Agility in operation and management

2015-09-17 by Robert Pettersson

All parts of an organization can apply agile working methods and agile practices. An area
that traditionally might not be so obvious is the operation and management area.

 

However, there is much to gain here, both for the organization and for the individual. The tendency to constantly start new support requests easily leads to far too many cases that are not completed in time.

By using Kanban where the number of pending cases per individual is limited, you can shorten the case time and increase efficiency. Instead of dispatching cases you collect cases from the Kanban board which means that it reduces the risk of overload and work becomes more fun because you get more responsibility and an opportunity to influence the work. Our experience is that the number of closed cases is increasing dramatically with Kanban in comparison with traditional case management.

Operation and management is in many ways based on reactive processes such as managing resultant bugs and unplanned downtime. By instead focusing on the proactive processes the impact will be smaller. For example, programs that sets of an alarm at certain situations make it possible to detect errors and in some cases even take care of them before the customers themselves has discovered them.

Server park

During the last 10 years the traditional server park has moved from running on a single hardware to cloud services with precisely tuned performance. It offers great flexibility and you get both higher availability and a more efficient investment with less overhead. Previously a new system was installed on a separate hardware, which took time and was ultimately expensive and time consuming to maintain. When you needed more disk or memory it required a long downtime for upgrades.

In a virtualized environment, we can instead install the system on a new server in minutes. Disk space, memory and processing power can be dynamically allocated in real time as needs is growing. Some call this Network Function Virtualization but for us it is simply applying an Agile thinking into a production environment.