Challenges in managing IT Operations

It can be a real challenge for a large organization to manage its IT operations when it doesn’t have the right fusion of people, an effective delegation of leadership, the appropriate set of tools and processes in place, and the correct type of environment and resources in place. As the organization grows, so does its needs, which introduces complexities in almost every area of IT operations, whether applications, infrastructure or the new project work itself.

In many typical cases, applications are developed in one department to meet its needs without a lot of planning. These grow exponentially until no department can effectively function without it, which requires an examination of why it was developed ‘on the fly’ in the first place. As problems stem from that, so does the problem of maintaining the disjointed application and its ever-growing and often troublesome database. On the infrastructure side, some organizations love recycling while some find it very difficult to part ways with the server they bought not that long ago. And some departments find it difficult to justify the cost vs. the benefits of buying and replacing a server that appears to be effectively and smoothly running the internal app server during its short lifespan, even though it runs a greater risk of failing any time even though the application may not be high availability.

The IT manager has many challenges, from hardware and software resources to staff, but the IT organization must still operate smoothly and support the business no matter what. These challenges are a natural part of any IT organization and therefore require that IT carefully assesses the way it conducts its business, and is especially critical for those finding it difficult to address these challenges. This is a pre-cursor to my new entry “How to effectively Manage Today’s IT Challenges”. 

Building Learning Communities (part 1)

For past couple of months I’ve been working on my latest book on Agile Learning and Knowledge Sharing – and have found a very close association of coaching with building a learning community within an organization. As someone said – “It is hapless without the hopeless, and the worthy for the just cause”, needless to say it is important to look beyond the obvious and dig deep into the realms rather just the facts in order to attain the knowledge required by each individual or a group as a whole.

I’m deeply inspired by the book “The Fifth Discipline” by Peter Senge. Though the book has a total different meaning, cause and inspiration, but it fairly well talks about the elements for building learning communities and where they stems from. As the culture within the organizations develops overtime, and the breed of experience cogs starts to accumulate and a plethora of structure of work is built around the masses – it becomes known where all the knowledge is getting piled up and built.

Knowledge creation is a key element for building the learning community, and Peter and his group talks about following key critical elements within knowledge creation:

This is the area where a disciplined approach to discovery is required, and a development of understanding with a commitment in order to share what’s being learned.Practice
Everyone works towards producing some practical results, and more so the application of energy, tools and efforts applies to all individual who consistently perform the work diligently and get better at it over time.

Capacity Building 
This is a bridge between research and practice. These are those who help others build skills and capabilities through the use of new methods and tools – in a common lingo development of best practices and processes proven over time through the use of research, discovery and  practice.Next, I’ll talk about how to take these three elements within Agile concept and apply.

© Manoj Khanna 2003 – 2012.