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Mike Tarrani
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Friday, January 25, 2002


Here are some maxims that Mike missed:
  • Never buy a tool until you have a process. Here's the acid test: look in your library and count the tools and applications that were supposed to be silver bullets or the great panacea, but are not used anywhere in your company. Subtract the number from 100. Subtract another 5 points for each tool that was only used once, and subtract another 10 points if the tool cost more than $10K (and an additional point for each $1K over that amount). If your total is negative your business case process is in dire trouble. If your company is publicly held, your shareholders are being shortchanged.
  • If it's not measured it doesn't exist (it only sounds trite).
  • Base your backup strategy on your recovery requirements, not on how unobtrusive the backup is. A rule of thumb: the more transparent the backup strategy, the more time it will take to recover from a file system loss. An exception is when you're using third-mirror schemes such as EMC's business continuity volume, and similar approaches.
  • Market your services as though your paycheck depended upon it. You might think you have a captive user population... until you wake up one morning to find that IT has been outsourced and you no longer have a job.
  • The most career enhancing assignment is the one you currently have (I can't believe Mike forgot this one--it's one of his favorites).
  • You cannot manage a project with a GANTT chart. You cannot plan a project with one either. Kind of makes you wonder why so called project management programs are so popular when all most of them do is make creating GANTT charts painless. If you're skeptical about this, consider the fact that Microsoft makes a popular product called Microsoft Project. Now ask yourself when was the last time Microsoft shipped a product on time. Is a light starting to come on?