January 2017 Goals

Some of this may look familiar, I was a fairly optimistic planner for December and given the amount of time off we all had to use up it really wasn’t feasible. Lesson learned.

Projects

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. Now that we have solution for our last two sites, it’s time to double check the synchronization, shut off access to the old sites and wait and see who complains before we put in the decommission request. I have to admit that I’m a little sad to see all of that work go away.

Cross training, Pair programming

With a little more than six months passed since the forming of this team, we’re ready to start formally getting some cross training done. We don’t have a ton of support between all of the products but it’s still worthwhile to have everyone able to fill in should something go wrong. We’ll also be doing at least a full week of pair programming to transition an application’s development to a new team member. It isn’t pair programming in the traditional sense but we have found that it is the easiest way to cut over in a short period of time.

Testing Automation

My QA group has a mature testing automation methodology in practice right now that works very well with vendor software and suits the variety of technical levels in our broader testing group. We’re in the process of adding to that an automated solution for load testing (and I hope smoke testing will be covered too), we’ll have our first try at it this month. And I’m also working with another manager to get a project plan pulled together for the migration and testing automation of some in house developed applications, that plan will likely span the last six month of the year, will add 4-6 new resources and involved three different groups. A lot of coordination involved and way more moving pieces than I’m used to but I’m really looking forward to getting it going.

Management

Strategic Plan – Development Team

Still in progress – 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

Still in progress – 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

Still in progress – 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 work-space in a common platform that sparks impromptu collaboration and communication.

Personal

Career Goals

Still in progress – 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

Still in progressNow 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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