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Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008 8:37 AM


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Thanks and this is definitely one of those areas that you can't measure, you can't put a metric to it, but it's the most valuable time you get with your peers.







Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest

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Post #479266
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008 8:41 AM
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So how do you do this with people that work remotely or if you work remotely?


Post #479272
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:01 AM


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Michael Valentine Jones (4/3/2008)
So how do you do this with people that work remotely or if you work remotely?


MSNMessengerLive, GoToMeeting, internal newsgroups (what, your company does not run their own UseNet server?), internal forums. It's tougher but not impossible.


ATB

Charles Kincaid

Post #479292
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:09 AM
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I feel the more I know about the people I work with, the better I can respond to the requirements. Silos create so many problems; real issues are not discussed; solutions are proposed rather than problem definitions; existing solutions are ignored out of ignorance, or turf protection. IT is RARELY "the business," not that there isn't value and competitive advantage, just that we are here to support something. The more we know about the environment and the people in it, the better we can do the things we are expected to do! I've always felt it was important to listen at the help desk, figure out what is causing the pain, and tried to look at the solutions from the support perspective, as well as from the end-user perspective.


Post #479301
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:28 AM
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It is hard to sell a technical solution to people who do not know you, have no reason to trust you, and all they hear out of your mouth is geek speak. If we try to understand what and how they are doing things we can help. And being Help brings friendship and partnership. On a rare occasion it may even bring chocolate.

Getting to know your user and speaking their language is vital. Great article!



Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!
Post #479319
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:29 AM
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Nope, I'm sure it's Walking "Around". I though a Walk-About was an Australian Aborigine rite of passage ?

I hadn't imagined that going down to the shop floor entailed discovering my spiritual ancestry and returning after an unspecified period with my perceptions radically altered. Oh, No, wait a minute, that is generally what DOES happen !

I don't think we should be too precise, it's the same technique, we don't want to confuse our colleagues in the Southern Hemisphere :)
Post #479323
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:44 AM
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Dave Sanders (4/3/2008)
There is a technique called Mangement by Wandering Around (MBWA).


So agree with both Steve and Dave!
Additionally: do something for other people first. Or offer to help them. Or just listen to them, you may even not say anything, but they will remeber "the woderful conversation they had with you"



Regards,
Yelena Varshal

Post #479334
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008 3:11 PM
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I have been a software development consultant and the skill of being able to walk around and talk non-geek speak with others was highly prized by management. It means that you will be able to build a rapport with the clients and they will keep coming back to you with work. I now work as a developer for a research and development company and everyone here walks around talking to various members of their own departments and others. It really helps to get different perspectives on the business. I guess I have been lucky in my work environments!

Cheers,

Nicole


Nicole Bowman

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Post #479572
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008 3:35 PM


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Michael,

That's definitely a struggle and after working remotely for 4 years, I'll say that it's hard. Prior to the Red Gate sale, I spoke 3-4 times a week with Andy, usually about business, but lots about just life, his issues at work, things I'd seen in the news, etc. We debated and argued about lots of things. We still do that, but probably once a week. We also got together probably twice a year, making sure we had at least a day before or after a conference, to talk about business.

With Red Gate, it's slightly more complex because of distance and time zones. We have a weekly meeting on the phone, which is good for keeping in touch, and the call usually includes some joking, social chat. We do have email, which is good, but it's not as good as the face to face. We met last summer in the UK and recently in Denver for 3 days. We'll also spend some time at TechEd and PASS, and potentially one other date.







Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest

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Post #479595
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008 3:52 PM


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It is an excellent point. Thee are so many things best accomplished informally. It is how humans work.

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Timothy A Wiseman
SQL Blog: http://timothyawiseman.wordpress.com/
Post #479604
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