IT value chain: requirement to deploy

The requirement to deploy value stream is concerned with how well IT manages the creation and delivery of new or modified applications—in other words, strategic demand. The goal for this value stream is to maximize the business value delivered by IT. Given this, the focus is on value optimization, which starts by ensuring applications align to their business goals and objectives. To achieve this, IT must deliver applications that meet their requested, approved requirements, as well as strategic non-functional requirements. To make this happen, IT leadership needs to manage the quality of the requirements process, establish predictability in programs and project execution, ensure end-to-end quality is delivered, and deliver application performance in accordance with the service-level agreement (SLA). The question here is, are people creating SLAs during service design, and how well do these agreements reflect real business needs versus IT needs? Let’s review the goals for requirement to deploy and the metrics that will tell you whether you have achieved success with this value stream.


What are the goals for requirement to deploy?

To be successful within this value stream, you must be able to show month-over-month improvement in each of the areas described above. This means being able to measure and see that all components of the value chain are working—from requirements definition to project/program management to pre-production and post-production quality tests. Do you perform post-production quality tests? In the requirements phase, functional and technical requirements must reflect enterprise needs and, most importantly, business-case objectives. At the same time, IT must build to the right requirements, so that proposed solutions meet those requirements and avoid associated risks. In the build phase, you want to know that programs and project plans are likely to achieve their expected outcomes. You want to know here that program and project activities are executed according to plan, and delivery across this value stream is becoming more predictable. In the delivery phase, you want to know that quality requirements have been implemented and that expected benefits are quickly achieved and accepted.


Measuring whether improvement is indeed happening

Your IT organization should be continuously improving how it operates in all above areas and actively measuring improvement. First, look at the percentage of time invested in strategic projects to gauge whether program and project activities are sharply focused. Then look at the percentage of projects that are on time and the percentage of projects are on budget. Together, these numbers will tell you whether your IT organization is establishing predictability. For the quality phase, you must ascertain whether defects are being discovered post-production; this number should be moving toward zero. A high number clearly indicates  that “ya got trouble in River City.” Finally, look at the percentage of end-users affected by application quality problems. A high number indicates that there was a problem in the requirements definition or project build and must be fixed to move forward.


Where do you start?

Start by asking your how satisfied customers are with the quality of applications that IT delivers and with the delivery process. Then drill into the metrics described above so you can align and optimize.


Related links: Finding your true value

Solution page: IT Performance Management

Solution page: Application Lifecycle Management

Solution page: Project and Portfolio Management

Twitter: @MylesSuer

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About the Author
Mr. Suer is a senior manager for IT Performance Management. Prior to this role, Mr. Suer headed IT Performance Management Analytics Product ...

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