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Friday, 11 April 2014

Something for the weekend

We are off the Newbury tonight, to stay at Brad and Angelina's, so that we can arise early tomorrow to head out for Cardiff, where we are staying the night, and attending the Doctor Who Experience.  No idea what to expect with DWE, but we are very much looking forward to seeing B&A and having a weekend away.

This week I have not had any more information from my potential new manager.  He advised that they are restructuring, so don't know how or where to use me yet, but that I should be patient, as I said on Tuesday, which means that I have been spending the rest of the week "being patient".  I had not realised how tedious "being patient" can be.

In my current role, we have managed a small (to our client) but massive (for those who understand how hard it can be to do new stuff in Starfleet) triumph, having enabled Cloud for our client.  This means they can go and build servers and do a whole bunch of stuff without even having to speak to us directly, getting the bill for any consumption at the end of each month.  This is on message with Starfleet, and we are near enough the first to have done it, so we have been trail-blazing on an element of technology that is a hot ticket right now, which is nice.

Other than that, I am running a bit of "give back*" work to develop a training course for our offshore new starters.  This, to any normal person, does not sound very clever; when a new hire starts, give them some induction training on their new role, so they know how to do it.  Indeed, myself and my project partner are definitely not the first to consider this, even in our competency, but such is the nature of our business, the throughput of people and the intellectual capital they build, the constant budget restraints on doing anything that does not bring in the dollars, that this is needed once more.  In fact, it is needed even more than in the past, because the newbies are all offshore resources, for whom the challenges and the learning curve are all the more steep. 

We pitched to our first line management team (our direct manager being one of them) a couple of weeks ago, and did our second pitch to their manager, the leader of our competency, last week, and again this week to review the final cut.  The phrase "pushing at an open door" may well have been uttered, more than once, and that was the essence of the reviews; a bit of polish here, an extra bit of glitter there, but in essence a no-brainer, that is (again) on-message with some higher level improvement programs that are in flight, so we expect to be given budget approval. 

And then the real work starts, as we "colour in" the sketch training schedule we have thus far developed.  For this, we plan to recruit key experienced colleagues, to harvest whatever we can that already exists, and craft them in to dynamic, interactive and informative training modules.

I just hope I am still here to be part of the training team, since I have always fancied a bit of training.

Have a great weekend, speak next week.

P.S. And . . . relax

* a strange notion, not unique to Starfleet, where a motivated individual can go the "extra mile" in differentiating themselves from their peers, so they are ranked higher in the appraisal system, so get a better score, Starfleet using the "bell curve distribution" method to ensure the bottom 15% get the bad mark.  This seems to be at odds with our overall executive message that "our business is our people" and that we are a "high performing organisation".  Put these all together, and each year we have to ditch people who are perfectly capable and motivated, simply because they scored less than their peers.

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