Monday, August 29, 2011

Keys to the Kingdom- Life gets in the Way part 5

In the midst of spending time reviewing history that is a great reminder to keep records today. I am not talking about time consuming, heavy duty documentation. I am talking about a simple fail safe. Dont let your IT staff end up being an island.

We all like to spend a lot of time on the corner of not us and maybe tomorrow. We all want to think that our whole team will be around forever and we can trust everyone. But things happen, relationships sour, people have flaws, etc. We can all look at our past and remember the one time someone close to you did the one thing you never thought they would.

So before life gets in the way, get your IT staff person off of their island. Don't let them be the only ones that know information that can make or break your org.

Peter Campbell always has great advice about "all things IT" and this is no exception.  He has a great post all what he calls the "Keys to the Kingdom." These keys are things like the network admin password, software licenses and other documentation. Often we only have one person that understands these things and we allow them to be a single point of failure. We cannot allow a single person to have that responsibility.

Peter talks about the following in his post:
  1. Follow procedures: get some basic procedures in place and allow time to follow them.
  2. Involve all stakeholders: Don’t assume that your It staff – who are already struggling to juggle the big projects with user support—are keeping good records. Audit them, assist them and back them up. Finance can take a role in tracking license keys along with purchase records. 
  3. Foster a culture that allows technology staff to succeed
Peter then continues with some awesome advice for all the CEOs in the house:
  1. Have realistic expectations for IT. 
  2. Participate. 
  3. Be appreciative. 
  4. Don’t hire extremes.
I would suggest reading his post right now, before life gets in the way.