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

Missing seniority

Posted in general failures, organizational by opstakes on December 20, 2012

I thought for a very long term whether to write that post or not. The reason why thinking is that it should not be a claim for people with more experience like me, it is a claim for more seniority and you can gain that seniority even earlier.

BUT – and ofcourse there is a huge but – you never can run a good product launch project without seniority. This happens all days to all different types of companies, small enterpreneurial ones as well as large corporates. Define who you gonna go with before what to do and make sure you have the right skills and expertise on board upfront. If you, for example come to a point during a project that e.g. the PO or the Scrum Master is lacking expertise thus getting ignored or absorbed makes it much harder to change and refresh than spending some more time at the beginning.

If he/she lacks methodolgy, ok, get her a training, but you cannot train expertise and seniority and especially not within a week or month! There exist plenty of good people out there being well educated but not skilled, there are others doing a job for 6 months and gain a lot of insights and there are others working for 20 years more or less without thinking. This means for you that you do not search for a special age category nor for a special educated one. Education and age can be an indicator, but not the total truth. You have to search for the excellence by talking to them, becoming inspired by their drive and capabilities. Than you know you are right. For people there is one special rule you should always take care on: If you are not 100% sure, than leave it. You should never change the organisation to make the one fit. Either he/she fits into culture, climate and organisation or not. It is up to him/her.

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Ops and Movie

Posted in general failures by opstakes on January 18, 2011

This post is inspired by Rita’s blogpost showing an interdependency between Coppola’s view on movie sets and organizations and how a startup or company looks like. According to Rita Coppola’s code of ethic is:

  1. Write and direct original screenplays
  2. Make them with the most modern technology available, and
  3. Self-finance them.

Thinking about that as a company sounds like plenty of work, quite easy and like day2day task (strategy, methodology/technology, money) thinking about that in regards to (IT)Ops looks quite harder, but think about IT Ops as a self driven (self financing) organization brings you to 100% the same situation:

1.) Write and direct original screenplays

What’s the vision of your IT Ops department, what’s the mission, which scope and borders do you have to take care? As IT Ops is an Service Fulfillment “company” think about who your (internal) customers are … and how to best reach them?

2.) Make them with the most modern technology available, and

Which technology, ops methodology and process frameworks do you need to fulfill your companies and your customers needs, compliance and security belongings? Not more, not less, within SLAs, not oversized, hypersecured or whatever, but “on the edge”, create a platform for your Ops Environment and keep on developing (use methods like DevOps to secure ongoing Ops Platform Development). Keep your system, your eco-system and your development up and running, always think about customer success and customer value than investigating in technology. Sounds easy, isn’t it. Ops business is people and stress driven “keep alive”, mostly you have no time and/or money to keep your ecosystem up and running. Step back, think about your mission and why you are there as an Ops ? The worse the situation the more pressure will be. Pressure to improve and pressure to outsource. The worse you do the more will stand up and ask why your company does operations on their own… Is it key value to the company?

3.) Self-finance them.

Mainly not your problem, you get the money you get out of your budget, some percentage of overall budget and that’s it, but: Think like a company will do… How do you want to use your money? Just to keep licensing up and running? Just to bring in 2 new e-gadgets per year to fulfill your admins needs of “the new hardware”? Can you do some strategic investment in potentially interesting trends (like trying all those beautiful clouds before your customer wants you to use the cloud?)? Even if you have your fixed budget act as a company, do IT controlling and understand, where your money goes to and whether it creates value or not. If you control and understand your finance structure you will be able to start reflecting your organization and your investment strategy. And beside that: If you know and understand your cost structure you will be in a much better for the upcoming budgets! If you can talk to an economist at his level he will understand and respect you. A Firewall will be no longer “another expensive electric toy for IT”, it will be a risk-reduction investment to secure the company’s IP and business flow…

Thinking about, Coppola can be used for both, company and standalone Ops.

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