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1 of 27
Honey, I Shrunk the Incident Volumes
Stu Howitt
Technical Operations
Agenda
1. Introductions
About Capital One and Myself
2. Capital One IT Service in 2016
Scene Setting for the Scenario
3. The Need to Change
Driving Factors Behind the Improvement Programs
4. Solving the Problem
What Did We Actually Do?
5. The Results
What Was the Outcome?
6. Takeaways
But not of the edible variety
2
3
Introductions
Capital One
Formed in 1994 in the US as a monoline credit
card bank which later expanded into other areas of
consumer banking.
Divisions in the UK and Canada
One of the UK’s top ten card providers
4Confidential
The Slide Where I Talk About Myself
5
Heckle If This Takes Too Long
Manager of Service Stability which sits within service operations, an area mainly composed
of ITIL functions.
Areas of Responsibility
• Incident Management
• Problem management
• Availability management
• Capacity management
6
Capital One IT Service in 2016
Confidential 7Confidential
Cast Your Minds Back to 2016
8
The Need to Change
Driving Forces
9
• Perception of instability from business users.
• Didn’t align with the business goal of “Always On”
• Business events which track customer impacts were on the rise.
• System availability was below set targets.
10
Solving the Problem
This is Going to be a Top Ten List
11
• This set of actions covered multiple initiatives involving a large number of teams and areas
within Capital One.
• Different angles of attack were needed due to the variety of issues.
• Buy in from a senior level was essential.
Good Problem Management Can be More Important than Good Incident
Management
12
• There is little scope to improve reliability within the Incident Management process alone
• A circular feed of Knowledge from Problem into Incident will reduce your resolution times
• More Problems mitigated = Less Incidents in the future
Communication is Key
13
• Make sure your communication methods are effective
• Make collaboration during incidents as accessible as possible
• Harness technology where possible
• Self Subscription for notifications can be a powerful thing
Incident Dashboard Examples
14
Integrate Incident Management with Problem Management
15
• Your Incident Managers can also be Problem Managers
• Helps to build an “Investigator” mindset within the area
• Knowledge gained during Problem investigations will create long term expertise
Be Quick or be Dead Ended
16
• Start root cause investigations immediately after service restoration where possible
• Use the momentum gained from service restoration as a spring board
• Our analysis found that Problems very rarely got to root cause if investigations ran longer
than two weeks
Drive Problem Ownership in your Support Teams
17
• Consider having local Problem Managers within your support teams
• Put in place effective reporting to track progress and volumes
Make your Problem Output Compelling
18
• Pitch your Problem output to the correct level. You won’t drive change if your stakeholders
don’t understand
• Make it visual where possible, long wordy documents generally won’t be read
• Don’t hide it from your customers. Make it available to your stakeholders, show them you’ve
got it covered
Confidential
Example Problem Output
19
Lend Your Expertise to Your Vendors
20
• A collaborative approach to service with your vendors can reap dividends
• If you need to run a service improvement plan with a vendor, consider putting an Incident
Manager in the lead
• If you have service processes that work, consider sharing that knowledge
Align Your Severity Matrix With The Focus of Your Business
21
• Are your top priorities the same as your stakeholders?
• When’s the last time you reviewed your severity matrix?
• Priorities and business focus shifts, do you move with it?
Partner with your Business Stakeholders
22
• Integrate IT into business customer standups
• Be open with your setbacks
• Use the feedback for course correction where needed
Capacity Management Doesn’t End in the Design Phase
23
• Capacity requirements at service inception can be quite different a few months later
• Capacity Management should be a daily service concern rather than being purely
development
• Create a loop between your Capacity Management function in your service organisation into
your development organisation
• A Capacity Council can be a powerful thing, bringing awareness of demand from all areas of
your business
If You Can’t Control Demand Then Protect Your Services
24
• Consider application throttles if your services can experience unplanned demand
• Work with your Capacity function to find your risk areas
25
The Results
Major Incidents 2016 - 2018
26
27
Takeaways

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Stuart Howitt: Honey, I Shrunk the Incident

  • 1. Honey, I Shrunk the Incident Volumes Stu Howitt Technical Operations
  • 2. Agenda 1. Introductions About Capital One and Myself 2. Capital One IT Service in 2016 Scene Setting for the Scenario 3. The Need to Change Driving Factors Behind the Improvement Programs 4. Solving the Problem What Did We Actually Do? 5. The Results What Was the Outcome? 6. Takeaways But not of the edible variety 2
  • 4. Capital One Formed in 1994 in the US as a monoline credit card bank which later expanded into other areas of consumer banking. Divisions in the UK and Canada One of the UK’s top ten card providers 4Confidential
  • 5. The Slide Where I Talk About Myself 5 Heckle If This Takes Too Long Manager of Service Stability which sits within service operations, an area mainly composed of ITIL functions. Areas of Responsibility • Incident Management • Problem management • Availability management • Capacity management
  • 6. 6 Capital One IT Service in 2016
  • 8. 8 The Need to Change
  • 9. Driving Forces 9 • Perception of instability from business users. • Didn’t align with the business goal of “Always On” • Business events which track customer impacts were on the rise. • System availability was below set targets.
  • 11. This is Going to be a Top Ten List 11 • This set of actions covered multiple initiatives involving a large number of teams and areas within Capital One. • Different angles of attack were needed due to the variety of issues. • Buy in from a senior level was essential.
  • 12. Good Problem Management Can be More Important than Good Incident Management 12 • There is little scope to improve reliability within the Incident Management process alone • A circular feed of Knowledge from Problem into Incident will reduce your resolution times • More Problems mitigated = Less Incidents in the future
  • 13. Communication is Key 13 • Make sure your communication methods are effective • Make collaboration during incidents as accessible as possible • Harness technology where possible • Self Subscription for notifications can be a powerful thing
  • 15. Integrate Incident Management with Problem Management 15 • Your Incident Managers can also be Problem Managers • Helps to build an “Investigator” mindset within the area • Knowledge gained during Problem investigations will create long term expertise
  • 16. Be Quick or be Dead Ended 16 • Start root cause investigations immediately after service restoration where possible • Use the momentum gained from service restoration as a spring board • Our analysis found that Problems very rarely got to root cause if investigations ran longer than two weeks
  • 17. Drive Problem Ownership in your Support Teams 17 • Consider having local Problem Managers within your support teams • Put in place effective reporting to track progress and volumes
  • 18. Make your Problem Output Compelling 18 • Pitch your Problem output to the correct level. You won’t drive change if your stakeholders don’t understand • Make it visual where possible, long wordy documents generally won’t be read • Don’t hide it from your customers. Make it available to your stakeholders, show them you’ve got it covered
  • 20. Lend Your Expertise to Your Vendors 20 • A collaborative approach to service with your vendors can reap dividends • If you need to run a service improvement plan with a vendor, consider putting an Incident Manager in the lead • If you have service processes that work, consider sharing that knowledge
  • 21. Align Your Severity Matrix With The Focus of Your Business 21 • Are your top priorities the same as your stakeholders? • When’s the last time you reviewed your severity matrix? • Priorities and business focus shifts, do you move with it?
  • 22. Partner with your Business Stakeholders 22 • Integrate IT into business customer standups • Be open with your setbacks • Use the feedback for course correction where needed
  • 23. Capacity Management Doesn’t End in the Design Phase 23 • Capacity requirements at service inception can be quite different a few months later • Capacity Management should be a daily service concern rather than being purely development • Create a loop between your Capacity Management function in your service organisation into your development organisation • A Capacity Council can be a powerful thing, bringing awareness of demand from all areas of your business
  • 24. If You Can’t Control Demand Then Protect Your Services 24 • Consider application throttles if your services can experience unplanned demand • Work with your Capacity function to find your risk areas
  • 26. Major Incidents 2016 - 2018 26