Importance of Perspective

A popular meme that can be found by googling “What a customer really needed”

Solution Development Life Cycle (SDLC) consist of steps that are used by developers to plan, design, build, test, and deliver solutions. The basic steps seem simple enough, however, challenges will be presented. Above shows a comic poking fun at everyone’s perspectives.

The plan for the customer is to have a seat that can swing on a tree. As you can see, there are different interpretations. We must take the time to iron out differences. For example, stakeholders must provide clear, purposeful input and feedback while utilizing the expertise of each person (designer, programmer, sales, etc.).

Not all blame should be put on the stakeholder, though. Looking through each panel of the meme, every person involved in a project is guilty of being excessive in different ways. As a team progresses through each step of the cycle, there will be new factors and variables that could affect the original idea. That is why it is important for a stakeholder to not only provide input during the planning stage but offer feedback until the solution is delivered and approved.

Sometimes we just have to laugh about our differences and celebrate when we provide exactly what’s needed. Other times, maybe we need to be conscious about eachother’s strengths and weaknesses.

Do each panel remind you of any team members? Do you need help working together? Let’s talk story, holler @ me.

Know Your Role

“Let me stop you there” – The Rock

If you know me, I’m a wrestling fan. Growing up in the 90s, The Rock was the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. However, he wasn’t always that. He was green at some point.

Let me tell you a story. Starting a new life in Hawaii, I was not only green to a new place, but I was still green in my focus of studies (Management Information Systems) due to my stretched out interests (music, business, merchandising, etc). Luckily, I found a job that would allow me to exercise the variety of experience I had. In this case I was tasked to be a Business Systems Analyst.

As I supported the other departments with my skillsets (programming, SQL, data analysis), I also stepped into the role of help desk when we were understaffed and in some cases because people trusted me. Naturally, I love helping people and since I tend to be a lot more prone to understanding technology, there’s always been a demand. However, I realized something after a few years.

The pattern of behaviour I noticed was that when something was wrong with a computer, I would be the go to person even though I didn’t know.  I spent time researching what kind of resources are available. In fact, I made a 5 page cheat sheet to be used within the IT department. After a couple of years using that cheat sheet, I made another realization. Those resources can be used by anyone, not just me. Why would I continue being a middle person? Why did my previous colleagues accept being a middle person? Personally, I wouldn’t want to be a middle person for too long. Maybe some people are comfortable with it. I want to empower people to be independent.

Since I figured out that pattern and realized I was a middle person, I took some steps to change that. I put resources into context for individuals I was helping frequently. For example, I told the Accounts Receivable (AR) staff about a hotline for users of the Point of Sales (POS) we were using. From what I recall, she’s been working there for 10+ years and no one told her about the hotline. I’ve been calling the hotline because it was assumed it was technical. My effort calling that hotline everyday made it very clear that hotline was not technical.

People specialize in different things. If I continued providing help desk support to an AR person, it’s nice I’d learn about her job but I’m not trying to be proficient at her job. I’m trying to be proficient at my job, and that’s a Business Systems Analyst (which transition into being a consultant). Let me put things into context and point you to the right resources to get your task done.

I’m not so green anymore. Have any experience like mine? Let’s talk story and keep learning from each other. Holler @ me.