June Goals

Leadership

Everyone Communicates Few Connect

Last year I proposed doing a lunch and learn series based upon this book. The book grabbed my attention because the idea of connecting with people that I work with is something I believe is critical to the success of the organization, my team, our projects and myself. We’re all so very busy, being understaffed and over allocated, that the tendency is to scale back the amount of communication to what’s necessary, leaving out in many cases context and the broader spectrum in favor of being concise. Purely a function of stress and hurry, I think, but what that leaves out is all of those things that really get people engaged in what we’re trying to accomplish. My idea was approved with some modifications, 14 sessions to 7 and coffee over lunch, but I will be kicking off on July 11th, which means most of my spare time this month will be dedicated to slides and rehearsing. I’m very excited to have this opportunity!

Emotional Intelligence at Work

Every year we focus on one book meant to emphasize our soft skills. Last year we did The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey which ended up running well over the twelve month mark. This year we’re focusing on Emotional Intelligence at Work by Dan Goleman.  I took an introductory EI class last year and in turn did a derivative training for my team that they enjoyed so we’ve decided to delve a little deeper. This month will be our first book club discussion on this topic. I’m hoping we’ll all become more aware of our interactions, increase our abilities to successfully work with other groups, and have many lively discussions.

Management

My team’s methodology is based upon RAD, which we’ve evolved to handle our ever increasing scope of responsibility. Early this year as a group we discussed moving towards Agile with a strong preference to SCRUM specifically. This past month I attended an Agile Boot Camp to help with implementing some of the more complicated (read: things we haven’t tried) aspects. This month I’ll be training my department on what Agile is and how we will be using it as well as training my team in greater detail on what we’re implementing. We’re shooting for the 29th for our first iteration planning meeting.

At my division we do our reviews on a common cycle (meaning everyone all at once) which ended a few months ago. This year we’ve moved over to SuccessFactors for reviews, goals and development plans. A bit of a step down functionality wise for the former (due to the implementation) but a huge step forward for the latter and having all three in the same application should make next year much easier. The end of June will be focused on giving reviews and finalizing the plans. I’m fairly excited about this as the application is used (and searchable) companywide, it should open up new opportunities for everyone.

Projects

We have a number of BI projects either kicking off or completing this month; our portion of an enterprise warehouse which should go live at the end of the month, a new suite of revenue forecasting reports (not complete predictive unfortunately but we’re getting there), and the 4th of our 12 SQL 2000 to SQL 2008 warehouse conversions – I feel like we’re getting the hang of that now or at least we’ve found some flow.

Part of our Agile process is going to be upgrading our source control system. We’ve demo’d and really like Team Foundation Server and we’re on VSS now so I believe that will be what we go with. This month we’ll be installing, testing and generally kicking the tires.

One of my goals for the next twelve months is to complete our move from Lotus Notes to SharePoint. We’ve gotten approximately 600 databases already converted or retired but have gotten to the point where our SharePoint knowledge is to limited to tackle the complexity of what remains. This month we’ll be bringing on a senior level SharePoint development contractor to help us as well gain some momentum and broaden our skills.         

Personal

Being a naturally capable organizer I enjoy reading about new ideas but don’t often implement them choosing instead to stick with the tried and true and in most cases tired. This year I’m going to delve a bit deeper into Getting Things Done and fully implement processes to make my day to day management tasks easier, and hopefully get more hours out of a day.

I’ve recently been given the task of leading the training efforts for my entire department. This month I’ll be finding out exactly what that means, what I have to work with and what my goals are. I’d like to implement a minimum level of training hours for every employee a week, say start with an hour, and get the moral level up. I’m firm believer in investing in our staff even if it’s on a small level.

Wow, that seems like a lot to tackle in the next 22 days. Of course some are already in progress and all are at least outlined so I know what my list and schedule looks like. There is a lot here that is new, exciting and pushes me out of my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to it all.

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