December 2016 Goals

Projects

Reporting Migration

One of our more complicated web sites has needed a little love on the reporting side.  The reports that came with the application, which wasn’t built by my team but was transitioned to us last year, were all web based and not easily used in sales presentations, much less exportable to excel or any other application.  This month we’re completing the conversion all of these web based reports to Reporting Services which comes with plenty of tools that life a lot easier for report creators and users: built in export ability to a number of different formats and you can also distribute reports automatically via subscriptions.

MOSS07 Decommission Prep

January will bring the demise of our SharePoint 2007 environment.  We spent many years, five I believe converting all of our Lotus Notes databases to SharePoint sites and also converting a Dreamweaver based set of intranet sites.  During that time, we all learned a lot about SharePoint’s abilities and limitations which in hindsight were nothing compared to the limitations of the O365 SharePoint (cloud) version that we’ve moved to. Never the less we are just about moved over, with the exception of two sites that are proving problematic. One site contains a mail in list for distributing reports which we have no way to do in our current configuration and the other site is heavily dependent on search capabilities which are no longer supported home in the cloud version either. I have a feeling the former will end up on a shared drive (so much for the cloud) and the latter we’ll have to build some fancy category mappings to fake our way past the search.

Access and Excel Conversions

In December, we’ll also bring to project kickoffs for two very different Office based applications.  The first one is a long standing, decades old set of access applications that have been in the process of being moved to a new web site for quite a long time now. We’re going to review each of those databases to determine what needs to be migrated, how we’re going to handle data entry and also how we’re going to handle reporting going forward.  The other one is an Excel based budgeting and projection application that has outgrown its current solution. We’ll be taking couple of days to talk through what our options are, what we think we should do for the next version and reaching out to the users to discuss what changes that they feel should be made.

Management

Strategic Plan – Development Team

Now that the draft version of the 2017 strategic plan for my development team has come back from management review, I need to complete the summary information and add in all supporting documentation. This is intended to outline the specifics behind our internal goals, the goals themselves and the timeline for completing them. The majority of the goals this coming year are process related but we do have some outreach, customer management and collaboration skills based goals to work on as well.

Strategic Plan – QA Team

Having just finished the Team Building Diagnostics workshop for the QA team and spending the time to get to know everyone and review the processes. I have an idea of what needs to happen next year in order to meet the company’s goals for this team. I need to hold one more workshop (SWOT) for the team to capture their ideas and then get a draft version of plan out for review. Ideally, I’d like to deliver them both by mid-month to ensure that whatever kinds of development needs pop up that we can get them into the budget for next year.

Sococo

One of the biggest challenges that I have with both of my teams is that everyone is geographically distributed, I have two developers in the Phoenix office and two developers and three QA in the Virginia office granted, but everyone else works from home and is spread out across the country (I do have one outside of the country as well). In doing some research on how to create the illusion of a home office, I received a recommendation for Sococo.  So far, the folks on the team that are able to if use it are pretty happy with that, I myself love it but you do have to have integrated audio/video for it to work well and preferably a solid network connection. You can have multiple meetings happening at once, it’s easy to share your screen, audio and video are on optional (you can turn them off if needed but they have to be there). My goal is to have everyone geared up this month so that in January I can move all of our team meetings, and have a robust virtual workspace in a common platform that sparks impromptu collaboration and communication.

Personal

Career Goals

I think like most professionals I go through periods of time where I feel like I’m not on progressing in my career. Sure, I get regular challenges and opportunities to tackle problems but the level I’m at makes me feel like I’m stuck in this lateral cycle of learning and accomplishing but not really positioning myself for moving up. The lack of a mentor to talk through these thoughts isn’t really helping either. At this point I think I need to tackle it head on, brainstorm on where my gaps are and set my primary goal towards filling those in. By the end of this month I would like to have a development plan for myself, I haven’t had a formal one for four or five years now, selecting a couple of areas for improvement and a plan to maintain some regular momentum that will help me a stay on task.

Profiles

Now that I’ve been in the position for a few months, I should probably be getting my profiles up to date as well as on working on my own web site. Less so from a career planning perspective but more from a consistency perspective – making sure that all of my profiles are up to date with current information. I’m still getting recruiter calls for things I haven’t worked with in more than 10 years, that might be a sign.

 

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