Network Operations Luminaries?

Petr Swedock petr at
Fri Dec 7 16:59:10 UTC 2001

 : Though I can name off several 'credentialed' network
 : engineering gurus and the 'bibles' of network engineering, a
 : recent discussion about the source of network operations
 : 'best practices' left me speechless, and curious.
 : Who is/are the network operations equivalents of people like
 : Peter Drucker and Jack Welch--people who are looked at not
 : only has role models for operations success, but as
 : luminaries in the industry for having established and
 : educated the masses about best practices?
With regards to Peter Drucker... his sagacity lies in a deep
understanding of the history of his field and long observance
of such (some sixty years!).  Jack Welch is hype.  I don't 
think we're in an equivalent place in the history of our field
where any-one can, definitively, say, either from long study
(Drucker) or manufactured hype (Welch),  what works best, or 
-perhaps more importantly-  what underlying misconceptions 
and mistakes fuel operations on a daily basis

 : What would be the network operations equivalents to revered
 : business tomes like "The Practice of Management", "Seven
 : Habits of Highly Successful People", "The G.E. Way" (and a
 : variety of others that populate the shelves of your friendly
 : local executive)?
 : Most network-oriented training seems to focus on the
 : technology, not on operations (and those subtle but ever so
 : critical differences between knowing how something is
 : /supposed/ to work and how it /really/ works, and all of the
 : effort it takes to create a smooth-running operations
 : engine).
There are three distinct possibilities that I sense:

	It is thought that the basic, already known, principles 
	of engineering and management are a good fit, thus
	the training assumes this;

	No one sets out to be 'in operations', but rather drift
	or fall into the part-- or perhaps have the part fallen
	unto them... =-), and the training reflects this;
	The whole is never perceived as greater than the sum 
	of the parts. That is to say, attention is paid to 
	the individual 	components of a network and the bigger 
	operational picture isn't tended except as a means of 
	managing individual components...

 : What are the network operations equivalents to business
 : programs such as Six Sigma? What about something similar to
 : the various leading institutions of business management,
 : institutions that study of how networks are operated (and
 : used), and develop training and methodologies for better
 : operations practices?

Don't know if you're aware: the IETF has two working groups in 
the Operations and Management Area, that might be tangent to 
what you're looking for: Benchmarking Methodology and Policy 
Framework.  Might be worth a look, even if not exactly what 
you're thinking of... Though I've only glanced at them meself.

 : Pete.

Systems, Networks and Gadgets, done with Artful Intelligence
Policy: ASCII/text attchmnts alway read. PDF maybe read. Others, by 
necessity, may be ignored. Don't take it personally, it's a time issue.

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