Thursday, October 04, 2007

The System Just Works

The System Just Works

or, how to get a technician to clean his desk.

A funny, true story.

This is a "believe it or not" story.

Here's our basic process:
- We have a standard "monthly maintenance" for each client. These are the chores that are performed at that client every month. This is unique per client.

- We have what we call a "monthly single." This is a single chore that is performed at all clients when we do the monthly maintenance. The monthly single changes every month. For example,
--- Get router, firewall, and domain registration into Autotask.
--- Verify that Windows Defender is installed on every desktop.
--- Make sure Veritas Backup Exec is using family naming for tapes, with Job, Date, and Time in the family name.

So, what does a technician do?
A technician prints out the Monthly Maintenance checklist and proceeds to execute the tasks. The first part of ever MMC is:

1) Client Check In and Monthly Single

2) Complete all steps detailed in the Monthly Single before continuing on unless specifically noted otherwise in the Monthly Single.

SO . . .

We're instituting Zenith. Really, we're at 99.9%, moving toward 99.99%.

We've turned over 99% of the monthly maintenance to Zenith. Saved us about 75 hrs/month! !!! !!!

Now we're looking at turning over the monthly single to Zenith. Our new rule is: First, ask yourself whether Zenith can do this. If Zenith can do it, let them do it.

Part of the process of turning things over to Zenith is to coordinate the sharepoint side (where we keep monthly singles) and your PSA system in a way that Zenith can see both. To do this, we created a space that says: Check here: XXX. Get the Monthly Single and Do It.

As part of the testing phase, Nicko created a fake Monthly Single Checklist that just says "Clean your freakin' desk." Kind of smartass, but no harm since Zenith won't see it in the testing phase.

Forgot that that's there . . .

And today . . . Josh's desk is AMAZINGLY CLEAN. No papers. No stacks. No crap.

What the heck?

"Did Josh quit?"
"Has Josh been fired?"
"Did the cleaning crew go insane?"

No, says Manuel. The system just works.

Josh opened up his first monthly maintenance for the month, saw the note to check the new location, read the note from Nicko . . .

And Cleaned His Desk!


I'm thinking of seeing whether I can get my car washed by the same process. :-)


  1. Anonymous8:20 AM

    Karl, can you elaborate on this?

    So you're putting your desktops on the Zenith desktop plan plus tickets?

    That 75 hours of time savings, where did that come from? Upgrading items like Adobe Reader, installing Defender etc.?

    Thanks again for such powerful information.

  2. I owe a post or two on Zenith.

    We are using Kaseya on the desktops and both Kaseya and Zenith on the servers.

    Our labor savings comes from having Zenith take over the "monthly maintenance" or the servers. If you're seem the monthly maintenance checklist in my Network Documentation Workbook, you've got some idea of what we do there.

    In truth, the regular monitoring of systems by Kaseya/Zenith makes some of the checklist irrelevant. For example, checking hard disc space is now done every minute of every day.

    We used to spend the first part of every month running around to clients doing the "monthly maintenance." Now that chore has been turned over to Zenith.


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