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Effective Monitoring and Alerting by Slawek Ligus

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Chapter 7. Measuring Success

One can recognize the quality of collaboration by how success is measured. The task of fostering the culture rests mainly with managers. The onus of maintaining a top-notch configuration and event response is on operators. Measuring success, however, is a collaborative effort, one requiring a fair amount of common sense and resisting the urge to positively exaggerate results. Effective alerting configurations are hard to build and even harder to measure. This chapter deals with measuring qualitative changes with quantitative means.

Managers and the employees, here typically systems engineers, work towards common goals but some of their priorities may vary. Engineers like getting things done; managers like when things get done. In other words, engineers focus on problem solving while managers put emphasis on efficiency of execution and reporting. The two priorities are not conflicting as long as a healthy balance is maintained. If it is not the case, reporting can become burdensome.

The problem is real: the more time spent by engineers on accounting, the less of it goes into doing actual work. But it’s not just about overhead. When people see no value in accounting (and if you hire smart people, as most IT businesses do, they most likely have valid reasons for it) they might still carry out the tasks you ask but are more likely to do it neglectfully. Ironically, inaccurate accounting makes it harder to reliably identify pain points, which, when resolved, ...

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