Optimize Systems Management to Improve IT Resilience and Proactivity

Streamline processes, use tools with purpose, and continually look for opportunities to improve.

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Your Challenge

As an infrastructure / systems manager, you are facing the following challenges:

  • Spending all this time and money implementing systems management, but not seeing any results.
  • Monitoring systems, but suffering from too-much-information syndrome.
  • Not knowing how to act on the data you have, nor how to transform it into a usable diagnosis.
  • Wanting to take advantage of new technologies like SaaS and the cloud, but not knowing how to incorporate them into your systems management practice.
  • Not knowing how to handle change management with your current systems management protocol.
  • A growing organization with free/cheap/open source tools that can’t handle the increased size and heterogeneity of the environment.


Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Optimized systems management is complex and involves multiple different disciplines. It is critical to understand how various processes and tools interact with one another.
  • Focus on people and processes before technology to optimize your systems management initiative.
  • Focus on vulnerable or critical systems before expanding the initiative.

Impact and Result

  • Reduce the number of budget-busting, unplanned, or emergency changes to your infrastructure.
  • Ensure highly resilient IT systems by steeling your systems against disruptive change.
  • Recover person hours lost to firefighting mode and all-hands-on-deck situations.

Optimize Systems Management to Improve IT Resilience and Proactivity

2

Assess current systems management capabilities

Understand the baseline and identify areas that need to be improved.

3

Align systems management with organizational priorities

Identify organizational need and prioritize efforts.

4

Refine systems management processes with visual SOPs

Create SOP documents that are read and used, not filed and forgotten.

5

Refine the systems management software toolkit

Identify technological requirements and eliminate redundant software capabilities.

Onsite Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Make the Case for Optimizing Systems Management

The Purpose

  • Define systems management.
  • Scope your management project.
  • Determine the value of systems management.
  • Avoid common pitfalls.
  • Build the business case for optimizing systems management.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Hard dollar value estimate for the systems management initiative.
  • Identification of common problems to be avoided.
  • Advice on aligning the case with business priorities.
  • Quantified criticality of services and systems.

Activities:
Outputs

1.1

Assess the criticality of IT services

  • Criticality assessment

1.2

Evaluate the management value threshold

  • Cost/benefit analysis

1.3

Summarize the business case for optimization

  • Business case summary

Module 2: Align Systems Management with Organizational Priorities

The Purpose

  • Align priorities with actual organizational need.
  • Identify specific trouble spots.
  • Create specific project goals.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify user-perceived service deficiencies.
  • Measure the value and criticality of core systems for prioritization purposes.
  • Quickly target quick wins by taking action on underperforming systems.
  • Prioritize services and systems to guide optimization efforts. 

Activities:
Outputs

2.1

Review service desk ticket logs and identify patterns to help prioritize based on user experience

2.2

Drill down from the service level to identify systems and components inhibiting performance

  • Service level assessment

2.3

Prioritize performance gaps to maximize value of the optimization project

  • Prioritized service gaps

2.4

Document identified pain points and turn problems into actions

  • Pain point gap analysis

2.5

Design focused, measured goals for the optimization project

  • Optimization project goals

Module 3: Refine Systems Management Processes with Optimized Visual SOPs

The Purpose

  • Refine processes to ensure clear interaction across management silos.
  • Transform opaque documentation into usable SOPs.
  • Identify candidates for automation.
  • Streamline SOPs and reduce process inefficiency.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • More effectively communicate processes in a format that will be read and used rather than filed and forgotten.
  • Automate repeatable processes to reduce process duration and the risk of human error. 

Activities:
Outputs

3.1

Collect and evaluate present SOPs to identify opportunities for improvement

3.2

Review existing SOPs with the documentation scorecard

  • Documentation scorecard

3.3

Review existing processes and specify terms under which they become active

3.4

Map relationships between SOPs to ensure smooth interfaces between processes

3.5

Identify and record candidate processes for automation

  • Candidate processes for automation

3.6

Document revised processes with Visual SOPs to improve readability and usability

  • Documented Visual SOPs

Module 4: Refine Your Systems Management Toolkit

The Purpose

  • Define systems management.
  • Scope your management project.
  • Determine the value of systems management.
  • Avoid common pitfalls.
  • Build the business case for optimizing systems management. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify actual requirements for systems management tools.
  • Determine the value and relative grip of each tool in the environment.
  • Eliminate unnecessary software licenses and reduce management headaches with a deduplicated toolkit. 

Activities:
Outputs

4.1

Establish a tool selection committee to develop a requirements list that meets your team’s needs

  • Tool selection committee

4.2

Develop a detailed list of technology requirements to guide the selection process

4.3

Identify need-to-have and nice-to-have features to find a solution that meets your needs

  • List of required features

4.4

Evaluate your toolkit to eliminate redundancies and find opportunities to streamline your software

  • Management tool inventory

4.5

Perform a tool rationalization exercise to eliminate redundant capabilities

  • List of redundant applications with corresponding value
  • Tool rationalization matrix

4.6

Interpret the results of your tool rationalization exercise

Module 5: Build a Plan to Implement Your Optimization Initiative

The Purpose

  • Develop a project team and stakeholder management strategy.
  • Build a roadmap to implement the optimization project. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify key roles and responsibilities.
  • Manage stakeholder concern and win over skeptics.
  • Have a concrete schedule for implementing optimization. 

Activities:
Outputs

5.1

Plan to approach stakeholders strategically to win over skeptics and gain project champions

5.2

Assemble the project team and arrange participation to ensure project buy-in

  • Project team

5.3

Clarify team responsibilities with a RACI chart

  • RACI chart

5.4

Plan regular reviews of processes and practices to ensure continual optimization

  • Review schedule

5.5

Determine milestones to evaluate project progress and success

5.6

Determine your systems management optimization roadmap structure

5.7

Start building your roadmap by identifying external factors that will affect the project

5.8

Populate the roadmap with initiatives to complete the project plan

  • Project roadmap
  • Project charter