Back Down The Silo

I wrote a post about how people work in their own silos, not really caring about what happens outside of their silo.  Even those with the best of intentions can end up working in their own silo.

The other day at work there was an update to the virus protection software.  The update went smoothly except a link between two other programs was broken.

I use the two programs to run daily updates and reports as well as monthly reports.  The monthly reports layout a big chunk of my work requirements for the month.

The programming for these reports was done by someone who was less than qualified to call themselves a programmer.  They learned how to do some programming in a soon to be antiquated software package that is no longer supported.   Let’s call them an amateur programmer.

When they did the little bit of programming they knew how to do, it was done with little thought of or input from the actual end user.

So to get my reports it requires me to run this program, then that program, then another program and then refresh the output data in another program and then manipulate the output spreadsheet to finally get the data to where I can work with it.

Now that the link was broken, I have this issue where I can’t run my reports, especially the one that gives me the marching orders for most of the month.

I passed this information onto my boss and the full time IT person.

Fortunately the IT person is very knowledgeable and great to work with.  They take the time to understand your needs before they begin to work on any solutions or improvements.

I explained in my email to the IT person that files for one program would no longer link to the other program and I listed how this affects me on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I explained to get my monthly reports I had to rerun the program twenty times, each time entering a different variable.

IT’s short term response was since they had a new computer the antivirus upgrade was not affecting their links between programs.  Therefore they could refresh and save the files when I needed them until they had the time to fix the issue.  It would take them less than a minute to refresh and save.

But their response to the monthly report, the one I had to run twenty times to get all variables reviewed, was they will try to have this fixed before the beginning of the next month.

In other words they don’t have time to sit there at the beginning of each month and run the same report over and over again like I do.

Believe me I understand them not wanting to do that.

But what I noticed is no one said “You have to run this report TWENTY times?  That’s not very efficient!”

No one said “I’m sure we can fix the programming that you only run it once.”

I know there are real programmers out there that could fix my monthly report that I only run it once and have to manipulate as little data as possible.

My official response from IT or my boss made no mention of the efficiencies to be gained by taking a little extra programming time up front.  The response was well have you back to your normal inefficient programs by the beginning of the month.

They fixed what was expedient for them and then threw my issues back down my silo where they came from.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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