Network Team Division Roles

Hi guys,

I need an advice from you as always.

I’m working in an ISP with a network team where a couple of people do everything.
Is there any best practise to split the duty of network administrator on many sub-category network teams?

For example

VPN Team
BGP peering Team
Communication Team.

Thanks

Hello Giovanni

That’s a good question. I think it primarily depends on what the specific workload is like. Each company and ICT department has different tasks and requirements. Some focus on VPNs because they have dozens of remote sites, while others don’t use VPNs at all. So I guess the first thing you’ll have to do is put down “on paper” the major components of your daily tasks. When you do this, you should consider the “time factor”, that is, how much time each set of tasks takes, because this is one of the major characteristic of the separation of responsibilities. You don’t want one person to be responsible only for things that take very little time, otherwise they’ll be sitting around :stuck_out_tongue:

For example, you could put down tasks and responsibilities like so:

  1. Network maintenance tasks
  2. Future planning/development
  3. Upgrade planning and coordination
  4. Network design
  5. Documentation
  6. Troubleshooting/helpdesk
  7. One time/short term projects

Then estimate down the approximate percentage of time during a day or during a week, that each of these takes, and then separate tasks according to the number of people you have available.

You should also take into consideration the skill set that each person has, as some people will be better suited to certain tasks than others.

It also depends on the number of people you have. The more you have the more specialized each person can become. But this has a drawback. If someone is very specialized then if they are not available (sick, on vacation, quit…) then who can take over?

I think you have to devise a plan that will address most of these issues such that it is balanced as well as useful. It is true that if everyone does everything, it can get overwhelming, and the skill sets remain very shallow. But too much specialization can make you too reliant on a single individual for certain tasks which can also be dangerous.

The most important thing here is to openly discuss the issues with your colleagues, and find the best most balanced solution. And remember, this is usually a dynamic situation, so even the splitting up of duties and tasks will have to change over time, so be flexible.

I know I haven’t given you a clear cut single answer, because there are simply too many variables to consider. However, I hope it has given you some insight into how to go about reorganizing an ICT department or a network administration team to be more streamlined and effective in their work.

I hope this has been helpful!

Laz

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