Service Virtualization

A Look at Federation and Communities of Practice

By J_NeSmith posted 11-29-2017 01:16 PM


Have you ever noticed that it’s the high-performing teams that ask the best questions of themselves? They challenge themselves, think ahead and consistently work to validate team direction and priorities by asking the right questions—frequently. 


For service virtualization (SV), perhaps the most important questions teams can ask are, “What does our organization want our SV solution to look like?” and “What changes should we pursue at key milestones along our SV journey?” Teams that don’t ask these questions early and frequently in their journey and that don’t consider various scenarios will lag behind teams and their organizations that pursue SV progress by openly debating these questions.


Roles and Responsibilities

In a previous post, I pointed to the need to establish a maturity model. Within this model lies the development of roles, templates, processes and procedures that drive the scale organizations desire. Organizations that recognize the importance of establishing rules for delivering SV capability adopt SV more quickly with better alignment to desired business outcomes. These organizations define strategies and establish processes and procedures that address questions such as:


  • Who owns a given service?
  • How is the service federated and supported?
  • What criteria determine whether a service is managed through the service catalog?
  • What is the governance and support model that best suits the way we deliver SV projects?
  • How are skills, infrastructure, knowledge, maintenance and support managed and by whom?



Most organizations create some form of SV federation, but few examine the extent to which they should federate versus manage centrally. Fewer still create a single factory concept that delivers all aspects of SV to other departments. Establishing a federated model is important because it combines strength and scale with the flexibility of autonomy by creating natural divisions of work that maximize organizational investment. Using the list of functions below, think about your organizations and whether federating these functions would provide new benefits:



One approach to defining the most appropriate federation model is to align the functions listed above into a RACI model that maps to the existing organization. For example, skill development and self-learning might be the responsibility of an education department, whereas SV project and program management activities align with project management office functions. The RACI model drives the conversation about role identification and results in development of a potential execution model depicting the best way to support the SV-related activities.


Communities of Practice

More organizations are beginning to understand the value of implementing an online community of practice (aka learning network, domain or practice area) for sharing ideas and improving performance. People need a forum where members can ask questions, exchange ideas, learn from others, and mine SV intelligence to solve issues specific to the organization’s use of SV. In a community that’s limited to your organization, you and your colleagues can share and reuse proprietary information, governance processes and procedures, and sample SV patterns. The community of practice is an integral element of federation and self-learning.


As always, questions and comments are welcome.


Learn more about how CA Services helps customers with their Service Virtualization implementations.


Prior series posts:  Maximizing Your DevTest Investment on Your Way to SV MaturityMaking the Most of Your Service Virtualization Assets; Change Management: A Key Element of Your SV Strategy; SV Requires Transformation at Scale to Drive Maturity; On the Path to Service Virtualization Maturity: Measure Outcomes, Not Output