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Arming Yourself with Bulletproof Processes

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The best defense of an IT infrastructure often involves having an effective offense. Understanding how to create, implement, and manage bulletproof processes leads to one of the most potent offenses an infrastructure professional can employ.
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The following 14 requirements describe how infrastructure professionals can design, install, and maintain highly effective processes in support of any of the functions associated with IT operations management.

Objective Is Identified

The overall objective of the process needs to be stated, written down, shared with all appropriate parties, and agreed to and clearly understood by all process design participants. The objective should answer the questions of what problem(s) the process will solve, which issue(s) it will address, and how the process will add value and quality to the environment.

Executive Sponsor Is Identified and Involved

Each process needs to have an executive sponsor who is passionate about the successful design and ongoing execution of the process. This person provides support, resources, insight, and executive leadership. Any required participation or communication with other groups, either inside or outside of the infrastructure, is typically arranged by the executive sponsor. This individual is often the manger of the process owner.

Process Owner Is Identified and Given Responsibility For and Authority Over the Process

This person leads the team that designs the process, identifies its key customers and suppliers, and documents its use. The process owner will execute, communicate, and measure the effectiveness of the process on an ongoing basis.

Key Customers Are Identified and Involved

Key customers are those individuals who are the immediate users and direct beneficiaries of the process. For example, suppose you're designing processes to request the reprint of a report or the restoration of a file. Key customers for these processes may be users who are most likely to request these services on a regular basis. Their involvement in developing the process is important to ensure practical design and ease of use.

Process Inputs Are Identified

These are the specific input entities required by the process. They may take the form of soft inputs such as data, information, or requests, or hard inputs such as floppy disks, tapes, or other physical entities.

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