So you are probably wondering what the deal is with the title. It’s simple. Thanks to the late, great Frank Zappa and his movie/soundtrack Uncle Meat I’ve had this saying stuck in my mind for years. Try to think of it as a similar phrase as “yak shaving”
“We’re involved in sort of a low key war against apathy. Most of what we do is designed to annoy people to the point where they might just for a second question enough of their environment to do something about it. As long as they don’t feel their environment, they worry about it — they’re not gonna do anything to change it. Something’s gotta be done before America scarfs up the world and shits on it.” -Frank Zappa
What does this mean to IT? For me, this is about the fact the we are constantly trying to apply measurability and tangibility to processes and customer experience. Don’t even get me started in ITIL! As IT workers we are being asked to apply rigor and process to agile, dynamic infrastructure and application environments. This is inherently failed due to the very volatility of these environments.
I have often said that this is the plight of the skilled IT staffer. We are asked to be able to react to any situation and adapt to dynamic, moving environments, but at the same time we are also being asked to “put on your management hat” to apply process and rigidity to what it is that we do. Please don’t get me wrong in that I understand every reason why we need to do both.
As a Systems Architect (I’m not title dropping, that is just what they call me), I have to bridge the gap between development, systems and infrastructure management, systems administration and also corporate management. On one side of the fence I have a plethora of people I work with directly and indirectly who view corporate IT processes as “evil”. On the other side of the fence there are the corporate management teams who have been tasked with creating Service Level Agreements and support contracts with the same people who disagree with the entire process.
I could go on and on, and I’m sure most of you who read this article share this challenge. To close this one out I will offer that you share my new phrase. When you are asked how to apply measurability and tangibility to a process that is on the web, or in the cloud or somewhere in the world that isn’t understood by the corporate management, simply say that “I am using the chicken to measure IT”.