John grabbed another slice of pizza and took a moment to review the project status and gather his thoughts. The project plan was buried unter a pile of empty pizza boxes and laptops. The room stunk of caged programmers, grease, and deadlines. At least it wouldn't be too much longer, now. John finished his slice and got back to work.

This particular deadline death-march was for a risk-management and assessment package. It was the pizza-and-pepperoni for John's employer, an insurance company. Identifying, assessing, and wrapping numbers around risks was their line of business. The VPs wanted the "tribal knowledge" of how to do this encoded into a software package, and they wanted it live by the end of the quarter- only a week away.

"Man, I wish we could take a break," Sally said around a mouthful of pizza.

"Short of taking out the Ranch," John replied, "you aren't getting one." "The Ranch" was the off-sine data-center that held the company's primary IT infrastructure. The last time there had been any unplanned downtime was never- the company took uptime and managing risk very seriously.

"What, you don't think I'm leet enough to take down the 'Ranch'?" Sally joked.

Down at "The Ranch", only a mile down the road, that tribal knowledge about managing risks was going into play. As John, Sally and the rest of their team crammed pizza into their faces while churning out code, a young infrastructure drone was managing risks for the company.

The risks, in this case, were those inherent in having a giant pile of electrical equipment locked in a small room. Like most server rooms, this electrical equipment's primary purpose was to generate vast quantities of heat, with computation being a bit of an afterthought. Such an environment is quite the fire risk, and that means that a company needs a robust fire-supression system. Any system capable of responding in a crisis needs to be tested when there isn't a crisis. And on that day, the test task fell to that young, infrastructure drone.

The test, itself, carried a degree of risk. To minimize that risk, there was a Process. That Process was printed out, in full color, on an 8x11 glossy, laminated card. The card hung over the emergency shut off button as a reminder to check the process. The process included disconnecting the mains shutoff, as well as disconnecting both suppressant canisters. The drone had been trained in the Process. Despite that training, no one had explicitly told him to read the card before starting the test. All of those hours of training on how to properly execute the test simply vacated his brain, and he tested in the most obvious way possible. He pushed the big red button.

Back in the pizza-filled team-room, everyone looked at Sally. She paled. "It wasn't me! I swear!"

In the end, they got their break, as it took hours for everything to be switched over to the backup site. Unfortunately, the backup site came on at around 4:30. "Good news," their boss announced, "we can get back to work. I've ordered some pizza so we can work right through dinner while you guys catch up."

Sally never wished for a break again.

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