Monday, 30 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Monday, 16 November 2009
I have a developer friend who was once tasked with consulting and updating reports for another department of his company. It was all for a good cause, to determine their internal efficiency. Unfortunately it turned out the department had been taking the term ‘internal’ all too literally and, as if unaware of the outside world, managed to cut the customer out of the equation. Imagine your job is to take data from a customer, manually process the data and then hand it back. Not surprisingly the company want to know how efficient that process is. But the department doesn’t have the tools to record the time taken for data coming in, processed and returned to the customer on the same day; it does however have a tool that records the amount of data waiting to be processed that came in on a specified day.
Oh dear. The department reasoned there was no cost to queuing data coming in and queuing data going out, no internal cost anyway. Hence there was no need to ask for any engineering resource. When the company asked how long it took to process an item they may have meant ‘how long until the customer gets their data back’, but what they got was an answer to an entirely different question. How many customers did they lose? We’ll never know; my friend doesn’t work there any more. Very few people do.
Sunday, 15 November 2009
It’s only a temporary residence too. Google Sites has its purpose but mine was to build a website. I’m a little hazy as to why I wanted to do that but I’m sure given time I’ll come up with a reason. Not surprisingly, I have a random approach to establishing a web presence. I start blogging and only later grasp on the idea of addressing it with my own domain. And I’m determined to use a ‘blog’ sub-domain. And if you’ve got a ‘blog’ sub-domain then you need to have a ‘www’ sub-domain too. Don’t ask me why, you just do. Google Sites was an accident but it serves a purpose in acting as a placeholder. For a while my blog distracted me with a little HTML play, and then I remembered how I’d wanted to understand the various pieces.
Ah yes, maybe that was the reason. So now I look to the ‘Build your own website for people who ought to already know’ books and hope that I really can. Maybe email a few former colleagues for advice. Maybe I’ll use a few technologies along the way... and maybe I’ll even learn something.
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Some cynics may suggest the loss of a sales department is no big deal, it’s karma for a lack of investment in product, but one thing is definite; if you don’t have sales people then you don’t have anything to sell. I figured that one out myself. The other clue was when the boss said “we’re not selling that anymore”.
It’s safe to say the patient is on life support and with no hope of recovery. We think he stands a chance of making it into the New Year but the prognosis beyond then is certain. Meanwhile I’ve entered a bizarre alternate reality in which I genuinely like the sales people who survive. Me and sales; who’d have thought it possible?
Since I’m old enough to have seen it all before and wise enough (don’t laugh) to not take it personally, I get on with what work there is; though having said that, due to staff shortages I’m making very little progress. I’ll probably get fired for that. I blame it on my friend and ex-colleague, the artist wannabe, who up and quit work the other week to pursue something worthwhile, rather than wallow in a collective doom and see it through to our inevitable and bitter end. Fucking writers, eh?