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Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2012 12:30 PM


Ten Centuries

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Miles Neale (9/12/2012)
Contribute where you can and after a while, in some cases quite a while, they will seek you out and ask you to engage your creativeness to solve the problems yourself.

m.



Either that, or in most cases they will just drop the whole thing in your lap with little to go on and say "Fix it by the end of the week". That is usually the way it works.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1358156
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2012 12:52 PM
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We host Innovation Days based on FedEx Days -- 1 day every other month to work on whatever you want that could potentially have a benefit to the business. One day to prototype, study, experiment, work across teams, etc. We have had a lot of positive things that have come out of the program. We recently had a simple little application change that the users have loved and are pushing it through 4 production facilities.
Post #1358164
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2012 1:06 PM
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TravisDBA (9/12/2012)

Either that, or in most cases they will just drop the whole thing in your lap with little to go on and say "Fix it by the end of the week". That is usually the way it works.


Such are our lives! "Is it possible to do this and have it ready by last month?" Is not an unthinkable question to many.

m.


Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!
Post #1358172
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2012 2:08 PM


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37 Signals did just that, taking the month of June off to let people that weren't running day to day operations work on whatever they wanted.


They should try it on some of those day-to-day operations, as well.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

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Post #1358201
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2012 4:40 PM
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We've been doing this for several years now in our IT shop. We call it the "Champions Program" and it gives people the opportunity to dive in to something they've been curious about and see if it's worth looking at. The presenters (we require at least two on the team) have to fill out a qualification form that gets approved by IT management (managers, directors, CIO). The ideas are usually technology-related, but a couple have been process-refinement focused. They usually go off site and are essentially considered on vacation or the like (no cell phones and no nagging from the folk left behind). They have to come back and do a show-and-tell (usually a two-to-three hour session) to not only explain the technology or concept, but how it might be implemented in the company. The folk coming to the session could be IT-only, but sometimes we invite the business to view it if it affects/impacts them. The attendees then have the opportunity to either use the ideas/technology or suggest other ways it could be used, refining the ideas as they go along. We usually have one Program per quarter (although we've been busy enought this year that we've only had one!) and a couple of the ideas have been released. It's highly encouraged and supported by upper management.
Post #1358257
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2012 6:43 PM
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I'm in the same place, too. I came in and inherited lots of not so elegant solutions that could be made very svelte. We are getting there to make it so but it is slowed by the todo list. Sometimes it may be that workers have the ability to just take the time out of a day to explore, depending on the culture. Other times it is just "get it done." A little thinking can go a little ways but I believe a lot of thinking up from can go a really long way for the solution.


Post #1358281
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2012 6:47 PM
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My company has an internal hackathon type event. They bring in food and drink and have prizes. Sometimes the entries getting incorporated into the software, sometimes it's just an exploration of an idea.


Post #1358283
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2012 7:57 PM
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Great piece, Steve. My sole objection is your calling this "think time". I call it "dream time", and its whole purpose is to shut the thinking machine down, and allow the dream-machine its moment to flower, without considerations of practicality, time-to-develop, where it fits in with our marketing plans, and all of those considerations that hamper the flower.

On this week, or on that day per week, or however you want to slice it, the whole point is to STOP thinking inside the box, and just for once, think outside the box, just about "Wouldn't it be cool if...?" That is when great ideas are born.


Arthur Fuller
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Only two businesses refer to their clients as users: drug-dealing and software development.
-- Arthur Fuller
Post #1358293
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2012 8:59 PM


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This would be really great. I have 10, wait 15, wait 20 of those things it seems to be piling up right now. All of these special projects that would really help. It would be great to find that time needed to finish them off. A program such as this at work would help greatly.



Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
I have given a name to my pain...
MCM SQL Server, MVP


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Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw
Post #1358310
Posted Thursday, September 13, 2012 7:07 AM
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An idea: Apply this on Friday afternoon after lunch, when you're probably not going to accomplish much in-the-box work anyway.

Jay Bienvenu | http://bienv.com | http://twitter.com/jbnv
Post #1358530
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