Agile Service Delivery Defined

Building a Lean and Agile
Service Delivery Team Starts Here

by | Jul 8, 2013 | Blog | 0 comments

Agile Service Delivery
Agile Service Delivery releases your service department from the constraints of conventional service delivery and allows your entire team to function with a level of autonomy far superior to those still preached by your PSA solution providers. I have been using the term Agile Service Delivery for years, and I have been coaching other companies in these methods with great success. I realized I should start documenting and defining the methods and principles so that they may be further revised and clarified. I’d like to share with you everything I’ve surmised to this point. My hope is that you can gain from it in some way, and if you’re so interested, may contribute in even some small way. The future is ours to write, and if we’re the authors, let’s get to it.

If you are not familiar with the term Agile, as in Agile Software Development or Agile Project Management, don’t be too concerned. All you need to know is that the intent is to be agile and dynamic where and when possible versus strict, rigid, and overly process controlled. However, do not think that being agile gets you out of defining and documenting processes and having clearly defined procedures, systems, and methods.

For those who do know or understand Agile, do not be too quick to assume that there has to be a one-to-one relationship of the Agile Manifesto and Principles used in Agile Software Development or Agile Project Management and this new Agile Service Delivery. Everyone who contributes to the definition of Agile Service Delivery gets to define the principles and tenets. So if you have input on something you read here, please be heard by posting a response.

I will lay out the principles I have come up with and organized so far. They are broken into 5 areas: Service Delivery Strategy, Process and Procedure, Communications Protocol, Team Dynamics, and Client Value.

Agile Service Delivery Principles - Incomplete:

Service Delivery Strategy

  • Everyone is pre-authorized to apply excellent customer service at any opportunity!
  • Transparency - Everything is in our system, all work is performed against a ticket, and everyone has access to every ticket
  • Quality at the source -Every ticket is a quality ticket all the time
  • Divide and conquer - One issue, one ticket
  • We work in real-time – All of the blind processes rely on it
  • It’s always okay to just take care of the client on any level
  • Rapid, flexible response, focusing on items the client needs most
    • SLA and ITIL Catalogue of Services directs this
    • Front end – Users – Tactile Needs
    • Back end – System – Services – Requirements

Processes and Procedures

  • Ownership of process – Everyone helps write the standards and procedures
  • Continuous incremental improvement
    • Frequent evaluation and feedback
    • Timely adaptation of changes
  • Agility in execution and administration of Blind processes for workflows
  • Blind processes for Technician work cycles
  • Non-rigid tiers defined for escalation

Communications Protocol

  • All communication is closed loop
  • The scope and depth of communication is proportional to the priority and severity
    • It automatically expands and contracts with priority and severity
    • We communicate even when there is nothing to communicate
  • Communication leverages today’s technology
    • Video will become the norm even with clients
  • Short, impromptu ad-hoc meetings with only the people required (Scrum meetings) are recognized as important and are encouraged
  • There is a clearly defined process for how to create an interrupt cycle to get time with someone without completely disrupting work
  • Short, defined concerted effort campaigns to get stuff done (Sprints) are typically by nature a week in length for our industry, but can be longer or shorter and can be focused on areas of trouble in the overall service system or for a given client.

Note: The terms Scrum and Sprint are not just for development and project. They lend themselves very well to our service delivery system and we will use them.

Team Dynamics

  • Mature behavior required on the part of each team member
  • Self-managing knowledge workers who are given the autonomy to apply their mastery
  • Each team member is:
    • On board with the mindset and dedication to the principles
    • Must be a champion of the mindset and principles
    • Must be receptive to what comes their way and what is expected of them
    • Allowed to call anyone on anything as long as it is in a non-blaming way
    • Dynamic (Agile) in their ability to change directions or redirect momentum when required

Client Value

  • The client must actively participate in the well-being of their own systems
    • Technical Roadmap Meetings
    • Feedback on service delivery levels
    • Timely response to requests from service providers (Techs, Eng’s, SC, SM)
  • The client must be willing to communicate according to our protocol
    • Closed loop feedback
    • Reasonable expectation in responses and response times
  • Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary client technical contact identified and assigned
    • Sometimes this is not possible, but we need champions on the inside

The preceding list is nowhere near complete and is sorely lacking in critical points related to true Lean methodology. In the Team Dynamics section, there is mention of mature behavior and self-management as requirements. These are related to the ability to understand risk, need, impact, function, and so many other aspects of any issue or problem. And then there is the recognition of Problem versus Issue which seems to escape even some of the sharpest technicians and engineers. We must address the cultivation of skills and the training of our talent using other tools and methods not directly related to the Agile Service Delivery system, but make no mistake, they must be addressed.

Ideally, in a well-tuned Agile Service Delivery system, you would not need a service coordinator in the more common conventional role. Instead, your service coordinator would be an expeditor, communications facilitator, and ticket tuner, not a Tetris and taskmaster. I have seen it work in several companies I have coached, including one with over 20 technicians and engineers.

In future blogs, I will expand on each of these principle groups and draw the required correlation to Agile principles already in place for project management and software development. I will also delve into the outline of the Core Values that will form the Agile Service Delivery Manifesto, the linchpin component of our system. To seed this, I will start with the following statement that comes to mind every time I begin or attempt to complete a written process:

We build clearly documented processes and procedures as rules and guidelines, but we will be agile in their application and execution when it is of value and benefit to the client and does not go against our principles. There should always be a known process, procedure, or best practice to consider as the default mode, but in the hands-on, day-to-day work, the standard guides the practice and the practice is agile.

As I mentioned previously, this is by no means complete and there is a lot more to build out, but I had to get started on it in order to begin bringing it to fruition. The seed has been planted, it will be fed and watered, and it will grow. Feel free to help out, I welcome all useful input and feedback.

Can you find this on Google?

About Manuel Palachuk

I am the coach that will take you to the gym! Not just send you there.

I provide coaching and consulting to individuals, teams, or organizations with only one goal in mind: to take you and your business to the next level. And I have the blueprint to do it!

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Understanding the difference between PUSH and PULL | TopLeft - Kanban boards for Connectwise and Autotask MSPs - […] Here is the link to read the rest of his post: https://www.manuelpalachuk.com/push-versus-pull-service-delivery/. See also https://www.manuelpalachuk.com/agile-service-delivery-defined/ […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To My Newsletter & Blog Update

Archives

What my clients are saying…

Brian Glover

“My business process was held together with duct tape when I met Manuel, which created a lot of chaos in my business. He told me I needed to automate my business so I did not have to work in my business and showed me a… Read more “Brian Glover, CEO, Technology Solutions Consulting”

Brian Glover, CEO
Technology Solutions Consulting
Jim Hunton

“I find working with Manuel to be efficient and productive. He is very task orientated and holds everyone accountable. Manuel brings real knowledge and experience. He knows how to make you more profitable. Manuel is not there to lay out a plan and not see… Read more “Jim Hunton, President, Onsite Technical Services LLC”

Jim Hunton, President
Onsite Technical Services LLC
William Lanier

“What difference has Manuel’s coaching made? How do you say ‘EVERYTHING’? He understands the trials of an IT company owner. Not just the IT side, but the family side, the team side. He has all the areas covered. The reason his training is different is… Read more “William Lanier, CEO, Christian Computers, LLC”

William Lanier, CEO
Christian Computers, LLC
Philipp Baumann

“When I engaged with Manuel, my business was at a very bad point. We were not providing good service to our customers. Every tech did things differently, and we had a cowboy lead technician that was causing more harm than good and a system that… Read more “Philipp Baumann, President, BoomTech, Inc.”

Philipp Baumann, President
BoomTech, Inc.
Josh Weiss

“I chose to coach with Manuel because I appreciate how he does business. Manuel is rigorous, process focused, and genuinely cares about his clients and individuals and their businesses as a whole. Manuel helped me think through the process of creating a rigorous process manual,… Read more “Josh Weiss, President & Founder, L.A. Creative Technologies”

Josh Weiss, President & Founder
L.A. Creative Technologies
Alan Helbush

“Manuel truly understands the business of being an MSP, how to deliver service efficiently, and what the impacts are on an organization when doing so. This comes from seeing the big picture as he does and then being able to focus it down to the… Read more “Alan Helbush, President, Where To Start Inc.”

Alan Helbush, President
Where To Start Inc.
Ahsun Saleem

“I wanted a coach who wouldn’t just tell me what I needed to do, but how I needed to do it. As a business owner, I understood the various areas I needed to work on, but wasn’t sure how I could go about improving those… Read more “Ahsun Saleem, President, Simplegrid Technology Inc.”

Ahsun Saleem, President
Simplegrid Technology Inc.
John-Verbrugge

“Manuel is direct and clear. He stands by his advice and recommendations. There’s never any guessing as to what he means or what I should do. Manuel provided solid business advice in the IT service provider field. He had not only the business coaching, but… Read more “John Verbrugge, President, Nonlinear Tech Inc.”

John Verbrugge, President
Nonlinear Tech Inc.
Robert Paradise Attain

“Manuel Palachuk will take your MSP to a whole new level! Manuel was recommended to me by a friend, and my experience with him has been awesome. He is one coach that is determined to make progress no matter what. Many other coaches would have… Read more “Robert Paradise, President, Attain Technology Inc.”

Robert Paradise, President
Attain Technology Inc.
Patrick Eloi

“The CCIT staff has responded well to Manuel’s coaching because they can see the improvement in our day-to-day process. The training emphasizes the need for our technical staff to document and function as a team as opposed to each tech working as an individual. Manuel’s… Read more “Patrick Eloi, Owner and General Manager, Complete Care IT”

Patrick Eloi, Owner and General Manager
Complete Care IT
Robin-Galley

“Manuel’s coaching has made a tremendous difference in my life as a whole. Before I met Manuel, I did not see myself as someone who was in control of my career. His coaching has not only allowed me to see how I am in control,… Read more “Robin Galley, Assistant Vice President, Golden Pacific Bank”

Robin Galley, Assistant Vice President
Golden Pacific Bank
Schyler Jones

“I’ve been working with Manuel going on 4 years and I can say my experience has been nothing shy of phenomenal. Manuel has years of real-world experience both as an engineer and in IT, developing and following formalized processes that have enabled him to build… Read more “Schyler Jones, Owner, MiradorIT LLC”

Schyler Jones, Owner
MiradorIT LLC
Mike Ita

“The difference Manuel has made to my personal life, team, and organization in the short time working with him has been immeasurable. I knew who he was before we started working together, but didn’t realize he was on a mission to help other people succeed… Read more “Mike Ita, CEO & Founder, IT Corps”

Mike Ita, CEO & Founder
IT Corps
Ken Dwight

“I find value in working with Manuel in many ways – financially, organizationally, and new and enhanced professional relationships. He has been a breath of fresh air, helping me recognize areas of my business that are ripe for improvement, giving me ideas for growing my… Read more “Ken Dwight, President, The Virus Doctor”

Ken Dwight, President
The Virus Doctor
David Moadab

“I had joined a Microsoft networking event and after the first few meetings, I began to notice a pattern: The most successful members seemed to have a common denominator – Manuel. This is what made me choose Manuel for coaching. Before working with Manuel, we… Read more “David Moadab, CEO, Solutions Squad Inc.”

David Moadab, CEO
Solutions Squad Inc.
Felipe Vidal

“I like a no B.S. way of communicating. Manuel communicates clearly and with a conviction that gets my attention even when I don’t agree with him. There’s no sales pitch in Manuel’s delivery. He really keeps it real. Manuel is focused on success in our… Read more “Felipe Vidal, President, Vital Systems Support”

Felipe Vidal, President
Vital Systems Support
Ben Ahlquist

“Manuel comes from a true foundation of success in our industry in his own right, combines it with top-notch operations consulting and business strategy, and has a coaching style that gives it to you straight while simultaneously being encouraging with no judgment or criticism. I… Read more “Ben Ahlquist, President, ByteSmart Services LLC”

Ben Ahlquist, President
ByteSmart Services LLC
Eddie Joffe

“I love working with Manuel. He constantly gets me past my sticking points. When I feel stuck, I know Manuel will get me going again to reach my goals. Before working with Manuel, I actually wasn’t even using PSA. Manuel made sure I implemented a… Read more “Eddie Joffe, Owner, NetZone Technologies”

Eddie Joffe, Owner
NetZone Technologies
Jason Etheridge

“Working with Manuel has been business-changing and far exceeded my expectations. He isn’t lying when he says he takes you to the gym. My head muscle hurts (in a good way)! The MPI Getting to the Next Level program has completely changed our service delivery… Read more “Jason R. Etheridge, President, Logic Speak”

Jason R. Etheridge, President
Logic Speak
Steve Bootes

“The most important benefit to Manuel’s coaching has been his encouragement and being told that we’re making improvements. When you’re in the thick of it every day, it can sometimes seem that you’re not making any progress and things are just the same that they’ve… Read more “Steve Bootes, Owner, Computing Dynamics Ltd.”

Steve Bootes, Owner
Computing Dynamics Ltd.
Jon Sastre

“Manuel is a black belt at building and sustaining a true proactive service delivery model. He works to build and change cultures within organizations. Other business coaches are generic; Manuel understands the MSP model and how to achieve excellence in service delivery. He understands our… Read more “Jon Sastre, Senior Vice President of Cloud Services, United Data Technologies”

Jon Sastre, Senior Vice President of Cloud Services
United Data Technologies
Rayanne Buchianico

“Manuel is so much more than a coach. If you own or manage an MSP, you need to talk with him. His extensive experience and unique system takes your business and draws a picture. The picture starts with what your business looks like today, and… Read more “Rayanne Buchianico, Owner, ABC Solutions, LLC”

Rayanne Buchianico, Owner
ABC Solutions, LLC
Stephen-H.-Watkins-Sr.

“It is most important to note that Manuel truly understands every aspect of our business and our product. There is no doubt that his experience in the service industry has helped us put together many of our best processes in much less time than if… Read more “Stephen H. Watkins, Sr., Owner, S.H. Watkins and Associates”

Stephen H. Watkins, Sr., Owner
S.H. Watkins and Associates