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The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the IT Galaxy and Beyond
Don't Panic



Troy Dumoulin Photo

Troy DuMoulin, VP, Research & Development

Troy is a leading ITIL® IT Governance and Lean IT authority with a solid and rich background in Executive IT Management consulting. Troy holds the ITIL Expert certifications and has extensive experience in leading IT Service Management (ITSM) programs with a regional and global scope.

He is a frequent speaker at IT Management events and is a contributing author to multiple ITSM and Lean IT books, papers and official ITIL publications including ITIL’s Planning To Implement IT Service Management and Continual Service Improvement.


The Guide

"This blog is dedicated to making sense out of the shifting landscape of IT Management. Just when we thought we had a good handle on managing technology, the job we thought we knew is being threatened by strange acronym’s like ITIL, CMMI, COBIT, ect.. Suddenly the rules have changed and we are not sure why. The goal of this blog is to offer an element of sanity and logic to what can appear to be chaos."

Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactic as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper: and secondly it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover."
~Douglas Adams


Troy On Twitter

Recent Entries



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Thursday, December 08, 2016

PR 71 - Using Kanban for ITSM & Operations

Being able to visualize work and create transparency is the beginning of improvement

One of the major tenants of Lean thinking is the principle of Jidoka, which means “making the invisible visible”. Creating transparency in how work is received and completed is a critical step in order to understand, measure and improve. This reality has given rise to the Lean practices of Visual Management or as one organization I know likes to call it:  “Working Out Loud.” In this session George and I are talking with our return guest J. Paul Reed about his views and experiences of how a Kanban Board allows organizations to create transparency into work, provide key metrics such as Lead and Cycle Time, identify Bottlenecks and quickly act on visual cues to improve throughput.

The Kanban board is one of the most widely adopted Lean tools and has become popular with the Agile and DevOps movements and is now finding its way into IT Service Management and Operations processes. Join George, Paul and I as we explore this topic and provide examples of how Kanban enables IT teams to improve visibility into both planned and unplanned work and how it ultimately helps teams by honouring reality.

  • Guest: J. Paul Reed
  • Kanban -  Origins Toyota Production System & Lean Thinking
  • Kanban - Make work visible and focus on the flow
  • Challenge was how to use a Kanban for un-planned work
  • Agile and DevOps leverage Visual Management and Kanban boards to visualize work in progress
  • Using Kanban when a team is distributed or virtual
  • The focus is how is working flowing, where are the bottlenecks?
  • Unplanned work often is what consumes the majority of existing capacity, Kanban makes this visible
  • Kanban allows you to honour reality
  • Kanban is the only place where all work is visible - (The Lean principle of Jidoka)
  • What is not understood / defined cannot be stabilized, measured, improved
  • Kanban improves flow by limiting Work In Progress and increasing throughput
  • The cost of task switching (every time you interrupt someone writing code you loose 1/2 hour)
  • Even machines suffer from Context Switching
  • Discounting the myth of unlimited capacity
  • Taiichi Ohno “Let the flow manage the process and not management manage the flow”
  • Kanban scales very well to groups or scales down to individual work
  • Scrumban
  • Using Agile - Scrum and Kanban for Request Fulfilment
  • Using Kanban for 1x1 and explaining unplanned work
  • Value Stream Maps vs Kanban Boards
  • Can you use Scrum for Unplanned work?
  • Kanban can be used for both Planned and Unplanned work
  • How do you do Kanban wrong? (Organization’s with a blame and shame culture)
  • If Kanban does not have Work In Progress limits it has limited value
  • Personal Kanban
  • Using Kanban boards for personal life (MediaBan, ChoreBan,….)

George’s, Paul’s & Troy’s thoughts what are yours?

“I find that when you open the door toward openness and transparency, a lot of people will follow you through.” ~Kirsten Gillibrand


To subscribe to Pink’s Podcasts on iTunes

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Monday, September 26, 2016

The Pressures of Demand and Supply

The full Blog article is posted on I recently had the opportunity to be a guest blogger on LeanKit’s community blog. You can find the full post at the link below

Making IT Better, Faster, Cheaper


The IT industry is going through a profound shift based on market pressures it has, in one sense, helped to create. The speed and cultural expectations that have evolved from an Internet/streaming economy have created a business culture and expectation which requires unprecedented levels of agility to remain viable — let alone profitable. This has created a downstream impact on internal and external IT providers, who must find ways to optimize the way they process requests and deliver services.

However, one might argue that the need to move faster has always been a constant pressure. While this is true, there are relatively recent, unique factors that have kicked this requirement into high gear over the past three years.

Localized Optimization in IT Value Streams

Lean and systems thinking teach us that any value stream is constrained by its bottlenecks. To even identify where these bottlenecks exist in a system, one must be able to visualize the IT value stream in order to identify areas of blockage.

The challenge with this is that traditionally, IT has not been optimized from a value stream orientation.  Instead, IT has been focused on localized and domain optimization, based on vertical, silo-based technology towers. While the lifecycle concept of Plan-Build-Run has been around for a dog’s age, and frameworks such as ITIL®, TOGAF, and COBIT® have provided systems thinking context and examples, the governance of IT has been fragmented by the technology domain.

This means very few IT leaders look at optimizing the flow of the enterprise value system, but instead look for ways to optimize Plan-Build-Run activities as distinctly different focus areas. Look closely and you will see that many organizations will have separate strategies for each technology tower without considering the full system’s performance.

An Unsustainable Model for Managing IT Complexity

For the full article please follow this link: The Pressures of Demand & Supply

Troy’s Thoughts What Are Yours?

“Society has always to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.” ~George Orwell

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

PR 70 - Release Management & DevOps Teams

Organizational culture & cross functional teams are critical ingredients for rapid and secure releases

The best processes in the world are meaningless unless you have an effective teaming structure and enabling culture. The setup and use of cross functional teams (x-teams) has long been researched and documented as a way to overcome organizational challenges with silo mentality, issues of waste and speed caused by the challenges of complex environments and work handoffs.  Wikipedia: Cross Functional Teams

These principles and practices are reflected in Lean’s use of Kaizen improvement teams, Agile’s borrowing of the Rugby Scrum team model and now DevOps is leveraging these principles in what has been referred to as a DevOps Team. However this concept was not invented by these movements but has been adopted to deal with challenges which impact all IT functions that work within complex systems.

Join George and I in this entertaining podcast as we discuss this topic with our special guest J. Paul Reed who is a Release Engineer and an early pioneer in the DevOps community.

Show Notes:

  • Special Guest: J. Paul Reed
  • PR 68 - DevOps, ITSM Release & Aviation Best Practices
  • Release Engineering - What DevOps became
  • How does ITIL Release & Deployment tie into DevOps?
  • Webinar: The Relationship between Agile, Lean & DevOps
  • The DevOps Team (Cross functional / X-Team)
  • Do you need a DevOps Team?
  • Aviation metaphor - Release & DevOps Teams
  • The DevOps Team & control processes like Change Management
  • The Rugby Scrum Team moving the ball all the way to the goal
  • The DevOps Team is not disconnected from the organization as a whole
  • Moving more decision power to the Cross Functional (X-Team)
  • The DevOps team is accountable for their own work / results (Accountability)
  • Smaller batch work lowers risk and increases speed
  • Agile Retrospectives are all about not re-living pain and consequence
  • DevOps Team size? (Core, Cousins & Extended Family)
  • Website on DevOps Team Structures (DevOps Topologies)
  • Making risk visible is difficult when a culture of blame is the current state
  • DevOps is fundementally about culture and structure
  • Accountability in a Continuous Delivery process is scary
  • Humans Factors and Systems Safety Master Degree
  • The Lean Andon Cord without the supporting culture is not effective
  • DevOps team’s live within a society / a larger organization that enforces its own controls
  • Improving Release Deployment is impacted by structure and team systems
  • Pick the structure that works for your organization

George’s, Paul’s & Troy’s thoughts what are yours?

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” ~Steve Jobs


To subscribe to Pink’s Podcasts on iTunes

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Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 07/28 at 10:24 AM
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