Organizational agility is the ability of organizations to adapt to changes in their environment. All organizations need to be flexible, responsive and adaptable in different areas. These include technology, competition, changes in the market, etc. For many IT professionals, agility refers to software development. It is associated with the Agile manifesto. Many organizations have adopted Agile software development methods. These methods have proven to be very effective.
Agile, Lean and DevOps principles are applied to many ITSM practices in order to modernize the approaches adopted. These approaches enhance the ability of ITSM to deliver benefits while providing additional flexibility, which contributes to agility. As a result, organizational agility is a broad concept where organizations must balance the need for stability and predictability with the growing need for operational agility and speed.
Agility is not set in stone; it works on a scale. It operates at both the strategic, tactical and operational levels. We can achieve agility by understanding the interrelation and interaction between
Service Value System (SVS)
Service value chains and
Service value stream
The service value system
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SVS ITIL describes service management as a system where input is demand / opportunity and output is value.
The components include guiding principles, governance, service value chain, practices and continuous improvement. SVS allows components and activities to work together as a system to create value.
ITIL SVS takes the above definition of agility and applies it to the service lifecycle. In this way, agility becomes a quality. It is integrated into all dimensions of service management and activities in the service value chain. Here is an introduction to the four dimensions of service management. This will help better understand how it contributes to organizational agility.
The four dimensions of service management
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The four dimensions of service management are:
Organizations and people
Partners and suppliers
Value stream and process
Clients receive services through the coordination and integration of the four dimensions. Agility is taken into account in each of the four dimensions. These dimensions provide end-to-end visibility into the parts of the organization working together. This helps to achieve results that deliver value to internal and external customers.
The external factors identified by the PESTLE framework are:
These introduce levels of volatility and uncertainty and can be addressed by reconfiguring resources to take into account the four dimensions. Agility is the ability to reconfigure resources and activities. It is based on the impact of different factors on different aspects of the organization. External factors are actors in the larger ecosystem of which the organization is a part.
Dimensions enable agility by helping to break down organizational silos. This is where business units tend to design their processes, documentation, and systems. Processes or documentation should address their specific areas of responsibility. This goes against the thinking and working approach proposed by the SVS. The system approach provides a better understanding of the creation of parts of the organization. And how they act as a single integrated whole, rather than its constituent parts.
Organizational silos hamper communication and collaboration due to organizational agility and resilience. It's through different groups. This reduces an organization's ability to respond to opportunities or optimize resources. This is due to their failure to fully understand the interfaces between the different practices. Agility or being agile means understanding the key points of the practices. Practices where the exchange of information is essential.
To remedy this, the four dimensions use the core element of SVS, the service value chain. This describes the key activities in the form of value streams to transform inputs into outputs. Inputs can come from a e demand outside the chain. They can also come from the outputs of other activities.
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Identifying value streams contributes to organizational agility. It is by helping organizations examine how they do their work. This results in the identification of work flow barriers and unnecessary activities. The service value chain serves as an operating model. It describes the key activities needed to mitigate value.
The six activities of the value chain are:
Design and transition
Get / Build
Deliver / Support
Here, the connection and interaction between activities expresses agility. Each activity receives and provides triggers for further actions.
Combining different sets of ITIL practices converts inputs into outputs. These practices may involve internal or third-party resources, skills and expertise. For this to work properly, agility in handling comments is imperative. The result is continuous and rapid improvement in IT services. Which is in response to stimuli from both internal and external factors.
Value streams are mapped to describe the flow of activity through the service value system. Depending on the situation, the different activities of the value chain will be privileged over the others. In other words, not all value chains facilitate equal value.
The value mapping activity can highlight optimal roles, practices and events. This strengthens the agility of the organization to better coordinate its resources. Every organization is different. Therefore, the practices that best lend themselves to organizational agility may differ. Either way, generally speaking, improving organizational agility can be done for everyone. This can be done by using value chain mapping to optimize the following practices:
Control of changes
Risk management and others (eg, Knowledge management practice)
Enabling value creation is vital. The practice of agile strategy management seeks to strike a balance between innovation and control. While maintaining sufficient flexibility in its approach to respond to changing circumstances.
Remember that ITIL SVS includes the continuous improvement model. It applies to any type of improvement. This ranges from high level organizational change to services to configuration items. The practice of continuous improvement interacts with all other practices.
Continous improvement occurs throughout the organization. At all levels, from strategic to operational. The entire SVS can include products, services, service relationships, etc. Continuous improvement is the epitome of agility. Agility which remains focused on value, and which refers to the vision of the organization. It is an iterative approach and connotes the main advancement of guiding with feedback. It allows course corrections, definition of direction, circumstantial evidence of actions.
The practice of continuous improvement is spreading throughout the organization. Incorporating this practice into the fabric of the organization enables agility. It prevents the organization from authorizing operational activities. In addition, prevents large project works from going beyond the strategic image. It ensures the flow up, down and between all the activities of the organization. It also aligns with changing organizational goals and outcomes.
The ability of an organization to change in response to external factors can be the difference between failure and success. It is an integral aspect of Lean, Agile, DevOps and other frameworks. These frameworks help identify weak points in the value chain. Once identified, efforts can be made to mitigate these weak points. And also to organize other stages in the value chains around them. It includes the actions and activities of third parties. This is because they perform some of the activities in the value streams.
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An organization must be agile to innovate although innovation is inherently risky. Good risk management improves organizational agility. It helps an organization achieve balance. A balance where the benefits outweigh the cost of risk management. Here, agility is expressed in the form of flexibility for different parts of the organization. It is about managing risk based on organizational risk appetite which can change over time and circumstances.
Yet it is important that risk management practices are managed. This should be consistent across the organization. Based on the risk strategy, even different customer / user groups have specific needs.
The System to Stream diagram above shows how SVS works from the macro to the more granular levels of an organization. At a higher level, there are elements of SVS:
Service value chain
To facilitate this integration, the four dimensions provide organizations with a holistic approach to IT service management. In other words, all elements of SVS must be considered from the perspective of each of the four dimensions:
Organizations and people
Information and technology
Partners and supplier, and
Value stream and process
Focusing on each aspect of the four dimensions enables organizations to maintain a balanced and efficient SVS.
Remember that the value chain of services is located at a high level of SVS. It is its core element and functions as an operating model detailing the activities necessary to meet demand and realize value through the creation and management of products and services. The six activities of the value chain are used to create products and services. These are the steps organizations take to create value. Each activity is connected and interacts with the others, contributing to the value chain by converting inputs into outputs.
This conversion process involves the combination of different related practices, processes and activities. It can involve internal and external parties. The results of these activities are our value streams and our processes. There will be a value chain for any particular scenario. For example, consider what the value chain would involve in onboarding a new employee. Understanding the activities, processes, resources, roles, etc. involved in a value chain can help organizations identify potential improvements.
More importantly, by understanding these aspects of value chains, organizations can map these activities and determine how well they align with organizational goals. As a result, we have a clear picture of how our activities and practices contribute to our goals and whether they provide value to the organization.
This article does not delve into the specifics of all activities in the service value chain. This would make an interesting topic for further study. In conclusion, organizational agility is a consideration requiring an integrated approach. It needs to be as effective and efficient as possible across an organization. Otherwise, it could be applied in a fragmented manner resulting in waste, increased costs and missed opportunities.
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