Friday, 30 October 2015

Display of different presentation types (7 of 17) Capacity Management, Telling the Story

As discussed today I'll be looking at the types of presentations that you can use.

Below is a selection of them:

Humans like visual representation so using these charts in the right way and gauging which are right to represent the information to your audience is crucial.

Dashboard More aligned to presenting real time information. The key thing to remember is that any dashboard you use should auto update.

Analysis Presents the drill down of a problem. This is the root cause analysis, where we know there is a problem and we want to drill down and show what is causing the issue. Where’s the bottleneck? Was there a change?

Advice - Provide some automatic advice, automatic interpretation of the data that you are reporting on.

Virtualization - Report on virtualization data, make it easy to understand what  is happening in your virtual environment.

Business We have discussed about bringing in business data to the CMIS. Why do we want to do that? We can look for correlations by measuring component data against business metrics and show these in our business reports.

Trending We can show ‘what-if’ trending which can give you a ‘time to live’ value.

Modeling - More accurate prediction reports to show are modeling reports. You can show things like future system response times or identify where any future bottlenecks are likely to occur.

Breakdown Shows further analysis on the data in an easy to understand way.

Don't forget the key is to always remember to tailor your presentations to suit your audience.

On Monday I'll be dealing with what we will see at the management level. 

There's a great webinar coming soon 'Essential reporting' , don't miss it!

Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Types of Data required (6 of 17) Capacity Management, Telling the Story

Today we'll be looking at the types of data required.
Technical data – in ITIL terms our data should be coming from business, service and resource levels. This data is then fed in to our CMIS and allows us to see what is happening in two ways: 

        Current – how everything is performing now

        History – the more historical data we have on our systems and applications the more accurate our trending and modeling will be.

Business metrics – what is happening in the business will dictate the resources needed to support it. 

        Current – what is happening now in the business

        Forecast – what is planned for the future, in terms of growth, new services, increased user numbers etc

Key Performance Indicators – we need some idea of how we can measure our performance going forward.

Threshold levels – we need to know what thresholds we are going to be planning towards to enable us to put them on reports and see when/if they are going to be breached.

Capacity Management

 The diagram below shows 360°Capacity Management. A combination of our capacity management software athene® and SharePath allows you to bring resource, application, application transaction response times, service, business data and KPI’s to your CMIS. This allows you to build the most accurate picture of your environment as you can.

For more details of athene® and SharePath visit our website.  
On Friday I'll be running through a selection of the types of presentations that you can use. 
Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant

Monday, 26 October 2015

Different presentation mediums ( 5 of 17) Capacity Management, Telling the Story

There are a variety of different presentation methods that we can use:

Dashboards / Web portals – these typically show red, amber and green status as they are very quick to assimilate.

         More suited for technical staff and business users

         Different look for each area
Word Documents

         More suited for “C” level executives

         Upfront summary is critical

         Historical document

PowerPoint documents

         Used for different types of presentations

         Good for discussion groups

Choose your style to suit your audience and to suit the type of data that you are displaying.

On Wednesday we'll take a look at the types of data that you’ll be displaying.
In the meantime don’t forget to our register for our webinar ‘Essential Reporting’

Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant

Friday, 23 October 2015

Different stories for different audiences ( 4 of 17) Capacity Management, Telling the Story

When we say different audiences what we are talking about is the different layers of your Organization, the people who are involved in the process. We’ll start with the ‘C level executives’.

“C” level executives

At the very top we have the “C” level executives. When we are telling the story to our “C” level executives these are the key points that we need to make sure we follow when presenting our information:

         Keep the information concise – we have to make sure that they understand very quickly what we are trying to say to them.

         Elevator talk – keep your information as brief and to the point as possible, they don’t have the time or inclination to wade through pages of reports.

         Summary and findings first – make sure at the top there is always something called the management or executive summary, where it clearly states the relevant points of our findings. They just need the facts.

         Findings – Do we need more resources? When are we going to hit our limit? What hardware do we require? How much money do we need and when do we need the money? Make sure that the requests are clear and concise.

         Leave detail reports in pocket – The detail which provides the basis of our findings is important as it backs up our management or executive summary. They need to be included but are unlikely to be read at this level.

Business owners

At the Business level, you will need to focus in on a specific area and the business owner will want to know:

         What are the trends for their area?
         How does it affect their area?
         What do they need to budget for?

The information provided to the business owner will be only that which is pertinent to their department.


At the technical level you will need to provide all the information that went in to the pocket of the management or executive summary.

         Show me the details – they will want to see the full reports, graphs, data and drill downs. At this level the figures mean something.

         Show me the trends – they will want to see the trend reports and the what if scenarios.

Be prepared when imparting good or bad news at any level – anticipate your audience reaction and be ready for it.

On Monday I’ll be looking at the different presentation mediums that we have at our disposal.
Check out our on-demand webinars and watch at your leisure
Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

What are we attempting to display? ( 3 of 17) Capacity Management, Telling the Story

When we’re telling our capacity management story what are we trying to display?

         Display current state of the environment – this is our baseline, a period or periods which reflect our normal pattern of behavior. You need an understanding of the business to class a period as ‘normal’ behavior.

         Display possible anomalies – this involves looking at periods and determining whether the peaks in a set period of time are an anomaly or whether they are just normal user busy periods of the day, explaining peaks in the data. Has there been some kind of change made that you are aware of? You may need to perform some root cause analysis to get to the bottom of peaks where you don’t already have an understanding of what is causing them.

         Display forecasts

•     Trends – are very useful. You can trend to a limit, you can trend to a threshold etc but if you wish to get a better degree of accuracy to your forecasting you may wish to model.

         Models – analytical modeling can provide you with a better degree of accuracy when  forecasting, especially when it comes to things like utilizations where you have to take in to consideration the utilization curve.

Are there different stories for different audiences? I’ll be dealing with this on Friday.

In the meantime register for our community and get access to free capacity management white papers, on-demand capacity management webinars and more

Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant 

Monday, 19 October 2015

What is the Capacity Management Story? Capacity Management, Telling the Story (2 of 17)

        What is happening in the current environment – this is typically called the baseline. When analyzing data in our systems we want to identify a ‘normal behaviour’ period which shows the demands an application is making on resources in usual circumstances.

        Concise information – We need to state the facts and not over complicate matters, presenting clear and concise information.

        Display forecasts – How do we present this story to our audience? In terms of capacity management we could be using forecasting methods such as:



We need to describe to our audience so that they can understand easily the point/ message that we are trying to get across to them. We must also ensure that we are getting the right information to the right people in the right way.

        Gather further information – Do we need to actually gather any additional information or do we have enough information? You may need to supplement resource data with some business data, or perhaps speak to the Service Delivery Managers to get the SLA information.

When we are forecasting it is important to have as much information as possible from the business because we need a full understanding of what we are forecasting to.

On Wednesday I’ll be talking about what we’re  trying to display.

Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant

Friday, 16 October 2015

Capacity Management – Telling the Story (1 of 17)

In capacity management we need to produce reports and make presentations, sometimes to our technical colleagues and sometimes to more senior people. 

In this blog series I’m going to be discussing the best ways to present technical information, your capacity management story, to all levels of audience.

To begin with what is a Story?
It is either:

a : an account of incidents or events, either fact or fictional

b : a statement regarding the facts pertinent to a situation in question

Data is nothing more than 1’S and 0’s. It’s what we do with it that makes it powerful.

We can collect or capture as much data as we want to from our systems, from our business level, from our service delivery level and store it but it’s what we do with this data that is the important thing.

Data used in a meaningful way is very powerful.

My series will look at ways in which you can tell your capacity management story to your audience in a meaningful way.

On Monday I'll begin with 'What is the Capacity Management story'?
In the meantime why not register for our next webinar 'Essential Reporting'

Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant

Monday, 12 October 2015

Data, data everywhere but not a bit to use - in reality how do people get data?

The reality....

You have requests for data and you don’t have time to learn all these systems to get data out.  So what do you do?

Make the experts supply you with the data, after all it’s their SAN/network/application.

Well, that sounds like a simple task but how do you get the data from them?

From other internal teams – Make sure that you set up Processes and reprimands.

From the outsourcer – If that’s not internal it needs to be down on paper before things get signed.  Most of the time they will have monitoring tools and you’ll be blocked from deploying yours.  So make them use their tools, particularly if that tool was bought partly because “it does capacity planning”. Have it in the contract and enforce it.
You'll need a sponsor, someone who can make this happen.  Messer's Smith and Wesson are probably not the way to go, but without budget, time OR a sponsor making others get you the data - it’s not looking good out there.

Register for my webinar ' Data, data everywhere but not a bit to use' taking place this Wednesday 14th October, where I'll be looking at the main points to remember when trying to gather data for capacity management.
Phil Bell