The Push/Pull of Partnership: An Honest Conversation Between IT and Business
DevOps has been a key driver in United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) breaking silos and becoming an innovator in federal IT, enabling a continuous flow of new functionality directly to public and internal users. But it wasn’t until we rethought the nature of the partnership between IT and “the business” that our ability to deliver on the mission truly transformed into “continuous value delivery”.
USCIS has embarked on a vision of going paperless, in place of a system legendary for shipping reams of paper throughout the United States and the world every day in order carry out the agency’s core case processing duties. Through this journey to digital transformation, the need for an involved, responsive, and collaborative partnership between business and technology stakeholders has become imperative.
Mr. Blair and Mr. Lloyd will reflect on how they worked together to strategize, reorganize, and prioritize to truly share the business value delivery decision-making. Team structures were changed, technical approaches reconsidered, and business process flows were re-engineered. The people in the field became authentic partners instead of “receivers of product”. Success was no longer measured by the number of featured delivered, but instead by how effectively and efficiently field staff could do their jobs. Business performance metrics became the primary measures of IT success. It is this collaborative business/IT partnership that is key to the success of a modern federal enterprise.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
This presentation will walk through the relationship building and challenges between IT and the business at USCIS on the ELIS project. The story will take place in 5 parts:
- Arranged Marriage - How the initial relationship between IT and business stakeholders was awkward and challenging, uncovering the assumptions between parties, and natural misunderstandings that occur through unfamiliarity
- Managing Failure - The results of misaligned stakeholders are sub-optimal outcomes, and the speakers will explore how they dealt with turbulence in the wake of failure
- Unifying the Vision - The first step toward regrouping after disappointing results is finding a common vision. The speakers will discuss the shift away from schedule driven deployment toward true value delivery
- Modernizing the Approach - Once business and IT stakeholders were unified on how to identify value, the focus shifted toward quick, easy, and reliable deployments through tooling
- Safe experimentation - In the final chapter, the speakers will talk about shifting focus toward product discovery, aligning IT results with business KPIs, and how to deploy quick simple experiments to find bigger wins more quickly
Attendees to this session will gain a deeper understanding of:
- Large scale enterprise delivery
- The importance of business and IT stakeholder relationships
- Managing turbulence due to misaligned priorities between IT and business stakeholders
- Methods of overcoming value delivery challenges in government agencies
- Practical solutions to uncovering business value in government
Business Stakeholders, Portfolio Managers, Government Leaders, Product Managers, Product Owners, DevOps Leaders, Business Analysts
Prerequisites for Attendees
Experience in large organizations is helpful but not required