Case study

Bringing DevOps and ITIL together at Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols is a British luxury department store chain with a stores across the UK and a website for customers to shop online globally. They are known for their very high standards in customer experience and wanted to ensure that these standards carry over to their IT processes for their customers online experience. 

To maintain these standards they wanted to ensure there is alignment between their dev and ops teams, bringing together DevOps and ITIL, so that any customer enquiry or issue can be handled promptly.

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The situation

Our consultant performed an analysis of Harvey Nichols and identified that it has been growing and there are now several agile development teams building their main systems and then one operations team running them using ITIL processes.

The teams had an agreement for managing and handing over work between them, but each team was using a different tool and these were not integrated making it difficult to prioritise work get visibility of progress. This especially caused challenges for the incident management process and made it difficult for the ops team to escalate to the dev team and to track SLAs.

Now that their teams were larger they needed to improve this process and formalise the handoffs between the dev and ops team so that work can flow smoothly. 

The solution

We worked with Harvey Nichols to agree a standard process for managing work and handoffs between dev and ops, and then implemented a single set of integrated tools to manage that process. It was important that the different teams could use their tool of choice but still have visibility of work handed over to them.

For the development teams we implemented Jira Software and created a common configuration for the different teams to do Scrum in a consistent manner. Their ops team was already using ServiceNow so we used automate.io to setup an integration with Jira so that incident tickets in ServiceNow could be escalated to the dev team in Jira and they would be kept in sync as both teams updated the ticket in their tool.

We setup SLAs in the tools to help prioritise work and track performance.

The results

Work can now flow freely between the dev and ops teams, and they now work much more tightly together and act as a single team to handle customer issues. Escalated tickets automatically flowed to the dev team and they were instantly notified with no longer any need for any manual rekeying. 

The priority driven SLAs meant that the most important work could be easily identified and prioritised allowing them to significantly reduce their MTTR (mean time to restore) and TTFR (time to first response) metrics. 

Harvey Nichols continued to provide their great in-store customer experience for their online services and were able scale their service globally to achieve their eCommerce goals.

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