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Blog: The Case of the Failed APM Administrator Turnover

By Hallett German posted Mar 13, 2016 10:22 AM


[This is inspired by true events.]

Three Months Before:
I am an APM administrator at Fracas Boating. We are the number 3 manufacturer in the 8 polluted rivers region. I just gave my notice as I get to live in my dream location of Lower Pluto. My current bosses want me to prepare a turnover document before I leave to help my successor. Sure. There was nothing written down before I came on board. Why should I help the next gal or guy? They should be smart enough to pick it up on their own. No, far better use of time is planning my first climbing expedition after I arrive on my new home

Two Months Before:
I am so happy. I just started my dream of being an APM Administrator at Fracas. What a joy this is. Everyone is so nice to me. I am going to greatly enjoy this.


One Month Before:
I am enjoying the job but found out my predecessor left nothing behind. I am digging into the manuals and trying to figure out the operational procedures, location of configuration files, etc. This is taking a good deal of time.


D-Day (Ending One)
Today I gave my notice. It is too much stress with everything breaking down and trying to document how things should work. Well, I will delete my "ramp-up" document before I leave. Why should I help the next gal or guy? They should be smart enough to pick it up on their own. Hmm, maybe I should read more about the rumors about the next Galactic Chef movie. The action scenes are rumored to be over the top!!!


D-Day (Ending One)
Today was a true nightmare from start to finish. The network configuration was changed, the private keys expired, the configuration files were modified, and everything stopped working. I learned my lesson. I am going to dig in, document all this, and start saving important files. I vow to not only help myself but my successor as well.



Sadly, I hear this story far too often. A new APM Administrator comes into an office filled with piles of paper and has to figure out how to keep things running and what to do if they break. Some never succeed in doing this.

When writing a turnover document, you should think, "What would I need to know to have a running start on the job?"


A turnover document may include
- Location of key configuration, backups and other files.
- Any expiration dates
- Key stakeholders and contacts
- A run book of operational tasks
- Best practices
- Suggested next steps for the next one, three, and six months.


If you are truly customer-focused, then a turnover document will increase the possibility of operational stability for your present and soon to be former customer. It helps maintain good relations and many more benefits.