Spirit AeroSystems CIO: Simplicity key to speedy IT 

How do you get your IT organization to deliver faster? You can introduce agile development, create a DevOps function, reorganize for better alignment with the business, and much more. However, while you are hard at work doing all of that, it pays to remember the one solid key to IT speed is simplicity.When Rich Richardson became vice president and CIO of Spirit AeroSystems in July 2014, he inherited an IT organization composed of committed professionals who were struggling with a history of bureaucracy. “We had a culture that got so bogged down in guidelines like ITIL and CMMI [capability maturity model integration] that we had trouble getting anything done,” Richardson says. “Rather than using those frameworks as tools to accomplish quality goals, we used them as the reasons why things take a long time. We were thinking about compliance but not thinking about what we were actually trying to get done.”25 best cities for jobsTech positions are among the in-demand jobs in most of the 25 citiesREAD NOWRichardson recalls a time when the IT team was moving from an IBM AIX platform to Linux. They spent so much time following ITIL’s rules on the design, configuration and build of the Linux OS that they addressed basic technology management like “effective monitoring.” As a result, they experienced outages that could have been avoided. “We had our heads so buried in controls [ITIL/CMMI] that we never just asked, ‘What are the critical elements to getting this system in quickly with security and reliability?'” Richardson says. “ITIL is a great tool for providing standards on configuration, performance management and capacity planning, but when you get too focused on one area, you don’t address the critical path to successful outcomes.”  Richardson sees CMMI as another doubled-edged sword. “We were working on a specific fix for a system that had five users, but my team wanted to go through the entire CMMI process and every sub-step instead of focusing on the five key fundamentals: define, design, build, deploy and maintain,” says Richardson. “It wound up taking three months to fix this process, when it should have been a quick installation. We went through all of this rigor and documentation and made a simple one-off project much more complicated and with no significant quality or functionality improvement. Funny thing is the team is the one that suggested changing and needed my help to allow them to do it.”In order to speed up delivery, Richardson spends a lot of time coaching his team to understand what standards and controls are needed and that “every action does not require the same level of detail.”

Source: Spirit AeroSystems CIO: Simplicity key to speedy IT | CIO

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