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TechRepublic editors seek your management topic advice

By Erik Eckel Contributor ·
I'm working with a team of TechRepublic editors to develop powerful new IT management solutions for TechProGuild members. We're going to test expanding TechProGuild's coverage to include relatively short but interactive IT management solutions you can use to fine tune best practices behind such tasks as writing and implementing specific IT policies or planning and preparing a project's costs or timeline.

Based on feedback we've received, we're planning to first test the concept around writing and enforcing service level agreements. How helpful will that be? Is this content you can use? If so, drop me a line and let me know if you'd be willing to review an alpha version for us (you don't have to be a TechProGuild subscriber to participate). You can reach me at

Thanks much,

Erik Eckel
TechRepublic Executive Editor

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Techrepublic is reading like Gartner

by JimHM In reply to TechRepublic editors seek ...

Techrepublic is starting to read like a bad chapter out of the Gartner (how to milk more money) play book. My suggestion - Keep Techrepublic Free -

Start off with just a few items for a few nickles then expand those items - then expand those nickles to quarters - then ask how much more can we refine and divide the topic to get more items to charge more quarters -

To bad they didn't learn for the old Gartner to stove pipe - to grandular -

Techrepublic Should be Kept Free - If you get loads of Hits - MS and all the other ad's should pay for the expenses...

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RE: Techrepublic is reading like Gartner

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to Techrepublic is reading l ...


TechProGuild, our subscription service, has been publishing trustworthy, in-depth content for several years. It's not a new effort.

My goal with this new initiative (testing management content) is to identify additional items we can build to help IT professionals overcome the demanding challenges they face, and thereby add more value to TechProGuild.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts,

Erik Eckel
TechRepublic Executive Editor

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by TomSal In reply to Techrepublic is reading l ...

Hi Jim,

I was around when TechProGuild was "new", I actually got some deal like 1 month or 1 week or whatever it was free to try it out. That was to introduce the service.

As stated its been years now so I can't speak for how much more value it has..but back then I personally saw little reason to pay for the "pro" version of the site when the freebie version served my needs well enough.

I'd try the Pro version, but it used to be $89 a year - don't know what it is now, but $89 a year was overwhelming WAYYYYYYYYYYY too expensive for the little bit of extra content and fluff it offered over the free site.

BUT, I don't like paying for information through websites to begin -- it feels "silly" in the age we live in. I've YET to find or hear through someone some bit of info they got off their fancy smancy paid site that I can't find myself for FREE with just knowing how to use a search engine and a bit of common sense.

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What SLA information do IT professionals need?

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to TechRepublic editors seek ...

Often I meet and hear of IT professionals that need more information on Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Certainly, SLAs play an important role in ensuring IT departments' needs are met, and having worked for a telecommunications provider, I'm well versed on their importance.

However, I'm not sure exactly what type of Service Level Agreement information IT professionals need most. Are you looking for SLA templates you can quickly implement with a vendor? Or are you trying to learn how to best enforce an SLA or better negotiate an SLA's terms?

Any feedback you can provide would be helpful, as I'm working with other editors to create a tool you can use to overcome SLA challenges. Feel free to post your comments here or e-mail me directly at

Thanks for your opinions,


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Suggested Information

by techmail.cmccubbin In reply to What SLA information do I ...

As a consultant, and former IT Manager I would suggest the following areas:
1. Metrics, which are used and how to develop them. These should be divided by the vaiorus areas where IT would use an SLA (see below).
2. A boiler plate template, infact several for the may different areas an IT department covers: Hardware Vendors, Software Vendors, Developers, Telecom, Help Desk to User, Server/NetAdmin to user dept.
3. A discussion of the penalties involved. I once worked in a subsidary that had an SLA with the parent's IT Organization. But when the SLA was not met there was no penalty and we had to pay anyway!
4. An item on managing and auditing the SLA. Do you have meetings, use a software program, put a ticle in your Outlook? And who should know what the SLA says/means; users, technicians, or is this a Need-to-Know secret of the company?

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Ideas - Best Practices for Release Planning

by david.ladd In reply to TechRepublic editors seek ...

Anyone with a large "legacy" application is constantly fighting how to keep everyone busy. Since not everyone can be busy at the same time during the actual development/maint cycle.
An overlapped development/maint cycle seems to work the best for us. During the downtime - people work on researching issues for the next release, investigating system anamolies, production fixes as they arise.
An article on several different approaches to release planning and scheduling would be interesting to read and perhaps adopt some of the ideas.

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RE: Ideas - Best Practices for Release Planning

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to Ideas - Best Practices fo ...


Thanks for the feedback. These are the exact types of thoughts I'm looking for. We'll take a look at how we might create such a piece.

Would an article be the best format, or might diagrams, a checklist or a project schedule (maybe something you could customize to use for your actual project) work better? Any thoughts?


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Alpha version now live on site

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to TechRepublic editors seek ...

Our team has completed work on the alpha version of our Build Your Own: Service Level Agreement, which you can now download using the following link (note you'll have to cut and paste the URL into your browser):

Our editorial team aimed to create an easily customized Service Level Agreement. The Excel file contains the fields (values) you must provide. Once they are entered, the fields are automatically updated in the Word document, which you can then simply print out.

We've also included a Case Document, which describes why SLAs are important, critical elements they should cover, and other pertinent information.

We recognize the file is not yet complete, and we would appreciate receiving feedback on the parameters we've defined (such as how long a period should pass before a service call is returned). You can e-mail your comments to our editors at

Erik Eckel
Executive Editor

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Be sure to remove space from Alpha link

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to Alpha version now live on ...

Note you may have to remove an extra space from immediately before the .html suffix for the link (to access the alpha version of our Build Your Own: Service Level Agreement), which is:


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