Kind of knew I would. Not being arrogant, it is one of those things. You get it when you ‘click’ with the situation. The hardest part is locating that situation. I got lucky.
This last week has been a whirlwind.
Onboarded officially last Thursday.
Went to Colorado for the weekend.
Started the new job on Monday.
That is a lot of activities in a very short period of time!.
I am figuring out my secret sauce.
Today – I truly became comfortable with the tools I need to do my job.
That is pretty good. I have only had the machine for two full days. I haven’t been provided a map to the environment, I have had to just do it on my own.
So technically, I work for 3 Directors.
Director of Digital Innovation. Don’t get it. How does it fit?
*Director of ERP – got it. We do a lot of ecommerce.
Director of Operations – this is the most overworked, under-valued member of this team. We are finally going to meet tomorrow. He has been that damn busy!
* The only one who has given me the time of day. He appreciates my value. Sometimes I feel like his assistant, but that isn’t all bad when he has only been here for about a month. We are building this together.
So being laid off earlier this year was devastating. Much more devastating than I wanted to believe. To be honest, I thought I was completely over all of the emotional baggage that comes with such an adventure. That is until I ran into one of the people that I used to manage. Since I was laid off, the slimy little creature who had weaseled her way into being our manager has since converted this person to an FTE role.
I was upset. I am trying to understand why it upset me, but it did. It was nice to have her tell me how much they missed me. Apparently, they have realized how hard it truly was to do the things that I made look incredibly easy. (Duh, that was in the job description – ‘make this happen’. I guess I was really good at that. She went on and on and on about how hard it was to onboard new people and how much they miss my expertise. She said they brought on a few people the beginning of July and here we are 6 weeks later and those folks still aren’t fully productive.
This is one of the processes and procedures I had mastered. When the challenge was tossed my way to ‘solve it’, our onboarding was normally 90 days before someone was fully productive. Rising to the challenge tossed my way by our previous manager, I was able to create a process and a set of checkpoints that would have a new hire fully capable to be productive within their first 5 days on the time. Indoctrinating them into the environment and getting them to full productivity was entirely dependent upon the person, but overall, we reduced the time from 90 days to less than 2 weeks.
When I left, I was asked to make sure the process documentation was updated and in place. It was. What I couldn’t get the juvenile who had been promoted from graphic designer to be my manager to realize is that it isn’t always the steps in the process that matters, as much as it is how you execute those steps. The reason I could do it so quickly and effectively is that I had taken the time to build the relationships with the folks who actually execute the steps that our outside of my control. I did things in a specific order because there is time in back office processing that has to happen. I have a wee bit of knowledge about access management and networking, so I get what is happening and timed the required manual interventions accordingly so that when we were ready to do the next thing on the list, the systems would be ready too.
This morning, I am over the disappointment and any jealousy I might have had has passed. I am truly blessed to be out of that dysfunctional, unprofessional coffee clutch.
That’s all I’ve got. The client really wants to hire me. I have been exchanging messages with the Director of IT. (In case I haven’t mentioned it, lately, I am a geek girl at heart. I LOVE IT, when it is done well.)
Start date hasn’t been finalized as we are doing all of those wonderful pre-onboarding things that must be done in this day and age. You know, the reference checks, the background checks, the hardware purchases and setup. Oh goody.
Whenever I get to this point in the process, I am always a bit annoyed. Why weren’t these things done sooner? I mean, really?
Don’t get me wrong, I really do understand why agencies don’t do background checks early, in most situations. That would cost them a lot of money, that could be expensed as cost of doing business, but I get it.
What I don’t get is how come this stuff wasn’t already done in this situation? I realize we went a bit out of process, but we definitely took enough time and exerted enough energy to get everything scheduled and rescheduled. At one point in this annoyingly long process I even tried to opt out. IMHO at the end of that discussion, the paperwork should have started.
Reality? I needed this week anyway. There is absolutely no way I could have started any sooner.
This week has been jam-packed with completing tasks that must be done before I go back to work full time. So far, I have scheduled and/or completed a lot of them. I won’t be able to sign off on my last couple of items until Sunday, regardless.
Stay tuned. This adventure is anything but mundane and it is kind of cool to think there might be one or two folks out there who are along for the ride.
Change is inevitable. It is kind of like death and taxes. No matter how well planned and organized you might think something is, give it time, it will change. Today’s rant is brought to you by my latest disappointment in banking and life upheaval 101.
I am so disappointed in Capital One!
They bought my favorite banking institution a number of years ago, but it wasn’t until recently I actually started paying attention. [New goal in life: Be in a position where I can fire and forget a ‘stash’ account!]
This is a wee bit of a tale of woe. Years ago, I opened an account with ING Direct! This was ‘bleeding edge’ banking and I gave it a try, not to mention they were offering the highest rates of return for savings. I LOVED it. This was the BEST banking UI and experience I had ever encountered! It was better than my brick and mortar experiences, hands down! Mind you, this was all before the whole “Mobile First” approach and we back-office types were still trying to figure out how to plumb the system, not to mention how unsettling this completely virtual banking relationship seemed to many of us, BUT they offered a high-yield alternative to traditional banks.
The timing was opportune for ING Direct – they were already offering decent rates for minimal deposits. (Probably the incentive that got my attention…but we are talking about a decade ago…) I locked in a 5% rate on a traditional CD for as little as $1,000. Sure do wish I would have had more to risk!
The onboarding for ING Direct was old school. It was multi-factored authentication, but it required the end-user to jump through a few hoops. I actually liked it. I remember telling my fellow product designers about how ‘comfortable’ I felt every time I logged into that account.
Fast forward to today. A lot of time has passed. My cd matured. I rolled it over, but am not getting anywhere near as much interest! Capital One said they were going to make this new account the ‘best of both worlds‘ I am here to tell you they failed – epically! Dear heavens why did you have to make this so painful, to do the same things ING Direct was doing so successfully?
As more and more of our lives become digital, separating our personal lives from our work lives gets more and more complicated.
For years, I have had multiple subscriptions to various ‘cloud-based applications’. As a consultant, I have a fiduciary responsibility to keep the accounts separate. Fine, I will do that, but the cloud-administration and login tools need to meet me halfway.
The quickest, easiest way to manage the various accounts is via hardware and login-tokens, which is essentially how I administered my stuff for the last 6 years. What I didn’t do was keep the software up-to-date on my personal system. This is killing me!
Adobe is a beast! As most of the time when I needed that software was for work, I only kept it fully updated on my work machine. Fine, that worked. For the rare occasion I needed the suite for personal use, I would just login with my personal account. No harm. No foul. Adobe was getting paid licensing fees for both accounts, I just wasn’t taking the time to update my personal copies.
I am paying for that shortcut, now! It has taken me forever to update my applications!
It has recently come to my attention I communicate via checklists.
I do not think I am alone in this behavior.
What are meeting minutes anyway, besides a list of things folks have agreed upon needs to be done and how we have agreed to execute? The perfect foundation for communicating via checklists!
For the checklisting aficionado, I recommend Wunderlist.
I don’t know if it is the best, nor the greatest, but it works and that is all that matters for me. It has some nifty features, that have greatly simplified my life. Maybe I should blog on my thoughts, at some point.
For those folks who prefer a more visual representation of what we are doing, I like Trello.
Personally, I connected those two with my system of record communications tool and BAM life was easier.
Naively I assumed that the ability to survive and thrive for over 6 years in a turbulent, ‘fast-paced’ information technology organization delivering the tools that facilitated the ‘un-carrier’ revolution.
Maybe that is where I need to start. Instead of formatting a resume as a brochure to get the conversation started, I need to create the ‘roadmap’ that takes the reader through my experiences.
Connect the dots for the reader!
Two week iterations are perfect, as long as the team is mature.
What I really want to do is send out a bunch of reminders with links to training materials, so everyone is on the same page, but I would be reprimanded for being to forceful. The question is, how are we ever going to get better if we don’t address the maturity level issue. How is the team ever going to move ahead, if everyone doesn’t play fairly? Is it too much to expect that a team member who has committed to the team do everything in their power to be just as prepared as all of the rest of the team members?
- Build a cohesive cross-functional Agile team and establish a working agreement that the team is passionate about. You know what it means to win as a team or lose as a team.
- Lead all aspects of our Scrum Ceremonies including sizing, stand ups, grooming, retrospectives, demos and other Scrum-related meeting.
- Partner with Product and Program Managers to prioritize roadmap features in our product backlog.
- Drive transparency in to the Scrum team’s capabilities through burn down charts and velocity.
- Identify impediments and blockers and actively work to help the team remove them.
- Use retrospectives to continually iterate and improve team velocity.
- Create clarity where ambiguity exists and help make the team successful by creating well groomed stories.
- Provide an open style of communication to foster the flow of ideas and build alignment with the team and other teams.
- Develop strong relationships with cross-functional members of different MHE departments by collaborating to find creative solutions to technology, product, and organizational challenges
- Champion Agile methodologies throughout the development process.
There are things that have to be in place in order to successfully perform those tasks. You need management participation and buy-in.
Actually, I am rather proud of how far we have come in such a short time. Now if only I could educate.