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Taking a look at OBASHI in action

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In this second article we’re going to look at how OBASHI fits in with other IT frameworks, standards and methodologies. If you missed part 1, read it here.

The modern business is a complex organisation. People, technology and processes work together to generate revenue and deliver business outcomes. Many businesses do not have a full picture of how all their component parts fit together. This creates risk, and can lead to real problems. OBASHI produces Business and IT diagrams (BIT diagrams) that are used to map business processes.

ownershipbusinessapplicationsystemhardwareinfrastructure

 The OBASHI layers of ownership, business process, application, system, hardware and infrastructure show the business process and the IT that underpins it. 

OBASHI can be applied to small, medium or large organisations. Larger organisations will need to factor in the number of stakeholders and the complexity of their processes and services when scoping the OBASHI project. They may benefit from using a tool to create the OBASHI outputs.

Smaller organisations will have fewer stakeholders, but may have more single points of failure in their processes as one person can have many roles. They may be able to produce their OBASHI outputs manually using paper or a simple flow chart application.

If you’re from an ITIL background, it’s tempting to look at OBASHI and think “oh it’s just configuration management”. This isn’t true – OBASHI includes the bigger business picture as well and supports conversations outside IT.

OBASHI in the wider environment

The decision about whether to adopt OBASHI shouldn’t be over-complicated.  It’s not an either or decision – if you’re already doing ITIL, or COBIT, or ISO20000 you’re not going to throw away what you’ve got in order to adopt OBASHI. Instead, view OBASHI as a complementary methodology.

OBASHI will take inputs from your existing environment – if you’ve already got a service catalogue, or an asset register, then these will feed into your OBASHI project.

OBASHI diagrams can be tailored to the audience as required, masking complexity where it’s not needed and helping to make accurate business decisions quickly.

OBASHI and ITIL

I know a lot of ITSM Review readers are from an ITSM background, so it’s worth looking at OBASHI and ITIL in a bit more detail. From an ITIL perspective, Service Strategy and the processes it includes help an organisation to create and manage a service portfolio that will meet long-term business goals. The business and IT diagrams that OBASHI creates can help the organisation to prioritise investments, plan based on accurate information, and make sure IT services align with business processes.

In the Service Design lifecycle stage, new and changed services are designed. These services must meet business requirements for quality and cost, and must not have any unexpected negative impact on existing services.OBASHI can help to identify cost savings where existing services and components can be re-used, where appropriate.

Service Transition is the lifecycle phase that moves new or changed services into the live environment. OBASHI can help organisations to map their current state and also their desired future state.Change impact assessments can be carried out quickly and easily using the diagrams that OBASHI creates.

In Service Operation, live services are operated and maintained and support is offered to the business when incidents occur. OBASHI models can show the impact of downtime, who needs to be contacted in the event of downtime, and the cost to the business of a loss of availability. If customers can see we are working effectively to get them back online, we can maintain customer satisfaction – even during an incident.

The continual service improvement stage of the ITIL service lifecycle looks for improvement opportunities related to services, people, processes, structure. It’s well accepted that we need to understand something before we can improve it, and OBASHI helps to provide that understanding of the organisation.

“Premature optimisation is the root of all evil” Donald Knuth

OBASHI and Projects

Many organisations have a mature project management capability.  OBASHI can provide support during the key stages in a project’s lifecycle, including:

  • Forming a project board
  • Writing a business case
  • Risk and quality management
  • Communication
  • Project planning
  • Project closure

OBASHI diagrams help to identify stakeholders, map current and desired dataflows, and are inputs to project planning and impact assessment. OBASHI supports project management and helps projects to deliver on time, on budget and at the right level of quality.

Getting Started with OBASHI

So, who should use OBASHI and why?

The short answer is, any type or size of organisation that wants to understand and optimise their dataflows.

Think about these statements:

  • Our organisation struggles to prioritise investments
  • Our risk and impact assessments aren’t based on accurate data
  • The business thinks IT doesn’t understand them
  • The business sees IT as a cost centre, not a valuable part of the organisation
  • We need to make cost efficiencies
  • We’re adopting Green IT/virtualising our infrastructure
  • We’re struggling to manage legacy applications/technology

If any of these relate to your organisation, OBASHI is going to be a very useful addition to your toolbox. It’s the only methodology that creates a common picture for the business and IT to work from.

Resources

To learn more about OBASHI, you can visit the official OBASHI website, where you will find some excellent case studies and presentations that you can tailor to your organisation.  Additional resource can also be found on the training website. The OBASHI training scheme is run by APMG International, and Foundation training is available both in the classroom and online.

You can view the list of OBASHI training providers online and also read up about the formal certification.

OBASHI® is a registered trademark in the United Kingdom and other countries

ITIL is a registered trademark of Axelos Ltd

PRINCE2 is a registered trademark of Axelos Ltd

 




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