There's only one thing better than a convenient scorecard for measuring your performance as a storage manager: a convenient scorecard for measuring your performance as a storage manager that also lets you think about Billie Piper or John Barrowman a lot.
At last week's Gartner Government Summit on the Gold Coast, analyst John P. Roberts offered a useful scorecard for IT manager types, matching key value objectives for managers with the prime metric they should use to assess how well they are meeting that goal.
That got us thinking: how could storage managers rate themselves against these measures? And to lighten things up a little, we'll also ask an equally important question: how would TV time traveller Doctor Who rate on this scorecard?
Value objective: Keep the lights on
Prime metric: Critical applications performance
How this applies to storage: Are you delivering sufficient storage capacity to meet current business needs? How often do people complain about 'inbox full' messages?
How well Doctor Who measures up: What with the TARDIS being bigger on the inside than the outside, running out of space is unlikely to be a problem.
Value objective: Manage costs
Prime metric: Total IT costs versus budget
How this applies to storage: If your managers insist on a storage budget, then stick to it — and don't include costs that aren't directly storage-relevant. That'll show the bastards.
How well Doctor Who measures up: Being a time traveller means never having to say you're sorry — or pay for anything.
Value objective: Deliver projects
Prime metric: Percentage of business case benefits delivered
How this applies to storage: Sadly, no-one notices storage speed except when it goes down, so you'll have to focus on reduced costs if you fancy a promotion.
How well Doctor Who measures up: If everyone lives, that's great. The odd alien and/or human is expandable. Eliminate Daleks at all costs.
Value objective: Satisfy business
Prime metric: IT governance assessment
How this applies to storage: Don't make people empty their inbox for the sake of a few measly megabytes. Take advantage of falling costs. Bribe people with high-capacity USB sticks.
How well Doctor Who measures up: "Eliminate threats then nick off before anyone asks any questions" isn't the ultimate recipe for business satisfaction, but oddly it frequently seems to work. An alternate approach is to work in an unofficial capacity for a quasi-military organisation with minimal performance benchmarks. (This may also be a useful strategy in Canberra.)
Value objective: Deliver innovation
Prime metric: Annual report on initiatives
How this applies to storage: Deploy new solutions that reduce costs, take advantage of the transition to disk and increase uptime. Alternatively, befuddle your superiors with product names and specifications.
How well Doctor Who measures up: Casually deploy alien technology, preferably during high-threat situations where no-one asks too many questions. If under pressure, claim biological innovation points by noting you have two hearts, or bugger off to a remote civilisation for a while.
Value objective: Develop skills
Prime metric: Skill assessment versus target
How this applies to storage: Attend conferences in exotic locations in the name of professional development. The Gold Coast is certainly an option.
How well Doctor Who measures up: With 950-odd years of experience to draw on, quite frankly no-one is asking for certifications too often. If someone does, bugger off to a remote civilisation for a while.
Value objective: Maintain compliance
Prime metric: Audit report
How this applies to storage: Sorry, there's no way around this except doing an audit report.
How well Doctor Who measures up: Nip forward fifty years, copy an audit report, and bring it back. Or bugger off to a remote civilisation for a while.
Value objective: Plan for future
Prime metric: Strategy & architecture status
How this applies to storage: Good luck writing a storage architecture without getting co-operation from everyone else, but noises about "high speed transfer mechanisms" can stall everything for surprisingly long periods.
How well Doctor Who measures up: Why plan for the future when you can visit it whenever you like?