Thursday, October 23, 2008

Believing in Silver Lining

Here’s a series of events for today:

Bad news:
I am out of resources and had to be a part of yet another audit project (for mortgage) scheduled to complete by year end. This year though, not 2009.
Good news:
I am not managing the project. I will be the BA instead and also back up to the PM when needed. Phew! That’s a big relief.

Bad news:
The zipper on my pants has gone bonkers and refused to close. Darn. I have a farewell dinner to attend after work.
Good news:
My shirt is long enough to cover the affected area. I just have to remember to not fidget too much. Plus, I get to buy a new pants – yey!!

Bad news:
The timeline has shifted for PU project and I don’t know how long I can stand working with the team. Sucks.
Good news:
I am proposing to the Dutchman that I become the Project Consultant rather than PM. Thanks to the latest workload of Mortgage project.

Ah. The silver lining. Always. Even for the little things.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Of Crappy People

Do I look like stupid to you?

Last week, 2 of the meetings with PU Project team was cancelled due to miscommunication. Or so they claimed.

We were supposed to meet the so-called selected vendor on Tuesday. The IT PM and I stood waiting for almost half an hour but nobody showed up!

I emailed the Business PM (she arranged for the meeting), requesting for an explanation and she did not reply to my email until 2 days later. She conveniently blamed the vendor, casting the miscommunication excuses.

What really bugged me is that she was not even in the meeting room with us – supposedly waiting for the vendor. I seriously think she did not inform the vendor about it.

The next meeting was on Friday. I have arranged weekly team meeting on Fridays at 3.30pm for half an hour for project updates.

There I was, sitting in the meeting room for half an hour – alone! Nobody showed up or bothered to call.

I emailed them, asking why they didn’t show up. One mentioned that he thought the meeting was cancelled and the other 2 just didn’t bother to give any valid excuse. They claimed that they called my mobile but it did not ring at all since 2.30pm!

One tried calling me on my mobile after I sent out the email but I didn’t feel like talking to her. It was after 4.30pm anyways and it’s past the quitting time.
It’s just too bad.

Today, I learned that all three of them were at a raya party organized by one of the divisions. They were happily shoving food down their throats while I waited for them, like an idiot, for half an hour in the meeting room.


Friday, October 17, 2008

The Greener Grass

Always believe in silver lining. Always.

I had a crappy week, previously. I just can’t say the same for this week.

Went to a job interview on Tuesday and I really liked the portfolios. Yes, it was for 2 different posts. They will let me know of the results in 2 weeks, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for as long as I can.

ROP Project is smoothly sailing and we’ll be starting UAT a day after Deepavali. UAT is always my favorite segment in a project – the rush, the stress, the negotiation and the bickering. Nothing beats the feeling of fulfillment and joy of completing a UAT exercise.

The COO however was worried that we are not able the meet the deadline given by Bank Negara – to go live on 15th November. We have a couple of contingency plans in store, just in case. Fingers crossing required for this project as well. Adrenaline pumping with such pressure!

PU Project on the other hand, is healing very slowly. I am a bit more stern than I was because of what happened last week. I suppose some people has problems dealing with the fact they have to report to a Project Manager who’s a Senior Exec in position. Especially when that person is an AVP. Tough luck. Your boss asked for help. I did not raise my hands and feet volunteering to run the project. Yuck.

Now I understand why some colleagues wished me luck when they learned that I am in a project with that AVP.

During a meeting yesterday, an IT consultant mentioned about a new audit project that was given to his team to handle. He then casually told me that he requested to the CSO to have me manage the project. I know it’s clear death sentence – managing 3 audit projects at once. I don’t think I can handle it. I am already exceeding the capacity up to December! But I took the news as a compliment. To have been referred to in a good way. I must have done something right along the way. Alhamdulillah.

I am having a friend over to the house tomorrow. A friend I got to know while I was hospitalized. We’ve become good friends ever since. I guess there’s always the two sides of a coin :)

Oh, I need to hire a Business Analyst. Here are the details. Anyone interested?

Position : Business Analyst / Junior Project Manager
Division : SPO

* Responsible for the establishment of business and functional requirements, analysis and documentation of business processes, facilitation of process walkthroughs, and test planning and execution

* The BA is the key liaison between the business community and systems developers, playing a key support role in the transformation of business requirements into functional solutions

* Communication with Project Teams to extract their Business requirements

* Analysis of parameter changes necessary to support the Business and functional requirements

* Assist and recommend to business line managers in development of new processes to support the Business and functional requirements

* Identification of processes and operational impacts of the Business and functional requirements

* Responsible to ensure project delivery according to stake holder’s expectations within Time, Budget and Quality Requirement

* Proactive in identification and participating in training and development requirements of the
Business Analysis

* A relevant tertiary qualification

* Previous experience as a Business Analyst or Systems Analyst would be an advantage

* Working knowledge of banking or insurance system would be an advantage

* Previous experience and training in Quality or Six Sigma methodologies would be an advantage

* Demonstrated analytical ability and an inquisitive nature

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Of Last Week

It has been a crazy week. I can’t put it any other way.

One of the projects I’m managing went through turbulence and boy, was it messy. In 2 days, a lot of damage was inflicted upon my integrity, communication among team members and worse of all; the top management was involved in the mess. By top management I meant the CFO, CSO, CIO and an SVP. It was bad.

Day 3 was spent on damage control. Tiring, I tell you. Not to mention the searing wound imprinted on me. I foolishly sent an email to the team - somehow laced with sarcasm. I received an apology soon after by the team’s rep. I hope they will know better the next time they decided to be smart.

Case closed. I’m moving on. The whole incident took almost 4 days. Bladihel. Time wasted for almost nothing – all because of a jumpy Project Board member. Like I said – bladihel.

Luckily I had to conduct a series of briefing on project management to my new staff and a couple of interns from Holland. Given the size of the class, it was more of laid-back sessions rather than formal classes. A welcomed distraction indeed.

On a lighter note, Adnilsa invited me to her employer’s open house at Shangri-La on Thursday. I managed to drag a colleague along to the event and we had a great time stuffing our faces silly with good food. The company was interesting as well. Thanks dear J

Went to Deli’s parents’ today, to bid his elder brother farewell. He’ll be flying back to Riyadh on Saturday. We were on the highway when we heard funny noises as if something was stuck to the wheels. There was nothing else but the noise but soon after, Deli mentioned about the steering losing its power. We learned that one of the belt (don’t ask me which one – but not the timing belt) has snapped beyond repair.

So we had to borrow a car (of Deli’s brother) and leave ours. It’s weird sitting in a sedan when you are used to mpvs. It’s as if there’s no end to the already crappy week.

I am looking forward to a better week. I seriously do. I hope your week was better than mine.