Integrating new technologies is one of the most critical challenges IT will face over the next 5-10 years. We’re facing ever decreasing budgets, continuous business growth and the need for transparency and compliance.
As described well a recent blog by SAP’s Paul Helms, ‘Organizations spend so much money just keeping the lights on that there is no room left for business innovation’. Cost of quality is explained in the ICE BERG effect – above the water is what is visible to all; hidden underneath the water are the costly, time consuming activities that prohibits you from taking those crucial extra steps.
Addressing the HOWs
In my work with the SAP Advanced Center of Expertise, I meet customers who are trying to answer some common questions:
How can we increase the quality and maturity across our Operations processes?
How can we increase the Value of IT and ensure we meet business expectation?
How can we free those valuable resource time?
The path to becoming a mature IT organisation involves tools to support increased automation, proactive actions (monitoring and alerting) and setting new expectations in the minds of people. The human factor is sometimes the most difficult to deal with!
Quality Management methodology focuses on identifying challenges and risks, understanding weaknesses and ultimately identifying ways to improve efficiency and increase maturity of the IT processes.
A common feedback from organisations implementing the Quality Management methodology is well summarized by a customer I worked with recently “Itgave a new perspective of how continuous improvement influence day to day operations and with some effort, we achieve better efficiency and faster resolution of issues”
Quality Managers (QM) roles and associated topics are:
Quality Manager for Business Process Improvement
Business satisfaction, Value of IT, Business and IT alignment
Quality Manager for Business Continuity
Job Management, Root Cause Analysis, System monitoring and Administration
Quality Manager for Protection of Investment
Test Management, Security, Custom code management, Change Request and Control management
Quality Managers align closely around Processes, Tools and People. Within a KPI framework and close collaboration between Business and IT, they work on the continuous improvement principles of Plan, Do, Check, Act and Adjust.
Through an iterative approach, Technical, Business and Quality KPIs are reviewed regularly and adjusted as part of the process to drive continuous improvement.
Key Success Factors
Organisations are different, but there are some common elements which are present in any successful continuous improvement programme:
awareness of the continuous improvement initiative
strong focus on IT governance (possible review of this as one of the QM tasks!)
recognition of small achievements – which will lead to overall bigger success.
Whether it’s ITIL, Agile, Green IT – they key objective is realisation of VALUE.
Run Simple is real business value. BUSINESS VALUE is the ultimate focus when aiming to improve and innovate.
Let me know your views on approaching continuous improvement.