Sharing Goals

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-05-07 Print this article Print

The IT organization and the various Microsoft product teams also develop a "shared goals" process where the two sides sit down together—even before a product reaches the alpha stage—and agree on what they want to accomplish, with the products and from IT, and what they are willing to commit to. "We then sign off on those shared goals, and throughout the process, well take checkpoints every month to see how we are tracking to those shared goals and to make sure were getting the value out of that product that the product group committed to give us," Markezich said.
The IT team also has access to the product teams bug system, so any bugs it finds in the product are logged in the same way the development team logs them—and can then be tracked and resolution-tested.
The IT team is also able to make design-change requests throughout the product development process and, as an early adopter, guarantees that its entire environment will be running the product before it is released. But this is done in a phased way, as its Active Directory environment is structured to phase deployment of its products out, he said. Asked what he is likely to change in his new role as IT CIO, Markezich said he wants to get more knowledge and education out to the field, something Microsoft has not been aggressive about in the past, he said. The company wants to help its customers understand the experiences and best practices that have been gained by bringing its IT and services divisions under the same umbrella, he said. "This will take place by training and educating our services staff through a couple of programs, one of which is called an IT Fellowship. Here, they come into IT for three weeks to three months and work with our IT folk to learn some of the operational best practices we use. They then take that experience out there to customers," he said. Microsoft had also created an Exchange center of excellence where staff from the product, services and IT teams were brought in to build best practices and guidance for its customers and partners running Exchange, Markezich said. Markezich, who graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelors degree in management information systems, joined Microsoft in 1998 as the general manager of finance and administration in the IT department, where he and his team developed, maintained and supported systems for the finance, human resources and corporate services organizations. Prior to this, he spent more than nine years at Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) in the electronic and high technology group, where he focused on improving business operations through technology use. Editors Note: This story was updated to include comments from Markezich. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis. Be sure to add our Windows news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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