Have a fixed time budget

Have a well-defined policy (see #01)

Have server configs that are

  • consistent
  • reproducible

Have an administration state machine

(Deal with management requirements (idiocy))
What they actually want, is for you to GET A GRIP on what you're doing. Unfortunately they got no remote clue of anything and thus they'll not ask you to work like a godly sysadmin, but instead they'll ask idiot questions that drive you mad and have you fill out change requests. This isn't helping either of you, so instead of dealing with idiot questions, do work like a pro and they'll stop asking.
This will also stop them from 5-minute changes.

Set up your own state machine for implementing anything...

  1. status.sh
  2. makethechange.sh
  3. status.sh
  4. rollbackthechange.sh
  5. status.sh -> OK
    Use this to fine-tune your install process. Upgrade failed? d'oh well lets not need more than 2 minutes for the rollback.
    That means: Use premade BSD packages and install / remove them. Don't start compiling and branching forth and back!
    Did anyone say "buildhost" just yet?