What you NEED to know about Transformation!

Published on Wednesday 5 June 2019 by in Blog with no comments

Digital ‘transformation’ or Digital ‘disruption’ is driving many organizations to adopt ‘Agile Transformation’ initiatives. However many are not getting the hoped for benefits because of poor adoption and application.

But even those who succeed recognize that Agile only solves one part of the equation which is why we see more and more investment in DevOps. Yet still the majority of DevOps initiatives struggle, partly because of confusion as to what it really is, but primarily to lack of effort in changing mindsets, behaviors and culture.

Those that are scaling up and truly building end-to-end capabilities then realize that many DevOps initiatives are more Dev than Ops. More alignment and integration with Ops and ITSM is needed. This triggers a need to make ITSM more Agile, hence one of the reasons for ITIL®4 and an increased focus around practices such as SRE (Site Reliability Engineering).

Finally, a real end-to-end ‘Value stream’ requires effective business collaboration. We are seeing a shift in the market from ‘features’ to ‘outcomes’ and a changing demand on the role of the Product owner.
There is a growing recognition in DevOps communities to shift the value flow from ‘Code-to-deploy’ to ‘Idea-to-value’, extending the need for collaboration and co-creation.

However with all this in mind here are three key issues we are seeing around Agile Transformations, based upon experiences and feedback from more than 400 teams globally:

  • Failing to address the mindset, behavior and culture to foster end-to-end collaboration.
  • Lack of effective ‘leadership capabilities’ and organizational change skills.
  • The role of the business in end-to-end collaboration and ensuring business value optimization and effective ‘modern’ IT Governance..

DevOps Skilling up.

In the previous year we have seen an explosion of interest in the Phoenix Project simulation to help organizations adopt DevOps practices and address the challenges named above.

Below is a list of blogs and articles revealing global challenges and how the phoenix project simulation has been used to address Culture, Leadership, and the role of the Product owner to make a a shift to BizDevOps – an end-to-end capability.
Is YOUR organization fit for the future?  – key challenges and tips for from CIO’s for CIO’s. Clearly showing a need for improved leadership skills and organizational change management skills, This also applies to second level management and their ‘organizational behavior management’ skills.

Core Skills for DevOps success related to the State of DevOps findings – the importance of Culture and Leadership. Findings from 400 teams mapped to advice from the last 3 years ‘State of DevOps’ findings.

Courage: A core DevOps Leadership skill – Behavior change for Leaders to empower change. This shows how the simulation helped create a ‘mindset’and ‘behavior’change with senior leaders.

DevOps: Creating High Performing Teams Starts with the Product Owner – The need for Product Owners to change their behaviors, confirming advice from Gene Kim in the Executive sessions above and tips from Industry experts at the DevOps Enterprise Summit.

DevOps: Fraternizing with the enemy – The DevOps Institute skills survey revealed that ‘collaboration’ is the top scoring soft-skill required for success, yet this is a hard skill to develop. Many teams and organizations have no idea what collaboration looks like. What behaviors will we see? Do YOU know? Do your teams agree? Do your leaders support and empower these behaviors? This focus on collaboration is also now a key Guiding principle in the latest ITIL®4 guidance. Clearly time for end-to-end collaboration!

‘Yehbut! Communication in the age of DevOps’ – Why do we struggle with effectively communicating? Why is ‘DevOps’ the wrong label? The core collaboration skills named above won’t work without effective communication skills such as ‘active listening’, but many in IT don’t listen to understand, they listen to give an answer!

3 Reasons DevOps initiatives fail and tips to avoid them – Taken from 400 teams. These top 3 tips are confirmed in findings from Gartner ‘The Secret to DevOps success

ITIL®4 relevance?

ITIL®4 has finally been launched in response to the demand for more Agile Service Management. At the same time we launched our MarsLander simulation to help support ITIL®4, VeriSM and Agile Service Management approaches and new ways of working.

The simulation has already shown how it not only helps translate ITIL®4 theory into practice but can be used to gain buy-in and commitment for ITIL®4 from the DevOps and senior leadership communities, including business leaders!

Here are some of the initial feedback and findings from some sessions so far.

ITSM: the next generation – Part 1 | AXELOS Community This is part 1 of a 2 part blog on the Axelos website showing how the simulation was used at an industry event, and what the team learned. Part 2 showed some concrete practical takeaways.

9 DevOps and ITIL Tips – “No shouting at each other (please)” – ITSM.tools  – This blog shows how the simulation was used within a global organization with Business, Dev and Ops stakeholders to gain buy-in for ITIL®4. The team shared 9 concrete tips to take away and apply immediately! How many of these are you doing? Which ones should YOU start to immediately adopt and apply?

What has the business got to do with ITIL 4? | AXELOS
This blog on the Axelos website shows how the simulation was used to gain ‘C’ level BUSINESS director bus-in and commitment to ITIL®4 and shows some concrete actionable takeaways to ‘Co-Create value’.


As digital transformation initiatives continue to unfold and IT becomes increasingly mission critical the old paradigm of IT as a Service provider must make way for IT as a strategic business partner. However this requires a shift in mindsets and behaviors from both business & IT.

At the same time it requires and increased demand for end to end collaboration and communication skills and new leadership skills to both manage the transformation and lead people in this new age of digital disruption.

What are YOU doing in YOUR organization to help transform Attitude, Behavior and Culture and develop skills that are fit-for-the-future?


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