Friday, January 29, 2010

Admin Questions

I've been reading some top job descriptions and comparing with my experience. Some of these overview desk jobs look through multiple ports, called viewpoints, each aimed at portraying a stakeholder's view. A stakeholder is someone with a relationship to the system under study, might be an end user, a regulator, a quality tester.

One imagines these stakeholder vistas, when designing new systems. However, the critical questions in many institutions have to do with what systems to upgrade, retire, leave as is, replace immediately and so forth. The baseline is whatever is operational today. Polling and surveying need to happen, one might even recommend reality TV crews, or at least some still cam artists who know how to storyboard. The interviewee stays anonymous in many cases, unless playing some kind of celeb or star role.

Which systems are causing the most frustration? Where are vendors offering a better alternative? Which systems depend on which others? If we upgrade, what might break? If we don't upgrade what might break? The pressure is on, because we know that doing nothing is risky too, maybe the riskiest option. So plans must be drawn and, what's more, followed.

One wishes for better than management by fantasy i.e. continuous polling, feedback from the front lines, needs to be a part of any management system.