Moving the Needle In Your Business and Personal Life: What you should know in 2018

lorem ipsum This is my first blog of 2018 and what a better way to kick start the year than by creating a road map I want to do in my professional and personal life and sharing them with you, family, friends, colleagues, and all the readers.  The purpose for this exercise is to write on paper which activities I would like to perform and place them in order of priority starting from this years’s list most importance to the least important activities . I also like to allocate different “buckets” of time, energy, and resources to each of the individual activities I choose to pursue create  One of my business goals remove the separation of creating a Quarterly Business Action Plan involves setting up of practical tools and action items with which my team and I user to setup our daily activities and goals. I my option setting up one or two objectives the most that are important and whose activities align with your vision and mission as a company, is the single most important focus for any team and businesses out there. In establishing one or two main goals versus a series of to-do list gets my vision more solidified and while creating a tasks is important they make an considerable impact on your business process and bottom line revenue when they are aligned with your business goals. So when creating action items, I can setup my sales activities and the number of out bound calls to be broken down into number sales call per day and even per hour! Onboard one new client every month as my primary objective and all of the associate activities around that gets me to the following numbers that my team has to achieve; one my Managed Services Agreement is 3.8 new sign ups every quarter, two, my number of sales appointments of both warm leads and first time appointments will have to be 19 appointments per quarter or 5 appointments per month. And three, my close ratio of closing new clients is at 20% or more. These metrics should take my business goals of onboarding one client per month achievable and has the most impact on top down revenue and ROI for our organization.With a clearly defined objective and mile stones, I can identify which activities  for me and my team will produce the results I want out of my business and those activities that are colossal waste of our time. Investing time, resources, and attention on these series of activities are required to move the needle  for my organization in creating a enhanced partnership with our customer experiences vendors, business partners, our own internal team, and upper management. As for setting personal goals, if I break things I wanted to accomplish into daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals I can only do things that produce high impact and consistent results in my goal of running a marathon this year. One of my personal goals is to run and finish a marathon under 3 hours and 45 minutes Breaking this goal into a series of weekly long runs are the action item that I must take to get to my main objective. I ready believe that if I Creating a support group around my goal, I can train and make this experience a lot of enjoyable and with more consistent results than if I train alone or even with a coach. Training with my support group also solidifies my commitment to achieving own goal while providing support and adding value to friends and training mates to reach their own set of goals. I use the Strava app (http://bit.ly/LexStrava) as another layer of accountability and making sure I am hitting my daily goal as a move from joining short distance races (5 K, 10K),  participating in an half marathon, and finally a full marathon and finishing a PR time. Goals creation gets all the more enjoyable for me when I can be break them down into series of small actionable steps. Forming groups and teams around my personal and business goals solidifies my mission and vision for the next few months. I am out on a mission to accomplish business, personal, financial, and spiritual goals this year and following small actionable steps with a clear intention and with a supportive group and team behind me, that is how I will reach those goals that I have setup to achieve this year. Be well and be happy. ~ Lex.

Data Center Migration: Scrum, Agile, Kanban: What is your favorite tool to use?

Is your business entering into maturity phase in its I.T. operations? Are your capacity planning strategies being put to waste?  Are there storage, server, switches coming in than what can be accommodated in current IT room where it is  filled to capacity? A data center migration can be a solution for you . Moving your hardware and all of its data into a data center can provide the architecture, flexibility, and support structure to accomodate your growing business and computing needs. Data center can be consolidate, relocated, co-located, or can be built from the ground up (build out).  And regardless of what the type of Data Center migration suites your need the success of your data center migration will depends on your organization’s  readiness to plan, validate, execute and support the different activities that happens during a data center migration. Steps to data center migration is linear, meaning  that the process of moving to the new data center follows a chronological order, Initiation, Risk Assessment, Planning, Execution, and Closure. The Kanban system which was developed in 1953 by Toyota engineer Taiichi Ohno is “setup much like a factory floor, where a part might start out as a piece of metal and then, one step at a time, is turned into a finished part through a series of steps.” As you go through the different stages in your Data Center Migration you can see that Risk Assessment, and Planning are two steps within migration that can be split into separate projects each with its own team, and deliverable. For this reason Risk Assessment, and planning phase can benefit from Scrum framework of data migration, whereas the Data Center Migration as a whole because of its defined stages  will best benefit from the Kanban system “Scrum-ban” to denote the application of Kanban to an existing Scrum process. As a sidenote, I started googling the word Scrum-ban while doing this my research for this blog and alas I have found that this term to have been legitimately used which the Data Center circle and Information Technology realm. Here is a link to the Scrum-ban discussion if you happen to not believe me. Distraction aside , my aim for this blog to decipher some of the mysteries associated with data center migration strategies and present benefits of Kanban, and Scrum, and Agile as viable methods to use on your during Data Center Migration projects.

Set a tempo at the beginning of the project by identifying milestone that will dictate the flow of your migration. Identify reasons for doing the migration: the costs, equipment reduction,  maintenance automation and patching, economies of  scale, less infrastructure redundancy, eliminate single point of failure, etc. Once you have identified your “why”  anticipate the impact to the business if  data center migration project is approved, not approved, delayed, and failed.  Assign accountability team that will break down workload and will execute on project plans. Identify who are potentially heavy users of the system. A lot of time the heavy users of the system have the most to lose (or gain) and therefore will give your project the most buy-in during pivotal decision making rounds so make sure to include this individuals as stakeholders early in the process.

After initiation comes risk assessment.  During discovery phase ask these three question. (1) what key business objectives must be fulfilled during data center migration project? Be on the know and interview your business leaders. Get a detailed evaluation or audit of what needs to be moved, when and how. (2) what risks are you exposing the business during this transition and do you have actions plans to mitigate against those risks? Part of the risk assessment exercise is to take a look at applications, network requirements, and dependencies and look at the business impact if applications fail to migrate correctly. (3) what business continuity risks are you exposing your customers once they learn of the potential downtime that they may experience because of this move? It is important to have a solid execution plans and having staff that is well-trained in dealing downtime scenario and as well as other contingencies that may arise.

After risk assessment comes the planning.  The first step of planning is determining what migration type you will use in your data center migration project. Are you going to consolidate, virtualize, modernize, lift and shift (forklift), or use swing  migration? Once you’ve figured out which of the migration techniques you will use create a “move group” and bundle equipment based on commonalties such as data dependencies, software dependencies, latency requirements, bandwidth and performance requirements. 2nd step of planning is to create test plans, and execute against them prior to running migration. Take note of issues as your running your test plans and document these issues as “pre-migration” jitter, not to be attributed to the post migration environment. Results of your test plans can be used for pre- and post-migration benchmarking and use these results as a quantitative proof of success or of failure of the migration.  A third but no less important step in planning is to ask this question, type of data center would you like to pursue. Are you building your data center In-house, buying a Colocation service, or migrating everything to the cloud?

Execution process can be completed over a weekend or over a span of few weeks as much as 18 weeks for large migration with multiple location. Your best migration methodologies include preparing a pre-migration testing of your move groups. Applications with less system and hardware dependencies are general easier to migrate and such be prioritized for migration. In contrast application with heavy dependencies such as a data base application that contain loads of data must be migrated on a later schedule.

At the end  of the migration project is the closure or the clean phase. Do not forget to cancel legacy equipment contracts that are no longer needed. If you are moving from an old facility to a new facility check for vendor requirements and make sure to stay in compliance with building management and anticipate any issues from may hinder your move from old facility to new facility. Closing phase should happen be relatively fast compared to the other migration phases and site clean-up is prompt and complete addressing the disposal of old assets, packing and shipping of new hardware to new location, canceling of old vendor contract for building management, supplies vendor, and maintenance services. At a high level, these are all the issues to be aware of to have a successful data center migration. Having in place proper team and acquiring the technical know-how (and seeking help from experts and migration specialist) will create the impact that your seeking out of well executed data center migration. Your tactical team and strategic teams should make the migration strategies for your business having your business objectives aligned with your migration strategies.  An end to end migration that is well executed should have a lasting effect to making your IT operations succeed in the years ahead and being able to incorporated best in practice IT operations that is more scalable to meet your business needs.

Hello world!

I am a technology agnostic project manager and a Kanban and Scrum practioner. During my spare time I operate a boutique staffing agency that caters to Information Technologists,  engineers, developers  and other professionals in the Technical field. I perform full life-cycle recruitment in manufacturing, biotechnology, industrial & electronics, chemicals, rubbers & plastics, and e-commerce industries. I am a  seasoned national recruiter for high volume, hard-to-fill, and niche market positions. As a seasoned technical recruiter I  perform above and beyond in every endeavor I choose to pursue. I grew up in 2 continents Manila (Philippines) and later in California. I enjoy the sun and love being outdoors.

I attended college and received my AA degree in Business Administration at  Rio Hondo College and gained admission to University of California Berkeley in fall of 2008. I want to eventually return to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies. One of my favorite adage I live is  “those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer”. During my spare time I try to stopby Next Door Shelter at San Francisco’s Tenderloin  disctrict. This facility  is operated by Episcopal Community Services and provides 24 hour emergency homesless shelter and is also home to  340 people everyday and night. I encourage you to stop by and serve a meal there, the reward I get is as they say is “priceless.”Other causes that I support and share to others to raise awareness are Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco, and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.