I wonder if you can recognise this situation?

By some miracle, you have managed to carve out all of Friday to write a report on the performance of your infrastructure. If all goes well, you should be home in time to pick up the kids from their athletics club.

You begin with confidence, finding all the datasets you need from your various colleagues and databases.

As you start to combine them, you quickly realise that not all areas of the business are using the same abbreviations (and some of them, frankly, you’ve never seen before).  Even for similar assets, there is no consistent data structure.

Finally,  (after lunch) you have manipulated the data to a point to which you can make a sensible graph. But it doesn’t look right. There are not 20 months in the year…. It appears that some American date formats have crept into your failures data. “Why?!” you cry.

By the time you have found and fixed all (or at least most) of the wrong dates, it’s closing in on 4 pm. Where has the day gone?

You hurriedly try to collar the graphs, maps and tables together. When you map the locations of your infrastructure failures, you find some are being reported outside your company’s area. How is that possible? XY coordinate swopping? You don’t have time for this now.  Perhaps we’ll not include a map this time.

It’s 5:40. You should have left 10 minutes ago. You can finish this report when the kids are in bed. Quickly you shut down your laptop and leg it across to your car. The traffic is bad. You arrive just as your kids’ coach is about to phone home to see where you are. So much for the relaxing start to the weekend.

You know the drill… By the time the kids are in bed, your brain is so fried you can only hack off a few paragraphs and bullet points. It will be easier in the morning.

6 am sees you back at it. You know the report will be better with the map, so you persevere with that while the kids watch tv in the background. And on it goes. By the end of the weekend, you’ve cobbled together a report you’re just about happy with. Your boss had BETTER realise just how much extra effort your expended on this report.

Monday rolls around before you know it, and work’s whirlwind picks up once more.

Surely there is a better way.

My aim for this blog is to build a supporting community of infrastructure professionals who, together, make sure that network resilience is improved, our customers are better served, and that we still get home on time to give our families and friends the time they deserve. I invite you to join us on this journey.


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