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In part 3 an operating model was selected based on a capability mapping of the business model design.  In this article, a design language for creating an ecosystem to support the operating model will be covered.

Core Diagrams – Ecosystem Visual Modeling

Once the operating model is selected, a Core Diagram is produced that illustrates the platform ecosystem which delivers the capabilities needed to support the enterprise architecture.  The Core Diagram’s main purpose is to graphically represent the systems capabilities and connectivity in a single, comprehensive reference.  The Core Diagram is the blueprint that answers the question:  “What does an enterprise architecture look like?”  The Core Diagram components include the following:

  • Core Business Processes
  • Shared Data Driving Core Business Processes
  • Key Linking and Automation Technologies
    • Middleware
    • Portals
    • Integration Interfaces
      • Employees
      • Customers
      • Partners
      • Suppliers
    • Key Customer Segments
      Core Diagram Design Process4 (©2005 MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research and IMD)

      Core Diagram Design Process4 (©2005 MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research and IMD)

       

Each type of Core Diagram can be designed using a process that is aligned with the characteristics of the operating model.  In the example diagram above, the major activities in the process are indicated in the sequence in which they are performed.  For instance, in the diagram, key customer segments are first identified so that the business processes that are to be standardized and integrated can be determined.  Once these processes have been selected, the shared data needed to execute them is synthesized to develop into the Core Diagram information architecture.  In the diagram, the technology and platforms enabling the standardized integration are optionally included in the model.

The visual model produced by the process is the Core Diagram that includes all the elements of an enterprise architecture that can be exploited as a robust foundation for execution.  The Core Diagram becomes an essential reference for executive management when developing new business strategies and business model innovation ventures.  The Core Diagram enhances strategic thinking for executive management by facilitating business creativity at a glance.

Coordination Operating Model – Core Diagram

 

Coordination Operating Model Core Diagram4 (©2005 MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research and IMD)

The Coordination Operating Model Core Diagram is designed by first considering the key customers shared among the business units in the enterprise.  The business units in this case offer different products and services but all depend upon a set of shared data to deliver value to the customer segments.  Business processes in the Coordination Operating Model are highly integrated since those products and services may involve transactions that span business units.  The key objective is for each customer segment to have a cohesive experience across all the channels and relationships.  The integration technologies and linked processes that enable these business processes are optionally included in the diagram.

To begin to understand the design of the enterprise architecture ecosystem, the table below maps out the enabling technologies and platforms that can be considered for each aspect of the operating model.

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In this operating model mobile-first responsive design can play a major role in the implementation of the enterprise architecture capabilities.  It is important for the shared customer segments to have a consistent yet context-driven presentation as they engage across the various interfaces of each business unit and channel using either an Apple iOS or Google Android device.

Big Data platforms, such as Windows Azure HDInsight or Apache Hadoop, are also key in this model since the volume, variety and velocity of shared customer-related data that is generated across business units and channels can be very significant.  Developing sophisticated analytical capabilities such as machine learning algorithms can yield data insights over a large number of dimensions that can be capitalized on an enterprise-wide basis.

Being high on the integration scale, the operating model will have to make effective use of platforms that can create system linkages while enabling business process customization.  Each business unit may execute a variant version of a business process that must be supported with agile and flexible integration platforms that can deliver data at high velocity.  Some of the integration platform enablers include Mulesoft Anypoint, Microsoft BizTalk Server and Windows Azure Service Bus.

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New Venture in Coordination Operating Model

The core diagram facilitates the envisioning process for how the new venture will be able to exploit the enterprise architecture to deliver on the business model innovation.  Executive management can use the core diagram produced by the enterprise architects as a means to build shared vision with the intrapreneurs for how the venture will operate.  The core diagram informs the innovation team how the venture would leverage shared customer data while creating the linkages via ecosystem integration platforms into enterprise resources and services, such as Big Data analytics.

 Unification Operating Model – Core Diagram

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Unification Operating Model Core Diagram4 (©2005 MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research and IMD)

The Unification Operating Model is designed by first identifying the key customer segments or channels that need to be served.  The enterprise architecture team along with executive management work to select the key standardized processes that should be executed on a consistent and scalable basis throughout the business.  The processes may be defined around core competencies by which the enterprise delivers value to the customer segments.  The processes are dependent on a set of common master data that are used across coordinated high-velocity transactions.  This type of operating model is especially well-suited to respond to customer and channel events in real-time to enable the OODA loop to power the collaborative decision-making within the enterprise.  The technology ecosystem to support this operating model consists of a standardized set of integration technologies and platform capabilities that exhibit robust reliability and high scalability.

For customer segments, the key to delivering exceptional experiences across relationships and channels is the architecture’s ability to scale elastically as the core business processes and their associated workflows are performed.  Moreover, the interfaces to these customer segments should be addressed with a mobile-first driven design to facilitate a consistent, context-driven interaction with the core standard processes.  These interfaces enable communication of real-time open world events into the operating core and the response must be presented reliably throughout each process.

The elastic computing necessary to support standardized core processes can be achieved via cloud-based integration platforms such Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, or open-source platforms such as OpenStack.  The economic justification for considering these options are based on the fact that capital expenditures related to additional data center capacity need not be incurred to deliver the service level outcomes desired by the enterprise.  During peak periods, cloud computing resources can scale to meet the event-based transaction processing to ensure the customer experience is smooth and seamless as they engage in the various relationships and channels.

To surface the standardized business process, enterprise portals provide the collaborative capabilities to perform them in a consistent and repeatable manner.  Microsoft SharePoint is designed especially well for this enablement since it also includes social networking features built on a Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure.  The Microsoft SharePoint platform also provides rich support for incorporating shared enterprise information in collaborative workflows.  Slack is also a viable platform for enabling rich collaborative processes with robust integration capabilities to enterprise resources.  These platforms help address the emphasis in the Unification model on creating highly collaborative environments to enable scalable processing as well as group-based decision modeling.

Shared data in this operating model, as in the Coordination model, also introduces an emphasis on Big Data technology and platforms due to the volume, variety and velocity by which the data can be generated and collected throughout the enterprise.  The centralized data aspect to the Unification model prioritizes the need to create a solid foundation for advanced analytics such as classification, regression and prediction to support integrated decision modeling.  Apache Hadoop and Windows Azure HD Insight are two platforms that serve as viable candidates for these capabilities in the operating model to support Big Data.

The table below illustrates the ecosystem technology and platform emphasis mapping for each aspect in the Unification Operating Model.

chart6

A new venture can fully exploit the scalability offered by the Unification Model by incorporating the standardized processes and integration interfaces into its business model.  Enterprise architects use the Core Diagram to illustrate the business agility to intrapreneurs as well as executive management and to create a shared vision of the specialized processes and integration needed to support the innovation at the edge of the enterprise.

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New Venture in Unification Operating Model

Diversification Operating Model – Core Diagram

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Diversification Operating Model Core Diagram4 (©2005 MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research and IMD)

The Diversification Operating Model places the emphasis on the shared technology and platform stack instead of business process standardization and integration.  To begin designing the Core Diagram for a Diversification model, the shared technology architecture services are identified then the corresponding platforms are selected.  The business units in this type of enterprise can then leverage the shared services to execute highly specialized business processes to deliver value to their specific customer segments.  The business units also own the data to serve their customer segments lowering the need for a common master data set.  However, the design of the operating model can allow for a common set of business processes that can be leveraged and then customized by each business unit.

In this type of operating model, the technology and platform stack needs to have a flexible foundation for business process agility so that each business unit can perform their customizations.  Integration platforms, such as Windows Azure Service Bus, Mulesoft Anypoint and Microsoft BizTalk Server, which support business process and workflow design, can serve as the enablers for this capability in the stack.  Enterprise architects can work with business process owners in the business units to deliver the particular integrations and system linkages with customers and partners for execution based on the common integration platforms.  The custom business processes may leverage features such as message-based routing, service brokering and transformation services in these platforms.  It should be noted, however, that business units can make decisions to deploy other platforms based on their specific integration needs.

To surface the set of shared business processes available to the business units, enterprise collaboration portals like Slack and Microsoft SharePoint, can address this aspect of the operating model.  Business units are free to design the information worker experience using these portals to perform the specialized business processing activities.  In fact, using a composite application design approach, common enterprise services may be used to develop flexible and adaptable user interfaces tailored specifically to the information worker needs in a given business unit.   Virtual teaming is another important service provided by these platforms that enable mobilization of individual resources with the required skillsets to execute a specialized process.  The ability to search and discover the information worker resources available with a given skillset profile allows business units to focus on producing and maintaining the data to optimize virtual team formation.

The table below shows the ecosystem emphasis mapping to each aspect in the Diversification Operating Model.  The Core Diagram is designed to illustrate how this mapping is manifested in the enterprise architecture.

chart9In the Diversification operating model, the shared services are exploited by the new venture in business model innovation.  The new venture can be accelerated by developing specialized business processes to deliver value to its specific customer segments using the foundational technology stack.  The new venture can focus on proving out is business model without the need to deploy the pre-requisite technology infrastructure.  In fact, in this operating model, using a common collaboration platform can facilitate the mobilization of information worker resources from established business units into the new venture.  Information workers familiar with the user interface can more readily execute the specific activities involved in the new processes.

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New Venture in Diversification Operating Model

Replication Operating Model – Core Diagram

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Replication Operating Model Core Diagram4 (©2005 MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research and IMD)

The Replication Operating model emphasis is on business process scalability and accelerated time-to-market for new ventures.  The design of the Core Diagram begins with the identification of standardized business processes that are to be executed by any new ventures in business model innovation.  Business modularity is a key characteristic of this operating model.  The business processes are designed by a centralized team which may include enterprise architects and executive management.  This operating model is advantages where business units need to be deployed rapidly on a global basis but need to maintain consistency with other parts of the enterprise to capitalize on established business model components in new contexts.  The autonomous nature of business units in this operating model is also advantageous in the global environment.  The supporting technologies and platforms used to automate these standardized business processes are then identified and bundled to facilitate planning and deployment when a new venture is formed.

In this operating model, predefined business processes can be enabled using enterprise group collaboration platforms such as Slack and Microsoft SharePoint.  Packaged workflows and group workspaces or sites can be created to be deployed and operated in an independent manner in each business unit.  In essence, these deployments are of turnkey collaboration solutions that can then be customized to meet the specific needs of the business unit in its operating context or region.  These technologies and platforms automate business processes that are known to be efficient and profitable so the top line benefits to the enterprise can be significant from an investment perspective.  The business modules and associated packaged deployment reduces risk and accelerates the time-to-value for the enterprise when a new venture is launched.

In addition to the portal interfaces in these bundled solutions, the underlying integration technologies that facilitate the linkages between internal systems and external services are also included as part of the automation deployment to support the standardized processes.  Platforms in the ecosystem that can serve these purposes are Windows Azure Service Bus, Microsoft BizTalk Server as well as Mulesoft Anypoint.  Components representing the codification and encapsulation of the business modules can be developed in either Mulesoft flows or BizTalk Server applications.  Deployment in a specific business unit will involve following a standard procedure with configuration management reflecting the specific business unit IT environment.  Windows Azure Service Bus can be used to enable linkages between business units, partners and channel service interfaces.  Hybrid solutions could play a major role in these deployments since the business units need to exploit a federated infrastructure for autonomous operation.  Considering Azure Service Bus also enhance ability in the enterprise to perform global class deployments for new ventures.

The table below indicates the ecosystem technology and platform emphasis mapping to the Replication operating model design aspects.  Note that the ecosystem components that are directed at the business unit level are also mapped in the table to illustrate the relationship in the enterprise architecture.

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New ventures in the Replication Operating Model can be deployed globally in accelerated fashion by exploiting the business process modularity and turnkey solutions used for automation and integration.  In this scenario, enterprise executives are adapting a successful and profitable business model to capitalize on opportunities in new markets using a very similar value proposition, or product-service market fit.  Intrapreneurs in business model innovation can also analyze how these solutions can be adapted to ensure success within the specific context or region the business unit will be operating.  Enterprise architects can then work together with the intrapreneurs to identify linkages across business units that may be necessary to coordinate federated business processes.

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New Venture in Replication Operating Model

In the final Part 5 of this Business Model Innovation Series, a customer-centric methodology for measuring innovation will be presented.  The empirical approach to determining effectiveness of the new design will drive pivot enhancements to guide the evolution of the new venture to increase potential of an optimal trajectory for growth.

References:

  1. The Business Model Innovation Factory: How to Stay Relevant When the World is Changing, Saul Kaplan, Wiley Press, 2012
  2. Alexander Osterwalder (2004). The Business Model Ontology – A Proposition In A Design Science Approach. PhD thesis University of Lausanne.
  3. Business Model Generation, Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Wiley Press, 2010.
  4. Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution, J. Ross, P. Weill, D. Robertson, Harvard Business School Press, 2006.
  5. USAF Colonel John Boyd, briefings on military strategy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop)
  6. Reinventing Your Business Model, Clayton M. Christensen, Mark W. Johnson, Henning Kagermann, Harvard Business Review, December 2008.
  7. Creating Value Through Business Model Innovation, Raphael Amit, Christoph Zott, MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2012 Vol. 53 No. 3.
  8. 2012 IBM CEO Study, Leading Through Connections, IBM Corporation.
  9. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, Tim Brown (IDEO CEO), HarperBusiness, 2009.
  10. The Storm of Creativity, Kyna Leski, MIT Press, 2015

Sergio Compean AUTHOR:
Sergio Compean comes to Sogeti USA with extensive technology consulting and leadership experience in the areas of distributed systems software engineering and enterprise solutions. Sergio has been successful in building culture of innovation and entrepreneurship to develop high performing teams that deliver significant value to clients across market segments and project portfolios. Sergio has a consistent track record for delivering high-touch client services with deep insights to realize positive outcomes from business strategy and technology vision. In addition to participating in go-to-market initiatives and influencing application platform strategy across R+D, sales and execution, Sergio has collaborated with executive management teams and strategic channel partners to achieve significant market development and increased revenue streams. His thought leadership work has been included in Gartner industry analyst presentations and organizational technology readiness initiatives. Sergio’s leading edge work has also been featured by the Microsoft Platform Architecture Group at Microsoft global conferences. He has served on industry standards organizations such as WS-I (now part of OASIS) developing services interoperability specifications. Sergio has produced highly-rated webinars, blog articles, client seminars, and publications covering advanced topics on emerging technologies like Windows Azure. Sergio was the founder of Connected Systems Group, part of the Haiti Rewired initiative, chartered with applying a systems thinking approach to delivering aid to Haiti after a devastating earthquake in 2010. He led the effort for developing ways to deploy mobile technology and cloud services to define a roadmap for economic recovery. Some of his publications related to this work include SWARM – Twitter Messaging Metadata Language for Disaster and Crisis Management, Empowering the New Haiti with Cloud Computing Technology, and Rewiring the Haiti Job Market with Mobile Crowdsourcing. Sergio is an Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering graduate from Rice University. He has also completed advanced courses on machine learning, artificial intelligence and HCI taught by industry thought leaders and professors at Stanford University. Sergio is a voracious reader of business strategy and design books, loves painting in acrylic, and enjoys riding his mountain bike on beautiful sunny days. He is the author of the whitepaper entitled Enterprise Architecture for Business Model Innovation in a Connected Economy.

Posted in: architecture, Automation Testing, Azure, Big data, Business Intelligence, Cloud, Collaboration, communication, Data structure, Digital strategy, Enterprise Architecture, Infrastructure, Innovation, integration tests, IT strategy, Microsoft, Quality Assurance, Requirements, Research, Social Aspects, Socio-technical systems, Software Development, Technology Outlook, Testing and innovation, Transformation, User Experience      
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012 - Yola & Co And the Viking Laws-1

During my travels I am always looking for links with the Agile world. There are many examples where a more iterative and value driven mindset is used to achieve certain goals and I use these examples in my work and teachings.

Other Agile experts also have this professional deformation and we meet up on Agile Coach Camps and other Agile events. One of those Agile friends is Rolf Dräther (Happycentric) whom I met on our Agile Coach Camp NL (ACCNL16) this year. Rolf had taken a trip to Norway and was intrigued by a postcard he found there. The postcard showed him the Viking Laws and he was astonished how well they can be mapped onto Agile culture.

The text on the postcard was this:

VIKING LAWS

1) Be brave and aggressive

Be direct
Grab all opportunities
Use varying methods of attack
Be versatile and agile
Attack one target at a time
Don’t plan everything in detail
Use top quality weapons

2) Be prepared

Keep weapons in good condition
Keep in shape
Find good battle comrades
Agree on important points
Choose one Chief

3) Be a good merchant

Find out what the market needs
Don’t promise what you can’t keep
Don’t demand overpayment
Arrange things so that you can return

4) Keep the camp in order

Keep things tidy and organized
Arrange enjoyable activities which strengthen the group
Make sure everybody does useful work
Consult all members of the group for advice

Looking at these laws I’m struck by how well they fit on Agile cultures. The first set shows the way Agile teams approach the work they have, to not have a Big Design Up Front, to be open and direct, to use Swarming (get one item done at a time – to limit work in progress), and the approach towards tooling.

The second applies to how Agile teams are set up with a focus on technical excellence and to have just one person responsible for the product so the team does not have more than one person setting the vision.

When I look at the third one I see the way Agile teams deal with the outside world. To look at what is important now in the current marketplace and go for what brings the most value. Measuring what can be done in one iteration and only picking up (and promising) what they can deliver. To not work overtime, and be clear in expectations so people want to keep coming.

The last set for me represents how teams do their work. They use the boy-scout rule, leaving the code they work on better than they found it. They keep the work they do fun for all. They don’t do the work alone, everyone has a say in the product development and are all there during refinement sessions.

I am going to use this in my trainings and while coaching my teams. They can apply these rules, and/or add to them.
Maybe you can ask yourself these questions:

Am I a Viking?

Can I live up to these Viking Laws?

What are my laws?

Julya van Berkel AUTHOR:
Julya van Berkel is an Agile adept and coach and has been championing Agile and Scrum since 2007. In her role as Agile Coach Julya has helped numerous clients and colleagues in getting better at Agile and as teaches she has set up and taught hundreds of Agile and Scrum training and courses. For Sogeti in the Netherlands she helps set the direction in Agile and is involved in many groups within Sogeti and outside in the Agile community.

Posted in: Agile, communication, Innovation, IT strategy, Quality Assurance, Requirements, Research, Software Development, Test Tools, Testing and innovation      
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There are a lot of articles available discussing the potential that the Internet of Things can bring to both consumers and companies. In this article, I’d like to discuss how the healthcare industry specifically stands to gain from the Internet of Things, looking specifically at healthcare payers and providers.

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Healthcare Payers

Healthcare insurance companies, similar to insurance companies in most other sectors, stand to reap the most benefit from the data aggregation and analytics that IoT can help provide. Understanding whether a patient is engaging in high or low-risk behavior requires understanding what the risks are. Having large amounts of data to analyze and report on would allow insurance companies to understand in finer detail what risk factors there are and what behaviors increase or decrease that risk, adjusting policies accordingly.

Consider for example, a patient who is informed by his/her doctor that he/she has high cholesterol. We know that the patient’s lifestyle has a major influence over whether he/she is at risk for further complications, which would require more intensive care. The patient’s healthcare provider can offer a program wherein the patient uses a device similar to a Fitbit (activity tracker), and receive benefits if he/she can demonstrate preventative, healthy behavior.

A use case like this can bring the following benefits:

  • The insurance company helps reduce risk of further complication, thus reducing potential cost
  • They gain large amounts of granular patient data, which can be aggregated and analyzed across patients to help determine risk factors
  • In the process, the company has encouraged healthy behavior, and is able to do so while offering discounts to the patient.

Healthcare Providers

With the rise of wearables and other in-home IoT devices, healthcare providers may start being able to interact with and monitor patients, even when they aren’t in the same location. This can reduce hospital time and help improve accuracy in diagnoses. Alternatively, IoT

Consider a patient who is prescribed some medication by his/her doctor. That medication is dispensed into a smart pill bottle, which tracks how much the patient uses and when. Using that information, the patient’s doctor can make more educated decisions about side-effects that the patient may experience (is the patient taking more than the recommended dose? Less?)

In this way, healthcare providers gain the following benefits:

  • Access to granular patient data
  • Ability to monitor a patient’s health information without requiring the patient to be physically present
  • Better informed diagnoses and higher quality results

AUTHOR:

Posted in: Business Intelligence, Cloud, Digital strategy, Human Behaviour, Innovation, Internet of Things, IT strategy, Quality Assurance, Research, Testing and innovation, Transformation, User Experience, User Interface, Wearable technology      
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For me, DevOps is more than just automation or implementing certain tools.  Conceptually, DevOps is not just implementing Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Selenium, or writing unit tests in your language of choice.  DevOps is also not: agile specific, a prescriptive series of tasks and or tools to implement, a prescriptive methodology to be implemented.  DevOps is not having ‘deployments’ occurring every day.  DevOps is: a philosophy, a way of being, a way of operating, a goal that is never really achieved.  DevOps is ‘run-rinse-repeat’ methodology, or the standardization and repeatability of your processes.

When I did a quick search for ‘DevOps’ on Google, I got interesting search results with several advertisements for tools, along with the Wikipedia  article for DevOps.  I am going to choose to ignore the fact that the Wikipedia article  doesn’t do justice to my opinion of the DevOps philosophy and I feel it is somewhat short-sighted.  A quick perusal of the article, for the uninitiated, makes one think that if you implement an Agile development process, leverage the cloud, and introduce some tools, you are now ‘doing DevOps’.

Let’s Explore

As I stated earlier, DevOps is a philosophy, a way of operating, a way of thinking about the day to day activities within an organization, and identifying inefficiencies within the ‘software manufacturing process’.  When we look at the production of software, and all the individual inputs, and tasks necessary to produce software; the similarities between manufacturing become readily apparent.  When we produce software, there are a distinct set of inputs:  requirements, code production, validation, creation of supporting infrastructure, Quality Assurance, and the release of our code to our customer (internal or external).  If we compare this to a simplified example in automobile production:  a car is designed (engine sizes, transmissions, appearance), sub-assemblies are produced, sub-assemblies are combined, Quality Control occurs, the cars are shipped to dealers.  At the end of the day, both software development and automobile production are a manufacturing process.  Then why do we not take the approach to the manufacturing of software that the automobile manufactures do?  Toyota introduced the concept of Kaizen within their assembly lines and were highly successful, to the point where they were copied by other manufactures.

Practical Application

The approach to ‘software manufacturing’ that most companies have implemented, is fraught with inefficiencies and with a Kaizen based approach, can lead to a significant cost savings, along with an increase in efficiency.  If a car fails Quality Control, and has to be reworked, the manufacture now has to inject the rework back into a production line which was not designed to ‘fix cars’ but was designed to ‘produce cars’ (a discussion of a Six Sigma / Lean Manufacturing approach is the subject for another time).  What is the cost for rework (fixing bugs), in the software development process?  Let’s assume each bug takes four hours to fix, and we have a blended cost of $50US per hour for labor on our software manufacturing line.  This means that each bug costs you $200US to fix.  How many bugs are we finding and fixing each month, quarter, half, or year?  What does that cost us in lost productivity?  Very quickly, fixing bugs becomes ‘real money’ and the return on investment of the cost of implementing a DevOps journey suddenly becomes very affordable.

. . . Enter the Philosophy

As we have already discussed, rework leads to extra costs; so what if we do everything we can to eliminate rework?  As I opened this post, DevOps is more than just automation.  DevOps is a philosophy that consists of a three pronged approach: people, process and tools.  The astute reader of this post, will notice that of the three prongs of DevOps, only one is about technology (tools).

Let’s take a look at the easiest prong to define; process.  Many companies have a process in place around their software manufacturing process.  We may have a Change Advisory Boards (CAB), we have code reviews, we have run-books for deployments; just to name a few processes.  How much time do we spend in each of these three steps?  If our code is not complete in time to make the deadline for a CAB meeting, what is the cost to the business?  Is the manufacturing process for software changed so that we can meet the deadlines for the CAB, or do we follow our process and then request an exception to the process?  Philosophically, and a strictly rhetorical question I always like to pose; when does an exception to the change process, become SOP?

For me, the first step in a DevOps journey is to take a good hard look at the software manufacturing processes.  Identify the inefficiencies in the process.  Re-align our definitions for things such as: standard change, normal change, exception, definition of done, definition of ready for development, etc.  Look at each individual process in your software manufacturing process and take a Kaizen approach to your process improvements.

Once you have started the process of, well process improvement; take a look at the people.  Do you have the right people to support the process?  If not, can you train existing employees, or do you need to hire the right talent?

Now for the final prong of DevOps; the tools.  Once we have embarked on our own companies approach to Kaizen in the software manufacturing process, we need to take the time to identify the appropriate tools to support your processes.  What ALM tooling do we need? Have we implemented the best source control provider?  Have we taken every opportunity to ‘shift left’ the identification of errors in our manufacturing pipeline?  HOW are we deploying software?  As stated before, and worth mentioning again, that the earlier we catch an error in our product, the cheaper it becomes for us to fix.  If we identify, automatically, that a bug was created in our code base, as early in the process as possible, then the fix for that error costs less to remediate, than the cost of the bug entering production.

Let’s automatically check for business logic errors.  Let’s automatically check to make sure that the user interface does what it is supposed to do.  Let’s make sure that when code is committed to the code base that standards are followed.  Let’s automatically check for performance issues.  Let’s automatically make sure that all of our environments are identical in configuration.  Let’s automatically validate that code that is released to production does not introduce a performance impact on our infrastructure.  Let’s automatically re-deploy prior code when new code fails.  Let’s automatically re-create infrastructure components which have failed.

I opened this post with the title that DevOps is greater than automation, but while  closing this post, I want to ask  you a philosophical question , does DevOps equal Automation?

AUTHOR:

Posted in: Automation Testing, Behaviour Driven Development, Cloud, DevOps, Digital strategy, Human Resources, Infrastructure, Innovation, IT strategy, Quality Assurance, Rapid Application Development, Research, Software Development, Test Tools      
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It’s been awhile since my last blogpost, and I have missed it. To share my own and the  team’s experiences with you all is always rewarding, so I will continue my postcard series  from a while back. This blog is about working with a very energetic team of people which  makes me just buzz with energy.

Sometimes you get lucky in life and get to meet inspirational people… either on YouTube, maybe even face to face… but sometimes you actually get to work with them. Some bring ideas, others lateral thinking and yet others just positive energy… but none of that matters individually until they come together. That is when the chemistry really starts to work.

This week I had the pleasure in three different ways. First in meeting colleagues in an attempt to create a completely new “environment”.  Second meeting international colleagues which brought minds together.  And thirdly meeting long-time friends who I had not seen for many many years… and where time and distance are no barriers. In all these meetings we were able to overcome issues in one way or another; bringing life back to a project that had grown stale, sharing incredible achievements with each other not just as a point of reference but actually doing it, and transcending time (having not seen each other for 15 years).

This collective energy powers my windmill (sorry had to make the reference to the many modern  windmills I saw as I flew into Amsterdam and it being the unofficial Dutch symbol). Meeting and  working with people with such positive energy really helps tremendously in getting you to achieve  your own goals. It allows the free-flowing of ideas and where criticism is not seen as something  negative, but just a challenge to overcome. This is where new exciting things are being thought up.

Especially being able to work with people from different backgrounds and experiences helps to overcome issues faced in one country which might not occur in other countries. Sometimes you really can’t do these things on your own so I am currently working with partners in setting up some exciting new ways of working for ourselves and for our customers.

After two days in the Netherlands I am full of great new ideas that can be applied to our Sogeti Studio. Things we cannot talk about yet but all will become clear soon!

Marco Venzelaar AUTHOR:
Marco is a HPE Tooling Specialist and managing consultant for Sogeti.

Posted in: communication, Digital strategy, Human Resources, Innovation, IT strategy, project management, Quality Assurance, Research, Software Development, Test environment, Transformation, User Experience, User Interface      
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