By Adrian Lander
The context was outsourcing, this time. While I was a “software product guy” by origin (in SW development since the age of 10, mid 70s – not the hobby computer stuff but real HP computers), my turnaround record led to me being suggested for challenging misery from time to time. Not always in a position to duck… In the end, it turned out to be an interesting application of lean agile in unusual territory.
CASE – A GLOBAL RESOURCES COMPANY
80+ critical business application servers. Moved from client data center to outsourcer’s data center as part of a very large global outsourcing deal. None of the servers had been accepted by the data center as they were not meeting data center standards. In production – full use by the client who ran their business critical processes with it. The outsourcing program was an IT transition and transformation, and the fact that none of the servers had been accepted was blocking new projects, within a large program. So, blocking business improvement and money coming in for both parties. Of course there was more going on than getting 80+ services already in productive use for years, accepted by a center.
Sounds simple to fix. Reality was totally different due to constraints. SLAs the client was paying for – but not end to end executed, as should be obvious. Due to the global 24×7 use of the systems, maintenance windows were short and rare and hard to obtain. Then for the specific data center, that also housed defense systems, security clearance was needed and any visitor needed to be announced in advance. All servers needed 5 types of upgrade, requiring 5 different specialist engineers.
The previous project manager had not made progress, as when one of the engineers turned out not to be available, more than one window was needed. (He was getting replaced or relieved from the misery)