Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Square One

Next session, Square One: a prescription for operational excellence. Just took a few notes, but the presentation is here.

Institution's success and reputation is built on operational excellence, and our credibility within the University is built on it. Your never going to have a strategic conversation with your VC, if your talking about why a system isn't working.

Most outages caused by either systems and hardware failures, or people and process issues. 80% caused by people and processes. 50% of these are specific to change processes. Concentrating on hardware/systems only gives you the opportunity to improve 20% . Need to get your processes right, and invest in people.

Most of our budget is on staff. We need to invest in them, training etc.

Need to deal with negative reaction avoidance, fear of doing something and getting a negative reaction.

Fear of failure is high. People respond to positive rather than negative. Need a space where it's safe to say I can't do this, or I don't know how to.

Leadership sets the tone. The team needs to be in control with management as coach. Teams and individuals can increase their skills and ability to expand their capacity to think and solve problems as they arise. Catch people doing something right, spotlight it and reward it. "Right" can be as simple as someone documenting a process.

Managing change has the biggest impact on improving the reliability of a service. A change request process, Change Advisory Board and Change Window are the foundation of operational excellence. The default position for a CAB is that changes are not approved.

We have regular progress meetings etc during projects, but what about services that are in production? An operational planning meeting focused on only the health of a service needs to happen regularly for critical services even when there is no change planned.

Use RASCI charts when decisions made. Responsible, Accountable, Support, Consulted, Informed.

Then we went through a plan for looking at a service and delivering operational excellence. The plan is here.
We chose email on our table. Interesting discussion about different way of achieving operational excellence and different risks with in house vs outsourced services.

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Mike McManus said...


The two links, to the presentation and the plan, don't seem to work for me.

Mike McManus

Chris Sexton said...

Thanks for letting me know. Have changed them and think they work now