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Training and Other Hilarious Stuff

weather: mostly clear
outside: 16.7°C
mood: ...
Work cracks me up.


I was asked to provide some software training to one of our branches over at the Head Office. Someone gave me an envelope with some papers to take with me to deliver to someone else while I was there. She's been so busy that she forgot to leave me any instructions about it though, so I went to her office before I left and play-snarked at her "I gather you want me to tie this on my leg and fly it over?" =D =D

Another hilarious thing: when you get off the seaplane, you walk up to the street level, turn right and go down a little ways. On the corner of Government and Humboldt, there's a giant blue sign on the side of a building. It says:

Work-Dot-Com Incorporated


And when you see that sign, that says "Work-Dot-Com Incorporated, THAT-A-WAY", you make absolutely certain that you go the OTHER way. XD XD XD

That's how we do security at Head Office. We can't hire security guards like any other normal company. No. Instead, we commission an expensive, official-looking company plaque, in the striking and distinctive company colours. We have it put up on the side of a large building in the middle of downtown Victoria. That's how we fool the baddies into going the wrong way and thus, be unable to find us.

=D I'm kidding. I know the sign is pointing people towards one of our retail branches, not Corporate Head Office. But I like my story better. =)

Anyway, training went really well. I found SUCH kindred spirits while I was over there. They're giving exactly the same feedback that we were logging as bugs. Their frustrations with the software were exactly the frustrations that we pointed out when it went through QA. We had a single point of contact from The Business™, but when we showed him one of the screens and he seemed fine with it, I instantly knew that he was the wrong person to be talking to. He was a bit too removed from the process; he wasn't the one that did the day-to-day stuff; he wasn't going to be the one to use the software we were building. What we needed was someone a little closer to the ground.

I went through an end-to-end scenario with them today, talking through variances along the way. They told me how they would do things as the scenarios came up and how things could be changed to help them. When I was looking at it, there were a lot of things that I thought weren't as efficient as they could have been, but couldn't really log them as usability issues, even, just because I didn't know how they operate and what their processes were. They liked some of the suggestions I had made on how to make the screens more usable and friendly.

They're also trying to separate the emotional aspect from the objective aspect of "change". They said that they weren't sure if some of it was just because it was a new system and they're still bumping around, trying to find their way. But from my time with them today, the culture and collective personality of this bunch doesn't strike me as one that is resistant to change. They were very appreciative and loved that I was there; they kept asking me questions; they were giving me their opinion about how they thought things ought to be; they were throwing different scenarios at me and what-if'ing me; they were telling me about their work and the roles involved...

Those are not the behaviours you would expect from people who don't want anything to do with the product. Those are behaviours of a group that are very enthusiastic about the new product. They want to use it, they want to work with it, they're jumping at the chance to work with IT to make it better.

At one point, they were saying that if we were to roll out with the software as it were now, there would be a 4 spreadsheet workaround for one particular thing. We laughed that that was a GREAT way to prioritize their issues. XD

We have a ways to go with this, but there's so much going for this product already. Granted, there are some larger features that would need to be done before they could really roll out, but some of the easy, trivial changes would really make a difference.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
magicwoman
Sep. 11th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
Just dropping in to say "hi" and hope you're doing well!

Susan
bride
Sep. 11th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
Hey Susan =)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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eLouai
bride
The Bride of the First House

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