The sky is not the limit if you cannot fly!

Often I  hear management make promises that can not be met!

Management thinks that he or she can make decisions about the service that is bean delivered without consulting the SLA or the architectural principles! Is it possible in an existing environment to set a new (higher) target without changing  the environment? If not or not necessary than we make the assumption that all mistakes are caused by people or the environment is not build against the current architectural principles!

I don’t think that it is possible to make this kind of decision without consulting the SLA or the architectural principles!

Here is a case that I see often lately!

Let assume that a (new) interim management has set a new target for a maximum of 5 Prior one cases per year instead of the 2 per month. The day after the target is set you started with two prior ones cases! Murphy law. But why 5 why not 15? Because he thinks it is “normal”? He make this decision to set a goal and show the users that he is willing to change the stability of the environment and is taking the compliance’s of the users seriously. But do you check afterward if i prior one case was really a prior one and do you talk about this with you customer?

Oke we provide IT service to the customer and we make SLA. In a SLA agreement you read something like If a Line of Business Application (LOB) application is down, or if more than X people cannot work with an application  a prior one case is born. Prior one cases must be solved within two hours.

From a architecture view I see that many companies  use a system that is called BIV rating (CIA Triad is the English equivalent)

This is a division within the information security whereby availability, integrity and confidentiality of information and systems are indicated and just a subset of the architectural principles.

Information systems, business processes and data are divided to the desired level of security

A highly classified system would be classified as 3 or 4, a low system would be classified as 1 based on this classification appropriate action are taken.

Let’s take an example an internal company facebook with email address, functions en phone numbers is not a LOB but every buddy in the company uses this application. The integrity and confidentiality of information is low and if the application goes down core business will still go on! So this application will have a BIV rating of one or maybe two.

In the example the company has decided that an application with a BIV rating of one or two may have a downtime of let’s say 8 hours within business hours.

So you may have a downtime of 8 hours but in the SLA it says that if more than X people cannot work with an application it will be a prior one case. This can and will lead to a conflict.

Here is my problem: for a LOB application a BIV ratting of 3 is normal and appropriated actions, like redundancy, is taken. But for the example (the internal facebook) there is no redundancy. So if the server crashes in business hours and we have to rebuild using a back-up recovery you will have an challenge.  Before the recovery action is taken we already had 2 hours lost in process and trouble shooting. A recovery can take 1 to 2 hours.

The X users are calling and a prior one case is the result. So the problem must be solved in two hours, but there were no appropriate actions taken for this application from a architectural point of view! The result is that we are not compliant to the SLA and the customer is disappointed.

In this case two thing are wrong:

  1. The SLA and the architectural principles do not match

Look at your agreements and architectural appointments make sure that an architect is not placed in a tower but place him or her on the working area!

Don’t let  the (account) manager, who makes the agreements (SLA) go alone to the customer to make appointments because you will end up with  a SLA that cannot be met! Send a pre technical person with him or her.   

  1. Management makes statements that cannot be met

The desire of management to deliver better quality is a positive, but to make this decision whiteout consulting an architect for architectural principles and account management for the agreements that are made will bring you more problems!

This is something that happens in many companies

I love the drive that (interim) manager can bring. And I know that they are smart enough!

But why try to validate this with such non-realistic and unfunded statements?

So put those heads together and make appointments and decisions and think before you say something stupid! The sky is not the limit if you cannot fly!