IT Management Slideshow: The 7 Deadly Sins of IT Operations

By Brian P. Watson  |  Posted 01-15-2010

The 7 Deadly Sins of IT Operations

Deadly Sin #1: Over-reliance on Availability as a Quality Metric People yell the loudest when their app is down, but there are other areas that deserve focus.

The 7 Deadly Sins of IT Operations

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Deadly Sin #1: Over-reliance on Availability as a Quality Metric Other key areas: -Response times: Slow apps can harm the business and can be tricky to detect and resolve. -Error rates: 99% error-free transactions isn't good enough. -Scalability: System strain will increase, which could translate into availability problems.

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Deadly Sin #1: Over-reliance on Availability as a Quality Metric Solutions: -Get out in front of problems and make sure the business understands that you are looking out for them. -Project the future business load and have a scalability plan.

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Deadly Sin #2: Assuming that No News is Good News -If no one complains, but you don't know how healthy your systems are, you're in trouble. -Customers may be too angry, busy or confused to bring up issues.

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Deadly Sin #2: Assuming that No News is Good News Solutions: -Know all key elements of your systems (availability, response times, etc.). -Thorough reporting each month (if not more often). -Keep your IT team apprised of systems status.

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Deadly Sin #3: Under-Utilizing Charts, Graphs to Understand Key Trends -Problems can be missed when you rely only on tables or text. -Graphs illustrate long-term system behavior trends.

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Deadly Sin #3: Under-Utilizing Charts, Graphs to Understand Key Trends Solutions: -Analyze your quality metrics month over month. -Show off your successes.

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Deadly Sin #4: Hoping Unresolved Problems Won't Reoccur -Systems don't always work correctly. -Flukes will continue if not addressed.

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Deadly Sin #4: Hoping Unresolved Problems Won't Reoccur Solutions: -Monitor and track incidents. -Analyze root causes. -Fix problems to prevent them from reoccurring.

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Deadly Sin #5: Relying Upon Firefighting and Heroics -Too often, leaders shower worship on problem-solvers. -This focus on firefighting can inhibit smooth operations

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Deadly Sin #5: Relying Upon Firefighting and Heroics Solutions: -Continue to praise your smoke jumpers. -Incent and reward stability.

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Deadly Sin #6: Allowing New Functionality to Trump Production Quality -Too many companies sacrifice quality for improved time to market. -Many don't know when to pull the brake on projects.

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Deadly Sin #6: Allowing New Functionality to Trump Production Quality Solutions: -Keep track of the volume of changes and make sure partners understand them. -Negotiate your own production; if you own production, you are empowered to influence.

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Deadly Sin #7: No Specific Quality Improvement Goals for 2010 -This is the biggest sin of all.

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Deadly Sin #7: No Specific Quality Improvement Goals for 2010 Solutions: -Meet with business leaders each month. -Convene all-hands meetings each quarter to keep pushing forward. -Carefully choose reasonable targets in each of the quality areas.

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