Thank you Green Day for some of my favorite lyrics and expressing such emotion in your work!
DISCLAIMER – what follows is a random stream of thought that provides a deeper view into me.
For the first time in my entire life, I am allowed – er, encouraged – to learn about pop culture. That is kind of awesome.
Just a quick catch up, as I got busy doing life again, rather than pondering about it, the following things happened:
– Started the new job. Like it? Love it? Opportunity? How am I handling it?
– Driving a lot. Long way to work. How am I doing on the interstate?
– Daughter is getting married soon. How’s that going? Wow!
– My beautiful grandbabies are back in school. They are growing up way too fast!
To sum it up: there’s a boatload of things happening in my day-to-day life. In my mind’s eye, I see my mother repeating her mantra about how to handle life, “That’s life, it is so daily.”
To be fair, she probably said it with a great deal of enthusiasm.
I heard this my whole life. I interpreted it when I was about 17.
I have reassessed the meaning, recently.
My mother? Well she isn’t really capable of communicating long distance anymore. This saddens me. What I wouldn’t give to hear, “Honey, that is life, it is so daily.” just one more time.
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.
Yesterday was crazy busy! I work in an environment where all users are required to change their password incredibly frequently. Yesterday was that day for me.
Upon logging in and receiving the notification that my password was about to expire, I did my due diligence and went about the tasks that are necessary to complete that task. I know it should be as simple as logging into a single place and doing it once, but it isn’t. It takes a lot of time and at least one hard boot of my device to complete this task. Upon successfully finishing this laborious, time-consuming task, I went on about my day.
Fast forward:: Life would have been good if I hadn’t had to change sites to be able to get to my appointments. The password change came back to bite me. Thank God I had built in an hour for lunch and travel, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to resolve my technical issues and arrive on time for my meeting. To be honest, this is actually one of the things my favorite manager likes about me. He likes that when I encounter these little challenges, I don’t just throw up my hands and walk away.
I get it. I understand that not all of the servers that service the tools that I have to use to do my jobs all get updated in the ‘blink of an eye’. I get that ‘real-time’ means the configuration of the portal that I am currently using to access data and sometimes the tools. Guess I have been around long enough to realize there is processing required to use every portal, everywhere. There are reasons for daily maintenance windows and overnight batch processes.
Knowing that gives me a baseline to use to troubleshoot my own issues. This saves so much money for all of my employers. I can fix it myself. I don’t have to tie-up a minimum of one support resource to resolve my basic issues.
For me? This is a baseline metric for anyone who claims to be a IT professional. How much does it cost us to keep you productive?
Windows 10 upgrade hosed my mail on my android device?
This morning, randomly I could no longer retrieve email from my phone. Not a happy camper. I have an amazing husband. He took my device after I whined something about lugging a boat anchor around.
Through his dedication to solving the problem – it took hours – he got it fixed. It just hit me, I wonder if the ‘known issue/unknown resolution’ hiccup we encountered is related to the Windows 10 upgrade I just did? Hmmmm
I was recruited. Actively pursued to take on the responsibility to deliver the onboarding factory for this communications company.
They needed me. I needed them. The timing was right, the environment was wrong.
There was a team in place, they needed some organization and leadership. As a team, we were able to clear the backed-up pipeline in less than ninety days.
What we didn’t know is that we were picking up the wreckage from the previous attempts. We wound up dissecting the processes and redesigning the delivery directly to the architect of the nightmare, the creator of the out-of-control-pipeline. This taught me to ask a few more questions before jumping in with both feet. Test the waters. Do your homework. Unless this is a greenfield project there are people attached and somewhere someone is connected to this chaos. Be careful.
This happened so long ago that it is truly a distant memory but the emotions that came running back when I started thinking about what happened were disconcerting.
I really think it is those damages that led me to stay in my next position so long. Far beyond the expiration date for the role, so it is time to be moving on.
This is the place where I literally produced TPS Reports. I tried to make jokes about ‘flair’ and ‘red swingline staplers’ but my humor was lost on my fellow cube dwellers.
Since the last time I sat down to blog, I have accomplished a lot. Probably why I haven’t found the time to blog.
Recent events caused a complete upheaval for one of my family members’ travel plans. I am so sorry they weren’t able to make it home to celebrate our mother’s ninetieth birthday, but it has evolved into a full-blown family reunion. First one in almost twenty years!
Seizing the opportunity, I approached the family about planning a get-together to celebrate all of the parents’ milestones this year, but in one fell swoop. It is difficult to get all of us together in one place, at one time.
Quickly, I identified everyone’s schedules to consider. This was so much easier when all of the grandchildren were kids and the parents had a lot more control. Now, everyone is a grownup, taking care of grownup things, so this task has become much more complicated.
I am proud to say that by the end of four days communicating, we were able to get the pillars in place that allow us to move on to the more interesting challenges with planning and executing a family reunion.
This sounds really mundane, but it isn’t. We were able to agree on a date, location, schedule travel and other arrangements for 20 people in less than one week. That is pretty impressive by itself, but toss in the fact this involves 4 different states, 10 professionals, 2 senior citizens, 2 teenagers and a couple of great grandchildren and the breadth of the task starts coming to light.
Set the stage – for the last year the most uncooperative, self-important person I have ever encountered has been talking about how awful the new infrastructure is and how painful the process has been.
Every time she whined, I paid attention. The negativity is annoying, but there are nuggets in those statements. The way I see it? Listening to tales of woe are invaluable when you are doing a task or designing a task. If I can avoid encountering those issues by preparing on my side, the whole painful process will be less disruptive to productivity. In days of yore, we called this pre-processing. I think one of the buzzwords is operational excellence.
The little task I was bragging about yesterday? She started that process last February! I think she completed it in January. I forgot. I don’t really care. The only reason I know about is frequent audits of her historical artifacts identifies missing responses from my teams.
I started the task on January 26, 2016. I negotiated to minimize the impact on team operations. The development team made my site read-only last Thursday – St. Patrick’s Day 2016. Cool. This is a system, infrastructure migration, a little maintenance time is necessary. We didn’t decide to do this. TPTB did. We are merely complying.
I am proud to say that I was able to complete the mirrored migration in less than a week. It isn’t a brand, new, beautiful, fully-functional site, but it is enough to keep us working in a brave new world. I am readying myself for the adoption complaints, but that is when I see opportunities for improvement!!
Here’s a little insight into me, when you whine, I listen and learn….
I need to brag just a little bit. I just successfully completed migrating my team’s intranet from an old, old version of a sharepoint to a new version, with minimal interruption and downtime. The average length of time to complete a migration has been 4 months. We completed ours in less than 2, with minimal staffing.
To me, it is common sense. Answer a few basic questions. Find the right people. Communicate and verify the messaging.
What do we need to save? What can we eliminate? How can we optimize the processes? Who do we need to work with to get this thing done?
It is all about the relationships! Last Friday, it was going south, quickly. So, I reviewed the documentation, identified the key resource who should be able to help me, I followed defined procedure without complaining and BAM – today we are back in business on the new platform.
This week was absolutely crazy, busy. Nothing like hanging on in the middle of a storm. This week, I helped bring on a couple of new team members to one of my teams. I take a lot of pride in my onboarding process and it is really nice when someone truly recognizes the value.
Maybe that is the difference in the onboarding of seasoned folks verses initial entrances into a new career? The folks who have significant, large organization experience seem to “get it” significantly better than the newer entrants.
Through this week’s experience, I was able to put my finger on another ingredient in my ‘secret sauce’ – networking. It is all about networking. The first couple of tasks open the gates to the network, but how those tasks get accomplished is through networking.
One of the guys told me I was a ‘natural networker’ and I took that as high praise and a smidgen of appreciation goes a long way.