Top 10 Mistakes/opportunities in Data Center Operations , my #1 implement quality system

Lee Technologies has put out a paper on Top 10 mistakes in Data Center Operations.  They previously posted on Top 9 Data Center Design Mistakes, and I posted commenting my #1.

Having spent 30 years in high tech working at HP, Apple, Microsoft and consulting I've seen my share of mistakes.  You can choose the "ignorance is bliss" strategy and as long as no one else notices, things are fine.  Or  you can look at a mistake as an opportunity.

Mistakes Merely Opportunities in Disguise
OfficePRO magazine, November/December 1998 issue

Accept your mistakes, accept yourself, and turn blunders and missteps into lessons learned

By Dr. Gene Sharratt and Eldene Wall, CEOE

Mistakes are a part of life. We all make mistakes, but the real mistake is not to learn from them. How can mistakes be turned into opportunities? Effective office professionals acknowledge that errors happen. Most importantly, they learn from their mistakes and move forward.

Each person reacts to mistakes differently, but it's natural to feel angry and disappointed when errors are made. While these are normal responses, your reaction to mistakes largely determines what you learn from them. Some people criticize and belittle themselves for their errors longer than necessary, which can be counterproductive to professional growth.

Why are mistakes so painful? Whether a huge and costly mistake, or a relatively minor one, individuals often feel a strong sense of personal failure. While criticism is usually painful and can even be traumatic, the personal disappointment a person feels can be devastating.

It can be hard to address mistakes as few want to discuss the topic as millions of dollars are spent in data centers, and too many people have seen people dismissed or unfairly punished for mistakes made.




One way to break through this barrier is look at the Top 10 mistakes in data center operations as a guide to run an inventory on where you are at.

Lee Kirby the paper author starts with a piece of data center wisdom.

How can you avoid making major mistakes when operating
and maintaining your data center(s)? The key lies in the
methodology behind your operations and maintenance
program. All too often, companies put immense amounts
of capital and expertise into the design of their facilities.
However, when construction is complete, data center
operations are an afterthought. This whitepaper explores
the top ten mistakes in data center operations.

For those of you who want to know what the top 10 are, here is the summary.

Big Mistake #1:
Not including your operations team in facility design

Big Mistake #2:
Relying too much on data center design

Big Mistake #3:
Failure to correctly address the staffing

Big Mistake #4:
Failure to train and develop your talent

Big Mistake #5:
Failing to consistently drill and test skills

Big Mistake #6:
Failure to overlay your operations program with
documented processes and procedures

Big Mistake #7:
Failure to implement appropriate processes and

Big Mistake #8:
Failure to develop and implement Quality Systems

Big Mistake #9:
Failure to use software management tools

Big Mistake #10:
Thinking you can build a best in breed program as
quickly as a data center

I like the list, but I would change the ordering to create an architecture approach for looking at the issues.  8, 2, 10, 4, 1, 9, 3, 6, 7, 5 is a quick pass at an order I would choose, but I admit this is 3 minutes of thinking about it. 

You can use the Lee Tech paper in a staff meeting to discuss the Top 10 data center operations mistakes made by others and create your own order, where you are at, and whether the areas warrant investment.

I would start by asking whether you have a quality system (item #8) in place, and whether the quality group is rewarded for finding mistakes and providing early feedback.

Many companies err in thinking that process, once proven, is infallible.
Continuous improvement is the only way to ensure your data center
operations are efficient, reliable and cost effective. A program for quality
systems consists of two principles:
• Quality Assurance (QA): processes to ensure that errors are not
introduced into the system
• Quality Control (QC): measures taken at various stages of the
process to proactively identify problems that could potentially lead
to system failure

Or you can go with "ignorance is bliss" strategy



BTW, eliminating mistakes is another way to reduce the environmental impact for a greener data center.  Look at the environmental impact of BP's mistake.  Fewer mistakes made the less environmental impact.