Office Dynamic Dilemmas

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by pygmalion, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Good discussion, good ideas. Peach, does your company use Sharepoint at all?

    I recently released a Sharepoint team site for my group, to help with a number of these points -- to make everyone's work visible, organized, and accessible to all team members, including historical deliverables. I built in project folders with various sub-folders to organize the types of documents that apply to our work, and created a project notes template that I expect to be updated to give an historical overview with line-item updates for all new activity on a project. Also, there's a working folder for active drafts, which they can update daily or weekly.

    That way, should someone fall sick or leave, we can still deliver on our commitments to our customers. Enables knowledge sharing, and more flexibility in how we resource projects. Team members will be less likely to get "pigeon-holed" into one project because they hold all the knowledge. Instead, they will have the flexibility to move across projects and develop new knowledge sets.

    I have all our departmental documentation centralized here (work practices, guidelines, trainings, and such), and I also created a page for metrics, with three different categories of metrics I'll begin tracking this year, so I can justify a few things by year's end, including additional resources and the globalization of a work practice my team created which could revolutionize the way our company reviews and approves IT documentation.

    On a separate, permissions-protected management page, I can store my own work, tools, and administrivia, enabling successors to step in and pick up where I left off, maintaining some continuity of effort and culture in the group.

    I think of it as informational bird crumbs...leave a trail for the person behind you, to make their life easier, which in turn gives you more professional freedom to do other things. :)

    I also implemented an automated team status report spreadsheet on the team site, where everyone can go and directly update their work, and with sortable categories for my own management to use...it's a professional lifestyle-changer, because doing that manually could take me an entire day. It's all quite exciting, from a certain perspective, lolz.
  2. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Sounds fantastic...and exciting. (I'm pretty sure I share your sort of perspective on this, lol.) We don't use SharePoint, but that's no reason something similar couldn't be implemented where I am. I'll have to ponder this... Thanks for the ideas.
    samina likes this.
  3. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Ah, the small pleasures of a techno-process geek... ;)
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Sharepoint does sound exciting. Not a possibility where I am, as big bucks have been spent on developing a knowledge base that's compatible across internal divisions. And even bigger bucks have been spent on populating and customizing it. Recently. I suspect we're stuck with it for a while to come. *sigh* I find it of varying usefulness, mostly because it relies on human beings who populate the database with documents that are tagged in a way that makes sense to them, but not necessarily to anyone else. *sigh*

    Anyway ... don't want to disrupt the conversation, but I have a question.

    I have a situation with the training class that I am working with right now. Not sure what to do. One of my trainees has a propensity for using the R word to refer to situations, decisions, things, etc. Never developmentally challenged people, thank goodness. But still. He has used the R word many times in the two days I've spent in the classroom with him. Enough for me to take note.

    I don't know what to do. First, from my own perspective as someone who's spent a decade and a half in diversity/inclusion leadership, I find it difficult to fathom anyone in this day and age who doesn't know that the R-word is similar in effect to the N-word for many people (including myself. Hearing it is like getting slapped in the face.) Second, where we work is BIG on D&I, and this R-word thingie, while it probably won't get anybody fired, certainly won't do the new guy any good. Third, I am a leader and trainer but not a manager, so I really don't have any authority to tell this guy what/what not to do. But fourth, remembering back to my HR/harassment training, the person, especially person in position of leadership, who sees harassment (even environmental harassment) happening becomes the harasser.

    I remember, way back in the day, using the R word completely without malice. I don't think this guy means any harm. But ... I feel like I should say/do something. The only question is what.
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I will add that, in this class, there's a young lady who has a physical challenge. She's just fine, mentally, of course, but I would bet she's heard the R-word more than her fair share. *sigh*
  6. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Come to think of it, if you really do have a good relationship with your current manager, *she* might be ideally positioned to help you quantify your contributions.
    pygmalion likes this.
  7. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Personally, if it's being used cluelessly and not maliciously, unless I were this person's direct manager I'd stay out of it, though I can imagine giving a level response reflecting the word back to him: "Retarded? My, that's a strong word..." End of discussion.

    If you are ever asked for feedback about his conduct and performance, you could bring it up at that time without causing drama.
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Thanks. That's a good suggestion. When I hear the word from him again (which I will, since I'll be back in the classroom with them most of next week,) I'll do exactly that. No judgment, no drama. Just a level-toned reflection, so he can hear what he's saying. That may be enough.

    I think he's clueless. Not malicious. Clueless.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    And back to Peaches' situation. I looked at Sharepoint's website yesterday. Wow. It looks groovy. If you could research such a thing and get it implemented effectively, especially at relatively low cost, I bet that would mean LOTS of brownie points for you... and maybe a lead on a new project or even a promotion, if you played your cards right.

    Just sayin.
  10. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Sharepoint has plenty of its own costs.

    In any case, the focus shouldn't be on a *tool*, but rather *the use that's made* of whatever tools are available.

    No particular technology ought to be an end unto itself.
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Exactly, DL. About two? three? years ago, an edict came down from on high, where I work, that, henceforth, we'd all use KB. Since then, it's been a mixed bag. Some things work well. Some things don't. Some people adapted quickly. Two to three years later, some people are struggling. ( This is a source of much frustration for me, since I'm required to populate KB but still have several team members who resist using KB and use me instead.)

    It's not about the software or technology. It's about effective implementation and IMO more importantly, getting people at all levels to actually buy into use of the technology.

    Exactly.
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I should add that a Sharepoint or Knowledge Base or whatever, can be a huge improvement, all by itself. It's not the answer, but it can be one factor among many that improves information sharing at work.

    Two years ago, I had an entire team of four that came to me for information. Now, I have a team of eleven. In my current team, four are good at using KB and rarely ask me for anything. Three more are moderately good at KB and sometimes ask me for stuff. One is new, so it remains to be seen. Two are risk averse and double check everything with me. One is VERY resistant and will probably never adjust to KB.

    So, one could argue that, with some training of the folks in the middle, I could potentially have gone from four people dependent on me to get their jobs done, down to one, even with an addition of six new team members. Not bad.


    I will also add that management, where I am, implemented KB two/three years ago and assumed it would be a slam dunk. A couple training classes and everyone will adapt. Not so much.
  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Implementing a Sharepoint platform is expensive, especially a validated platform in a regulated environment, which P's work might require. Millions of $$$, not to mention the millions it would cost to transition an existing validated knowledge base to the new platform. But thankfully, once that platform is implemented, creating a team site costs nothing.

    Definitely could be a feather in a technical person's cap to coordinate bringing that into a company. Requires management skills to do it, though. :)
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Relatively low cost, to a Fortune 100 Company or a major governmental organization, could involve spending millions of $$$. "Low cost" could be relative to the cost of lost time/money/efficiency of current data management systems that don't work well.

    And yes. It would require management skills to implement a new platform ... or belief in the management skills one already has but doesn't realize she/he is using.
  15. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Not sure if this is the best place to put this, but I was paging through the latest Cosmo and there is an article about a concept/book called "Lean In" (leanin dot org). Apparently the book is not out yet, but there's a FB page. I feel like you career women would get more out of the article than I did. I like that it wasn't just a bunch of women b*tching about the unfairness they face, but more of a self-reflection of how to survive and get ahead and why they took or didn't take certain actions in their work lives.
    pygmalion likes this.
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Awesome. I will check it out. :)

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