I got a phone call from a colleague who’s recently migrated into application support, she has been tasked with upgrading the existing applications she supports on their HP blades from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 in doing so she was planning to ‘upgrade the infrastructure’, to ‘move some things about to make everything work better’ and aid performance. When I asked how it was going she sighed and said, ‘not well, IT don’t get it’ we ‘keep attending meetings and they keep going on asking me about requirements as I try to explain the reasons behind the decisions and the details, server specifications and what components will need to be swapped out as part of the upgrade’ they keep asking for a list of requirements.
I asked where she was in the project lifecycle, the what? Ok let’s step back for a second, you’ve turned up and said I want some work done? ‘Yes that’s right’, she replied and ‘I’m trying to explain the requirements to them so that they understand the complete requirements’, ‘sure’ I reply ‘but first we need you to get through the door, to be able to provide a high level set of deliverables so that the engagement or project managers understand what kind of resources they will need and how much work is involved’. The infrastructure teams live in their world, their concern will be about data center space, the number of servers, network ports and storage you need, whether they will be production or UAT. You need to step back a second and target the requirement in packets of deliverables, so thart we can encapsulate them, too much information isn’t necessarily a good thing:
- Stage 1 – the initial business requirements – We need 324 blades rebuilt with Windows 2008, that is instantly definable and can be packaged into initial discussions about man days and project time lines.
- Stage 2 – the details around technical requirements – included in this piece of work, I will need some more storage presented to these servers, these blades need swapped out, and I need these backplain modules for 10GB Ethernet for these database hosts.
- Stage 3 – the summarized activities:
- 324 blades rebuilt to Windows 2008
- 48 blades upgraded to BL460c Gen8 for risk analytics proof of concept in enclosure 24A
- Enclosure 25A through to 26C need new interconnects for Flex-10