, as teams work through quick, short duration development cycles called Sprints.
If you want to adopt the Agile approach, here are three steps you can take to get started:
- Review different Agile approaches. As part of the review process, investigate the variety of Agile supporting tools and processes in the market to determine which is the best fit for your organization. Determine what Agile cadence such as two or three-week sprints, and daily or twice a week meetings (for example) best fit your organizational pace and culture.
- Invest in training. Get your developers, architects and project managers trained and even certified in its use – they will need it!
- Implement your Agile methodology in the ServiceNow SDLC. This will give you a powerful platform for developing solutions with your process and governance requirements designed right into the flow of work. This is very helpful if you want to develop consistent, high quality solutions in ServiceNow across your enterprise.
Along with an Agile methodology and process, consider that you need to put in place a consistent service design process – this will be the focus of my next blog post. (P.S. Be sure to subscribe using the blue button at the top of this window to get notified when I publish my next article on the Evergreen Systems blog!)
About the Author: Don Casson is CEO of Evergreen Systems, an IT consulting firm helping medium to enterprise public and private sector organizations to dramatically transform their IT operations. Don is a frequent writer, blogger and presenter, and has delivered over 60 webinars on topics in Service Management, including IT and shared services.