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People, processes and platforms – the recipe for integrating a company’s end-to-end workflow

People, processes, and platforms are becoming more relevant than ever before – also in digital service environment. These three P’s are the ingredients for a company to improve its performance and to automate its operating model to deliver business capabilities faster and with better quality. One of the essential things to do is to integrate people, processes and platforms between development and services.

Last year, more and more customers reached out to us, asking about how to carry out their development and services integration. They were trying to figure out three things:

  1. People: getting their development and services teams to speak the same language
  2. Processes: helping their people to understand the overall workflow in a similar way
  3. Platforms: enabling all the people in the end-to-end value chain to be able see the same work items from start to finish

Many Nordic companies already have an advanced position with agile development. They are also relatively mature within service integration and management practices. This will naturally drive them to think about the next improvement steps.

We believe the steps taken in 2023 will involve building an integration between Agile Development and SIAM (Service Integration and Management) practices.

Let’s take a closer look at the three main ingredients for success:

Your people must speak the same language

Even if we are organized into tribes within our companies, we all come from different backgrounds. Our core best practices and approaches vary – they derive from what we have studied, for example.

People who communicate and collaborate successfully understand each other. In essence, they share an understanding of what their teammates mean, what they are after, and what their common targets are.   

One key item in the integration of development and services is to create the same vocabulary on the work items, so that people can understand each other better. For example: What is an incident? How does it differ from a defect? What do we mean when we talk about problems?

Understanding each other is key for us to reach a common goal.

Processes must be aligned towards the same goal

The Agile manifesto and SIAM principles are often considered as two different worlds, and they can be.

For example, one Agile KPI is the number of post-production defects, which measures the defects that are raised by end users or customers in a live environment after a new release.

An example KPI from SIAM is the resolution time of incidents, which measures the speed of resolving an issue that impacts the customer or end user in going about with their business.

Though these KPIs use slightly different vocabulary and measure the situation from different angles, the intention is the same: to make sure we produce good quality services for the end users or customers.

What’s in common between these two worlds is the processes and operating models the team follow. It’s important that the teams understand them in a similar fashion.

Platforms to manage and automate the workflow

Having a platform to register and carry the work items through the process is like the cherry on top of the cake.

By platforms we mean tools that companies use for demand management, backlog management and service management. In a perfect world, you could handle all your work with just one platform, but in most cases, you have multiple. It’s best that you integrate them tightly to enable an end-to-end management of the workflow.

Demand and backlog management workflows have traditionally been carried out in their own platforms as has also happened with service management workflows. This has as such contributed to the famous throw-it-over-the-fence phenomenon between dev and ops at the point when services are released into live environment.

But what if the work items were visible to everyone in the ecosystem, throughout their lifecycle?

What if you could truly backtrack from an incident to a change, from that change to a feature specification and into a test result? Or even better, what if you could also find the overarching story or epic where the whole business logic is explained?

There’s great potential for performance improvements and automation in this field, and companies should invest into it because it will be one way to gain competitive edge. In the end, it’s a question of increasing the throughput and value for the business.

The good news is that proven solutions already exist. Hit me up, and I’ll be happy to show examples.

The author

Markus Aalto is the head of service integration and management business at Sofigate.

Ps. Our transformation capability stories are what drive the operating model change which in essence is about people and processes. Learn more about service automation with ServiceNow as an example of enabling the automation of your operating model.