By Dick Stark
By now, many of you should have had a chance to start The Phoenix Project, a book I discussed in my last blog. To recap, The Phoenix Project, written by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford, is about a fictional auto-parts company, Parts Unlimited, with retail outlets nationwide. Since the reading assignment, I’ve heard comments like, “What a page turner,” and “this hits too close to home.” So what is the big deal and how can this benefit RightStar and our customers?
First, since RightStar became an Atlassian partner, we have now become “our customers’ expert adviser in the ITSM AND DevOps spaces.” Remember, we are not just “software guys with screw drivers.” Customers hire us not to install their Atlassian software, but to provide consulting and a solution around deploying software faster and more efficiently. According to Gene Kim, “the competitive advantage this capability creates is enormous, enabling faster feature time to market, increased customer satisfaction, market share, employee productivity, and happiness, as well as allowing organizations to win in the marketplace.” Since we became an Atlassian partner, we have noticed a significant difference in both sense of urgency and value perceived as comparted to our ITSM projects. In just eight months we now have more than 12 new name DevOps customers.
This means that we can and will use DevOps processes and tools on our own projects, both internal and customer facing.
ITSM Projects. In December we began a Pentagon Remedy consolidation effort. For this project, we’re using agile deployment processes and Atlassian tools, JIRA and Confluence to track progress given the sense of urgency Pentagon project sponsors expect. Additionally, a new Remedy project starting in February has similar agile expectations. We should be ready. Our project managers are Scrum Masters, and several of our Remedy consultants are already experienced with DevOps principals and toolsets.
In addition, our development team has a full plate of development projects in store for 2016. We are working to add smart phone scanning capability to ScanStar and should have the product to market by the first of Q2. Additionally, a new release of SSO/PKI is slated for a Q2 release.
Finally, DevOps is all about getting both Operations and Development working together, under one roof. Since we have mostly ITSM customers, there is plenty of opportunity to connect both ITSM and DevOps toolsets. The Phoenix Project described three underpinning principles:
The first way is about the left-to right flow of work from Development to IT Operations.
The second is about the constant flow of fast feedback from right-to-left at all stages of the value stream.
The third way is about creating a culture that fosters two things: continual experimentation, and understanding that repetition and practice is the prerequisite to mastery.
At RightStar, we have an incredible opportunity to merge both DevOps and ITSM / ITIL principles to enable organization to be more efficient, productive, of our course, more competitive.