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Re: [NOOP] 24x7 NOC..

  • From: Selina F. Priestley
  • Date: Fri Oct 03 11:10:38 1997

> 
>   Having tried the 12hr model in a stressful environment like a NOC, it did
> not work well as people were burned out by the end of the day and those
> that did the 12hr shifts were not content with their positions and looked
> to leave the group sooner than those that had more normal shift hours.  The
> 4-day work week was found to be the best model by giving people 3 days off.
> 
> At 08:02 PM 10/2/97 -0400, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> >
> >Steve Miller writes:
> >>  We work 4/10hr days, Sun/Mon/Tue/Wed or Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat. People get thre
>e
> >> days off in a row, including one weekend day.
> >
> >One of the more successful 24x7 operations I've seen did 12 hour
> >days, four days on, four days off, two shifts. People had to get used
> >to it, but for many of the staffers who were used to putting in 12
> >hour days anyway the prospect of a four day "weekend" every week was
> >pretty good, though it appealed the most to the single operations
> >staffers and to the ones who had non-working spouses. It had a lot of
> >advantages in terms of operational continuity and it actually kept
> >morale pretty high because people got enough days away not to fry from
> >the stress of dealing with users constantly every day.
> >
> >Perry
> >
> >

Something that worked pretty well in our NOC back in the day was a 
10 hour work day, three week schedule that went something like this:

  6 days of work
  2 days off
  2 days of work
  1 day off
  4 days of work
  6 days off

There were 3 shifts during the day, which were staggered like so:

morning     afternoon    night
6am - 4pm   1pm - 11pm   10pm - 8am
8am - 6pm   3pm - 1am    12am - 10am

This gave us plenty of overlap.  I don't think this is the schedule the
NOC follows today, but it worked pretty well at the time.  I think it 
suffers a bit when you really need to stack on the staff, which is 
probably why we changed it. 

Many times I thought I was an idiot for moving to engineering.  Those
6 days off would have probably kept me indefinitely if I was getting 
paid then what our NOC guys are getting paid now.  :-)  Every 3 weeks
I took a 6 day vacation.  Traveled places, read, etc.  When I took my
scheduled vacation I'd stack it after a 6 day off run if I could...

Make sure you've got plenty of documentation and training for your NOC,
so your staff have a hope of getting on top of things enough that the
stress disappears after a while.  Also give them paths inside your own
company when they want to leave.  It's a bear to have turnover in your
NOC, but it's great to have experienced people in your management or
engineering roles.  If you're cheap and try to understaff your NOC, you're
not going to keep anyone in there and no one's going to have any time
to learn anything.  The few that do aren't going to stick around because
they've no reason to owe you any loyalty.  Give your people care & feeding 
and somewhere to grow and they'll bust their asses for you and be happy
doing it.

Selina




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