Dodgeball Days - Quartet Service

Dodgeball Days

One day my wife called me at work to discuss yet another wild holiday idea and I guess I wasn’t paying much attention. When she pointed that out, I replied that we were having a “Dodgeball Day” and that I really couldn’t chat right then. That “Dodgeball Day” metaphor for work at Quartet haunted me for a couple years, but I think I’m finally ready to discuss it.


For those who have not played Dodgeball, it is a brutal high school sport where the objective is to bean members of the other team with volleyballs that you throw as hard as you can. Head shots were illegal, but that didn’t matter to gym class thugs. In any case, balls zip all around the gym and you can get picked off in a cross-fire, by a rebound or by a fast ball up the middle. You have to be nimble, alert, well-balanced and anything else that can metaphorically spill over well onto Quartet.


On the other hand, Dodgeball is not a good way to describe a work environment and we’ve been doing all we can to minimize our Dodgeball Days. The core of our efforts has been adopting process guidelines called ITIL – Information Technology Infrastructure Library. We held company-wide ITIL training sessions and most staff earned the ITIL Foundations certificate. (Our instructor was so impressed with Quartet, that he joined us recently as our Director of Operations.) The main idea behind ITIL is that process standardization leads to continual reduction in IT cost of ownership.


We contend that IT service firms can deliver these process-driven efficiencies in companies where developing the internal skills/disciplines is uneconomical or otherwise difficult. We call it “Process Sharing” and have written a white paper that explains our perspective. We’ve had excellent ITIL success at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and with our own support processes. However, there isn’t one flavor of ITIL. It has to be modified and maintained to suit each environment. We think ITIL is a critical part of IT continuous improvement and is well worth the effort. It drives our support processes and we’re happy to customize it for your needs.


So we don’t have many Dodgeball Days at Quartet any more. I don’t miss them, I sure don’t miss getting beamed in the head with volleyballs and I listen to my wife now when she calls. ITIL calms the workplace, purges gym class memories and restores marital harmony. Not bad. Try it. Call us.


Robert Bracey,

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