The last post to this blog was October 2015, which seems like a lifetime ago now. I was making progress on two strategic projects, planning to re-grade several staff and looking forward to a successful year. It didn’t turn out that way, and 2016 was for me, professionally, the hardest year I’ve ever had. When you have year that bad I think it’s worth trying to ‘extract some learning’. So here’s my quick introspective on what went wrong in 2016.
Back in 2012 I wrote a blog post about the ‘new parent‘ method of project management. Now, I cringe when I read that article, because I was missing some fundamental principles behind the project management methodology. The proof of the pudding was definitely in the eating, as I ‘tested the theory’ in a deployment of a product called Druva InSync across our estate. Unsurprisingly, it was not as successful as I’d hoped, but the reasons why are useful lessons to learn.
At a recent management course (the provider of which, Duraikan Training, I can highly recommend) we got to the bit about ‘Values’, and I visibly winced. In the last 20 years I have never seen organisational values make any demonstrable difference to the service or product provided. The problem always stems from an inability to both talk the talk, and walk the walk. Values are nice, but customers will judge your organisation based not on what you say you would do, but on what you actually did.
A large part of the value of any good IT Service is it’s organisation; the extent to which it is predictable, consistent and effective. Over the past eight years working both in the public and private sector, I’ve seen the consequences of chaotic IT; the spiraling costs, the frequent service interruptions, frustrated, angry and disengaged users, and ultimately something which is not an asset to the organisation but a burden, a cost.
In this blog post I’ll look at how to spot the signs your IT is chaotic, what can lead to this state of affairs, and the simple steps you can take to fix the problem.
Back in February, I read with surprise and disbelief that VMware’s “senior cloud infrastructure evangelist” Mike Laverick had written off employer supported training and continual professional development. It seemed a very odd thing to say, and my first thought was to dismiss it as just a way of stimulating debate and generating some good press for VMWare.