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Re: how do you do this. (philosophy and politics)

From: Rumpi Gravenstein <>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 19:55:22 -0400
Message-ID: <>

To the 3rd issue: Outward facing sales oriented work can be measured by cost of sales lost with customers either giving up or not ordering as much as they normally would. That's not an easy number to come by. Internal applications are more straightforward. Internal applications where the task can't be skipped, can be measured by the number of end-user hours spent doing the task. In-house users have a billable rate (or salary) and therefore a cost can be calculated. Cut their hours in doing the task and you save money. In either case it gets down to a trade off between your effort and the dollars saved. At that point the 80/20 rule offers as good as any guideline.

On 5/11/07, Steve Ollig <> wrote:
> > 1. how do you define business tasks?
> I think the definition of the business tasks is something any business
> manager should be able to do. It's why she exists after all - to manage the
> completion of said tasks. She should also be capable of prioritizing
> them. I'd let the business define & prioritize the tasks. Perhaps use a
> process similar to the way you define requirements for a project.
> > 2. how do you monitor them?
> As Cary is so good at pointing out, response time is best the answer.
> More specifically you break them down and monitor response time as
> granularly as you need to (sufficient drill-down data). The tasks with the
> longest response times are the ones with the most opportunity for
> improvement. It might be nice to put a dollar value on response time like
> you suggest. But I think cost or revenue impact has more to do with the
> importance of the task than monitoring the SLA. Cost & Revenue impact would
> also have a lot to do with the potential return on investment for improving
> response time.
> > 3. how do you set target response times for them.
> I think I would start monitoring them first and go from there. The
> SLA should be stated in terms of the task meeting the target response time
> X% of the time.
> Now I'll have to fess up, I don't have any real world examples of well
> defined SLAs. Most places I've worked the SLAs are far more loosey goosey
> than I'd like (if they exist at all). I also have the advantage of recently
> attending one of Cary's seminars. If you're reading Cary - hope I listened
> well ;)
> So when it comes down to relating your tuning efforts to business
> performance targets, I think a well structured SLA will get you there. If
> you don't have a good SLA and therefore find yourself tuning
> something because someone complained it's too slow (as I often do) be
> sure it's something that will make a difference when it goes faster. The
> only measurement I have for those successes are the frequency of the
> complaints.
> Anyway - hope those ideas help Niall.
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* [mailto:
>]*On Behalf Of *Niall Litchfield
> *Sent:* Friday, May 11, 2007 2:26 PM
> *To:* Oracle-L
> *Subject:* how do you do this. (philosophy and politics)
> In response to a recent question about monitoring Cary replied
> Simple answer to this one: Anything that causes increase in business task
> response times.
> So, if you're monitoring end-user response times with sufficient
> drill-down data (such as you can get from your Oracle extended SQL trace
> data), you're monitoring what you need to monitor.
> I'm guessing there won't be many objectors to that here, and you certainly
> won't find me among them if there are. So my question is really the
> political
> 1. how do you define business tasks?
> 2. how do you monitor them?
> 3. how do you set target response times for them.
> I can see in the case of a sales oriented organisation (Amazon, Oracle,
> ... ) how you *might* relate tasks to revenue - though I reckon this is
> harder than might appear. In my case I work for a large public sector
> organisation with a number of different internal facing and external facing
> systems that rely on Oracle (and that other software provider beginning with
> M). My last position was similar. In neither case was I able to get any
> business person to define either business transactions or acceptable
> response time. Costs of downtime *do* tend to get defined by the way - in
> cash terms and risk to the lives of the public for people who really like
> this stuff.
> Now part of this is public sector risk avoidance (it maybe large
> corporation risk avoidance to be fair), but I think most of it is down to
> needing a good way to describe the impact of response time on business
> performance, I've yet to see one. I suspect the same applies to
> throughput/scalability impact on business performance but I've not seen any
> research on that at all.
> So my question is, how do other people relate their specific tuning
> efforts to business performance targets, and how do they engage
> non-technical staff in the process?
> --
> Niall Litchfield
> Oracle DBA
> p.s.
> throughout this piece i've resisted the temptation to use the phrase "the
> business" since I believe it to be a big part of the problem. maybe I'm
> wrong.
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Rumpi Gravenstein

Received on Fri May 11 2007 - 18:55:22 CDT

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