Category: Change Management

Service Design Modeling

DevOps works with the presumption that Operations are directly involved in the interpretation of requirements and use cases driving the development of solutions.

Including that perspective, this design model for a service presents a high-level abstraction that isolates the supply and demand sides of service production but aligns them within the decomposition and assignments of requirements, deriving the design implementation from the use case through sourcing and into development.

Archestra Service Design Model_v_DevOps

An extended discussion of the DevOps influence on the design model is found on Slideshare as DevOps and the IT Consumer.

All Archestra models and frameworks are subject to revision at any time.


Managing Assets in a Free-Wheeling World

Trillion-dollar dotcoms get trillion-ized by not carrying inventory. Wall Street creates “products” by packaging things that were NOT provided (payments due).  Employees bring their own devices. Lines-Of-Business grab what they want from the external Everything-As-A-Service buffet. And obsession with innovation, fueling the pace of change, makes almost anything in hand at risk of being “obsoleted” far sooner than was ever projected.

Story after story, being in charge of Stuff is an authority that has fallen on hard times.

Or not… A division of Needs has simply taken over from a division of Belongings, and the solutions to Needs are more clearly and vigorously attached to how things are obtained instead of what things are already in hand. It’s a natural evolution, allowed more speed and prominence by technology having finally gotten us past institutionalized scarcity.

It doesn’t mean, however, that assets have just gone away. It does mean that Resourcing is the big issue, and that managing assets is a requirement of resourcing. Resources are assets that have been given an operational assignment. Resources are derived from assets.

This takes place in three interesting scenarios, summarized in the chart here, and detailed in the document linked below it.

Managing Derived Resources

For a full description of why and how resourcing is the lead POV on asset management, see Assets as Resources in the Next Normal.

The provided logic, and the objectives of resourcing, explains how assets apply to innovation, XaaS, collaboration, “freemiums”, services, and many of the other defaults that have collectively and concurrently become “the next normal” of production.

Understanding Solution Implementation

We know that the idea of “solutions” is often abused. We intuitively understand that something called a solution is not solving anything if, for example, it is installed but not supported to any practically useful effect. But we understand why a provider calls something a “solution” even in advance of installation: the provider is pointing at its offer to respond to a designated problem. Then we’ll go on to talk and think about implementing the so-called solution.

But “Implementation” is a crucial concept that requires the determination to distinguish and recognize restructuring separately from installation.

The execution of implementation matures from concept to reality in a deliberate and overt way, with a predefined kind of completed change becoming a new regular element of the organization (structure) of a behavior or of a facility.

An implementation is, therefore, typically visible as a new formation put into effect. The primary responsibility of its finish is to be the platform for actual upcoming action, not to conform to historical prescriptions or precedents. This in turn means that measuring the success of an implementation is done by comparing the meaningful characteristics of the new behavior or facility against the old characteristics.

Installations can be completed and yet have no significant forward impact at all. In contrast, an implementation by definition has a measurably significant impact identified in terms of the behavior requirements or facility requirements; this means that implementations may proceed and progress with an understanding that there is a threshold to be reached and crossed, representing the intentions of the affected client. Thresholds may in fact move over time, in response to the influence of new circumstances developing around and within the affected client. Managerially, the imperative is to keep the current threshold explicitly defined and agreed.

Intention is primarily directional. Alignment to intention is not so much a matter of fixed positions but of consistent appropriate movement. Enabling the alignment is the primary objective of the implementation effort. This also means that “successful” implementations can initially be detrimental to desired results, while still being on the way to desired benefits. The affected client should expect that adjusting to the formation can introduce difficulties that are necessary to sustaining alignment, at the expense of conventional signs of good performance.

Alignment is not ambiguous. The terms and relations that affect alignment rarely need to be invented but they need to be orchestrated and their cooperation or other influences tracked. In the framework of implementation, the regular and distinctive factors of its progression are exposed (providing “transparency” of effort). Directionality, from hypothesis to realization, is identified bottom to top and left to right.

Enterprise Solution Implementation Framework

To reiterate: an important fact of the difference between installation and implementation is that installation projects come to a close, while implementation initiatives do not close; they mature.

Digitized Production Service Solutions

Some companies are literally in the business of engineering IT infrastructures and managing the exposure of the company operations to those infrastructures.

For them, ITSM is part of a strategy to protect the value of providing IT to the business operations.

But from the demand side of things, credible providers are increasingly non-proprietary to the company. Meanwhile, the production value of IT utilization simply outweighs the impact on the Providers of doing the providing.

For companies not operated directly to engineer IT infrastructures, services still align IT to usability. The concept of a service and the agreement that defines service availability remains instrumental to making IT a part of business capacity.

But business seeks to align services to productivity. The point is that productivity dictates the requirements of capacity — instead of capacity dictating the potential value of availability.



Actual demand for service is linked closely to production requirements.

The value of production is far more sensitive to (a.) exposure to complexity and (b.) unreconciled scheduling. From the demand-side point of view, the primary assumption is that engineering creates an environment in which there can be reliable standing conditions supporting the opportunity to deliberately generate desired real-time outcomes. But, the on-demand world is emerging under management as a compilation of innovation, mobility, A.I., predictive analytics, dev/ops, lean, virtualization, and broadband. Meanwhile, the influence of competition, economies and cultures now more frequently causes changes in requirements. Consequently, use of services must be more flexible.  This means that the specific pathways and requirements of production may not be predefined and may need to be detected and composed “on the fly” with easily tolerable risk. Systems must continually or even suddenly generate processing that is immediately available to business operators.

Production Services Digitization



Demand-based strategic management of the production environment can be viewed thematically.

The management themes put an explicit emphasis on recognizing systemic conditions that promote immediate and adequate throughput of technology power, at low risk of misalignment to work objectives. The key themes ( in gray below) address the throughput constraints of on-demand production including target outputs, adaptability, governance, optimization and standards. They expect that management, services and needs are always negotiated in production.

Production Services Digitization2


Solution Providers are expected to address the elements of the model and the alignment of the elements. The elements shown in the model (such as context, knowledge or presentation) are all independently variable. But this means that the components of a solution can change asynchronously, directly affecting the complexity and integrity of the overall production system.

Elemental variability also highlights the hypothetical case of implementing full production throughput on terms other than through a single-source provider. A provider’s components offer more or less elegance and coherence to the production, and from one component to another, different providers have different levels of achievement in that regard.

In turn, that highlights the true importance of current-state digitization in IT.



Digitization primarily means two things: one, the difficulty of engineering functional objects is greatly reduced; and two, the practical access to any implemented functionality is greatly increased. Digitization gives the same benefit to multiple sources, making each of the sources more likely useful to a given customer.

As a result, business requirements, for rationally maximizing the utilization of automation technology to exploit information, can be more generically defined by the customer aside from particular sources.

Said differently, essential business-relevant information uses such as explanation, instruction, communication and recording can be more readily modeled with a simpler architectural level of logic. In turn, the implementation of that logic in action can proceed in a faster time frame and with more assurance of operational stability.

Production Services Digitization3



The business version of the production throughput model applies strategic goals (productivity, provision, management) to the production conditions, not just to the production outputs. It also applies goals (convenient, dynamic, integrated) to the runtime experience of the production.

In that demand oriented framing, the model broadly solicits the pertinent elements of a desired production solution. For example, catalogs and  location-triggered alerts both address service awareness. Collaboration functions and publishing both address knowledge. Discovery and mapping both address surveillance. Rules address interpretation; versions address referencing; and user interfaces address workflow.

More of the logic: demand-based management views on systems involve solution features that are automated and integrated specifically to apply to supporting production’s enablement with IT.

  • Presentation: consistent recognition and display of symptomatic evidence
  • Interpretation: formulaic or heuristic semantics and analyses
  • Referencing: policies, standards and specifications
  • Surveillance: real-time detection and exploration of states

Those assignments are part of the model’s persistent logic, while allowing both current and future components to apply.

The Next Normal

The next normal arrives when a new system replaces the old system in both its role and its opportunity as the preferred one to use.

A “system” occurs when a set of interacting items routinely take on a certain group behavior:  each of a critical number of elements acts, both consistently and persistently, primarily through their interactions with each other.

The routine behavior (i.e. the form) of the system occurs when the system is in a state of dynamic equilibrium, not just static configuration.

When a routine behavior consistently takes the place of a predecessor, the newer routine becomes the next “normal”.

In the next normal, new interacting patterns among the system’s internal elements are both more sustainable and more preferable than are preceding patterns.

The next normal occurs when two things happen.

One: an alternative system’s effectiveness becomes statistically predominant over an older system’s effectiveness. The difference may occur by force (causality) or by choice (attraction), leading to its potential predominance.  Impacts are the outcomes of interactions. Impacts are identified by types, not by levels. They can be forces, states, or objects. Effectiveness is the influence of the impacts.

Two: an alternative system becomes a candidate for “normal” because the compatibilities of its internal elements are more likely to persist than the incumbent system’s. They become persistent on a case-by-case basis, eventually reaching a critical mass of collective presence. The origins of the persistence may also be either authoritative or opportunistic.

Influence, however, may be circumstantial; and presence may be episodic. In both cases there must be a reason why the older system is vulnerable enough to be replaced.

An organization such as a company, a market, or an entire community can be a system… A system’s supportability is particularly sensitive to priorities. Priorities typically relate to competition, cooperation, or cohesion — the level of interaction on which changes originate. As support factors, those interactions correspond approximately to advantage, competency, and protection — the measured variables representing the priorities in the system.

Changes underlying the priorities have upstream influence.  Within a system, one’s own actions and the actions of other parties have consequences that either reinforce or undermine the priorities.

The Next Normal -Vulnerability Factors


Variations in inhibitions and encouragement alter support of the priorities; priorities support the compatibilities of system elements. Therefore, variations of the underlying factors potentially changes the equilibrium and the further predominance of the system. That change will invite a renovation of the system or deference to another (successor) system.

The most likely instigator of change is demand. The pressure of demand comes from how it amplifies some priorities at the expense of others. Then:

  • If demand alters the behavior of an organization, it may affect the equilibrium of related systems.
  • If a system becomes unstable, alternative interactions can find success and instigate rearrangement of elements within and around the originals, to favor new preferences in demand.
  • Consistent support of new interactions can mature into making the alternatives the next normal.

Creativity Under the Microscope

When we go to the underlying “template” of nearly all discussions about “creativity”, our main interests, are always the same:

– How do you recognize it?
– Where does it come from?
– How do you use it?
– Who cares?
– What is it worth?

We know what the word “create” means: it means “to make”. Competitively, we want creativity to refer to making things in a way that they were not made before — a strategically useful requirement. We want to know if those new “formulas” are inspired (implicitly discovered) or engineered (explicitly discovered), and we want to know if we can cause the discovery on demand.

But the terms of discussions about creativity are often too ambiguous to be shared effectively across different parties. The ambiguity inhibits both confidence and progress in taking creativity under management.

A glossary of characteristic distinctions would help to sort out the discussions so that the answers provided would be understood the same way by all of the participants.

Most of the mythology about creativity is actually about where it comes from — namely, the nature of “inspiration“. Creativity is seen most commonly as “originality of awareness”, usually characterized in one of two ways:

– insightful (sees within)
– imaginative (foresees)

But artists, teachers and coaches know that creativity can be both taught and learned as a behavior that generates insight and imagination. The behavior has any or all of the following characteristics:

– playful (arranging for pleasure)
– experimental (arranging for discovery)
– inventive (arranging for newness)

– constructive (static effectiveness)
– productive (dynamic effectiveness)

– distinctive (different per specification)
– unusual (different per context)
– original (different per known precedent)

Overall, the glossary allows us to “map” these behaviors as  different types of “vision” (seeing), “build” (arranging),  “impact” (effectiveness) and “value” (difference).

It’s fair to ask about how the behaviors become competencies.

The answer is that the behaviors can be pursued intentionally and need not be only spontaneous or “inherent”. In particular, we see training as the work done in any behavior to separate the 80% of unnecessary effort from the 20% of effort worth amplifying. The other key effort required is planning. By looking at what each different behavior is actually about, it can be taken and prioritized as a potential source of change to a current state reality.



Business Reference to ITSM

The business reference to ITSM has an overall subject matter of why the business has the services that it does, in the form and availability that they have.

The business perspective on IT Service Management is generated primarily from a demand-based point-of-view. This is because the fundamental requirement of the business Client is to use IT-based services, not to make them. In the role of service user, the top issue is to identify the key factors and flavors of business change, while the ability to obtain and leverage service is derived from the objectives of managing the services. Unless the objectives are aligned to the business factors, there is no reason to expect significant levels of benefits from the service.

The reference framework here identifies essential actions of the business that are the appropriate direct business influence on the management of the service. All of the business actions represent decisions that may retain the status quo or change it. The sensitivity to the level and scope of change is often arbitrarily limited or disorganized, creating complications between the service user and service provider. However, the default situation is that the business is the customer and is always responsive to a need for change, while the provider is always a replaceable option at some level of risk and convenience. Overall, the business needs an organized way to refer to its intent to influence the service impacts.

In general, the business has three groups of demand-side influence.

  • An environment of guidance is established. (Leadership / Strategy / Best Prractices)
  • Services and their lifecycle are built and managed. (Production / Operation)
  • The means of production are chosen and applied. (Processes / Tools)

The management of the service, from the business POV, also falls into three general areas.

  • Design service. (Transform / Plan)
  • Provide service. (Implement / Run)
  • Align service. (Optimize)



The Right Thing To Do

Companies trying to make innovation a routinely successful practice may have steep learning curves and deep-rooted habits preventing the necessary degree of acceptance of change. Complicating matters further is uncertainty about whether governance is present and supportive, or instead, more likely an inhibitor of change, in their organizations.

A key part of clearing that hurdle is having a consistent understanding of what is getting done by the variety of efforts needed to allow innovation to succeed. The distinctions shown here are the basis of a recommendation to exploit portfolio management and strategic sourcing in order to accelerate practical adoption and development of innovation. Followup discussion will be added to this article’s table during December.

Performance versus Innovation