I'm reading a book by Bruce Allen and Dale Kutnick called "Building Operational Excellence: IT People and Process Best Practices." Allen is a Vice President and Kutnick is CEO of the META group. I'm about one-third through this book and really enjoying it. I'll write a full review of the book later, but there was something that caught my eye in Chapter 2 that I thought was worth noting now.
Allen and Kutnick focus on processes which they define as sets of related tasks. They create a process maturity model (PMM) that is based on the Capability Maturity Model for software. Chapter 2 contains a table of common IT processes which I reproduce here.
|Application Optimization||Negotiation Management|
|Asset Management||Network Monitoring|
|Budget Management||Output Management|
|Business Continuity||Performance Management|
|Business Relationship Management||Physical Database Management|
|Capacity Management||Problem Management|
|Change Management||Production Acceptance|
|Configuration Management||Production Control|
|Contract Management||Quality Assurance|
|Contractor Management||Security Management|
|Cost Recovery Management||Service-Level Management|
|Database Administration (physical)||SLA Management|
|Disk Storage Management||Service Request Management|
|Facilities Management||Software Distribution|
|Hardware Support||Software Management|
|Infrastructure Planning||System Monitoring|
|Inventory Management||Tape Management|
|Job Scheduling||Test Lab Management|
|Middleware Management||Workload Monitoring|
The claim is not that this list is all inclusive or that all organizations will perform all of these processes. Still, most large IT organizations probably perform most of them. Here's the exercise: identify which of these processes (or any others) that your IT organization performs. Now, take one and identify the tasks that make up that process. Rank each task on a scale of 1 to 10 on how mature you think your organization is at performing it. There's a complete process catalog in the book which you can use to benchmark your answers.
Allen and Kutnick list ten attributes that they use to describe and classify processes. If you use these to describe your processes, you'll be able to easily compare them to the process catalog in the book. These include:
|Process Name||Automation Level|
Some of these are merely textual descriptions and others are rankings on a 1 to 10 scale. They use these to form templates for processes that remind me in some ways of the standardized ways of defining software patterns.