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Monday, April 20, 2009

Rephrasing the Business Vernacular

It is always interesting when you first join a team and everything they talk about seems foreign or new.  It usually doesn’t take long before you realize that much of what is said, many of the concepts and the overwhelming majority of acronyms are actually just different ways of saying the same things you’ve said all along.

There are instances, such as this new position, however, where everything is new to everyone. The company where I now work has expanded with triple- and double-digit growth since inception in a market that doesn’t know its product.  The technology is new, the people are new and the processes are new.

You can’t hire people with experience in this field; there just aren’t a lot around.

So it’s no wonder how the company has adopted terminology which works for them but seems like a foreign language to me; it seems foreign to some of them too! 

What has ended up happening over the last few years is that the people here have begun to recognize some of the processes as being similar, so, while there are Service Orders, Work Orders, Tower Tickets, Help Desk Tickets and Infrastructure Work Orders, they are all just units of work.

I am making it part of my job to introduce more common functionality to handle these very similar concepts and to merge much of the existing interfaces together to capture this same data.

The biggest strike against the framework as it exists (I’ll leave Classic ASP out for the moment) is that there are different data structures for all of the above work.

Today was a big data modelling day – again – as I was able to permanently strike off some 25 tables from the company data model.

And, if I’m successful in this attempt, some of that local language will soon be struck out of the vocabulary here too.

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