Governance of Capacity Management

In a previous employment, the employer had an operational department who were responsible for signing off the performance of a system before it was allowed in to production. Their method for doing this was working with delivery projects to make sure that the project provided sufficient evidence that the system they were delivering would perform in the long term. They would also check that the operational managers had access to appropriate mechanisms to monitor that the systems were performing according to the evidence that had been provided. When requested to do so they would provide expertise to the delivery projects in the appropriate use of capacity management techniques, but they were primarily a gate keeping and monitoring function.

When working with the team I would acknowledge that their approach was effective, but thought it too “front heavy.” The team acted as a limiting factor on the timely delivery of system projects, and the rigour they required was sufficient to manage the system in the long term but seemed unnecessary for pilot delivery. Their assumption was that once a project was delivered to production then there would be no further capacity management applied unless there were production issues – which would then be their problem to see resolved. Thus the system had to be proven as fully suitable for production before it was allowed in. I now have experience of the full lifecycle of a number of projects. This includes being brought into projects when they have run into performance issues a number of years down the line. The governance approach that the employer took was definitely correct, even if they could have been a little more cooperative in letting the system into pilot.

To be clear: A project must plan to provide evidence that the system they are putting in will perform well in the long term. A project must have clearance for, and so sufficient business benefit to fund, the capacity that will be needed to run the system in the long term. A project is not complete until it is proven that it will perform correctly in the long term, and there are monitoring methods in place to make sure that it continues to perform. If a system is allowed into pilot before this point for expediency then the project still has to complete its evidence generation and sign-off before the system is accepted into full operation.

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