Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
Time to Add Staff?

Wednesday, May 12, 2004  

I've been considering lately whether I have the right amount of staff and the right mix of skills. While reading The Executive's Guide to Information Technology, the authors had made the case that IT consisted of the Application Development and Operations functions. I am thinking that there is a need for another function -- Special Projects.

The IT operational function should be concerned with sustainable and standardized processes. Backups, security audits, monitoring and managing server uptime, upgrades, reporting, patch deployment and the help desk would all fall under this category.

Special Projects is about tackling new challenges -- implementing a new banking function, planning the upgrade and user acceptance of a new web-based CRM or evaluating the existing disaster recovery plans and recommending changes.

Looking at the functions, I need to ask myself if I can rotate these among existing staff in order to challenge and educate them, or if I need to concentrate that expertise. And if I rotate, do I have enough staff to execute these projects in a timely manner?

My current staff (including one contractor) looks like this:

2.5 software developers
1.0 desktop support
1.0 system engineer
1.0 network engineer
0.5 project manager

Is that enough? With 110 end-users, the answer would appear to be "of course!" Really? What if I break down the metrics this way:

110 end users
5 branch offices
80 servers (yes, 80)
4 operating system platforms (Windows, Linux, OS/400 and OpenVMS)
99.99% uptime requirement for banking-related systems

Now do I have enough staff? Maybe not.

This thought to be continued...

posted by Henry Jenkins | 5/12/2004 09:18:00 PM

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