[Seattle-SAGE] Members Digest, Vol 2, Issue 13

Ski Kacoroski kacoroski at comcast.net
Sun Feb 12 16:55:13 PST 2006


The "WOW" factor is used for a few reasons:

1. to help impress senior management that IT is important to the 
district as they may have a hard time understanding the infrastructure 
needed to support the applications used in the classrooms.

2. it allows senior management to show off to parents that all the bond 
and levy money was spent on something that looks impressive (perceptions 
are a large part of management -- if they do not feel like they got 
anything, then you get nothing and the kids suffer).

I do note that everything done at my district has to pass a strict "what 
does it benefit the student/teaching process" test.  The problem is that 
it is easy to put in applications that pass this test without the 
underlying infrastructure (servers, cooling, power, network bandwidth, 
backups, etc.) that is, should never, be seen by the management.  This 
aspect of the IT department is what needs the WOW factor.  I know that 
another district put a glass front on their server room and placed it so 
people have to walk by it to get to district offices.  It looks very 
impressive to the parents.

For example, one idea we had was a large screen that shows various 
OpenNMS web pages so management can see the status of various part so 
the network.  Out of a multi-million dollar bond, spending a few 
thousand to make people feel good about IT is a no brainer.

BTW, any other ideas out there for low cost things to do that look 
impressive to the non-computer geek?



Geof Grogan wrote:
>> Chris "Ski" Kacoroski :
>> A little bit of 
>> "WOW" factor for the senior management would be good also.
> What would it be good for ?
> I voted for school levies, in order to support to education, while knowing that some of the money would inevitably be wasted. Apparently you are intending to waste money. If you don't stay focused on education, you will waste my money and fail the students you are supposed to serve.
> The general applicability of this comment to system administrators is that I often find IT people know a lot about processor specifications but little about what the business is. IT actions should have a business purpose. IT should sell its projects based on the business goals that the projects will achieve. If your management is impressed by flashing LEDs, the company isn't going to achieve much.
>  - Geof Grogan
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"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it
  connected to the entire universe"            John Muir

Chris "Ski" Kacoroski, kacoroski at comcast.net, 206-501-9803

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