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Not doing so well with my resolution to post more than last year – so much has happened since I last wrote.

Personality style – I am typically a laggard.  Rarely do I ever pre-order anything, except maybe an old-fashioned book, the hard-cover type for my collection.  Yep, another place technology has me trapped.  Now I not only order the flipping hard-cover version, but I also now purchase an electronic copy.  Really, WTF am I thinking?!?

This year, I stepped out of my ‘slow and steady adoption’ philosophy and I jumped on the bandwagon and pre-ordered the Samsung Note 7.  ERROR.  This was really a stupid move on my part.  I am still trying to get my pre-ordered, delivered-on-time, amazing device replaced.  There you go I have plenty of fodder for entries if I use this space to jot down my drama trying to replace my beloved, potentially explosive, phablet.

To date, I have responded to every, single warning message.  I have physically been to numerous stores attempting to do a ‘ship-to-store’ replacement device.  I have talked to the support people multiple times for both my carrier and Samsung.  I have downloaded the update which turned my battery from green to grey and tells me constantly to replace my device.  I am at my wits end!  I am seriously considering buying an unlocked Samsung Note 4, like my sons and obtaining a refund.  There are multiple good reasons for considering this move and I am damn near done waiting for the powers that be to get their act together.  Stay tuned….

Bad timing to change my password

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?

Wonder if…

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 am….

  • A  versatile consultant who thrives on variety and challenge
  • An innate problem solver who grows in a flexible, collaborative culture
  • An engaging leader who makes a positive impact
  • An effective communicator
  • Able to influence across multiple responsibility areas
  • Able to get teams to make progress executing on a common set of goals
  • Able to prioritize and manage workflow to meet deadlines
  • Able to establish and maintain an effective follow up system

 

When you whine, I listen

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….

 

No whining

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.

You’re welcome!

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Natural networker

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.