Leif Ershag
Agile Coach, Tieto Education, Sweden

Leif began his career as a developer and is now working as an agile coach for a support team. Still gardening code occasionally his focus now is growing relations and collaboration at Tieto Education.



When I started coaching my first team in a strict ITIL environment I truly expected a journey through fire and brimstone. But we turned it around to an agile heaven, while still following ITIL.

With a focus on empowering people and collaborating in cross-functional teams we are managing to meet hard SLA levels. A focus on flow and taking ownership of an Incident from the moment it arrives to a permanent solution is in place for the customer have made it easy for us to not only solve the customers problems but also prevent new ones from occurring.

In an effort to meet hard SLA levels I formulated a strategy focusing on cross-functional teams. After a couple of iterations with management we finally got started. By coaching the team to collaboration and focusing on flow we managed to be both agile and follow the ITIL practices.

Bringing developers into the first stages of incident handling had a great impact on time to recovery. Improved flow raised the morale of the team. This created psychological safety for them and enabled us to both experiment and learn.

Things are still not yet perfect of course. Change and release management is slowing them down. Change management increases time and the release management process, as described by ITIL, makes it hard to deliver value continuously to users.

By sharing my lessons learned I hope you can make an impact on your support organisation when you get home. This will make both your customers and your support feel awesome.

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