Random Thoughts on Service Management

  • Google suits my impulsive mind perfectly and is a great first step in discovering whether an idea is “out there” yet. Yesterday I searched for “service-oriented business analysis” and was not disappointed with the results – only seven hits, but this one points to an excellent six-part treatment of SOA and BA.

  • Can a senior BA really be skilled in all aspects of the solution life cycle? As I ponder the scope of BA, I grow more convinced that business requirements elicitation alone could be a fulfilling and challenging career.
  • And speaking of elicitation, if you peel back the first layer of the “agile business analysis” onion, one of the things you would see is agile elicitation. What does that mean in terms of the day-to-day relationship between the BA and the business stakeholders? Would it border on pestering? (Just kidding, kind of….) But what a magnificent way to help drive change management into the core of that relationship.
  • Service modeling in the true SOA sense takes a common concept – refactoring – and applies it to a broader context – the enterprise. There are clearly application refactoring techniques that can be leveraged in an organization’s SOA, service modeling, and BPM initiatives.
  • And speaking of SOA and services, their value arises out of what I have always believed to be the most important and fundamental notion coming out of the Object Oriented fury of the 1990s: that of encapsulation. Inheritance? Polymorphism? Frequently, copy-and-paste is the better technique. But nothing beats encapsulation – it’s the heart of separating the What from the How.
  • SOA and ITIL v3 are a perfect match – BAs involved in business architecture and IT-based solutions would do well to become fluent in both.
  • And speaking of the What vs. the How, it is only a matter of time before nearly every discipline in the enterprise will be modeled as a service, with service level agreements, metrics and measures, reporting and reviewing, and a context of continual service improvement and alignment to targeted business outcomes. Today the focus is on IT via ITIL, because IT really needed to get its house in order ever since the PC and LANs in the 1980s, client/server in the 1990s, security in the 2000s, etc. It will be very interesting to witness the extent to which the practice of ITIL within an enterprise will influence the application of the concept of services in non-IT disciplines.