Strategy, Leadership and Delivery for Enterprise Performance Management and Analytics
The APM Practice, LLC is a retainer-based consultancy dedicated to establishing an APM Practice staffed by your employees and following best practices that are tailored to how your enterprise operates and communicates. We follow a maturity model along with the concept of a Service Bureau to organize and track the implementation of your service offerings around the APM lifecycle. We are platform, vendor and technology neutral, and share our tools, experiences and materials under Creative Commons and Open Source principles, while maintaining strict confidentiality for our clients.
|Assessments (Skills, Visibility, APM Environment, Production Readiness)||2-20|
|Monitoring Configuration Tuning (application audit)||4-40|
|Design a program to achieve a Service Bureau of COE (Center of Excellence)
– including Assessments and HealthCheck, as appropriate
|Mentoring to establish a Service Bureau or COE (Center of Excellence)||100-150|
|Technical Writing (articles, white papers, book chapters, books)||varies|
|Workshops using your operational monitoring environment||4-8|
|Seminars on related technology for APM and Analytics||2-8|
|Speaking on Current Topics in APM and Analytics||2-8|
Application Performance Management has been around for a long time. You would not appreciate that based on the number of books or scholarly articles. Lots of press releases. Lots of vendor-specific whitepapers expounding why you need APM. Nothing really that tells you what folks are really doing with the technology. I want to change that.
This isn’t sudden realization. I have been on this path for 12 years already, as an employee of various companies. I was originally charged by senior management to interview customers who had “given up” on APM. It was a small but disturbing trend for any software product company. I reported back on the various “anti-patterns” that I uncovered and was challenged for a remedy. We simply needed to do a better job showing our clients how to employ the software. Not simply how to operate the GUI and install the technology – but to make it part of their existing processes around the software life-cycle. And to provide new processes for collaboration because the data was simply not consumed by Operations alone – other stakeholders needed processes for data consumption and validation. This quickly became a set of proprietary service offerings, eventually leading to the COE (Center of Excellence) program. It was a tremendous competitive differentiators. We were not just selling tools, we were selling the processes on how to employ the tools effectively and reliably.
But it was all proprietary. No readily available materials. No papers. No reference testimonials of any significance. No one really telling a story of how APM made them more successful in managing application quality. A good portion of this has to do with corporate pride – no one likes to admit how bad things were before APM made them better. And certainly no one wants to share how exactly they improved their business because it often confers significant competitive advantage. Even fewer will admit the failures and mis-steps endured.
This barrier to sharing successful techniques and process artifacts took its first hit in 2009 when I was invited to write a book on the APM Best Practices. This lifted the shroud on how a Service Bureau or COE was justified, planned and executed, including selected best practices. But it had to have no mention of product or technology specifics. Since the program was already vendor-neutral, this wasn’t a challenge. However, avoiding vendor-specific techniques doesn’t help to understand which are really effective or simply “plausible”.
In 2014 the barrier took another hit as I was able to begin freely blogging on APM topics in real-time. This was limited to a vendor community site but it showed a real softening in the proprietary mindset. It also meant more web seminars with open attendance and a chance to elevate the conversation outside of product features. Here is some additional content on the web.
While APM has been an IT fashion for many years, a new fashion is emerging: Big Data and Analytics. Folks are realizing that there are undiscovered opportunities in data resources based on the success of Google, Facebook, etc. We know that some of these relationships are rooted in APM data sets and simply want to ensure that the ensuing practices are fully in the open, going forward.
Now we are knocking down the final barriers to a free exchange of ideas and processes around being successful with APM with this new business model. You no longer have to purchase software to get access to expertise. You can consume the message of how to establish an APM Practice at your own pace. You can do it yourself or we can help you get it done. To really grow a discipline of APM we need to bring the practitioners forward and not simply lead with product features and capabilities.
So have a look around and see what can help your own APM initiative. Subscribe to get notified of my updates to the site resources, to comment and ask for topics that I may be able to illuminate for you. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel – it’s all been done before.
Don’t do it twice – do it right!
This work by The APM Practice, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.