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General Chat Thread, Handover documentation in General; Pretty soon I am going to be handing over two networks to a new network manager. Now, I have to ...
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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Handover documentation

    Pretty soon I am going to be handing over two networks to a new network manager.
    Now, I have to be honest, my documentation is not exactly as complete as it could be.

    So, if you were taking over a network, what would you like to see in the handover documentation?

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Which colleagues will give you the most headaches? ;-)

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    sparkeh (9th May 2012)

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    In all the schools I have worked in, the DRP (Disaster Recovery Plan) has been the most important thing that's always been missing or extremely sketchy.

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    sparkeh (9th May 2012)

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    rich_tech's Avatar
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    passwords and all possible important usernames is definitely on the list, esp for outside agencies like MS Licensing.

    Stockbook is also another one
    Last edited by rich_tech; 9th May 2012 at 10:49 AM.

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    sparkeh (9th May 2012)

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    I did a spread sheet with the following tabs:
    - passwords
    - rooms (which rooms are in which building and which staff member is associated with it if appropriate)
    - workstations (which PC/laptops are in which room and any foibles... mobo battery flat, Slow, will only talk to WSUS once a day even if force is used...)
    - where things are a) Storage (Cupboards and hidey holes and what's in them) b) Data (Summary of the shared drives and special folders for me) c) Keys
    - Software summary of what's where
    - Fonts extra fonts installed and where
    - Notes about the ICT Suite Image and what else needs to be done after using it
    - Profiles explanation of staff roaming and student mandatory profiles
    - Email system notes
    - regular jobs
    - Outstanding jobs
    - Contacts List Suppliers, helpers, anyone else that's in my address book that's vaguely relevant to the school

    You'll gather from this that we had no logging system for work and other paperwork was thin on the ground, so I made sure it was all collated in one place. It gave me a good excuse to have a darn good sort out of the cupboards too, so I actually knew what was in them!
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 9th May 2012 at 03:15 PM.

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    fathead (9th May 2012), sparkeh (9th May 2012)

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone that's great so far.
    I think I have everything covered, just need to pull it all together from the scattered notes I made for myself :S

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    Gibbo's Avatar
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    I'd say it's more about the age of the documentation than the documents themselves.

    The school I took over a while back had brilliant comprehensive documentation all about the Parental Gateway. Sadly it was the old Capita SIMS Learning Gateway they trialled in 2009 and abandoned. The current gateway had nothing.


    Ask your replacement what key areas he would expect documentation on.

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    sparkeh (9th May 2012)

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Include a list of important phone numbers, e.g. good suppliers, support companies, etc.

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    sparkeh (9th May 2012)

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    I had to take some time off in Jan/Feb for so had to update(re-create) my documentation quickly ready for the support company we'd found to use, heres the table of contents:

    Key Locations
    -Servers
    -Switches
    IP Addressing
    Network Layout
    -Physical
    -Logical
    Servers
    -Descriptions & Functions
    -AD Layout
    -User file locations
    Classrooms/School layout
    Spares details
    Inks/Toner locations
    Backup Routines
    Common issues
    Key Contacts - suppliers, support contacts
    Phone system reset
    KVM Quick Help – Prep Server Room
    Asset List
    Password list(in school safe)
    Last edited by Jamman960; 9th May 2012 at 11:12 AM.

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    sparkeh (9th May 2012)

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    CAM
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    For a Data Manager handover, mine has links to EduGeek and some IT guys I recommend they follow on Twitter.

    The rest of it is 10,000 words long trying to cram my entire job into one document in a few weeks...

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    ....everyone appears to have missed:

    "That strange config file that looks completely wrong but is mission-critical and is supposed to be like that."

    In short, document why and where your network differs from what a sane, competent sysadmin would expect to find.

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    GrumbleDook (9th May 2012)

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    Strange that I should take time out from what I've been engaged on the last four days, to read this thread.

    I'm currently documenting our network/domain/my job, as my co-tech has just realised I'm serious about retiring in 76 weeks and 1 day, and also that he's not taken a blind bit of notice of anything for the last five years, and doesn't know some of the most fundamental of fudamentals.

    I'm putting in everything I can think of, apart from a Disaster Recovery Plan, as that was supposed to be one of his assignments two or three years ago. Didn't get done.

    So there's my answer.....Everything, every last thing you can think of, no matter how trivial it may seem to you.


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    JJonas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    ...and some IT guys I recommend they follow on Twitter.
    links please

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    The biggest problem I've had here, and still continue to have over two years down the line is: leave a decent network map, with switches and WAPs labelled, and make sure all your network ports are labelled with which cab they go back to.

    List of decent suppliers/people what you talk to is also good, to save the new incumbent from the pain of taking every call that comes in in the first month just in case it's a company that does need talking to and not just a random sales call.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    ....everyone appears to have missed:

    "That strange config file that looks completely wrong but is mission-critical and is supposed to be like that."

    In short, document why and where your network differs from what a sane, competent sysadmin would expect to find.
    Ah, yes, the all important clothspeg documentation.

    The document that explains that the random wooden closhpeg at 27RU on rack 2 is to stop the switch stacking lead from becomming slightly loose when the AC cranks up to full blast once every three years on a tuesday and creates an ossolation in the cable that gently rocks it just free enough to start dropping all packets from stacked switch a to b but not enough to show up as an error despite the cable ties and all other sane methods of preventing it. The problem that will show up during exams or an assessment in several years when the original tech is long since untraceable.

    These instructions should be printed in large lettering in an A3 booklet bound and covered in a bright read cover with the words 'Don't Pannic' Printed in bold on the rear. This should then be stored in the server room, in a box behind a pane of glass above a sign in calming cornflour blue lettering telling the occupant to 'Break glass in case of excremental contact with rotating air distribution unit'.

  24. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    jdoldridge (10th May 2012)

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