‘Certified Agile Service Manager (CASM)’ is a service management approach created by the DevOps Institute. It aims to integrate Agile ways of working into ITSM, as well as development and operations, in order to enhance the quality and suitability of end products and improve ROIs.
CASM was originally created to accommodate the growth of Agile as a management approach. Agile was significantly popular in software development, but ITSM frameworks at the time – such as ITIL v3 – still used a waterfall style approach. While not completely incompatible with Agile, such methods did limit its implementation, as well as its benefits. To cope with this, professionals began working on Agile Service Management (ASM) as more of a tangible concept.
The CASM syllabus departs from traditional ITSM by adopting elements of the Agile Manifesto. These include greater flexibility, adaptability, and iterative planning, with developers focusing more on changing client requirements and incorporating regular feedback. Rather than replacing traditional ITSM, it acts as a bridge towards DevOps-style environments. It also focuses heavily on integrating with other frameworks and is an operational counterpart to ‘Certified Scrum Master (CSM)’.
But what is the significance of CASM, and what benefits does studying CASM offer?
How does CASM work?
CASM ‘works’ by applying Agile thinking and ways of working to ITSM. It specifically aims to instil Agile within service management processes and process design projects. For example, CASM advocates pursuing short-term, incremental targets. This helps to create value-generating services quicker while also giving clients the chance to deliver regular feedback and discuss changing requirements.
CASM does not change everything from the ground up, instead utilizing concepts from several different approaches. For example, it applies Agile and Scrum to development, while elements from ITSM and ITIL are applied to operations. It also incorporates guidance from concepts like Lean, DevOps, and SRE, as well as Agile engineering processes such as micro process architecture and service management architecture. The syllabus also offers best practices for topics such as Agile Process Engineering and Agile Process Improvement.
All of this allows CASM to form a comprehensive end-to-end approach, where developers are responsible for services, operations and ITSM staff become more Agile, and all teams collaborate more effectively to improve the flow of work and enhance time to value.
As CASM is an end-to-end approach intended to incorporate professionals at various stages of the service life cycle, it does not have any strict prerequisites for who can study or apply it. Indeed, the biggest point of focus for the syllabus is simply what it means and how to be Agile, rather than laying out a system that all CASM practitioners must follow.
How can CASM certification help my business?
The biggest benefits of adopting Agile ways of working are to do with speed and adaptability. When it comes to IT services, these qualities are essential for remaining competitive. Evolving technology and digital capabilities are constantly creating opportunities to improve services while changing customer expectations have made markets extremely competitive.
With this in mind, CASM offers numerous benefits for both individuals and practitioners:
- Agile Service Management helps teams work and adapt more easily, letting them meet the needs of customers faster.
- CASM enhances collaboration between development and operations and can even improve DevOps cultures.
- Taking an iterative approach to process design improves the velocity of process improvement teams.
- CASM encourages continuous learning and improvement, helping teams continue building on their approach.
- CASM leads to shorter and faster service implementation, allowing companies to enjoy ROIs at an improved rate.
- Agile ways of working and shortened feedback loops enhance the value of products by ensuring they comply with customer requirements.
- CASM’s focus on automation and feedback helps reduce risks in service development.
- Becoming a Certified Agile Service Manager demonstrates a candidate’s understanding of and ability to apply the syllabus. This can help them unlock new responsibilities as well as better job roles, especially considering the increasing popularity of Agile in general.