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Uptime Blog

Standard Processes and Dystopia

Standard Processes and Dystopia

What happens when standard processes break down and people, systems and tools can no longer communicate?

Standard Processes and Dystopia

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

I thought about this last week when my son started reading Lord of the Flies for school. Unlike everyone else I know, I had never read it, so I tore through it over a couple afternoons. Who knew I had such a taste for dystopia? Over the next two days I read Fahrenheit 451 by my favorite author, Ray Bradbury.

I couldn’t really find a way to weave Fahrenheit 451 into this, so here’s a quick recap for anyone who hasn’t read Lord of the Flies. A group of school kids is spilled onto an island after a plane crash. With no adults, the kids dissolve into warring tribes and chaos and death ensue.

I know most people read it in seventh or eighth grade, and I don’t read much fiction anymore, but I was struck by how people who are used to standard situations react to unfamiliar circumstances.

Making a smooth segue, standard and unfamiliar situations arise in IT departments all the time. Engineers, technicians and customer success managers have to make quick decisions in the field to resolve system outages, software glitches, hardware failures, and other catastrophic events.

About 60% of the time, they have standard processes to follow, creating a better success rate. When they are in an unfamiliar situation and no standard processes apply, they have to make it up as they go along to achieve resolution.

Turning Cases into new Standard Models.

Turning Cases into new Standard Models.

In the real world, standard processes come from measuring how well teams execute in these unfamiliar crisis situations. Then they can carefully establish new processes for future events.

Otherwise, if you read the book, you know things can get pretty ugly.

Free White Paper: Learn About Standard+Case

Standard+Case: How IT Response Models Drive Modern Operations

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Learn more about taking a holistic approach to IT from Rob England at his blog, The IT Skeptic, and from his books, including Plus! The Standard+Case Approach. For more information, read Rob’s new white paper on turning undefined Case Management situations into new Standard Response Models, written for xMatters: Standard+Case: How IT Response Models Drive Modern Operations.

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