Friday, May 19, 2006

The Strangeness Continues. . .

Work this week has reminded me why I never wanted to move into a ‘Business Analyst’ role.

You see, I think that one of the best ways to analyze a process is to actually experience the process. So for the past several weeks I’ve been signing up for the various applications and roles I’m reviewing.

To say it’s been frustrating, would be understating the situation. Now I realize, not every user who signs up for one of these accounts are attempting to become an ‘Administrator’ for the application, but let me tell you, it’s been an exercise in futility. I’ve talked with, met with, and explained the situation to no less than nine separate individuals, not including the management folks I’ve also talked with.

I spent the better part of the past day and a half focusing solely on straightening out my access permissions for the area I’ve been charged with administering until I can get the process documented. At the end of the day today, I was referred back to the person who explained he couldn’t do what I needed done in the first place.

I’ve now kicked it all up a level to my manager and his manager. Everyone agrees it’s a concern that needs to be addressed, but, as yet, there’s no resolution in sight.

I’ll find the resolution though and get it done. That is after all what I do, get things done. For those of you outside the IS/IT realm, you should know, this is an all too common event.

Dozens of folks arw involved in most projects, the existing users have become ‘used to’ the way things are, or have been told ‘that is how it is done’ and have never pushed for an actual process to resolve their needs as long as they have 'some way' to get their job done.

All of this results in a geometric increase in the calls to the Customer Service Center, and in my case those calls being kicked up to level 2 (me) and landing square in my lap.

So what do I intend to accomplish? It’s simple really. Outline a plan to simplify the sign up process, make all data that’s actually required to grant access to an application a required field on the signup form(s), and once all the required data is in place, allow the ‘system’ to actually grant the user access. Remove the ‘approval process’ from the hands of the folks in CSC or tier 2 support and let the rules engine of the system handle it.

Now all I have to do is document it, submit the plan, and then get it approved. Of course all of that is predicated on me actually signing up successfully, eventually!

On a personal side I mentioned that last week I received two strange phone calls, both from individuals who’d ‘dropped of the radar’ in my life, through their own choice.

My stepson actually made a number of calls all in an attempt to arrange a visit on Mothers Day. In the end I told him he needed to call on Sunday morning to determine first, if Maryan was feeling well enough to have company, and second, to nail down a time as he was unsure as to when he could actually get here. He ended that call with “I’ll call between 8 and 9am on Sunday”.

Well Sunday morning came and went, as did Sunday afternoon, and evening. No phone call….

We went to bed around 11:00pm Sunday night, at some point after that, he evidently showed up and left some flowers and a card on the front porch… I have no idea what goes through his mind, but, if he’s trying to repair a relationship that he abandoned a year and a half ago… it’s a very strange start indeed. Does anyone have a clue what could be going on in this young man's head?

The other call last week was from an old friend, and co-worker. We’d not spoken in some time… His call this week came while I was in meetings and I didn’t get his message asking if I wanted to get together on Tuesday, until late Tuesday night.

I returned his call on Wednesday though, and told him I was sorry I missed the call, but he was free to stop by the house after work if he’d like. He did. I think he got here around 5:15, maybe 5:30… we sat and talked, had a few beers and in general just got “caught up”, until around 9:30 that evening. Fairly late for both of us on a ‘school night’.

It was a good evening, we cleared the air on a number of issues, and, as he was leaving, I was thinking that we'd ended up talking like we used to, almost as though there had never been a gap. Good stuff this.

Then, last night I got a gift, from Liz and her husband Steve. It’s an older pic of the ‘Blue Max” funny car, from before I hooked up with them at Indy, when CAM2 was one of their sponsors and not Amalie… Very sweet stuff… and something I believe I’ll put in the frame with the Indy pic!

So, while I’m glad this week is in the books… and the weather this weekend should let me start in on some of the stone work I want (need) to do…. I find myself wondering about the ‘flow’ of things. How one thing gets better, another seems headed down a slippery slope… yet another seems headed into the fog… and then there’s that pleasant unexpected surprise..

I guess I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other and taking everything one day at a time and see what happens!!

I hope you all had a great week… any interesting weekend plans?

Mine include tearing up some brick pavers, adding some drainage and then resetting them, as well as giving the bike a serious wash and wax, and a minor tuneup.

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Beth said...

Bill, I couldn't reach the post you made concerning your stepson before this one to see what your response was to my original question on it. Your blog just wouldn't let me do it. Humph! Haha.

I asked if your stepson not coming around had anything to do with you and I believe I asked if you were the one "doing the talking" for your wife. Like "we believe this ..." or "we believe that." My father had stepchildren. My mother was actually good to them, but let me tell you, they did NOT want to hear what this woman had to see about the relationship they had with their father.

I'm not an expert, but Dr. Phil is (LOL) and he says the biological parent of a child should handle ALL problems with their child directly ... and never through the other parent who isn't biological. If it were me, if you weren't my dad and were telling me how to have a relationship with my mother, I'd probably leave a flaming bag of poop on your doorstep ... not flowers.

Just being super honest here. I hope you're the type who appreciates it.

As for weekend plans, it's renovations inside and out ... always and forever plus my veggie garden maintenance. I really want to put in raised beds for some flower seeds I ordered from Monticello. If the weather cooperates, I'm going to rope hubby into helping me. =)

Bill said...

Hi Beth - Nope, not giving advice on his relationship... in fact I've repeating, almost to the absurd, "you need to talk with your Mom about that".

I'm more than willing to answer his questions that relate to me, his relationship with me, and that sort of thing... but his Mom's an adult, perfectly capable of making her own decisions, she certainly doesn't need me to 'intercede'.

It's more like he's hoping I'll somehow change and 'make everything alright' again for him.. I think he regrets some of the choices he's made... I just remind him they were his choices... now he's going to have to deal with the consequences.

I do appreciate your thoughts... thanks for taking the time to leave them.

It's been a confusing time for both his Mom, and I.

My weekend would go so much faster if my wife would just let me buy that tractor we can't afford!!

Jada's Gigi said...

I'm glad to see this past week in the books myself! Whew! I think I'm definitley gonna take some of your suggestions for the weekend and chill....have fun with your brick laying and don't smash your fingers....:)

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy said...


Thanks for the mention in your blog entry! AND - - Steve and I are so glad you liked the Blue Max picture! And I think the other car picture he sent along with it turned out really good also.

You will be happy to know that I FINALLY updated my blog yesterday (Saturday), and now that the semester is over and I can finally BREATHE, hopefully it will not fall as far behind as it has in the past month or so.

Have a great weekend!