Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Time and Again. My time is becoming precious, which means that I am only going to be making brief entries here and in Postcards from the Revolution for the next few days. However, I do want to continue adding content to augment the topic I started about processes, which will give more background information. I also have some interesting documents that address Oracle capacity and performance planning that will be of interest to DBAs and production support staff, as well as to software test professionals.

Process Documents. The first set of documents is a Zip archive that contains materials on balanced scorecards. This relates to processes by providing a structured means of measuring the important elements of business and IT processes. Balanced scorecards can be applied to a single business or technical process area, or rolled up into an enterprise level view of how well you are doing.

A document that will be helpful in the development of process improvement initiatives, which relate to both balanced scorecards and process design is the process improvement impact questionnaire (in MS Word format). The questions in this document can be tailored to your organization's goals and objectives, and is a solid foundation from which to proceed towards measurements or improvement initiatives.

Evolving Business Process Reengineering from Art to Engineering is a gem. This MS Word document covers processes in depth, and is a wealth of information about process analysis and design, and reengineering approaches. A companion document, Organizational Impact of IT-enabled BPR, contains case studies of IT-enabled business process reengineering initiatives. The key word is IT-enabled. I am a staunch advocate of business-led BPR initiatives in which IT plays a supporting role. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that fact that IT [in general] has a poor track record of managing projects or demonstrating an understanding of business imperatives. That isn't the case in all IT organizations, but is still the rule rather than the exception.

IT-Specific Topics. Two resources that are related to IT technical processes are:

  1. Zip archive of ISO 9000, CMMI and software supportability documents.
  2. Document in PDF format that describes a high availability model for SAP. The connection between this document and IT processes requires a slight stretch of the imagination, but the connection is there if you carefully read through the paper.

Oracle Capacity and Performance. If you are an Oracle DBA, or are involved in Oracle capacity and performance planning or conducting database stress testing you'll find the Oracle Capacity and Performance Methods document collection to be invaluable. This Zip archive contains documents and spreadsheets on: SQL performance, 3-Tier capacity and performance, the Ratio Modeling Technique and other performance and capacity planning techniques that are specific to Oracle databases.

As a performance and/or capacity analyst you already know that queuing modeling is a recurring activity. This MS Excel queuing analysis spreadsheet will make your job a little easier. If you have a Palm-based PDA you can put it to work with this queuing analysis application.

End Note. Kate Hartshorn is posting more frequently here and in Postcards from the Revolution. I, for one, appreciate the information that she is sharing and her insights into topics that are illuminating.

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