Right now much of the world is gathering around television sets to watch the 4th or possibly the 3rd (see later) largest global sporting event of modern times. Apparently only the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup and another event, are larger than the Rugby World Cup. Although it appears that whilst the first two are nailed on events, the third is open to debate, so for the purpose of this blog I will say it is the Rugby World Cup – after all, it’s my blog so I can claim editorial rights on this (I am open to suggestions if anyone has one for the true third largest event in the comments below!)
So one of the power houses of world rugby, South Africa, was beaten by the rank outsiders from Japan. The little guys with big hearts ran South Africa every step of the way. In rugby circles this was a monumental upset, but it was no fluke. Japan stood toe to toe with South Africa. They rolled with the punches and they threw a whole lot too. And as if written in the stars, in the very last minute of the match, their bravery was rewarded with a thoroughly deserved, yet almost unbelievable, victory against all the odds.
So what did this event teach us? Well the first thing it taught me was that these events do not just happen. This victory was crafted long ago in a steamy office in downtown Tokyo (or was it Osaka?). Serious planning, the right squad selection and definition of the appropriate strategy aligned with routines tried, tested, adapted and tried again.
This sounds so much like the IT business to me, in fact it sounds so much like any business.
The first thing you need to do is set a goal, think about what you want to achieve, and what success looks like. After that you need to devise a plan to achieve your success. This will invoice a strategy to deliver success. You will need to select the best products for the job and these in turn will need to be optimized to deliver maximum performance in the shortest possible timeframe. Finally you will need to go back to the planning board several times and each time you will need to be prepared, willing and capable of changing the plan – NEVER the goal.
I look at this and I am reminded that the parallels with good Problem, Change and Release Management when used correctly are essential building blocks to delivering successful infrastructure, successful services, successful applications and ultimately successful businesses. Accept that you will be blind-sided, accept that events happen, accept that you should do everything in your power to minimize the disruption.
Using good change management and release management discipline will help you deliver a constant service improvement
With so much planning and so many variables there are sure to be more surprises along the way. Enjoy the rest of the Rugby World Cup which could be the 3rd largest sporting event in the world, then again it could be the 4th – who knows?