An important principle of ITIL is that all requests should go through a single point of contact (abbreviated to SPOC). What this means, is that a single channel should be defined for the reception, classification, and distribution of a request or incident. Crucially, it does not mean that all contact with the customer should be done by tier one.
The title of this post might seem a bit on the conceited side. After all, who am I to claim to be a DevOps practitioner, much less thinker? I will simply say that I am working to implement DevOps principles in my day to day life, am spending more than a little time reading, thinking, and writing about DevOps, and though I may not be considered a DevOps thinker today, I certainly aspire to join their ranks. The title, then, is a statement of aspiration, more than a statement of achievement.
My first IT job was a one day per week internship with a pharmaceutical company while I attended my last year of high school. It was the first time I was exposed to the constant stream of support and service calls that makes up a large part of the day to day life of a support technician. I remember having a distinct impression that the IT department was constantly over-worked, always having too many things to deal with.
This was originally written before I read chapter 18 of the DevOps handbook. I feel strongly that peer review has greater legitimacy and chances of success than a system where a change manager is solely responsible for changes that may or may not fall within their area of expertise. It further grants employees more agency and autonomy in performing their jobs. While not directly addressed below, peer review is compatible with my views on change management.
I have, for some time now, been reading up on DevOps. One thing that, for some reason, keeps coming up, is that people seem to think that there is a fundamental incompatibility between DevOps and ITIL. The more I read, however, the more it becomes clear that there is no disparity at all between them. If you have been following my blog for a while, it should be fairly obvious that I have drunk the ITIL Kool-aid. Simply put, I think any operations shop that is not implementing ITIL is doing it wrong.
When performing a task, one will often be in the position to choose either doing something quickly, or doing something right. In many cases, either example is fine, as the job gets done satisfactorily. Still, I believe that you are better off with doing it right each and every time. Now, before you think I am preaching about my own level of perfection, know that this is not the case, and that I fail to do this more often than I would like to admit. This is not an admonishment; it is a level to which I aspire.
The first time I worked IT support in a professional setting, I was seventeen years old. I had gotten an internship (one day per week) with my uncle’s firm as part of my third year of vocational training, and spent a day per week with them. In the beginning, I was mostly hanging out with the IT staff, not really providing much of any use to anyone.
A while back, a friend of mine tipped me off to this book, and said it was a book I should read. Here are my thoughts.
It is part of the nature of IT service and support that you will, from time to time, be called upon to handle a high priority, high urgency incident. In most production systems these are mercifully rare, but it is still important that you understand how to identify them.