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Mike Tarrani
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002


This entry is a continuation of my 26 January entry. I stated that successfully balancing rigid methodologies against an agile IT function is possible as long as seven essential elements are retained.

IT needs to be able to quickly move to meet emerging business requirements. However, processes that assure success are critical and cannot be tossed aside in the name of agility. IT operational excellence from the user (business) point of view is measured by how well or poorly IT delivers service. There are many moving parts to service delivery, as well as interfaces into applications delivery and other areas. Linda and I developed one organizational model that ties together these functions. We make no claims that it's perfect, but it does represent best practices that she and I have collected in our collective half-century in the industry. In addition, the META Group has a PowerPoint presentation titled, A Framework for Operational Excellence that contains a rough roadmap to achieving world-class IT operations.

Another area that many IT organizations appear to fully understand is problem management. This process is enterprise-wide--not just a fancy term for a help desk. A narrow, but valid, view of problem management is shown in a PowerPoint presentation titled Problem Management: What is it Good For? I also found the following PowerPoint presentation on ITIL Service Level Management as a realistic approach to enterprise-wide problem management. A wider view of this critical process can be found in IT Problem Management by Harris Kern and Gary Walker. Linda and I have both reviewed this book on Amazon. In fact, she and I have reviewed all of the books in the Harris Kern Enterprise Computing Series.

I hope this entry sparks ideas and provides interesting reference material. At some point I am going to jump in and address configuration, change and release management in detail (and I have a ton of material that I've developed to back it up). Until then, digest this and let us know if we are on track.