Archive for the ‘process’ Tag

a – (bad word) – men

This should be required reading for every city engineer on the planet.

“our streets are designed with many inefficiencies” Ya think?

THE ANSWER.  Amazing what can happen when we actually respect thinking outside the box, over “the rules.”

By all means, please pass it along.

free is always good

Small development teams (up to 10) should take advantage of this; Team Concert truly can be a game changer for maturing development staffs, and can’t beat that price…

Cust. Service scripts – the death of common sense

All right, I probably shouldn’t do this, but I have a real ‘special’ place in my heart for Charter, which I use for both Cable and Internet at my home.  Now their service, in my opinion, is not actually that bad.  But their processes, and lack of systems integration, when a customer needs support is……staggering, in its ineptitude.

So tonight I realize I have a small past due amount, and l login to pay it.  Like so many providers, when this happens instead of printing your true due date on the latest bill, they just state ‘due on reciept’.  So from their site I’ve already authenticated on, I access Customer Support via ‘chat’.  The following hilarity thus ensued.  As always, with these guys:

Thank you for choosing Charter Chat Live! A Customer Care representative from Billing Inquiries will be with you shortly.
You have been connected to TTD Ruby .
TTD Ruby : Thank you for contacting Charter. My name is Ruby. How may I help you today?
Mark S: I just paid my overdue portion, on account. Can you tell me when my actual CYCLE date is, so I can get back on track. Is it the 27th?
TTD Ruby : I would be more than happy to look it up on the account and assist you with your billing inquiry.
TTD Ruby : May I please have the phone number on the account?
Mark S: nnn-nnn-nnnn 
TTD Ruby : May I please have the name of the account holder, the complete service address, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number?
Mark S: oh good lord.
Mark S: what good is this chat, if i have to RE ENTER all that?? I’m already logged on
Mark S: Mark [lastname]
Mark S: [address] [city] GA  
Mark S: nnnn
Mark S: geez
TTD Ruby : In order to access your account, may I ask who I am chatting with please?
Mark S: ????? Can you not read? MARK. I already typed that in to get on here.
Mark S: see where it says “Mark S”?
Mark S: <– right here
TTD Ruby : I really do apologize, you have to go through with this before we can assist you.
TTD Ruby : May I please have the Security code on the bill?
Mark S: what? I’m not asking about a ‘bill’. What do you not get here? Are you slow? What is my cycle date? Its a simple question.
TTD Ruby : I really do apologize, you have to answer the question before we can disclose any information on your account.
Mark S: I DON’T HAVE ANY “BILL” IN FRONT OF ME. I’M ‘ONLINE’. THE INTERNET. EVER HEARD OF IT?
Mark S: I can’t answer the question BECAUSE IT ISN’T RELEVANT.
TTD Ruby : Let me inform you that next ime of you will receive a bill please keep the code becuase it will be ask from you.
TTD Ruby : Thank you.
TTD Ruby :  The due date is every 28th. 
Mark S: Thank you!
TTD Ruby : Is there anything else I can help you with?
Mark S: You’re kidding, right?  Lord, no.

org. disfunction

I’ve become convinced more and more, of late, that IT organizations in business would do a lot better to recognize their culture and prioritize mapping potential resources (people) to it.  Instead of being so consumed with ‘hard’ skills only — and not fit.

I’m amazed at how many organizations focus on ‘checklists’ at the expense of soft skills fit — and then remain amazed at continuing poor results in the eyes of their stakeholders.

an alternative strategy for IT

Two thoughts, about this well articulated opinion piece arguing that IT should NOT see its internal recipients as ‘customers’:

  1. If you’ll notice the underlying problem to every example given here is actually…. wait for it… poor Requirements Definition.  As usual, that isn’t really seen for the universal problem it is.  In other words if quality Requirements Definition was consistently possible, then you could respond to internal groups as customers.  However since Requirements Definition is so universally mismanaged in enterprises, I agree (mostly) with the author…
  2. As to the actual argument proposed, where this alternative approach breaks down is that (in general) IT management isn’t equipped to serve as a strategic peer to business.   I think this is due to many factors rather than just one, but how many of us have met IT management in enterprises that we really feel have their finger on the pulse of the company’s overall mission in the larger marketplace?  That’s not their background, focus, etc.  In most cases.

Lean Six Sigma

Great resource from the Military for Lean Six Sigma that I came across, just linking to for others….