“The SIPOC is a key tool used in the Define phase of a [Six Sigma] DMAIC project. It provides clarity for the project team and stakeholders regarding the process boundaries, the customers for the process outputs, and the suppliers for the process inputs. ” —Heidi Wiesenfelder
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is SIPOC diagram, a tool for mapping a business process. Basically it’s five columns labeled suppliers, inputs, process, outputs and customers. You start in the middle with “process” and then work your way out, filling in the rest of the columns. Once the diagram has been filled out, it helps everyone on the team to see the business process the same way from beginning to end.
“In traditional project management, the project ends when the scope is complete. Success is determined by whether first, the scope is complete; and second and third, whether it’s completed on schedule and on budget…The agile method is flexible on scope, but holds schedule and budget constant.” — Joseph Flahiff
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is project scope, the part of project planning that involves determining — and documenting — a list of specific project goals, deliverables, tasks, costs and deadlines. During the project, this documentation helps the project team remain focused and on task. The scope statement also provides the project team with guidelines for making decisions about change requests during the project.
“CloudSwitch, Racemi DynaCenter 4.0 and Citrix NetScaler Cloud Bridge are three tools that help move applications among clouds. These tools do not require modifications, and they allow applications to be managed as though they are still running in a private cloud.” — Bill Claybrook
“As a service catalog is created, the CIO can start to see where the organization has redundancies, or if there are high-cost services with low demand that can be outsourced at a lower cost.” — Craig Symons
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is IT service catalog. An IT service catalog contains information about deliverables, prices, contact points and processes for requesting a service. Typically a catalog will have two views, a customer-facing view in which services are explained in plain English — and a technical view that documents exactly what is required to deliver each service in the catalog.
“If the team decides that it is important that an idea be ranked as ‘extremely hard’ or ‘very high payoff’, you can make a note of that or place it along a quadrant accordingly, but try to encourage team members to think of the chart as only 4 choices. Ranking the ideas along a continuous scale is a waste of time since the relative ranking is not going to be recorded and analytical people tend to argue too much about where exactly along the scale an item belongs.” — Jon Wittwer
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is PICK chart, a visual tool for organizing ideas after brainstorming sessions. A PICK chart can to help an individual or group identify which ideas can be implemented easily and have a high payoff.
“For me, the biggest benefit is the ability to use existing certificates and SSL port rules used by Outlook Web App, providing OWA is already configured. There is no requirement to add additional firewall rules just for Outlook client access.” — Tom Phillips
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is Outlook Anywhere, formerly known as RPC over HTTP. Outlook Anywhere allows Exchange administrators to use Group Policy and the Office Customization Tool (OCT) to manage how end users outside the corporate domain can connect to corporate Exchange servers without a VPN connection.
“The process of stopping, rewinding and getting back up to speed is called repositioning or backhitching. Each reposition/backhitch can take as long as a few seconds. If you backhitch a lot, it’s called shoeshining because the tape activity mimics the movement of a cloth being used to shine shoes.” — Curtis Preston
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is shoeshining, the repeated back and forth motion a tape drive makes when there is interruption in the data stream.
“Apple’s Xserve RAID allows you to choose which is more important to you–performance or integrity. If you choose write-back cache for performance reasons, the Xserve RAID will default to write-through cache if it detects that it is running on the UPS. Switching to write-through cache assures that nothing will remain in cache in the event of complete battery loss.” — W. Curtis Preston
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is write through, a storage method in which data is written into the cache and the corresponding main memory location at the same time.
“When preparing to return to your original office, test the systems and infrastructure to ensure they are working properly; ensure there is sufficient storage capacity to handle the returning systems and data; and ensure that sufficient network bandwidth is available for the failback.” — Paul Kirvan
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is failback, restoring operations to a primary machine or facility after they have been shifted to a secondary machine or facility during failover.
“Unfortunately, many default settings on data mining and statistical software automatically create decision trees or rules sets that are preprogrammed to distribute the cases evenly. This can be a huge problem when dealing with infrequent events or otherwise unequal distributions. Another way of stating this is that the program assumes that the prior probabilities or “priors” are 50:50, or some other evenly distributed ratio.” — Colleen McCue
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is decision tree, a graph that illustrates a decision-making process by listing every possible outcome as a branch of the tree. (Usually the tree appears to be growing sideways.)
Decision trees are useful for providing team members with a common view of possible outcomes for discussion purposes — but they can also (gasp) be used to assign values to possible outcomes and actually frame what a decision’s consequences would look like.
MBABullshit has a good video illustrating how a decision tree might be used when deciding whether to sell lemonade or candy.
The WhatIs.com Word of the Day archive is like an impressionist painting about information technology. Close up, the focus seems to be on random tech terms. Take a step back and look at all the posts together — and you begin to see a clear picture of how enterprise IT is evolving.