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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Tell a Compelling Story About IT Infrastructure? 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the name-your-servers-after-game-of-thrones-characters dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Every month we submit status reports to upper management. On the infrastructure side, these reports tend to be 'Hey, we met our service level agreements ... again.' IT infrastructure is now a lot like the electric company. Nobody thanks the electric company when the lights come on, but they have plenty of colorful adjectives to describe them when the power is off.

What is the best way to construct a compelling story for upper management so they'll appreciate the hard work that an IT department does? They don't seem particularly impressed with functioning systems, because they expect functioning systems. The extensive effort to design and implement reliable systems has also made IT boring and dull. What types of summaries can you provide upper management to help them appreciate IT infrastructure and the money they spend on the services it provides?"
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Tell a Compelling Story About IT Infrastructure?

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  • by ganjadude (952775) on Friday May 09, 2014 @02:59PM (#46962091) Homepage
    give them a system that doesnt function how they want.
    When they complain, give them what they want
    profit!
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday May 09, 2014 @03:01PM (#46962113) Homepage Journal

    Try this one:

    Jane felt there were too many cables under her desk so she took her scissors to several of them and cut them back to the floor opening.

    Our team successfully ran new cables and got the network up and running in the space of half an hour as well proactively took steps to prevent such an occurrence in the future by tossing Jane out the window.

  • by DeBaas (470886) on Friday May 09, 2014 @03:03PM (#46962147) Homepage

    ehm, numbers give them headaches. Use graphs and pictures. And the first slide should be some stock photo with smiling young people that are engaged in something completely unrelated.

    Oh and if you report on a project, use a traffic light that is green or use smileys...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2014 @03:12PM (#46962203)

    WHY WON'T YOU LOVE ME, CHIEF DADDY OFFICER?

    Pay attention to meeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!111111eleven

  • by sideslash (1865434) on Friday May 09, 2014 @03:14PM (#46962215)

    How do you tell a compelling story about IT infrastructure?

    Once upon a time, there was a filing cabinet. This was no ordinary filing cabinet, for it sat beside a large server rack, and every day it gazed longingly at the shiny, blinking machines and wondered what it was like to be in the cloud storage business.

    How's that, OK for a start?

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday May 09, 2014 @03:27PM (#46962313) Journal

    I have a better idea, courtesy of politics:

    "We have successfully prevented Al Qaeda from taking down our infrastructure in April"

    "This month, we are proud to announce that our infrastructure is now gender-neutral and completely embraces the LGBT community!"

    "The IT datacenter is now fully secure against velociraptor attacks."

    "We are happy to inform you that as of this month, our IT infrastructure is 100% Animal Cruelty Free!"

    "For the month of April, we have completed our (self) certification, and as a result we now feature only Free Range servers in our infrastructure."

    ... I used to insert bits like this a few employers ago, just to see who actually read the reports. But then, I live in Portland, so even then half of those got glossed over. :(

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday May 09, 2014 @03:50PM (#46962509)

    ...on the other hand, I once fired someone for doing that - repeatedly.

    Geez, how many times did you fire the guy before wising up?

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday May 09, 2014 @03:57PM (#46962563)

    Try this one:

    Jane felt there were too many cables under her desk so she took her scissors to several of them and cut them back to the floor opening.

    Our team successfully ran new cables and got the network up and running in the space of half an hour as well proactively took steps to prevent such an occurrence in the future by tossing Jane out the window.

    Wrong approach. I suggest this:

    The slow throbbing of the server room A/C barely distracted from the stifling heat. As Jane sat restlessly in her thigh-length, red skirt, a bead of sweat dripped onto the network cables below. Her display, a pitiful 17" CRT from the mid `90's, flickered a 404 error. Jim, the strong but quiet network repair main, soon knocked on her office door. Despite wearing a workman's coveralls, his powerful frame was clearly visible with each move he made. He casually walked up to Jane's desk, leaned in close, and looked at her intensely with his sea-gray eyes. He said casually, but close in, "Cable trouble. I need to get down there."

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks

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