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Work Advice Needed: Not SQL Related


Work Advice Needed: Not SQL Related

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Jeff Grant
Jeff Grant
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My current work is an interesting place. It is a mid-tier family run business. There is about 1000 employees for the company spread over several states in the west/southwest of the US. Over the course of several years and several company mergers/purchases the software processes have become muddled. I was originally brought in to help do data integration but increasingly I find that I am doing a tech evangelist's job. In my 20 years of working in IT, this is the first company that I have worked for where none of the employees actually trust the software. Most business processes are built on the premise that the software is wrong and what someone wrote down is right. So the company has finally reached a point where it cannot grow any bigger without radically changing the way it does business but, no one wants to trust software to help (ERP's, BPA, etc) without micro-managing that software (hence removing any benefit from using such).

I like the company and the people I work with. Do any of you wiser individuals have any advice for someone in this situation. I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Thanks!
ManicStar
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Are the data flows documented? So someone could do a test to make sure data starting from A ends up in Q w/o being changed?
Phil Parkin
Phil Parkin
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logitestus - Wednesday, February 7, 2018 8:46 AM
My current work is an interesting place. It is a mid-tier family run business. There is about 1000 employees for the company spread over several states in the west/southwest of the US. Over the course of several years and several company mergers/purchases the software processes have become muddled. I was originally brought in to help do data integration but increasingly I find that I am doing a tech evangelist's job. In my 20 years of working in IT, this is the first company that I have worked for where none of the employees actually trust the software. Most business processes are built on the premise that the software is wrong and what someone wrote down is right. So the company has finally reached a point where it cannot grow any bigger without radically changing the way it does business but, no one wants to trust software to help (ERP's, BPA, etc) without micro-managing that software (hence removing any benefit from using such).

I like the company and the people I work with. Do any of you wiser individuals have any advice for someone in this situation. I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Thanks!

Does this mistrust of software go right to the top (ie, senior management)? If yes, I fear that you may be flogging a dead horse. Without high-level buy-in, this stuff is difficult to change.



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Bert-701015
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Trust is a hard thing to get back once it's lost. If I were given the freedom to try, I'd start with a handful of smaller "wins". If that doesn't start to grow confidence, you're likely stuck...
Jeff Grant
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ManicStar - Wednesday, February 7, 2018 8:54 AM
Are the data flows documented? So someone could do a test to make sure data starting from A ends up in Q w/o being changed?

Some are but most aren't. This is due to the "magic" of the ERP system. Lots of custom coding that wasn't documented by the system's vendor.

Jeff Grant
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Phil Parkin - Wednesday, February 7, 2018 8:58 AM
logitestus - Wednesday, February 7, 2018 8:46 AM
My current work is an interesting place. It is a mid-tier family run business. There is about 1000 employees for the company spread over several states in the west/southwest of the US. Over the course of several years and several company mergers/purchases the software processes have become muddled. I was originally brought in to help do data integration but increasingly I find that I am doing a tech evangelist's job. In my 20 years of working in IT, this is the first company that I have worked for where none of the employees actually trust the software. Most business processes are built on the premise that the software is wrong and what someone wrote down is right. So the company has finally reached a point where it cannot grow any bigger without radically changing the way it does business but, no one wants to trust software to help (ERP's, BPA, etc) without micro-managing that software (hence removing any benefit from using such).

I like the company and the people I work with. Do any of you wiser individuals have any advice for someone in this situation. I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Thanks!

Does this mistrust of software go right to the top (ie, senior management)? If yes, I fear that you may be flogging a dead horse. Without high-level buy-in, this stuff is difficult to change.

The mistrust does reach the top in the sense that they do not trust the current systems. They are open to new systems but due to the mistrust they tolerate zero mistakes. I am not afraid to attempt a change but most other people are. Most employees of this company have worked here (IT included) for over 5+ years. I believe we can do it but due to the brow-beaten mentality most have, I am having a hard time convincing people that we can be successful. Hence my reaching out. Maybe, I am missing something.

Michael L John
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The question you need to ask is "would my efforts to remove the doubts be successful, and would there be enough of a benefit to justify the effort"
It may make sense to start with some detective work to uncover where this distrust began. I'm betting that there were many hiccups at the beginning of "automation" that caused this to start, and it snowballed from there.
Also, as a family run business, you may be fighting the "old folks" who simply do not understand technology, and subsequently, mistrust it. There may be the left over attitude in place that technology is a necessary evil, not a useful tool.

I agree with Bert-701015, go for the small wins, but also want to add that you need to get some "champions" working for and with you.

To relate a story, at a previous position the managers of each office had a spreadsheet template that they needed to simply enter the numbers for each day and email it to accounting. The spreadsheet automatically summed the rows via formula. In one office, the manager would enter the numbers, and then add them all up on an adding machine. She never understood that this the spreadsheet was actually her adding machine. That was only one example of her inability to embrace technology, and she was eventually let go.

Michael L John
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To properly post on a forum:
http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/61537/
Jeff Grant
Jeff Grant
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Thank you for your responses. You have given me food for thought.
ManicStar
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logitestus - Wednesday, February 7, 2018 10:39 AM
Thank you for your responses. You have given me food for thought.

Good Luck! if it were me, i'd probably start polishing the resume too, so i felt i had an 'out' if it starts to drive you nuts.

pietlinden
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One thing to do is go find the local SQL Server User Group and go to the meetings. Open positions are often announced at the beginning of each meeting. If nothing else, you can go meet new people who can help you land your next job.
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