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.

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Fixes that fail: Decommissioning

  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 do costs in IT something about that…” Sounds familiar, right? 2
  3. “Can we decommissionNeed to reduce underutilized costs in IT servers to decrease operating system instances and costs?” 3
  4. “Good news: Yes, we can….and what’sNeed to reduce more they’re quick- costs in IT wins…” 4
  5. Targeted servers were decommissioned, an estimated 10% was saved – the exercise was heralded as a great successNeed to reduce Decommission costs in IT Servers + - 5
  6. However, after some time there was a perceived increase inrequirements for new servers… Need to reduce Decommission costs in IT Servers + - Elapsed time A Not enough Servers 6
  7. In fact the requirements didn’t increase they remained constant… Number of applications Need to reduce Decommission costs in IT Servers + - Time Not enough Servers The number of applications had been growing steadily for several years… 7
  8. The lack of serversled to commissioning new servers… Need to reduce Decommission costs in IT Servers + - Not enough Commission Servers Servers Elapsed time B 8
  9. Commissioning new servers actually increased commissioning costs twice as much… 2nd commissioning costs1st commissioningcosts Need to reduce Decommission costs in IT + Servers - - Cost of OSI Decommissioning servers Not enough Commission Servers Servers Time Not taking into consideration decommissioning costs… 9
  10. After some time the increase in costs affected the perceived need to reduce costs in IT… Need to reduce Decommission costs in IT Servers + - + Not enough Commission Servers + ServersElapsed time C 10
  11. The unintended consequences of decommissioning servers had different effects over time… Elapsed time A – it took Need to reduce Decommissionbefore the some 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 A demand registration andbuild commissioning new enough Not Commission time servers = lead Servers + ServersElapsed time C Elapsed time B 11
  12. How lead times for commissioning new servers compounded the original problem… Need to reduce Decommission costs in IT Servers + - + + Not enough Commission Servers + Servers Lead times of new Servers Not only is IT triggered poor expensive, perception of IT it’s slow…12
  13. Conclusions Decommissioning servers led to increasing costs and negatively impacting the business perception of IT Need to over the mid to longer-term.understand What started out being a great demand quick-win, ended up as a over time low-leverage intervention A high-leverage intervention would have been to thoroughly understand demand for servers before making a decision to decommission, especially over time In this case it would mean the difference between increasing costs and managing costs 13
  14. Conclusions Never underestimate the systemic influences that impact our systems, especially over time Don’t rush into decisions without Need to a thorough understanding ofunderstand the all systemic influences holistic view Slowdown and take stock before taking action Never act in isolation, always consider the holistic view and model scenarios using systems dynamics to provide a good indication of how things will pan-out 14
  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: vanwood.net/blog 15

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