Disciplined Agile

Support Practices

Some methods will choose to prescribe a single approach to Support, but the Disciplined Agile® (DA™) tool kit promotes an adaptive, context-sensitive strategy. DA does this via its goal-driven approach that indicates the process decision points that you need to consider, a range of techniques or strategies for you to address each decision point, and the advantages and disadvantages of each technique. In this section we present the goal diagram for the Support process blade and overview its decision points.

Copyright Project Management Institute All Rights Reserved Support v5.4 Support Strategy You built it, you support it Support/help desk Self-service Provide Self-Service Options Artifical intelligence (AI)/bots Discussion forums Frequently asked questions (FAQ) Help pages Online tutorials User manuals Videos Provide Assisted Support Channels Voice/call Interactive chat Supported discussion forums Email Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Escalate Incident Functional escalation Hand-off incident Hierarchical escalation Touch-and-hold incident Address Incident Assign incident Categorize incident Monitor incident status Prioritize incident Architect a Support Environment Solution simulation Automated support Support knowledgebase Govern Support Monitor and measure Develop support metrics Develop support guidance

Figure 1. The potential activities associated with Disciplined Agile Support (click to enlarge)

The process decision points that you need to consider for Support are:

  • Support strategy. How will you provide support services, if at all, to your end users?
  • Provide self-service options. Self-support strategies enable end users to support themselves by providing information to them.
  • Provide assisted support channels. Assisted support channels provide end users with access to a staffed help/support desk or even to the development teams themselves.
  • Escalate incident. Most incidents will be addressed immediately by someone in the role of Support Engineer (which in the case of a “you build, you support it” DevOps-style approach would be someone on the delivery team who built the solution). Sometimes, when an incident is too complex, it may need to be escalated to others with greater experience or knowledge. 
  • Address incident. There are several potential aspects to addressing an incident, including categorizing and prioritizing it, assigning it to the appropriate person(s), and monitoring the status of it if it is not addressed quickly (some incidents take hours or even days to address).
  • Architect a support environment. You will need to provide an infrastructure to enable your support strategy. Please see the section architecting your support environment.
  • Govern support. Your support efforts should be governed so as to ensure they are effective. This is part of your overall Governance efforts.