Monday, 24 September 2012

"Stop making up your own sh*t"

Many years ago I was in my Wing Chun (martial arts) class and our teacher showed us a drill which we had to repeat. There were a few punches and blocks which were quite straightforward, but you had to understand it to execute it properly. So after a few minutes of observing, he stopped us and said. "Look guys, stop making up your own shit." He then demonstrated all the ways we had gotten it wrong and how to do it right. He stressed that there was only one way to do the move, so you do it right, or you're wrong.

In IT, too often I see new solutions to well known problems which ignore best practices.

Things that people reinvent that often fail
  • Issue tracking systems - There's so many out there at many price ranges. Just customize one and move on with your life.
  • Monitoring systems - the implementation of monitoring logic is more complicated than it seems (and all decent systems have an amount of unavoidable complication to be flexible).
  • IT Service Management - ITSM is a lot about the different roles and processes needed to support IT services effectively. The main ideas in ITIL cover the best practices and as long as you don't blindly follow it to the letter, I think it's a good way to start. If you've have spend a lot of time in ITSM, but you've got a need for it - stick to best practices. It's not easy to tell when you're teams are not organized efficiently so just learng from everybody else's mistakes and do what works.
I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't try and improve things, but if what you're trying to reinvent, is not your a key part of the service or product your company works on, stick with best practices and you'll save a lot of time and money.

No comments:

Post a Comment