LISA 2001 Abstract
Defining the Role of Service Manager: Sanity Through Organizational Evolution
Mark D. Roth, University of Illinois at Urbana-
In large university environments, a centralized academic computing
organization is often responsible for providing campus-wide computing
services. These organizations usually understand the need for system
administrators and software developers, but the people they hire for
these roles will often wind up managing service software as a
secondary responsibility. This approach often results in poor service
quality, overworked employees, and high staff turnover.
In this paper, I present the role of service manager as I have
helped define it in my organization and explain how it addresses
quality of service issues and staffing shortages. I also detail the
organizational changes that my department has implemented to create a
group of service managers, relate the process of implementing those
changes, and examine some of the pitfalls that were discovered in the
Through the changes described in this paper, we have improved our
quality of service, dramatically reduced the frequency of late-night
pages, quadrupled the number of systems we can run with a fixed-size
staff, and greatly increased staff retention.
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