DevOps Institute

[EP111] ITSM Value Streams: Transform Opportunity Into Outcome book review


Join Eveline Oehrlich and David Billouz for a discussion on ITSM Value Streams: Transform Opportunity Into Outcome book review.


Narrator 0:02 You’re listening to the humans of DevOps podcast, a podcast focused on advancing the humans of DevOps through skills, knowledge, ideas, and learning, or the skil framework.

David Billouz 0:17 We combine them into values. And in that case, IT service provider internal external is not only seen as a cost centre, but as a real business.

Eveline Oehrlich 0:34 Welcome to the humans of DevOps Podcast. I’m Evelyn early Chief Research Officer at peoplecert. our episode today is called ITSM. For IT Service Management value streams, transform opportunity into outcome, which is also a title of a book. But I’m getting way ahead of myself. So welcome to everybody. Today, we have a very special guest with us. His name is David blues. I hope I say your name right, David? Is that the way to pronounce your name?

David Billouz 1:09 Yes, you can do it. Hello, hello. Nice to be there. Thank you.

Eveline Oehrlich 1:13 Thank you for having for taking your time to be with us. Let me give everybody a little bit of a background on who David is. So he is a certified ITIL master. With more than 20 years of passion and engagement in ITSM. For instance, he was the first vice president of the ITSM Czech Republic in 2006. He is a former ITIL ambassador for axelos. Which if you don’t know Exelis was purchased by people search. And this who I am with today actually experiences in corporates such as Renaud, IBM KPMG, he found or serious global and delivers trainings, assessments and consultancy services in ITIL, prints to agile and DevOps. He is the author of the periodic table of ITSM processes, and co author of the ITIL publication on IT Asset Management, which I believe just recently published or is going to publish. So if I say this wrong, check back with me via LinkedIn, who is listening. Welcome again to our podcast, David. Oh, welcome.

David Billouz 2:25 Thank you very much. And I really happy to be there with you today. Thank you.

Eveline Oehrlich 2:29 Yes, I’m excited. And I saw that the two of us had met before, in person before all the crazy. You know, we won’t say the word happened. But I guess we have not really met in person halfway.

David Billouz 2:43 No, I didn’t have this privilege yet. But what did not happen can happen in the future. So I will be your

Eveline Oehrlich 2:52 person. Really? Exactly. You live in a beautiful city. I live in a beautiful city, and we’re not so far away from each other. So sometimes we can meet somewhere in the middle and have an adult beverage of our choice. Let’s do that. All right. So I’m very excited that we could connect. And I want to make sure that you know, I have the highest appreciation for book authors. Because writing a book is very different from writing research, and particularly for books which are around the topics of value streams and ITSM in combination. So let’s get started. We’re talking about this book ITSM value streams transform the opportunity into outcome, which you and Akshay Anand, and Rajiv and Mark smelly together authored. When was it actually published?

David Billouz 3:47 It was published the exactly the 22nd of June this year.

Eveline Oehrlich 3:53 Fantastic. All right. So quick synopsis of the book, and then I’ll ask you a variety of questions, because I know there’s everybody here who is either in ITSM, or DevOps or SRE, or I’m sure curious what it’s about. So just the highlight the ITSM value streams is a comprehensive guide to organisations on how to effectively utilise it services to achieve business outcomes. My kind of book, I tell you, it emphasises the importance of understanding the value streams that flows through an organisation and how IT services can be configured and applied to co create value between the IT service provider, I’m assuming that it doesn’t matter if it’s inside it or an external service provider, and the consumer, again, independent of if the consumer is on the inside, or if the consumer is on the outside. Super. So David, what made you and the rest of your co authors write this book?

David Billouz 4:57 Oh, so I Uh, first of all, if I start with the rest of the of the authors, you can recognise, some of them were, Wow, very important contributors to ITIL ITIL. For, for instance, Akshay, Anand was a former global ambassador for ITIL Mark smaller, he wrote, for instance, I velocity it book, okay, in ITIL. And in fact, these people are very experienced in, in service management, and the idea of the book was to revisit to make a set of new, let’s say, analyses of our service management can really be useful for the business, what does that mean to revisit service management, it means that, in fact, you know, in ITIL, for ITIL, four is now focusing on value ITIL, version three was focused on service on the service lifecycle, and this is the idea of what it means that it’s focused on where it means that service management is not like, if I say, focused on itself, like, focusing on just delivering services, it’s exactly the opposite. We know that services are here to, you know, cook, to create or to ensure that value for the customer of the service can be created. And, and this is the idea of revisiting the service management, because we will discuss that in the in the book, we saw that, okay, when we say that you say, Okay, we already have ITIL, we already have a different framework talking about value creation. But in fact, in the book, what we wanted is to be sure that for people familiar with ITSM, they can relate this new concept of value stream new in ITSM, not new at all, with service management, to be sure that now we understand what really means for instance, to be focused on value, what really means to be collaborative, what really means to use standardised work in order to constantly create or enable value for the customer. That’s the idea. So mainly we are the book wants to revisit service management, from the point of view of Value Management.

Eveline Oehrlich 7:41 very timely, in the current landscape, as you can imagine, and you know, this, that there was a lot of questioning relative to the digital transformation and the success of enterprises who have, unfortunately not been as successful as they needed to be, and partially due to, of course, many challenges, but I think it as they own some parts of the digital transformation into digital business, there is significant questioning relative to what has, what value has it actually added on to and so it’s a very timely thing. So question when you wrote this, for whom was this book written? I’m assuming there is not just one answer. I think there’s probably multiple stakeholders right but curious for whom was this book written? And then once we have that, I have another question related to that.

David Billouz 8:43 Yeah, originally the book, I said originally, as you said, it can be for different stakeholders, but originally, the book was written for ITSM practitioners who we’re I would say, interested in this concept of value stream because this is an alien concept for service management. And I just give you 1111 example of what was the idea the idea for ages you have these ITSM processes for instance, that really helps standardising now, the way you create you deliver your support services, okay. And the ITSM professionals or practitioners are very good in that very good indeed. But they still have a lot of you know, questions related to these ITSM processes. Typical QUESTION Okay. How what is the sequence order when I want to implement some ITSM processes? Okay, do I have to start from the catalogue service catalogue point of view, we have to start from the let’s say the user experience so all that is related to service desk Incident Management request, and then how can I continue? It seems to be very obvious questions. But these questions are still in place now. And the idea of this book, and is to say, okay, instead of asking this question, let’s have a look at it from another point of view. Let’s see these ITSM processes like bricks that are here to build something better, something more ambitious. And what is better, what is more ambitious than just a set of integrated processes is a value stream. So the idea was, you know, how ITSM works, you know, these processes, you mainly know how to configure it ITSM tool to integrate processes. So you know, the how, now, let’s focus on the why, and the why one of the reason why we do that, why we don’t integrate processes, but we combine them is that we combine them into value streams. And in that case, IT service provider internal external, is not only seen as a cost centre, but as a real business partner.

Eveline Oehrlich 11:12 So I love this concept. Associated with that, of course, is the word value as well, right? Because I remember talking to clients during my time at Forrester Research during inquiries, and I used to describe it, when they asked the question, so what should I do first? Should I establish a service catalogue? Or should I do self service? Service Request Management? Should I manage my SLA? So I’m like, Well, I don’t have an answer to this question. What you need to think about is that your output is greater than your input for those who you are delivering something for. And if that concept is described as value by those who are consuming, then you’re actually adding value to those who are consuming. And that was sometimes the most difficult thing to get across. So tell me a little bit or tell our listeners and of course, myself as well, a little bit about when you’re not just saying it is the alignment across the diff or the the affinity across different items, it’s also the app to the right added outcome. Is that addressing that as well?

David Billouz 12:33 Yeah, in fact, you know, the, I would say that, in all that, there is a there is a paradox, that is beneath all that, the paradox is that in service management, you try to create, you know, the best possible outcome, okay? But in fact, what you do is based on assumption, because the real, the real value is the perceived benefits from the outcome, you you tend with your services to create, and you don’t know that as an ITSM professional, you don’t know that, you get surprised, that’s the point and you know, you cannot that’s what we explain also in the book, it is what we call the value funnel, okay, when you define a business case at the beginning, you say okay, we have now a set of services. And in order to make it happen, we create a business case when you create a business case of course, to get the management buying, you say okay, in our business case, this is our value proposition value proposition. So, you have of course, to justify from the services you want to create, what can be the value for the consumer and the customers even though you discuss that was the customer, it’s only based on assumption of what when the product that is still not here, when the service that is still not life will be useful for the customer. So that means the perceived benefit, what they really perceive, will only be there, once they start to use that. So you just you just assume you see, so So that’s like you know, we are just talking about you have the business case, which is the best possible the highest possible value, you can theoretically get. Okay. And once your service is live, between the business case created, and the service going life, you only have a value that is this minishift Only this finished, up to a point that when you have your business case, created and when you have your service that has been live, then you can get in fact, search At 40% of the value proposition you had at the beginning, and the idea of the value stream is to be conscious about these different steps, that in fact, you know, diminish your value along the way. So that’s the idea of the value stream. It’s like, you know, you because people are always Elysian, in many organisations that what you have in the business case, can be, you know, rich, at the end of the day, no, it’s always and that’s, that’s, that’s, I would say, the definition of a value, the definition of the value is the perceived benefits of an outcome and the perceived benefit. You know, there are people who have talking about a formula, a value formula, there is no value formula that doesn’t exist, what exists, what exists is what you can do what you can do to maximise the potential value from an outcome to a real value that is perceived by your customer.

Eveline Oehrlich 16:08 That’s, yeah, I love that. You can just

David Billouz 16:11 increase, you know, it’s like you cannot create value. But what you can do is that you can prevent, prevent the expected value to be diminished. That’s the only thing you can do.

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Eveline Oehrlich 17:04 So during my journey, in my research, I’ve seen exactly to the point what you just said, I seen successful co creation of value between the IT team and its customers or its patients or its citizens or it’s whatever right fill in the blank. And so, I’ve also seen the opposite, I have seen the no value and those right and those have gone those it organisations have done a variety of things right. They have outsourced they have shadow it they have democratised, blah, blah, blah, right? I don’t want to belabour that belabour that too much. But I wanted to ask you this question, what do you think are the biggest issues on shifting towards successful co creation of value between both IT and the business?

David Billouz 17:59 Oh, yeah, to answer the question, you know, in the book, we said that, in fact, now, due to the the digital transformation, and in fact the how business sees you know, the added value of an IT service provider. So, we identified for instance, that there are, you know, different objectives for it. And in fact, the issues that, to answer your questions, in fact, the issues are the, I would say antipatterns or defined in impediments, you know, that prevent you to reach the objective, I give you one example, one of the example, you know, in DevOps, you know, that better than me, in DevOps, we, we tried to, you know, to, to get or to get to, I would say rich the quickest time to market once there is a service that that seems to be valuable for the customer in DevOps, what we do is that we build it and so on, you have this DevOps tool chain, in order to be sure that the time to market is respected, so and the time to market, it’s not just to make something quick and dirty, of course, is to make it quick and compliant with what the customer wants. So, when you just look at that, what we say in the book, for instance, if we want to, to make it like that, if we want to deliver a service component quickly, then then the problem is that we had some different, let’s say, there was some some different impediments that that that we saw about that. For instance, one impediment is exactly what I just said. You know, people are seeking of time to market is the Only measurement. So we sacrifice the quality of the services to get the new service, the new release on time. And what do you have, you may have some customer happy because they have a new service life. But on the other hand, you have other for instance, there are users who will say that what now they have, you know, to use these a bit of useless. So, and just an example. So what we do in the book is that we define, for instance, that you have some timely delivery objective, that you have some objective to be sure that the value is really created from the services that has been delivered, that the operations related to the services are unrestricted, that you can, you know, certify to the customer that this service is consuming offers the best value for money. So, that means that the cost of ownership, the cost of consumption is the lowest as possible. And all these are challenges, all these challenges, because these objectives are not obvious and not easy to, to reach. And in the book, we set for each of the objectives, what prevent this objective to be partially or fully rich, and how within value streams that help you collaborate that show you the, you know, value stream, it’s a it’s a, it’s about visual management, okay, you see things. So once you see things, what you see where the bottlenecks are, when you see that, when you have, for instance, a nice business case for a service, then it’s in a pile of business case, because your manager has no time or doesn’t take time to validate them on time. And then you know, you lose many opportunities. You know, and when you see things, it’s that, really, you know, it restarts any kind of collaboration you can have in your organisation. So so that’s what we did, we define some objectives, we said that issue you were talking about are impediments to reach this objective. And in the book, we say, our value streams, I would say, as a as a, as a visual visualisation tool. It’s not only that, of course, can help, you know, addressing these deep end demands,

Eveline Oehrlich 22:28 excellent. And then you can see trade offs and have alternatives, right. And impediments to, to reach that, that that’s a great intro to the next question as back to core of ITSM. You know, organisations have been it as I call it ITSM ng for so long. Like, I remember going back to my youlet Packard times in 19. Let’s see, I want to say 97, I think when we started doing acquisition of proline, which was a service desk tool into open view, and that was my connection to ITSM at the time, but needless that dates me and makes me really old sounding but my question to you is, in terms of maturity, if, even if I don’t like that word, because maturity always seems like there is an end, which I hate. So maybe it is more of the the capabilities right the state of the capabilities relative to the organisations look at global organisations, what do you think these organisations are, from a capability around? ITSM? Are the majority of large enterprises globally? Are they somewhere? Let’s say 10 is, is there are they’re really they’re really a good and they’re understanding value streams and they’re getting there in and then one is the chest beginning relative to your research and relative to your consulting and advisory work, where are the these organisations?

David Billouz 24:00 No, it’s not that I don’t want to give a figure I will answer you a bit differently if you don’t mind. You know, when you say and I liked the idea of organisation atsr ATSM Ming you know, it’s not so nice that cannot promise it, but so, they use ITSM and in fact, when they when we say they use ITSM mature as you say organisation means what makes your organisation mean that they have a target or an operating model for it okay. An operating model that works like you know, we have united they said for instance that you have the the SBS the service value system, okay. So much organisation of an operating system, okay. Operating sorry, model that help them you know, to deliver in an efficient in an effective way, there are services. That’s that’s one part of the story on the other hand per lead to this organisation building these as I told them the top the Target Operating Model you had you know from now, the night 2009 2010 You have all these trim on a related to a giant related to DevOps, and many organisations in parallel to that started to focus their energy on how to please the customer with a GI and, and these become two to provide streams in an organisation one ITSM stream that looked ITSM in the mind of manager in organisation ITSM mean operating model mean operation mean, something that is not as important as agile software development from project to product, the age of software, everything is software, and you’re these two streams your own parallel and now, and now, we see that you know, because of infrastructure as a service, because of very, you know, different technological, I would say shifts and, and advance technology that are now available that this parallel streams need to merge, they need to merge, you know, you cannot say okay, here, yeah, and DevOps, that’s it DevOps, you are the developers, and you are the operation. So you are the ITSM specialist. And then you are the developers who said, Okay, now, I don’t care, I need to test create me a virtual machine, the answer, raise a ticket, no. You see what I mean? And, and that’s exactly what happened. So you had these two parallel streams. And now and now what happens, people talk about agile service management, they want service management to be more drawn. And now we talk about value stream in ITSM. Because we we discussed about what is the value from, you know, the product we deliver to the customer. But as we say, also in the book, a product, in that case, is a path or is what you, you know, is the basis for a service, but we deliver services, we just don’t deliver product, okay? And so all what we learn from the product management now needs to be applied in a clever way, in ITSM field. So that’s, I think, what the mature organisations are trying to return now.

Eveline Oehrlich 27:57 That is really related to my last question, where is this all going? In? 24? Right, what, what, what does that mean for ITSM? And DevOps and sre? And well, there’s a whole bunch of other frameworks, best practices out there. What’s your crystal ball, say? When you look at it, because that, of course is on everybody’s mind, including people served including DevOps Institute, including, you know, the analysts out there who think of that as well even so they don’t need to worry about it as much as we do. What do you think?

David Billouz 28:41 If I had a crystal ball, I will be very rich. That’s the first thing I would say. And I thank you for for asking me this question. Because it really you know, makes me happy to give you my view on that, but that’s my really humble view, my humble view, okay, I am not predicting the future. Unfortunately for me, what I can say and that’s very, I would say very important about the service management. Just think about one single value this ITSM and back end service management as always been since now, a framework based discipline. I give you a small example when we talk about service management, in fact, service management in many cases is used as a suffix you have unified service management USM you have framework of ITSM, FTS and you have yet another as a service management Yes, you have various and okay and so on and so on. And so it means that many people say Okay, now we and you have a giant service management okay. So, so this is and I think that now this will change because service management It doesn’t have to be framework based anymore. I of course there is ITIL. And with respect with people set, you may say I’m wrong, but what I think is that now, service management will may because it’s in the future become a business capability, a business capability like you have other business capability and, and and all what we learn from service management or these ITSM processes, as I would say, a very big value for the for the business because this all is standardised processes are standardised. So, we bring to the business capability called service management standardised and how they can use the standardised capability is by building value streams, their value streams, value streams related to IT services and make that work together. So I think this this can be an option for the future. And of course, the other things related to to the near future, you know, service experience, because when we talk about value, I said at the beginning that the value is a perceived benefits from an outcome. But this benefit this perception of what is beneficial for the customer. It’s the customer view and the better experience years of your service, the highest perception of a benefit in will have from your service, so the highest value can be created. So service experience is another topic. I think that we’ll have to be a bit more developed. And the last but not least, of course, let’s see what will happen with generative artificial intelligence.

Eveline Oehrlich 31:57 Yeah, yeah. Well, we have gone a little bit over time, and I could talk for another hour with you and maybe we’ll need to do a part two. David, this has been great. I have one more closing question. What do you do for fun?

David Billouz 32:14 I tried to do a lot of sports. My wife is a fitness trainer. So when you have this wife at home, you have no choice.

Eveline Oehrlich 32:23 That is great. I love it. Shout out to your wife. Spend would listen to me as well as you listen to your wife. Fantastic, David. Well, thank you so much for joining me today on humans of DevOps podcast. Really appreciate your time. And fantastic. Humans of DevOps podcast is produced by DevOps Institute and people search. Our audio production team includes Jada O’Hara and Daniel Newman Schultz. I want to make sure our listeners know that we’ve been talking about this fantastic book, I am actually going to order it it is called the ITSM value streams transform opportunity into outcome with a variety of authors, co authors, and David Lewis as one of the authors. Again, thank you, everybody. I’m humans of DevOps podcast executive producer Evelyn earlyish. If you would like to join us on a podcast in the future, please contact us at humans of DevOps podcast at DevOps, or simply reach out to me on LinkedIn. And again, I’m Evelyn, talk to you soon.

Narrator 33:35 Thanks for listening to this episode of the humans of DevOps podcast. Don’t forget to join our global community to get access to even more great resources like this. Until next time, remember, you are part of something bigger than yourself. You belong

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