The Kim website of the Network department of TNT post.
In the end of winter 2005 three colleagues from the networking/infrastructure department of TNT post decided to build a site to make their daily work easier and more efficient. A lot of tasks which had to be done manually took up a lot of their time while a simple script could perform them automatically.
On a spare server they built a website composed of a task manager/planner, self-authored scripts to add network elements to a database, scripts to automate routine tasks, a powerful searchfunction to gain information on specific machines in the network and a collaborative wiki to discuss and chronicle large projects the team is working on.
The site has a standard layout with a row of links on top. The scripts can be accessed through search fields and dropdowns.
The site has been initiated by three guys named Boudewijn, Jaap and Edwig. The name (Kim) has been offered by Jaap whose wife bears the same name. Although Jaap has left the team since, the project is still very much alive.
Three people from the department continually maintain and contribute to the site. Six other people exclusively contribute. The site has slowly become a central, essential platform for the Network department. Its simplicity and usability ensures that people keep using it and that the dependency on the site grows.
The site is a running project; due to stability issues with the Cisco Works the network engineers want to add a new feature called “User Tracking” which allows people to trace for instance when communication with a network element ended, pinpointing the exact port where activity was last seen. The engineers also strive to involve other departments (namely Monitoring and Logistics) with the site, giving them (limited) access to improve inter-department communication and thus efficiency.
No-one forces these guys to cooperate on this project. People who want to quit using or maintaining the site can do this without consequences. If the team decides to drop the site, this has no repercussions though daily work will become more of a pain in the ass.
Though the nine people in the network department have not chosen their colleagues (they’ve been brought together by TNT post after all) they did choose on their own accord to build this site and maintain it. Their management is barely conscious of the existence of the site; the only manager who is interested in the project works in the logistics department.
The site can be defined as a platform rather than a system, since its users (or certain users) can add their own elements to the site and can thus customize the platform to their needs.
(Also available as .doc)
DMZ database, click for full version