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We are the people our parents warned us about — T-SQL Tuesday

Its TSQL Tuesday time again, and this month the topic is being hosted by Steve Jones ( Blog | @Twitter )  The topic at hand is related to interacting with business users or more Specifically, “What issues have you had in interacting with the business to get your job done”


We are the people, they couldnt figure out!

We are the people our parents warned us about — Jimmy Buffett

 

A Different Twist

What If you were the business user who had the business “issues”?  I’ve been the business user that is the subject of every technogeek stereotype.  You know, the one who doesnt really know what they want until they see it.  Yeah, I was/am that guy.  As a matter of fact, Ive been that guy recently.  You see, I have two jobs that put me in that sort of position relatively often.  In my day job I manage a team of Database Professionals (Excellent ones I’d add! )   In my “night” job, I volunteer for PASS.  In both of these roles I often see the need to have something built and anytime something gets built by IT there can be issues. 

Change

In order to succeed at completing your job/project/task its often easiest to go ahead and plan on change.  Change is in my estimation at the root of 95% of all issues when dealing with business needs.  Things change often and no matter how many times you think things are static on both sides of the project equation (requirements vs development) they will surely change again.  Ive found that no matter how thourough I have been in coming up with a decent set of requirements before asking for work to be done, in the end something always changes.  Often I will have no control over those changes but, many times something comes up that changes things and this always causes the “issues” between both sides of a project.  Change is actually a good thing, If every project Ive been involved with were implimented exactly as first envisioned (no changes) I suspect things would be considerably different, and not in a good way!!

Communicaton

After sitting at both sides of the desk, you begin to realize the easiest way to eliminate issues between the people who have needs and wants and those IT Guru’s trying to make them a reality is a very open line of communication and trust.  Once you succeed at opening that communication line, all tasks become easier.  With open communication change becomes less of an issue and dare I say it: a bit more acceptable to everyone.  This is the first line of defense in solving  issues before they even become issues!

We’re not crazy

Despite rumors to the contrary the people who need work done AKA “business users” arent totally crazy and intentionally trying to make everyones lives difficult with constant changes.  Often times we are just as frustrated that our needs (or requirements) are changing as the IT Gurus are for having to accomidate those changes.  Once the communication lines are open between all parties, things get considerably easier and the impact of those changing needs can be efficiently weighed against the timelines, costs, etc of the task/project

Your relationship with your professional organization

Do you have a relationship with your professional organization?

What is your professional organization?  is it in technology?  Something like Ineta, PASS, ISUG, IDUG, IOUG or one of the other various technology groups that exist.  Or maybe your preferred group is more in the business side of things like ASPA LOMA or AICPA.  If you dont know your desired professional organization, take a second and plug in your favorite search terms + professional organization into “binoogle” and see if the results lead you to a new beginning.

Expectations

If you already know your professional organization, what do you expect of your relationship with your organization?  Is it a two way street?  Do you give as well as receive?  Would you like the relationship between you and that organization to be stronger or weaker?  Do they do enough to help you succeed, do they provide value?  Do you do what you can to enable their success?  A little overly rhetorical probably, but you get the point.

Relationships

Every professional organization (that I know of) requires many dedicated volunteers to succeed.  The more help they have the more work they can get done and thus the more value that can be provided to the members (thats you and me!!)  The relationship between members and the professional organization is certainly a two way street and both sides need to be at their best in order for either to succeed but, normally the relationship is onesided where the members gain more from the organization than the organization gains from the members, thats why there are thousands of members and hundreds of volunteers.   If your involved in an organization, do they get the help they need and use it appropriately?  Do you appreciate them?  Do they appreciate you?  is it worth it?

How can you add value to the relationship?

No matter what you do, or what your interests are I bet there exists an organization that could use your help.  Why not step up today and offer your services?  No matter what level your skills are, beginner, or Grand Jedi Master, you too can help your chosen org bring more value to its members.

This post is part of the Tsql Tuesday series

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