The Business Value of Agile Business Service Management

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Colleagues Rico, Sayani and Sone recently published a book entitled The Business Value of Agile Software Methods: Maximizing ROI with with Just-in-Time Process and Documentation. Based on hundreds of systemic research studies, the authors cite some very impressive numbers. Even their least impressive numbers are awesome. For example:

  • Agile methods ROA 1.6X more than traditional [software] methods
  • Agile methods NPV 2.3X more than traditional [software] methods

We do not have anything like this rigorous study in the nascent field of Agile Business Service Management. I would, however, allow myself to suggest that the gains to be had through Agile  Business Service Management might be as impressive. The three main reasons for my suggesting so are as follows:

  • Deja vu. Much of the gain in applying Agile methods to software engineering comes from breaking the metaphorical wall between development and test. Likewise, the application of Agile principles, technologies and practices to Business Service Management leads to breaking the metaphorical wall that seperates development and test from operations.
  • Life cycle economics. As observed by Boehm, defects fixed during the Operations phase can be two orders of magnitude more expensive to fix than during the Requirements phase, one order of magnitude more expesive to fix than during the Code phase.
  • Data-driven decision making. Agile deployment enables "real time" customer feedback. Hence, the quality and timeliness of business decisions are greatly improved.

I don't really know whether colleague Dr. David F. Rico might have an interest in Agile Business Service Management. I will most certainly try to induce him....

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I would add one other reason for gaining value from Agile BSM that deals with Operations acting as “customer” input to the development and test …it forces a customer oriented or business focused mindset within Operations when they are on the hook to represent the interests of the end user. The focus of BSM is to move IT away from the technology silos of the past into a focus on the business value. Having to stand up and defend the business customer’s requirements forces IT to more actively seek the business perspective, to dig deeper into the real issues behind the technology request from business, and to validate the assumptions subsequently used to defend the business case to development and test groups …all BSM goodness.

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This page contains a single entry by Israel Gat published on December 2, 2009 12:25 PM.

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