I believe very strongly in the power of documentation, for a number of reasons. Knowledge should be kept in an ordered manner, and writing documentation is a good way of not only ordering the knowledge, but double-checking it. In addition, by placing the documentation somewhere accessible, you can share it.
ITIL is an excellent framework for running IT operations. It offers tools and process management to help you improve on what you’ve got. Unlike what many consultants would have you believe, however, it is not a panacea. You cannot simply implement all of ITIL and call it a day. If you were to try, you would certainly fail.
As so many others, I keep abreast of openings in my field, and apply when I see something relevant and interesting with an employer I might want to work for. These are my experiences with three such applications and the recruiters managing them (all of which, I might add, were external to the company recruiting for the position).
A couple of weeks ago, the excellent @IanColdwater posted the following:
As you may or may not know, I graduated from the Open University with a B.Sc. last year, and attended a frankly pretty amazing graduation ceremony in March. In a conversation just after that, someone asked me “So, who is the typical OU student?” When I simply answered “Yes”, they were a bit confused, and asked me to expand on that.
Last week, I defined the three KPIs I believe are what you need to understand how well your support department is operating. Defining them, however, is just part of the job; if you don’t understand what they are telling you, you might as well not bother measuring at all. Let’s look at each in turn:
Metrics – often referred to as “Key Performance Indicators” or simply “KPIs” – are a necessity, regardless of your field. If nothing else, it’s nigh impossible to say anything meaningful about performance without them, and improving the performance is turned from something quite achievable. to a Sisyphean task.
I hold that any successful business venture must operate on three levels; the operational, the tactical, and the strategic. These dimensions must also be kept in mind when making plans. There is nothing revolutionary in the underlying ideas, but I think it is worthwhile to define the terms, to bring about a (more or less) unified understanding of them.
I have previously written about my frustration with always requiring experience when hiring. Now, I’m not saying that requiring experience doesn’t have its place – it certainly does. What I am saying is that listing it as a requirement should be justified by the needs for what the successful candidate will be expected to deliver, and that employers need to think long and hard about what they must have from their new employee, and what they can take the time to teach.