Jay Brummett, Senior Director of Facilities at DataBank, explores how Method of Procedure (MOP) in the data center should be one of today’s colo provider’s main focuses.
Given the amount of complexity found in a data center, having a Method of Procedure (MOP) in place is crucial. Standardizing methods of procedure improves quality control and compliance while reducing risk. At a time when many data centers have designated some staff as essential employees, standardized procedures matter now more than ever.
MOPs are detailed, step-by-step procedures that operations and maintenance technicians are required to follow when they touch any piece of equipment for scheduled maintenance operations, corrective maintenance and installation activities. When following a MOP, each action and its corresponding outcome are verified to improve accuracy and quality while reducing risk. With the limitations placed on all businesses during this time, having an automated set of procedures to manage data center operations both alleviates the burden on data center employees, and improves response times and overall precision and control.
The Importance of MOPs in a Data Center Environment
MOPs were actually derived from the military, where the need for precision is critical, no matter who performs an assigned task. When a MOP is used in a data center environment, the detailed list of steps ensures the technicians follow the exact same process, every time.
Within a data center, there is a MOP for essentially everything in the facility to ensure standardization, consistency and compliance. When followed, anyone running a MOP at any data center can run the same exact procedure and, therefore, limit the chance of error.
Methods of Procedure are crucial in achieving:
- Compliance – MOPs simplify the way auditors, executives and clients want to see who did what, when and why to any piece of equipment
- Efficiency – MOPs eliminate the need to write procedures for installing new equipment, deploying new sites and implementing new jobs. Making MOPs readily available on mobile devices enables technicians to focus on what they need to do and spend less time on overhead issues
- Control – Having MOPs in the cloud and tracked on mobile devices ensures all technicians are consistent every time they follow a procedure
How Data Centers Can Digitize MOPs to Maximize Quality Control
MOPs are typically paper-based, where steps are manually written and checked off on a list. Ask your data center provider if they are using an advanced MOP system to ensure that state-of-the-art software solutions can automate MOP creation and execution. MOPs can help standardize procedures in order to scale, ensure efficiency and minimize potential downtime due to errors.
An added benefit of digitizing MOPs is the ability to conduct real-time monitoring with photo verifications, allowing greater visibility into how operations maintain data center facilities.
With solid MOPs in place, a data center can leverage automation processes and increase efficiency by using the software on mobile devices to conduct daily equipment checks and standard maintenance. Instead of having MOPs specific to each facility and piece of equipment per the industry standard, a solid MOP platform allows a data center to utilch ize a database of procedures that can be used across the board. This further streamlines operations and creates additional efficiencies while ensuring quality control and scalability.
An added benefit of digitizing MOPs is the ability to conduct real-time monitoring with photo verifications, allowing greater visibility into how operations maintain data center facilities. Some platforms also record who did “what, when and why” to any piece of equipment, thus providing a clear view for auditors, executives and clients, and positively impacting compliance.
At DataBank we’ve digitized our MOPs using a state-of-the-art platform from MOPStar. But whether you operate your own facility or rely on third-party provider, make sure your data center team truly understands the value of having automated data center maintenance procedures to achieve increased visibility and productivity, and further ensure quality control and scalability across multiple levels.
Jay Brummett is the Senior Director of Facilities at DataBank.