Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Old School Service Delivery - is it dead?

There are a few things that I am really proud of, in the work space, my pride lies in the service I deliver. If a client is willing to put down a sum of money for my time, training and experience, then I believe that I should do whatever I can to deliver what the client wants. Give me reasonable requests and timelines and you will get something great. That's my promise.

It's an attitude that I am proud of, it helps me sleep at night, it makes me wake up in the morning full of energy. I go to work, eager to resolve the tasks on my plate, and once delivered, within the timeframes originally agreed upon, I have this great sense of satisfaction, that puts me on a well deserved high.

Doesn't everyone work like this? I mean, seriously, if there is no pride in your work, why do you do it? What makes you wake up in the morning? What drives you? How do you get your well deserved, satisfying high?

I am asking this question because, I am interviewing allot of people lately (FYI I am looking for ASP.NET developers and well as SharePoint developers). And I am picking up something rather unfortunate in common. People no longer put pride in their work.

We have this generation of clock watchers, doing what is required and nothing more, unless they get compensated for it. If they failed to deliver, it's no big deal, nothing to lose sleep over. And if task given to them is flawed or can be improved on, the need to actually do the task better that requested is gone.

As a developer (I'm a project manager now), I must have worked an average of 9-10 hours a day, my lunch breaks were rarely over 30 minutes, and when I get home, I use to dream up solutions to my current problems. Sounds stressful, yes it was, but I was loving it – I haven't found a single developer today with that kind of attitude.

That means loyalty is gone. If your job is not driven by passion you get no satisfaction, so what's keeping you there? Without loyalty in the picture it should be easy to jump to another job thats offering a little more money, and if thats how you work then you are driven by greed and not by passion – which is a shame, because you are robbed from that satisfying sensation.

I heard this cheesy line a few years ago, and I think it's an attitude we should all adopt.

"Find a job that you love, that way you never have to work another day in your life"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Assisting business in migrating content

More specifically, assisting the business in migrating content from an old HTML/ASP/ASP.NET website to a new SharePoint site.

These old site are probably 10 years old, filled with out of date data, poorly updated, with no owners or any accountable members. When migrating you want to provide the end users with the following

  • Content is current and updated regulary
  • Permissions are assigned and maintained
  • Content is easy to find
  • Content and site is inviting

in otherwords, everything that the current site is not providing!!

So how do you do it? Well, depending on your timelines, the following approach proved successful.

  • Identify the taxonomy of the new site
  • identify owners of each node of the taxonomy
  • Get them all in one room and prepare them for whats to come
  • Provide simple templates that will help the owners get content in the strucutre that matches the pre-defined taxonomy (define restrictions and governance rules of the sharepoint site)
  • Give the owners time to populate the templates with content (3 weeks seems ike a good amount of time on average)
  • QA the completed templates
  • Create the site structure based on taxonomy and completed templates.
  • Use trained data capturers to migrate the content from the template to SharePoint.
  • QA and Go live.
Seems like a bit of work, on average, this type of engagement takes about 10 weeks. depending on the size of the site being migrated.

it takes this long because it not a simple copy and paste, if we did that, all the faults of the old site will be carried over to the new site, and that will compramise user adoption.

If anyone else has been faced with the task, but had a different approach, let me know.