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18 July 2012 was an important day for those of us who pay attention to international standards. Why? Because it was the date that ISO published this document on the pending makeover of the management systems standards.

One could look at this purely from a surface perspective (i.e. how a management system standard is organized) and completely miss the point!

“So, what’s the point?”, you might ask?

It’s about  demonstrating conformance, people!

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A quick scan of search engine results and tweets regarding the development of business continuity and disaster recovery plans will yield a significant number of results for you to go look at and research. In fact, there seems to be an overwhelming bias towards the planning portion of these two areas. Indeed, this bias can be seen in almost any area — it is not unique to just these two. I think that one of the reasons for this bias is the fact that few organizations actually make the investment to create credible plans. Still, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about what happens to those organizations that invest resources in creating their plans and then stop.

Why is this a problem? It’s just like the old joke/saying:

“In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they’re actually different.”


Whether or not we actually think that’s funny, it’s actually pretty accurate. Because when something goes wrong during the execution of the plan, someone will undoubtedly say something along the lines of “well, that wasn’t supposed to happen like that”. Why something actually didn’t go “according to plan” is irrelevant, when you’re in the heat of a response effort. You just know that it didn’t work the way it was supposed to. That’s why I’m calling this post “Famous Last Words”.

Let’s consider this in some more detail.

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OK. This post is a bit different than the usual topics I would write about, but it’s one that I feel is worth addressing. On Twitter, there is a (loosely honored) tradition called “Follow Friday”, where you call out the people that you think are worth others following (in case you don’t do Twitter, that is the same as subscribing to a persons “tweets” or messages, OK?). Well, earlier today, I sent a tweet which said:

I am *so* close to unfollowing a few folks for pushing out the same tired, crappy tweets over and over again.

I am about to start a new (loosely honored) tradition of my own called “Unfollow Friday”… complete with it’s own hashtag (#UFF).

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I recently had the pleasure of engaging with a great group of folks on the itSMF Rocky Mountain Local Interest Group (LIG) on Green IT.

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In a recent tweet, I wrote:

“There is no magic in standards. The magic is where conformance integrates with how you do business. Anything less is wasted time & money!”

Actually, I’ve been saying that for a long time. It’s been true all along.

Why do I say that? Let’s have a look…

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In the November 5, 2010 issue of Processor magazine, there is an article titled “Building the Data Center Staff” where I am quoted on behalf of Engaged Consulting. It’s great to again have the opportunity to be talking about a topic that is absolutely critical to our customers — how to hire the best people to build out their teams. Having been a hiring manager (still am, actually) in large and small firms, I am all too aware of the importance of making good hiring decisions.  Unfortunately, just “going through the motions” that most companies specify as part of the hiring process, won’t get you all the way there. In fact, it may only get you far enough to cause problems.

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I just had my latest article on Continuous Improvement Programs titled “Finding Funding for New Initiatives” published in CIO Update. Have a look at it here. If you’d care to discuss my article here, please feel free to respond. Thanks in advance for checking it out.

In the September 24, 2010 issue of Processor magazine, there is an article titled “Running The Data Center” where I am quoted on behalf of Engaged Consulting. It’s great to again have the opportunity to be talking about a topic that is very relevant and timely to our customers — the fit of automation in the operation of data centers. Specifically, this piece is focused on “lights out” operations and remote locations. Again, given ubiquitous connectivity, location is almost irrelevant today. Remember, I said “almost”.

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In the September 10, 2010 edition of Processor magazine, there is an article “Mapping the IT Capability Maturity Framework“. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to be interviewed and contribute to this and I invite you to have a look at the article. There are a lot of things that could be said about capability maturity and what I’ve been quoted on in this article is merely a snapshot of the thinking I’ve done about this that fits this particular context. If you would like to discuss what’s in the article or ask more general questions, please consider this a formal invite to reply to this thread and start a discussion. Thanks in advance.

Mapping The IT Capability Maturity Framework