Techie Thursday – here we go…
It was another great Technical Thursday today with a surprise on top of a surprise. We had productive meetings today and a little fun along the way.
We received the SRS documents and the web services are underway for access to the external systems. This is the best part of a project, after the planning and the documents and the design are done and the development is underway and that’s the whole reason I got into this line of business. Technical people love to build systems.
I remember when I was young thinking I could sit in a room all alone and have people slip the requirements under the door and just develop new systems and deliver them when I was done. This was a long time ago – when we didn’t have all the disciplines in technology that we do today. Requirements documents – nope. Test strategies – hadn’t been thought of yet. Designers and IT specialists – no, just programmers and people telling them what they wanted to be programmed.
We programmed stuff, it showed up on screens, and people were “wow”ed. Okay, it wasn’t really that simple. But that’s the way we remember it. Me and all the programmers of yesterday. Today there are rules, and design specs, and usability experts, and methodology, and sign off accountabilities, and regulators and governance.
I know why we need it. I support it and explain to the programmers of today (named developers and other fancy titles) why we need to have structure and rules. We just need to make sure we don’t take the fun out of the build.
So, back to the surprise. As I walked into a meeting where we have a lot of structure and process to manage the demand and the supply, I told the team we were going to divert from the agenda and have a surprise – forget the spreadsheet and the process and just have a coffee chat. This was the first surprise. I love to spend time with this part of my team – 20 people who work through minute details every single day to make sure we have the right people at the right time to do the right work.
Then I told them the surprise on top of that was our Executive Vice President was going to stop by and chat with us. I had received word he would be in the building and wanted to meet some of my team. So he dropped in, met each person and then spent an hour. He gave his perspective on some of the projects they are working on, asked them some of the challenges they are dealing with, and encouraged them to keep delivering the work and hitting the budgets. (you can’t expect him to drop by without raising the bar a bit!)
My team did well, conversing at the right level of detail and listening to the messages. They appreciated the time he spent because after all, he could have taken his extra hour and done a hundred other things. He chose to come and meet with them. Surprise on a surprise. And then they all headed back to deliver the fantastic work we are counting on.
Tech Thursday. Well played.