Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cubicle And Job Aids

We used to call her the Mistress of Decks. The boss needed to spin the same data over fifty different ways for different audiences over a period of six months until he hit pay dirt - a promotion and a new line of business.

The M of D was indefatigable when it came to rehashing the same message in an infinite number of ways - we marveled at her patience and resourcefulness. But it was a thankless job that took up the better part of her working day. As a result, she slaved over the weekends to get "work" done. Docstoc could be a dream come true for The M of D and the rest of us.

Another woman I once worked with had a discreet
computer rear view mirror installed on her cube so she would near be caught off guard by someone sneaking up on her. While the alarm mechanism worked like a charm, there was quite a bit of snickering about the device by the water-cooler. Maybe she can get herself a smart mouse and get rid of the offending mirror.

Then there is this PMI certified Project Manager that our team recently brought on board. One of the first things she did was to produce an twenty five page document designed to whip one of our vendors into shape. She is insisting that they produce copious amounts of documentation every step of the way.

As we expected, the vendor responded by bumping up both cost and time to the point of ridiculousness. Management decided to do away with the PMI compliance and just get the job done. Both approaches are flawed. I wish our Project Manager would get a little real and draw inspiration from this lite document - it would make everyone's life easier.

Its not for nothing that I dread anyone in the technology business who makes a big deal about being certified or worse is looking to hire only those who are. All takes to be successful in this line of work is common sense, clarity of thought, ability to see and state a problem in the simplest terms. But most importantly the ability to find what you need on the web and never reinvent the wheel. To get overly hung up on a piece of paper is never a good idea - unless its your first job and that is the only way to gain credibility.

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