Return to TEAM Zarate-Tarrani Home Page   What We Do ... How We Do It
Experienced Professionals Who Always Deliver

Our Values
Each member of our team shares the same values:
  • Personal and professional integrity.
  • Love what we do.
  • Constant learning.
  • Promote and foster professionalism through personal example and sharing knowledge.
  • Do the right things for the right reasons.
  • Use common sense.
Individually and collectively we have a reputation for reliability and consistency. We've adopted the IEEE Code of Ethics as our guiding principles.

Each of us has extensive experience in a variety of disciplines, and have been forged and tempered in projects that are fast paced and business-critical.

That we love what we do, and are constantly engaged in adding to our knowledge and skills is obvious from the resources that we make freely available on the world wide web. These resources include two web pages in which we make daily contributions to the IT community and promote best practices in the IT profession.

Our mode is to learn, use and master, and share. We bring these personal and professional values to every project in which we're engaged.

Because we have extensive experience we understand the concept of malicious compliance, and do not fall into that trap. The trap of malicious compliance is blindly supporting a client's goals that may have flaws or are based on invalid information. We are not afraid to ask probing questions, and we are not reticent about expressing honest opinions in a calm and rational manner. We owe that to clients and coworkers. We subscribe to and use the IEEE Guidelines for Dissenting on Ethical Grounds when we're faced with a malicious compliance situation.

Our Niche
Our focus is IT operations, service level management and process design and/or improvement.

Typical projects that fall within this focus include:

  • Development of core IT operations processes and procedures, such as problem management, change control, production acceptance criteria, and data center operations.
  • Design, development and implementation of comprehensive service level management processes, including alignment to business goals and processes, application criticality determination, service level objective definitions and service level agreement development, internal and external support coordination, and reporting metrics.
  • Alignment of business and IT processes to service level management.
  • IT strategic planning.
  • IT organizational restructuring.
  • Project management process and/or program management office implementation.
  • Outsourcing and vendor management feasibility analysis and strategy development.
  • Development of IT strategies to align to and support disaster recovery planning, business continuity planning, internal controls and audits, and enterprise security initiatives.
  • Policy, process and procedure development, both IT-specific and for general business operations.
  • RFP development and assistance in analyzing responding proposals and vendor capabilities.
A review of our team member skills shows additional areas of expertise that are not listed above.

Coming soon: Examples of our work. We're in the process of sanitizing samples of past work by removing client and proprietary information and will make these available soon. Please check this page for updates.

How We Add Value
At a high level we add value through our experience and professional skills and ethics.

There are three scenarios in which we have an opportunity to add significant value:

  1. Augmenting existing teams or projects. Our own extensive experience and skills allow us to quickly integrate into an existing team or project with little ramp-up.
  2. Using our skills and experience for projects in which your organization has little experience. The way we can add maximum value is to work with designated members of your organization and transfer our skills and knowledge while we're meeting project goals and objectives. This is ideal because when we leave we'll be leaving behind knowledge and hand's-on experience.
  3. Perform assignments that are within your staff's capabilities, but are not the best use of their time or talents. There are many such assignments that require special skills and experience that are either not deemed career enhancing or particularly attractive.
The last scenario is particularly beneficial to your organization and employees.

For example, performing a detailed analysis of data center equipment failure modes, and developing failure predictions and mean-time-to-repair metrics require extensive knowledge, skills and experience. However, the actual work is repetitive and an assignment to such a task could diminish employee morale.

This type of assignment is one in which our value is immediately apparent because we have the requisite capabilities, and concerns such as career enhancing work and morale are not issues.

We view any job in which we're engaged as career enhancing, and it takes someone with thick skin and consistent optimism to become a consultant in the first place. In this example you would receive deliverables that were produced by experts with in-depth knowledge, and who are motivated to do the best possible job. Your staff could be assigned to more interesting projects that give them new skills or spark their enthusiasm, adding to your organization's intellectual capital and maintaining high morale and removing reasons for employee turnover. Everyone wins.

Another value point is our collection of templates and pre-built solutions that can be quickly tailored to your specific requirements. These can drastically reduce your costs, and have the potential to shorten your project timelines.

In addition, we bring fresh perspectives into any project. As consultants we are constantly exposed to problems, and are constantly involved in solutions, finding a better way or rectifying approaches that looked good on paper, but didn't work for one reason or another.

As professionals who work within a framework of integrity and ethics we cannot share proprietary methods that are the intellectual property of clients; however, there remains a wealth of knowledge and experience that we can share. This adds significant value because you may be struggling with a problem to which we know the solution, or you may be planning an approach that we know from experience isn't optimum.

Among our core skills are project management techniques, value analysis and business case development. These skills have instilled cost, risk and value issues into our mindset. Even when we're not engaged as a project manager, or assigned tasks that specifically require these core skills, they guide us in our every task.

We are also flexible. We understand that, within the bounds of professional workmanship and due diligence, there is more than one correct way to produce a desirable outcome. Each client is different, and the constraints and business imperatives vary from one project to another. We understand how and when to make compromises in order to meet critical objectives.

There are circumstances when good enough is better than perfection, and we recognize those circumstances when they arise. Contrast this with the inflexible insistence for perfection that many consultants demand, without regard to common sense or value. You'll find that our approach to using common sense and constantly evaluating the trade-offs between good enough and better will result in opportunities to meet the important project objectives while avoiding unnecessary costs or risks.

How to Engage Us
Logistics. We usually work under a W-2 through Structure Networks, which manages rates, billing and other logistics. We are also available through Thinking Minds, Inc., which performs the same management services, as well as having a focus on the same kind of work in which our team members specialize.

However, we're flexible, and will work through any agency or vendor with which you may be using to provide your consulting and staffing resources.

If travel is involved we make expenses predictable when the travel is within the continental United States by using the Per Diem rates that are set forth in the Joint Travel Regulations. We have found that the rates are fair to both us and our clients, and are often lower than travel expenses normally charged by consultants. However, if your firm has existing standards we will be pleased to comply.

For any travel that has North American continent originations and destinations we travel coach. For all other destinations we travel business class.

First Contact. If you like what you see and our capabilities match your requirements, please contact us so we can discuss your requirements and how we can help you to meet them.

Before Engaging. We ensure that we fully and completely understand your requirements, scope and goals and objectives. This can be done through e-mail or phone calls, or at your location if you're located in the Los Angeles/Orange County area.

Technical and Cost Proposals. The next step is for us to develop a technical approach that spells out scope, tasks and deliverables, and how we intend to manage resources and quality in our role. The technical approach will also contain estimated time and resource requirements, and travel estimates. This document is provided to the company through which we are being provided (Structure Networks or Thinking Minds, Inc.) for pricing, then presented to you for review and approval.

In the event that you prefer a different agency or firm to provide our services, the technical approach will be sent to whomever you designate.

Price negotiations, payment details, terms and conditions and related matters will be negotiated between you and Structure Networks (or firm that you designate).

During the Engagement. We submit:

  • Weekly time accounting (see example)
  • Weekly status reports (see example)
  • Expense reporting if you opt to not use a flat Per Diem rate or organizational policy requires itemized reporting. (see example)
Other reports that you require.

We manage all changes to scope using a change request form, which allows all stakeholders to see the impact of any proposed or requested change in scope.

All deliverables are provided using a deliverables tracking form that provides for a peer review, preliminary and critical design reviews. This approach ensures that you see deliverables as works in progress and have ample time to review and make input into the final product.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have additional compliance requirements. We can also be reached at 714-393-9484.

Learn more about the People Who Are TEAM Zarate-Tarrani

Webmaster: Mike Tarrani
Last Update: 16 March 2002