Capers Jones, Gary Gack, Leon Kappleman, Dan Galorath Team Up To Improve IT

January 20, 2010 · Filed Under General, Project Management · Comment 

From the consortium web site:

Information Systems Risk Management Consortium Charter

Written on January 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm, by adminThe consortium is the result of four of the industry’s leaders (Capers Jones, Gary Gack, Leon Kappelman, Dan Galorath) deciding to pool our expertise and form a consortium called the Information Systems Risk Management Consortium for the purpose of offering our combined talents to assist the information systems industry.  The process improvement results we’ve achieved with other diversified government and industry organizations and large distributed companies has convinced us we can help you accelerate your strategic initiatives while improving tactical performance with measurable results within a 6 to 18 month calendar window.

Our experiences can help your teams identify and reduce the potential risks earlier in the project life cycle.  In most cases the problems and failures are avoidable if you know what to look for, what to do about them, have repeatable processes, appropriate practices, and utilize independent expertise like ours both before and after contracts are awarded.  Federal Government organizations a world-class companies often lack the necessary in-house expertise to ensure success in these high-risk, complex, multi-year initiatives.  Independent specialists with world-class experience and capabilities can provide the critical differentiator needed to manage successfully large high-risk projects.

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Draft Estimating IT Infrastructure and IT Services

October 1, 2008 · Filed Under IT Estimating · 1 Comment 

Original draft sent out for review for the GAO cost handbook section on estimating IT infrastructure and IT services. There is a newer version that has some adjustments to the WBS that should be public, distributed from the GAO web site soon. The WBS adjustments were done primarily by the Air Force Cost Agency to make the WBS more consistent with some of the services.

IT Infrastructure & Services Must Be Considered In Total Ownership Costs

Studies have shown that IT services outside the software development and maintenance (e.g. software maintenance costs, hardware cost, help desk, upgrade installation, training, etc.) can account for over 60% of the total ownership costs, Figure 1.


Figure 1: Relative Cost of IT Vs. Software Development Vs. Software Maintenance

Even systems such as ships, aircraft and mission control centers have a major IT infrastructure and IT services components to them. In fact, some IT systems encounter over 90% of their costs in the infrastructure and services required to support and run the system. Read more

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.

Banking and Mergers and IT… Oh My

September 22, 2008 · Filed Under CEO, IT Estimating, Project Management, Risk, Thoughts · Comment 

Watching the chaos going on in the economy, the overnight mergers, the bankruptcies, and other tragedies in the US and in the world makes me shiver thinking about how all these IT systems are going to work together, or work at all.  I heard that the value in some of these organizations is their IT infrastructure (we have said for years that banks are big IT companies with money as their product…. this bears it out)  This is the time when SEER for Software and SEER for IT can really help save the day with project and operations planning in this consolidation environment.

Understand the costs of data conversion, how many help desk people will be needed to support the newer, bigger organization, how to dispose of unneeded assets.  And having open eyes of the cost and schedule risks are essential.

I saw an article today stating that the current economic issues have stalled 2009 IT planning.  This is not the time for stalling.  This is the time for increased planning and risk management.  I realize stalling buys time to see how things shake out.  But planning for alternate scenarios can be extremely effective as well.

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.

Towards a Standard Definition of IT Infrastruture

September 17, 2008 · Filed Under General, IT Estimating · 1 Comment 

In the article “IT Policy: An Essential Element of IT Infrastructure”  the authors correctly state that IT Infrastructure is more than hardware and software but is the services as well.  

Over the last decade, it has become clear that functional IT infrastructure and systems are composed of more than hardware and software. Budgeting methods that did not adequately account for the full human resources costs to analyze, design, integrate, support, and manage new hardware and software systems mostly underestimated the costs involved. If we accept a more blurred definition of IT infrastructure that incorporates not only the hard IT assets but also the human, process, and organizational elements, then IT policy development clearly deserves a greater level of attention—and on an ongoing basis.” 

 
 
 

  

IT Infrastructure: ”IT infrastructure consists of the equipment, systems, software, and services used in common across an organization, regardless of mission/program/project.  IT Infrastructure also serves as the foundation upon which mission/program/project-specific systems and capabilities are built.” from cio.gov 

  

One ITIL definition  Defines IT Infrastructure in essentially the same way,looking at the delivery of the service as the  product, and the hardware, software, and IT services as the means to that end.   Another source just defines infrastructure as the hardware. 

ITIL:    “All of the components (Configuration Items) that are needed to deliver IT Services to customers. The IT Infrastructure consists of more than just hardware and software.” 

  

All these definitions clearly provide insight that IT infrastructure is everything needed to deliver the service.   

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.

What Is IT Infrastructure: A Definition and a Taxonomy

September 11, 2008 · Filed Under IT Estimating, Project Management · 1 Comment 

There are probably as many definitions of IT Infrastructure as there are IT organizations.  I believe the following definitions are representative and appropriate:

IT Infrastructure.. “IT infrastructure consists of the equipment, systems, software, and services used in common across an organization, regardless of mission/program/project.  IT Infrastructure also serves as the foundation upon which mission/program/project-specific systems and capabilities are built.” from cio.gov

ITIL defines infrastructure more like:    All of the components (Configuration Items) that are needed to deliver IT Services to customers. The IT Infrastructure consists of more than just hardware and software.

Additionally, for project planning purposes I believe IT Infrastructure should be subdivided into into several components:

  1. Software Development
  2. Software Maintenance (corrective perfective, adaptive, block changes)
  3. Purchased Software (e.g. ERP system)
  4. IT Infrastructure hardware (e.g. servers, switches)
  5. IT Services (e.g software setup, help desk, computer administration)

Further, there are two major divisions of labor: the project and ongoing operations:

  • Project: The project is the portion of the system life cycle where the system is developmental, that is where it is not yet in operation.
  • Ongoing Operations: The ongoing operations is the portion of the system life cycle where the system is deployed to users

Of course these major activities need to be further subdivided for detailed analysis and planning purposes.

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.

The Total Ownership Cost of IT Systems

It is interesting to see how the much of the industry speaks of IT system cost problems while ignoring a large part of the problem.  Software maintenance costs can be 75+% of software total ownership costs but IT Infrastructure and the cost of IT systems and services can be 60% of the total ownership cost itself.  Even if we use cloud computing most of those IT service costs don’t go away.  Help desk, data conversion, etc. is still a problem, even in the cloud. Read more

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.