The MBA Guide to IT

Episode 30 - What is triage in IT?

Last week we smoked our pipes, stroked our beards, and took our time creating an IT roadmap.  Mary Alice looked particularly strange doing that.  What if things are a bit more urgent than that?

I’m sure everything is perfect in your company, but let’s pretend it’s not.  Somehow, you got tagged to fix it and oh are things broken.  Where do you even start?

The solution is triage.

Triage comes from a French word meaning, “You’re going to sit in the emergency room for 3 hours while they work on people who might actually be dying.”

In IT, it means prioritizing your most urgent projects while deciding not to work on other areas just yet.  Segment into separate projects.  You may have to do things to make the day to day go, but you need to explicit about which pieces you are or are not working on.

As an old boss used to say, there are two types of problems: the ones that will kill me today and the ones that will kill me tomorrow.

Now, you’re still going to want to do the formal long term stuff:  Mapping business objectives, performing risk management, and pumping it all into a roadmap you can calmly execute.  We talked about all of those previously.

Triage handles the things that can’t wait.  We’ll stop the bleeding today.  We’ll show the patient healthy living tomorrow.

In this week’s series, we’ll talk about three common areas where you may have to just dive in and fix things:

  • System instability
  • Security exposures
  • Customer roadblocks
  • I’m Carter Edmonds with 20Creek.  We solve IT challenges.

    Episode #30 – 1/21/2019

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