fixes that fail: decommissioning

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Take the risk out of strategic betting with Sea of Systems 103 and the foundation skill of system dynamics―understanding the difference between high and low leverage.


  • 1. Fixes that fail:Decommissioning The system archetype: Fixes That Fail James Wood FBCS CITP

2. Context IT organizations like other internal service units are frequently asked to reduce costs due to market conditions or perceived necessityNeed to reduce Wow, IT is expensive, please docosts in ITsomething about that Sounds familiar, right?2 3. Can we decommissionNeed to reduceunderutilizedcosts in ITservers to decreaseoperating systeminstances and costs? 3 4. Good news: Yes, we can.and whatsNeed to reduce more theyre quick-costs in ITwins 4 5. Targeted servers were decommissioned, an estimated 10%was saved the exercise washeralded as a great successNeed to reduce Decommissioncosts in IT Servers +-5 6. However, after some time therewas a perceived increase inrequirements for new serversNeed to reduce Decommissioncosts in IT Servers + -Elapsed time A Not enough Servers 6 7. In fact the requirements didnt increase theyremained constant Number of applicationsNeed to reduce Decommissioncosts in IT Servers + -Time Not enough Servers The number of applications had been growing steadily for several years7 8. The lack of serversled to commissioningnew serversNeed to reduceDecommissioncosts in ITServers +-Not enough CommissionServers ServersElapsed time B 8 9. Commissioning new servers actually increased commissioning coststwice as much2nd commissioningcosts1st commissioningcosts Need to reduce Decommission costs in IT+Servers --Cost of OSI Decommissioning serversNot enoughCommissionServersServersTime Not taking into consideration decommissioning costs9 10. After some time the increase in costsaffected the perceived needto reduce costs in IT Need to reduce Decommission costs in IT Servers + - +Not enough CommissionServers + ServersElapsed time C 10 11. The unintended consequences of decommissioning servers had different effects over timeElapsed time A it took Need to reduce Decommissionbefore thesome time costs in IT Servers+demand for servers picked -up once againElapsed time C slowly Elapsed time B there+Elapsed timethe perceived need to was a delay between thereduce costs began to Ademand registration andbuild commissioning new enough Not Commission timeservers = lead Servers + ServersElapsed time CElapsed time B11 12. How lead times for commissioningnew servers compounded the original problemNeed to reduceDecommissioncosts in ITServers +-++Not enough CommissionServers + ServersLead times of new Servers Not only is IT triggered poorexpensive,perception of ITits slow12 13. Conclusions Decommissioning servers ledto increasing costs and negatively impacting thebusiness perception of ITNeed toover the mid to longer-term.understand What started out being a greatdemand quick-win, ended up as a over timelow-leverage interventionA high-leverage intervention would have been to thoroughly understand demand for servers before making adecision to decommission,especially over timeIn this case it would mean the difference between increasing costsand managing costs13 14. Conclusions Never underestimate the systemicinfluences that impact our systems, especially over time Dont rush into decisions without Need to a thorough understanding ofunderstand theall systemic influences holistic view Slowdown and take stockbefore taking action Never act in isolation, alwaysconsider the holistic view andmodel scenarios using systems dynamics to provide a good indication of how things willpan-out14 15. Some thoughts on systems thinking from Sea of Systems (SOS)The systems paradigm and systems thinking provide a new way of describing and communicating in the intrinsicinterconnectedness of the sea of systems. The more we begin to explore our world through systems the more wecome recognize the cultures and rules of those systems. Just like different cultures around the world there are groupsof systems archetypes that are prevalent throughout our organizations.How many times have you heard people say we make the same mistakes over? Why is that and why do we allow ithappen? More often than not an examination of the underlying behavior will reveal patterns that recur throughoutthe organization. It is because the organization is governed by the systems archetypes that are at play.The first step in shedding any light on the situation must come from understanding the intrinsic interconnectednessby mapping out the relevant systemic influences that impact our systems. To further complicate matters the systemicinfluences tend to have different effects over time. Recommended reading:Click for tips!Download Sea of Systems (SOS) at:

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