ByWhite was insolvent, despite importing Semon E.
Jim D Well, the summer is over, even if we have had great weather into September. Enjoy and look forward to your comments! It has been a tough few months for some US airlines with their IT systems availability.
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|Best practices for achieving high performance IT||ByWhite was insolvent, despite importing Semon E.|
Hopefully, you were not caught up in the major delays and frustrations. Both Southwest and Delta suffered major outages in August and September. And such outages are not limited to the US airlines, with British Airways also suffering a major outage in September.
Delta and Southwest are not unique in their problems, both United and American suffered major failures and widespread impacts in Even with large IT budgets, and hundreds of millions invested in upgrades over the past few years, airlines are struggling to maintain service in the digital age.
The reasons are straightforward: This was further complicated by multiple integrations that had to be executed due to mergers. With digitalization reaching even further into the customer interfaces and operations, airlines, like many other industries, must invest in stabilizing their systems, address their technical debt, and get serious about availability.
Others, like many IT shops, have decent availability but still have much to do to get to first quartile availability. Availability is about quality. Poor availability is a quality issue. You must have a quality culture that emphasizes quality as a desired outcome and doing things right if you wish to achieve high availability.
Most defects — which then cause outages — are injected by change.
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Thus, strong change management processes that identify and eliminate defects are critical to further reduce outages. Monitor and manage to minimize impact. A capable command center with proper monitoring feeds and strong incident management practices may not prevent the defect from occurring but it can greatly reduce the time to restore and the overall customer impact.
This directly translates into higher availability. You must learn and improve from the issues. This continuous learning and improvement is key to reaching high performance.
With this base understanding, and presumably with only smoldering areas of problems for IT shop left, there are excellent extensions that will enable your team to move to first quartile availability with moderate but persistent effort. For many enterprises, this is now a highly desirable business goal.
Your production performance becomes very evident, very fast to your customers. It is far better to address these problems and gain a key edge in the market by consistently meeting or exceeding costumer availability expectations. First, if you have moved up from regularly fighting fires, then just because outages are not everyday, does not mean that IT leadership no longer needs to emphasize quality.
Delivering high quality must be core to your culture and your engineering values. As IT leaders, you must continue to reiterate the importance of quality and demonstrate your commitment to these values by your actions.
When there is enormous time pressure to deliver a release, but it is not ready, you delay it until the quality is appropriate. Or you release a lower quality pilot version, with properly set customer and business expectations, that is followed in a timely manner by a quality release.
You ensure adequate investment in foundational quality by funding system upgrades and lifecycle efforts so technical debt does not increase.
You reward teams for high quality engineering, and not for fire-fighting. You advocate inspections, or agile methods, that enable defects to be removed earlier in the lifecycle at lower cost.
You invest in automated testing and verification that enables work to be assured of higher quality at much lower cost. You address redundancy and ensure resiliency in core infrastructure and systems.
Single power cord servers still in your data center? Take care of these long-neglected issues. And if you are not sure, go look for these typical failure points another being SPOF network connections. Your target goal should be 1st quartile quality for your industry, that will provide competitive advantage.
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