Technical Management refers to the groups, departments or teams that provide technical expertise and overall management of the IT Infrastructure.
By performing these two roles, Technical Management is able to ensure that the organization has access to the right type and level of human resources to manage technology and, thus to meet business objectives. Defining the requirements for these roles starts in Service Strategy and is expanded in Service Design, validated in Service Transition and refined in Continual Service Improvement.
Part of this role is also to ensure a balance between the skill level, utilisation and the cost of these resources. For example, hiring a top-level resource at the higher end of the salary scale and then only using that skill for 10% of the time is not effective. A better Technical Management strategy would be to identify the times that the skill is needed and then hire a contractor for only those tasks.
Another strategy in larger organisations is to leverage specialist staff out of central pools so that specialists can be well utilized and provide an economy of scale to the organization and minimize the need to hire in contractors. Specialized skills should be identified among resources in the IT organisation, then leveraged for specific needs as they arise, analogous to a special tactical unit, whose members also perform regular duties but who are assigned to tasks needing their specialized skills. This type of resource utilization is particularly useful both for project teams and problem resolution.
An additional, but very important role played by Technical Management is to provide guidance to IT Operations about how best to carry out the ongoing operational management of technology. This role is party carried out during the Service Design process, but it is also a part of everyday communication with IT Operations Management as they seek to achieve stability and optimum performance.
The objectives of Technical Management are to help plan, implement and maintain a stable technical infrastructure to support the organisations business process through:
Technical Management is not normally provided by a single department or group. One or more Technical Support teams or departments will be needed to provide technical management and support for the IT Infrastructure. In all but the smallest organizations, where a single combined team or department may suffice separate teams or departments will be needed for each type of infrastructure being used. IT Operations Management consist of a number of technological areas. Each of these required a specific set of skills to manage and operate it. Some skill sets are related and can be performed by generalists, whereas others are specific to a component, system or platform.
The primary criterion of Technical Management organisational structure is that of specialisation or division of labour. The principle is that the people are grouped according to their technical skill sets and that these skill sets are determined by the technology that needs to be managed.
Technical Design and Technical Maintenance and Support
Technical Management consists of specialist technical architects and designers and specialist maintenance and support staff. In this publication, they are viewed as being part of the same function, but many organisations see them .as two separate teams or even departments. The problem with this approach is that good design needs input from the people who are required to manage the solution and good operation requires involvement from the people who designed solutions. The problems that need to be overcome are similar to those faced in managing the Application Lifecycle.
Technical Management metrics
Metrics for Technical Management will largely depend on which technology is being managed, but some generic metrics include:
Process metrics Technical Management teams execute many Service Management process activities. Their ability to do so will be measured as part of the process metrics where appropriate.
Technology Performance these metrics are based on Service Design specifications and technical performance standards set by vendors, and will typically be contained in OLAs or standard operation procedures Actual Metrics will vary by technology but are likely to include:
Technical Management documentation
Technical Management is involved in drafting and maintaining several documents as part of other processes(e.g Capacity Planning, Change Management, Problem Management, etc.) These documents are discussed in some detail in the relevant process descriptions. However, there are some documents that are specific to the Technical Management groups or teams who will provide document management and control for documents relating to the technology under their control. Technical Management documentation includes the following.
The sourcing and maintenance of technical documentation for all Cis is the responsibility of Technical Management. These include:
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