July 17, 2018

Tickets Make Operations Unnecessarily Miserable

IT Operations has always been difficult. There is always too much work to do, not enough time to do it, and frequent interrupts. Moreover, there is the relentless pressure from executives who hold the view that everything takes too long, breaks too often, and costs too much.

In search of improvement, we have repeatedly bet on new tools to improve our work. We’ve cycled through new platforms (e.g., Virtualization, Cloud, Docker, Kubernetes) and new automation (e.g., Puppet, Chef, Ansible). While each comes with its own merits, has the stress and overload on operations fundamentally changed?

Enterprises have also spent the past two decades liberally applying Management frameworks like ITIL and COBIT. Would an average operations engineer say things have gotten better or worse?

In the midst of all of this, there is conventional wisdom that rarely gets questioned.

The first of these is the idea that grouping people by functional role should be the primary driver for org structure. I discussed the problem with this idea extensively in a previous post on silos.

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