Implement Systems Management to Improve Availability and Visibility

Without sound systems management practices, you don’t control outages, they control you.

Onsite Workshop

Without formal systems management, you experience:

  • Excessively disruptive unplanned outages
  • Inability to predict availability
  • Loss of credibility with stakeholders

A systems management solution will help you establish:

  • The ability to identify and resolve issues before they affect users
  • Increased stability and predictability
  • Better relationships with stakeholders

Module 1: Establish systems management priorities to ground your business case

The Purpose

  • Prioritize services and systems to target for improvement.
  • Define SLAs, targets, and goals.
  • Identify risks and potential causes of service disruption.
  • Target quick wins by taking action on underperforming systems.
  • Make the case for investing in systems management.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A measured (or estimated) performance baseline for identifying priorities and goals.
  • A prioritized list of services and systems to target for improvement.
  • Analysis of systems and components most affecting service levels.
  • Estimate of the value of systems management.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Determine criticality of IT services by evaluating business dependencies.
  • Systems Management Service Level Assessment
1.2 Quantify the value of improving systems management to build a stronger case.
1.3 Map dependencies between systems and services to evaluate the criticality of subsystems and components.
1.4 Estimate or gather current performance data to identify problematic components or subsystems.
1.5 Drill down from the service level to identify systems and components inhibiting performance.
1.6 Prioritize performance gaps to maximize value of the systems management project.

Module 2: Assess current systems management capabilities to identify opportunities and challenges

The Purpose

  • Focus time and energy where it will have the most impact (people, processes, or tools).
  • Begin developing or acquiring the necessary skills for systems management success.
  • Identify opportunities to improve systems management processes before investing in tools.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A capability assessment that shows overall maturity and specific gaps (people, processes, or tools).
  • List of available and required skills.
  • Process diagrams.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Evaluate process capabilities to identify critical focus areas.
  • Systems Management Discipline Capability Assessment
2.2 Strike a balance between people, processes, and technologies for all management disciplines.
  • Systems Management Skills Inventory and Gap Analysis
2.3 Perform a skills inventory and identify any expertise gaps.
2.4 Map your processes to identify inefficient activities and opportunities to improve effectiveness.
2.5 Estimate measurable improvements in processes to establish targets.
2.6 Assess the effectiveness, quality, and value of systems management tools currently in use.

Module 3: Develop a systems management project plan

The Purpose

  • Keep the systems management project on track.
  • Mitigate resistance to change and centralized visibility and control.
  • Make a business case for investing in a systems management solution.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Concrete goals and well-defined scope for keeping the systems management project on track.
  • Team buy-in on high-level project decisions.
  • A compelling business case for your systems management project.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Determine targets and scope of the implementation project to ensure you’re solving the right issues.
  • Systems Management Project Charter Template
3.2 Build a high-level project timeline that leads to a realistic success scenario.
3.3 Assemble your project team and arrange participation to ensure buy-in and project success.
3.4 Plan your approach for process improvement to keep the project grounded in clearly defined goals and scope.
3.5 Outline high-level technical requirements for the systems management solution.
3.6 Develop a planning-level cost-benefit business case to ensure project costs stay within the value threshold.
3.7 Document decisions using the Systems Management Project Charter Template and present to management for approval.

Module 4: Evaluate and select systems management tools

The Purpose

  • Focus on the solutions that are best suited for your organization’s needs.
  • Expedite the evaluation and selection process in order to get to pilot and deployment phases faster.
  • Evaluate and select a systems management solution.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Defined requirements for a systems management solution.
  • A shortlist of systems management solutions to evaluate.
  • An RFP or demo script to expedite evaluation and selection.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Establish the selection committee.
  • Systems Management Feature Evaluation Tool
4.2 Define requirements to guide selection.
  • Systems Management RFP Template
4.3 Determine which type of solution is best for your organization.
4.4 Decide which vendor solutions to evaluate.
4.5 Review and revise the business case to ensure expected costs are still within the value threshold.
4.6 Create and submit an RFP using Info-Tech’s RFP Template.

Module 5: Deploy the systems management solution

The Purpose

  • Consistently manage and continuously improve systems management processes.
  • Track benefits and value of the systems management project.
  • Sustain and continuously improve your systems management implementation.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A visual SOP for systems management.
  • Project milestones and targets.
  • Plans for dealing with challenges and potential setbacks.

Activities: Outputs:
5.1 Create a visual standard operating procedure (SOP) to consistently manage and improve processes.
  • Systems Management SOP Template
5.2 Schedule milestones to measure the progress and value of the systems management implementation.
  • Systems Management Project Scorecard
5.3 Measure the value of the systems management implementation.
5.4 Track performance of systems and components to proactively identify issues and problems.
5.5 Discuss possible implications and remedial actions for underperformance.

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