Tom Peruzzi's thoughts on digital, innovation, IT and operations

Ops is only in focus if it fails

Posted in 1, BCM, organizational by opstakes on April 19, 2010

You know that story, you work as good as you are and you will never get that funky stuff until your apps get public attention. So how do you mostly get attention? By failure as nearly all major projects of operations only affect people (in a bad manner) if something wrong happens. (a user will never see any change in his day to day live by getting a new IP address, but what happens if exactly that IP isn’t working …., just a silly change of an address with potential fatal attraction).

So is this either good or bad to only get money on demand? How does business think? Definitily, you – as an IT leader – has plenty of options to inverent but mainly two:

  • accept and push your budget
  • start building awareness via BCM or quality improvement programmes

The first one is the more reactive, you ask for more money, you don’t get it. If anything fails you always have the option to push back and say something like “I asked you for more money to mitigate those risks but I did not get it …” So your direct Head is responsible for your perosnal fiasco …

The second is much more aggressive. You try to offer solutions for potential scenarios, you interact directly with all related departmens and they will start putting pressure on the CEO to get money to mitigate/diminish their business risks (you hear, it is no longer an IT risk, it has changed to a business risk) You drive the BCM initiative and get the money via the involved departments, everybody happy but:

  • BCM never stops, don’t forget to block money/resources in your budget for the upcoming years
  • after a BCM initiative is before a BCM initiative, risks/business changes and you should discuss those changes in an open minded environment.
  • a failure after such an initiative could potentially risk your job, so be aware to make sure that you get what you promised!

There will always be some risks you never can mitigate that easy, but most of them should fit into a BCM initiative.

So how to start? Talk to the departmens, understand their demands, get their OK for BCM and start your BCM lobbying parties … after a while make a good presentation at C* level and declare how and when and what happens, if BCM will not start. Sounds easy, is easy, but it will need you and the awareness of all involved departments. It is not a fight IT versus board, it is the “we make it better” party!

But what to do if it still fails? Open dialogue, fresh information about your plan to react and a fast closing project after you have installed some work arounds are the only way to get back respect and trust.

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