Professions subscribe to various end-user requirements for service delivery to maximise the effectiveness, and robustness of service and end-product.
Various tools are used to by System Administrators to ensure standards.
The Cult of Checklists
[Ref: Checklists Homepage]
The simplest and most maligned tool is the humble checklist. We all use checklists in one form or another as a utility for achieving certain levels of outcome. At minimum, checklists form a structure of items and issues not to neglect and at best present a point in time for communication and evaluation of procedures.
Checklists have become important because:
- The human condition is one of finite corporal, temporal resources, [aka we make mistakes]
- Increasingly more work requires group, team co-ordination and effort for completion [aka we make mistakes communicating with others, but we need others to get our work done, and number 1 above]
- The expanse of technology, knowledge, and skills required to consistently achieve best-quality results, is well beyond an individual's capacity. [aka We really don't know everything related to what we have to do, real life is very complicated, and 1 and 2]
Checklists are a toolkit, and various contrivances of a 'checklist' can either assist us, or just plain create additional (work/barriers) to achieving quality results.
Some directions for effective use of checklists to use it as a tool:
- Team co-ordination, reference points allow for task responsiblities.
- Set explicit points for review, communications.
- Reduce errors of ommission, (leaving out stuff that needs to be done) and indirectly errors of commission (adding stuff that does not need to be added)
- Easier to validate, evaluate (we can quickly assess a short list, as opposed to pages of work instructions etc.)
- Reduce the influence of Halo Effect (avoid 'major' items preventing you from considering, assessing, performing all necessary items.)
- Reduce hours of work into a short form of items
- Reduce theory into practise items. (is this a real win?)
Hopefully, this site assists you and your team build checklists that helps to achieve quality results every time. Where short-comings exist in a checklist ensure that failings are known (recorded, communicated) and factored into it's use and redesign.
The most dangerous part in a car, is the nut loose behind the wheel (the driver.)
These notes are not going to show you how to setup a secure server, and they just might give you suggestions that will make your setup insecure.