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V. Honor thy mainframe disciplines, and keep them holy—but keep out the bureaucracy!

  • Processes shall be streamlined!

  • Implement minimum yet sufficient processes.

Whether your company has a mainframe environment or not, it's crucial to understand the importance of mainframe disciplines, processes, procedures, standards, and guidelines—we can't live with them and can't live without them. In the age of distributed everything to everywhere, disciplines are more important than ever. But you can't simply transplant mainframe disciplines with all of their bureaucracy on client/server technology. You need to customize and streamline these disciplines so they can manage a modern, chaotic, heterogeneous infrastructure. We grew up with these processes in the legacy environment, which included change management, capacity planning, disaster recovery, and so on. Today, we need these disciplines more than ever—without the bureaucracy.

As you're designing your world-class infrastructure, don't take on too many processes. Based on the 150 infrastructure assessments we've completed over a span of four years, the top three most critical processes are problem management, change management, and production acceptance. We recommend starting with these three processes. Don't take on more than three to four processes initially, or you will surely fail.

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