Professional

Dear 2016, Thank You.

Dear 2016,

Thank you.

I really do mean it. I know people have been pretty hard on you. To be honest, you have gotten to me at times too, but I have come to realize that you haven’t been all bad. In fact, you were good in a lot of ways.

Thank you for the letter that pushed me so close to the edge that it helped me see that I needed to change, and that I couldn’t do it alone. Thank you for helping me see that my idiosyncrasies mean that I’m normal, not that I’m broken. Thank you for helping me remember to take care of myself and showing me the strength to stand up for my needs.

Thank you for helping me and Hubby grow closer, love more deeply, and be better for each other than ever before. Thank you for helping us both be patient and hopeful.

Thank you for showing me the strength of my friendships and for helping me realize how many good friends (both near and far) I am fortunate to have. Thank you for the friends who said the right thing at the right times, even though they didn’t know all the circumstances. Thank you for the friends who made me laugh when I was down. Thank you for the friends who always listened, and were always brutally honest. Thank you for the friends who chose to confide in me.

Thank you for helping me realize that I really am more extrovert than introvert, even though I’m truly somewhere in between.

Thank you for the opportunity to fly cross country to see a movie with friends, for the spur of the moment decision to do so, and for great friends making the trip entirely worthwhile.

Thank you for challenging work assignments,  opportunities for professional growth, and great coaching.

Thank you for work trips to the east coast which allowed me to visit my brother’s family and reconnect with a cousin that I never really knew. Thank you for my nephews getting to know my face, asking to have Skype calls with me, and being excited to Skype with me even when they’re too tired for anyone else.

Thank you for breaking my mom’s leg. I have hated seeing her pain, but her strength is an inspiration. Thank you for my weekly visits to help care for her, and for the time with family that my visits have helped make happen. Thank you for helping me become my grand-niece’s second favorite aunt, and for toddler hugs and giggles.

Thank you for helping me be comfortable opening up to my sister.

Thank you for kicking me in the right direction to find the next stage of my career; I have high hopes.

Thank you for more opportunities to see my dad; especially after I disappointed and hurt him by missing my uncle’s funeral. Thank you for helping me realize why loss is so exceptionally difficult for me to handle.

Thank you for a two week vacation with hubby, and being able to truly relax and focus on each other for a while.

Thank you for helping me appreciate what I have, and giving me the desire to put this all into words.

2016, you have been a tumultuous, unpredictable, and emotional experience, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

Bug Report

I just submitted my favorite bug report ever. Since I regularly write bug reports for work, that’s really saying something.

One of the items in the Landmark patch notes today was “Added a feedback message to the player when they submit a bug. Now you know when it successfully sends the bug!”

Well, this evening I came across a bug, and submitted it (like the good little tester I am), and was disappointed to see that I did not receive a bug submission confirmation.

So naturally I proceeded to report another bug: “I submitted a bug report, and didn’t receive the new message confirming that the bug report had been submitted, so I am now submitting a bug report about bug report submission. :)”

When I read this to Hubby, I couldn’t stop laughing… but then a friend asked if I got a message confirming my bug report about not receiving a message about bug reports. And alas I didn’t.

Hopefully the bug is with the confirmation message for the submission of bug reports, and not the bug report submission itself, because it would be a shame if my bug report didn’t make SOMEONE laugh.

Show and Tell – Landmark

I’ve been playing a lot of EverQuest Next Landmark recently. Even though it is still early in alpha, the game is great. In fact, I have hardly played any Minecraft (my most recent gaming obsession) since Landmark alpha started.

Me, Hubby, and our long time Aussie friend, just hanging out.

Me, Hubby, and our long time Aussie friend, just hanging out.

Landmark has so much potential, and the entire process that they (SOE) are taking with the open communication, no NDA, pay-to-play Alpha is refreshing. And also super fascinating to the business systems analyst and project manager in me. I’ll probably share my thoughts on that later.

Landmark is a sandbox game that is heavily focused on exploration and building the world. The pieces that have been released to the alpha group so far consist almost entirely of resource gathering, crafting, and building tools. So in essence, you go into the world and a piece of land plant your flag in it (almost literally) and build. You gather the resources that you need to make and upgrade tools, and to build everything that you want to build on your land. And you explore what others have built. There are some very talented people playing this game.

But now to the point. Today I want to share what I have made so far. (Click to view full size!)

The view from the bottom of the path up the mountain.

The view from the bottom of the path up the mountain.

I don’t consider any of this done at this point.

I really wanted to build a traditional Shinto arch, but I need to practice with the tools more before I can make one that looks right.

View from above, with Hubby's place down in the valley.

View from above, with Hubby’s place down in the valley.

Neighbors dotting the mountain tops.

Other settlers dotting the mountain tops.

I have three other neighbors near by. One at the base of my hill (almost looks like part of my claim) and two out in the desert valley.

I have three other neighbors near by. One at the base of my hill (almost looks like part of my claim) and two out in the desert valley.

For the building, I am still working on the latticework in the walls, and haven’t done much work on the interior. I plan to use the smoothing tool on all of it (or at least parts) to make the edges softer, and maybe make the pillars round. The arch is pretty, but not what I wanted.

Sunset!

I love how it looks at night!

I love how it looks at night!

Another night view.

Another night view.

If the images don’t load properly here, you can also view them on imgur.

For those of you out there that are playing landmark, if you have questions about how I did anything, let me know! I’m happy to share. If you want to take a look in person, I’m on Liberation/Dell in the SW corner of the jungle (coordinates:  -1340.40, 1340.60, 1647.60).

Reboot

Some days I’m glad I’m not my own boss.

Back when I was responsible for a team, I was a total pushover. Until I wasn’t. When I wasn’t, they hated me. In retrospect I know that what they hated was the inconsistency. But that’s another story.

What isn’t inconsistent is that I’m always hard on myself. I finish something a little late, and I’m sure that I’m walking on thin ice. Something goes the smallest bit haywire in one of my projects, and I’m sure I’m going to get fired. Even if it’s not within my control.

Usually this works to my advantage. It drives me to always improve. My boss appreciates that he never has to tell me what to do better. And eventually I find myself looking back and not really understanding how my professional growth happened.

Last year was incredibly abnormal for me in this respect. I was burned out, unmotivated, had lost focus on any career goal, and had turned into the type of worker that I would be happy to see fired. At least from my perspective. I have colleagues who assure me that I haven’t been a bad employee, I just haven’t lived up to my standard.

I took a lot of vacation in November and December. Perhaps that is why I feel like they were the two least productive months of my career. When I returned to work with the new year, I was apprehensive.

And then I surprised myself.

I accomplished more on January second than I expected. And again on the third.

Somehow with all the time I took off between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, I managed to shake off the horrible habits I’d picked up in 2013 and reestablish the great habits that I hold myself to.

As I have been writing this, I’ve been trying to determine why I’ve improved, and several things have come to the front of my mind.

First, I for the majority of my vacation worked my ass off. Not work work, but work nonetheless. Hubby and I hosted Christmas at our house this year. That meant cleaning house, rearranging, Christmas shopping, cooking, decorating, cooking more, and then doing even more house work. I made myself a huge list of everything that needed to be done, prioritized, set deadlines, and executed. Sound familiar? I essentially project managed my pre-Christmas to-do list (and right up through the weekend after Christmas since we continued the celebration through New Year’s Eve).

Second, even though I was working my ass off I made time to relax. This is a big deal for me. When something big has to be done I typically go all in until I get so burned out that I’m no longer productive. Hubby and I set aside a couple of days before Christmas on which we did a bit from my gigantic task list and then spent time together relaxing and having fun. Saints Row V, Minecraft, and Team Fortress 2 all got their fair share of attention, as did my Netflix queue and my crochet project (which was good, since it was a Christmas present).

Third, I delegated. There is no end to the kudos that Hubby gets for being so incredibly helpful with everything that I wanted to get done for Christmas. When Hubby asked what he could do to help, I looked at the list and gave him a task. I left my list of work that needed to be done on the coffee table, and when he wanted to help without being a distraction, he picked up the list and took the initiative.

Finally, I said no. I said no to myself (in the form of not starting a craft project for my elder niece’s Christmas present, and not making candies), and I said no to friends who wanted to get together right after Christmas (when I really needed some down time).

Leading up to my vacation I was struggling to make progress, like a computer that is bogged down by a hung process or a memory leak. My vacation was the reboot I needed to reestablish the old habits that I expect from myself at work (and at home), but hadn’t been living up to in quite a while.

Here’s to 2014 and carrying the momentum forward!

Report Testing Guide for End Users

This is a basic testing guide that I prepared after searching fruitlessly for a guide to give the system users at work. Originally posted here.

Please feel free to share your thoughts about how this can be improved, expanded, made more generic, adapted for other uses, etc.


Why do I need to test?

Testing is essential to making sure that any report or system enhancement is accurate and works as expected. The IT team tests as thoroughly as possible, however there are several reasons that testing should be done by the end user as well:

  1. You are much more familiar with your piece of the system than IT is. SAP is a new system for all of us. While you have been learning how your processes function in SAP, we have been providing cut-over support, learning the data structures, and learning how to look up limited pieces of the data.

  2. YOU are the expert in your area of the business. The IT team has limited familiarity with how you use the system. We are constantly learning where various data elements are and how things interact, but we don’t yet know enough about the operations of any business area to consider ourselves experts. YOU are the expert.

  3. Customer satisfaction is important, and YOU are our customer. You are our customer, and it is important to us that the solutions that we provide meet your expectations and needs.

Types of Testing

Testing can vary quite a bit in complexity depending upon the project and the stage of development. There are three essential types of testing for reports:

  1. Interface Review: Validating that the search criteria and columns included in the report are correct and working as expected.

  2. Data Validation: Detailed review of the data presented in the report in comparison to the source system (SAP) to identify any fields that may be incorrect.

  3. Usability Testing: Testing the report as you would normally use it. This testing can help uncover issues in presentation or in the data included in the report that were overlooked in the Interface review and Data Validation.

Identifying Errors

If any problems are found encountered for any of the tests, they need to be documented and sent to the IT team for review.

For problems encountered during Interface Review:

  1. The exact search criteria used
  2. If you received an error: what that error was and instructions for how to reproduce the error. (Screenshots are always welcome!)
  3. If there was a problem with the results, details about how the results differed from expectation.

For problems encountered during Data Validation:

  1. Example transaction
  2. Which column is incorrect
  3. The incorrect data shown
  4. What the correct data should actually be
  5. Where to see the correct data in SAP.

For problems encountered during Usability Testing:

  1. If a data issue is found, then provide the information listed under Data Validation.
  2. If another issue is found, then outline what the issue is and the requested change.

Report Testing Checklist

Interface Review:

#

Test

Pass/Fail

Problems Encountered

1

Are all required columns present?

2

Are all column names correct?

3

Is the sort order for the results correct?

4

Are all required search criteria present?

5

Are all search criteria names correct?

6

Are default search criteria appropriate?

7

Do all search criteria work properly?

8

Are there any other issues or changes needed?

Data Validation:

The following apply to EVERY column.

#

Test

Pass/Fail

Problems Encountered

1

Is the data format correct?

2

Is there data in every column that should contain data?

3

Validate the data shown on the report: If the report contains multiple types of transaction (for example: notification types or billing document types), check at least two of each. Compare the report to what is shown on the transaction(s) in SAP.

4

Validate calculations: If the report contains any calculations (sub-total, days past due, etc), validate that against the other data on the report and against data from SAP.

5

If this report replaces an existing report or data pull that you use, then compare results between the two reports. Do you notice any issues?

6

Are there any other issues or changes needed?

Usability Testing:

Consider how you would use the report in the normal course of business, then test the report as if it were considered live.

Warning: Do not share results from the report or base decisions upon the report unless you have completed Data Validation testing without any issues.

#

Test

Pass/Fail

Problems Encountered

1

If you would provide the report to a customer, then export it and prepare it for the customer. Do you notice any issues?

2

If you would use the report for operational analysis, then export it and work through a sample analysis. Do you notice any issues?

3

If you would use this report to review data periodically (such as checking on the status of a sales order or work order), then use it as needed for a day or two. Do you notice any issues?

Sign Off

When the report has passed all of your tests, it will be ready to be made live. Ultimately, you are as responsible as IT to ensure that your report is accurate prior to us making it live.

Before the report is considered live, we will ask you to approve making it live via email. This will be considered your Sign Off that the report is complete and accurate.

Creative Commons License
End User Testing Guide for Reports by Amanda Thomas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

An end user testing guide

One of the most interesting (and often frustrating) changes at work since the merger completed has been trying to help the users understand that I am no longer an expert in our systems and processes. It is a complete shift from what we are all used to.

For the past couple months we’ve been working on building reporting with SAP data to replace the reporting that we had before the merger. I’ve learned a LOT about the data and have honed my Google-fu (so much that one of the experienced SAP users recently referred to me as an SAP wizard when I was able to tell him which tables to look to for descriptions of sales document types and billing document types).

The challenge has been testing. Since I used to know the system and processes so well, I used to do the majority of the testing for new reports or when we made system changes. When end users tested system changes, I would give them a checklist of specific things to test for, types of transactions to test with, and types of issues to look out for. When they tested reports, it was mostly about making sure the columns and search criteria they needed were there. But in both cases they didn’t need to test extensively because I’d already worked with the dev team to eliminate every bug I could find (and I am damn proficient at finding bugs, if I do say so myself).

A couple of weeks ago we got to the point where we’d  developed a bunch of reports, most of them were in various stages of testing but a few had been tested by the users, had bug fixes, and been made live. And for two in particular several rounds of fixes had happened after making them live.

I needed to find a quick and relatively hands-off way of getting the users equipped to test reports. It needed to be quick and hands-off because I had ten reports in development with at least as many people (in three time zones) involved in testing, and because I was having a hard time keeping up with the dev team as it was.

After searching for a quick user testing guide with no luck, I decided to make my own. And I decided since this appears to be something that is lacking in general, I thought I’d share.

So without further adieu, here is a quick testing guide for reports (that can be easily tweaked for other testing as well).

UPDATE 13 May 2013: This has received a bit more traffic than I’d anticipated, so I’ve also created a page dedicated to the testing guide. If you have comments, recommendations, questions, etc, please post them on that page. Any future revisions will be made there.


Why do I need to test?

Testing is essential to making sure that any report or system enhancement is accurate and works as expected. The IT team tests as thoroughly as possible, however there are several reasons that testing should be done by the end user as well:

  1. You are much more familiar with your piece of the system than IT is. SAP is a new system for all of us. While you have been learning how your processes function in SAP, we have been providing cutover support, learning the data structures, and learning how to look up limited pieces of the data.

  2. YOU are the expert in your area of the business. The IT team has limited familiarity with how you use the system. We are constantly learning where various data elements are and how things interact, but we don’t yet know enough about the operations of any business area to consider ourselves experts. YOU are the expert.

  3. Customer satisfaction is important, and YOU are our customer. You are our customer, and it is important to us that the solutions that we provide meet your expectations and needs.

Types of Testing

Testing can vary quite a bit in complexity depending upon the project and the stage of development. There are three essential types of testing for reports:

  1. Interface Review: Validating that the search criteria and columns included in the report are correct and working as expected.

  2. Data Validation: Detailed review of the data presented in the report in comparison to the source system (SAP) to identify any fields that may be incorrect.

  3. Usability Testing: Testing the report as you would normally use it. This testing can help uncover issues in presentation or in the data included in the report that were overlooked in the Interface review and Data Validation.

Identifying Errors

If any problems are found encountered for any of the tests, they need to be documented and sent to the IT team for review.

For problems encountered during Interface Review:

  1. The exact search criteria used
  2. If you received an error: what that error was and instructions for how to reproduce the error. (Screenshots are always welcome!)
  3. If there was a problem with the results, details about how the results differed from expectation.

For problems encountered during Data Validation:

  1. Example transaction
  2. Which column is incorrect
  3. The incorrect data shown
  4. What the correct data should actually be
  5. Where to see the correct data in SAP.

For problems encountered during Usability Testing:

  1. If a data issue is found, then provide the information listed under Data Validation.
  2. If another issue is found, then outline what the issue is and the requested change.

Report Testing Checklist

Interface Review:

#

Test

Pass/Fail

Problems Encountered

1

Are all required columns present?

2

Are all column names correct?

3

Is the sort order for the results correct?

4

Are all required search criteria present?

5

Are all search criteria names correct?

6

Are default search criteria appropriate?

7

Do all search criteria work properly?

8

Are there any other issues or changes needed?

Data Validation:

The following apply to EVERY column.

#

Test

Pass/Fail

Problems Encountered

1

Is the data format correct?

2

Is there data in every column that should contain data?

3

Validate the data shown on the report: If the report contains multiple types of transaction (for example: notification types or billing document types), check at least two of each. Compare the report to what is shown on the transaction(s) in SAP.

4

Validate calculations: If the report contains any calculations (subtotal, days past due, etc), validate that against the other data on the report and against data from SAP.

5

If this report replaces an existing report or data pull that you use, then compare results between the two reports. Do you notice any issues?

6

Are there any other issues or changes needed?

Usability Testing:

Consider how you would use the report in the normal course of business, then test the report as if it were considered live.

Warning: Do not share results from the report or base decisions upon the report unless you have completed Data Validation testing without any issues.

#

Test

Pass/Fail

Problems Encountered

1

If you would provide the report to a customer, then export it and prepare it for the customer. Do you notice any issues?

2

If you would use the report for operational analysis, then export it and work through a sample analysis. Do you notice any issues?

3

If you would use this report to review data periodically (such as checking on the status of a sales order or work order), then use it as needed for a day or two. Do you notice any issues?

Sign Off

When the report has passed all of your tests, it will be ready to be made live. Ultimately, you are as responsible as IT to ensure that your report is accurate prior to us making it live.

Before the report is considered live, we will ask you to approve making it live via email. This will be considered your Sign Off that the report is complete and accurate.

Creative Commons License
End User Testing Guide for Reports by Amanda Thomas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

I love change, until I hate it.

I have a strange love of change in my work place. I get bored quickly doing the same type of work repeatedly. The more things change, the more my job remains interesting. This is generally good for me because my job typically has a lot of variety, it all leads to some sort of change, small (like new reports to help improve process) or large (such as new system implementations).

When going into a project, I have always been the first to admit that change can be difficult, but that I am weird and LOVE change. I think my enthusiasm usually sets others at ease, although sometimes it can also mislead others about the complexity of the undertaking.

A year ago, the company I work for was bought by another company. I spent most of the year working on the systems integration project with a team from both companies, including about a third of 2012 traveling to the new headquarters on the east coast. In November, the companies officially merged and the system changes went into effect. It meant an ERP (SAP) change for half of the organization and a CRM (SalesForce.com) change the other half of the organization, among a bunch of other changes.

Throughout the process I did the same type of work that I’ve done for the past five plus years: a mix of Business Systems Analyst (geek-to-business-translation) work and Project Management.  Unfortunately, my BSA work was all focused on the legacy systems, not the systems that we were consolidating to.

Once the go-live data issues settled down and my focus changed to the new system rather than the old, I became horribly overwhelmed.

At the risk of sounding like a corporate dweeb… I have prided myself for years on being a change agent of some sort and as part of that, hand holding others through change, and always having the answers.

Last week, I realized that I was struggling with the change. It was taking me days to get through something that would have taken just a few hours in our old system, purely because I didn’t know the database structure and didn’t know the system well enough to find the data sources without help. I didn’t want to ask for help, because I never need help. (“Never” was definitely an oversimplification.)

It was a huge blow to my ego to realize that I was struggling with the change. And then in the back of my head I heard the advice that I give everyone else: “How are they going to know that you need help if you don’t say something? You won’t learn if you don’t ask.”

I eventually got my head out of my ass and asked for help. Things are still taking me longer than they used to, but that’s part of learning a new system (another piece of advice that I often give others and ignore when it applies to myself).

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m good at change when I realize that change is happening to me, but when it sneaks up on me or I am not in control in some way I can be really bad at it.

Or perhaps I’ll just blame the SAD, I’m sure that had some influence. (By the way, in case you were curious, the light therapy thing I got is working fantastically.)

Belated post: With Gratitude

I spent Thanksgiving weekend 2010 (nearly two years ago) feeling very thankful. During that time, I started writing the post below, but I didn’t finish. I now present to you my completed (and after) thoughts

On Thanksgiving in 2009 I spent the day with my in-laws. We were at Grandma’s house,  with Hubby’s parents, brother, sister-in-law, Aunt and Uncle, cousins, and (of course) Grandma. We celebrated Thanksgiving in their traditional way; Oyster stuffing (made specifically because Grandma thinks Hubby likes it), Poopernickel Bread (there’s an inside joke here), green bean casserole, turkey, and wine.

That Thanksgiving I had a migraine. While the rest of the family visited and played games, I took my netbook and hid in a dark, quiet room, and started writing (I was hiding because of the migraine, I’m not really that antisocial). I joined WordPress, created this blog, and wrote my first two mediocre posts; one as a brief introduction, the other as a letter of thanks to my friends and family.

Thanksgiving 2010 was spent with my family (4 siblings, 2 nieces, 5 cousins, Mom, Aunt and Uncle, Grandparents, and various boyfriends and girlfriends of cousins and siblings. It was the first time in several years that myself, my 4 siblings, and the 5 cousins had been all together in many years, and it was very nice. [I originally had something witty that I was going to say about my family’s Thanksgiving traditions, but have since forgotten.]

To all of my family and friends, who supported me while I was in school. To Lisa, Michelle, and Keri for being the best team that I could ever hope for in our business simulation project. To my nieces for being my constant source of inspiration to finish school. To Kreg, for always prodding me in the right way to keep me motivated to work toward my dream. To my D&D group, for working around my schedule so that I can be part of the once-per-month drinking and dragons session. To each of you – I am eternally grateful.

The main focus in my life in the fall of 2010 was finishing my bachelor’s degree. To me it was an important step to move my career forward as well as a very important personal goal. While I was mostly doing it for me, I also knew that it was important to my family.

I had no idea how important until my surprise graduation party and later reading something my brother wrote in his blog. I still tear up when thinking about both the party, my brother’s kind words, and how much the support of my friends meant during that time.

Happy long weekend!

Holy cow… where has the time gone?

I’ve definitely been unmotivated to post recently, but I didn’t realize that it had already been five months! I’m kinda embarrassed with the visitors I may be getting from Syp’s blog, given that I haven’t posted in so long…

So, what have I been up to?

In April I spent a weekend in Seattle with friends at SakuraCon. It was a great time! Lots of anime, people in cosplay (but not me, I’m not that brave), really fascinating panel discussions, and good food, drinks, and laughs with friends. My favorite panels were a couple of panels put on by Roland Kelts about Japanese culture (I’ve been enjoying his book Japanamerica in bits and pieces since then), and a lecture by The Librarian about the symbolism in Spirited Away (Hidden Away by Gods: Rediscovering Miyazaki’s Spirited Away).

Work has gotten more interesting too. In my last post, I vented my frustration with not getting to project manage an implementation project I’d been looking forward to. Well, in late March or early April, that changed. The project manager was no longer available, so I’m leading the project again! Fun work, but overwhelming because my other workload hasn’t decreased much.

In June, Hubby and I were sent to England for some work on the implementation project. Hubby was there for some training on proprietary development tools for the ERP we use in the England office, and I was there for some discovery and training with our UK team. We were there for two weeks, and had a great time. Maybe one of these days I’ll share Hubby’s photos from our day in Bath.

Hmm… Nothing else major has been going on. I’ve been reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series (A Game of Thrones is book one), and am trying to complete book four before the next one is released in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and I’ve been playing Rift. Hubby bought Rift just after it came out, and about a month later he gave me a trial. After the first time I’d closed a rift, I was hooked. I made it to max level faster than I have in any other MMO, and am still enjoying it.

For the rest of this weekend: Today I’ll be doing some reading, visiting my EQ2 guildies, and maybe doing some PvP or dungeons in Rift. Tomorrow we’ll be visiting friends, BBQing, and blowing stuff up, as everyone should on the 4th of July!

If you haven’t seen it already, I wrote a silly little post for Syp, and it went up on biobreak.wordpress.com. I must warn you, it’s cheesy, and I’m not very creative.

In their shoes

I’ve really been enjoying work recently.

Last week I got to move from a desk in the customer service area to one in the accounting area. I decided to move because the noise in the customer service area made it very difficult for me to focus. My new desk is in an area with much less foot traffic so I also have fewer unplanned interruptions.

As a bonus, I’m sitting next to a window again, this time on the second floor so I get a nice view of the wetland across the street. Since I moved, I’ve accomplished about twice as much as usual and I’m just generally happier.

Timing couldn’t have been better either. I’m always super busy at work, but in the next few months we have more large projects planned than we did for all of 2010.

I am excited. The type of work we have planned for the next few months is what I love: system implementations and large custom development projects (by large I mean likely to take at least several weeks, I know that isn’t “large” to some). Both of these mean I get to do more analysis, requirements gathering, documentation, and project management than I have for the past couple years, and as a result mean I will be more entertained at work.

One of the implementation projects is to take a piece of software we’ve been using in some of our locations and implement it in our office in England. This software is one that I am very close to; We had another company develop it for us, but I led the team internally for requirements gathering, testing, and implementation.

Even though I know it would be a challenge for me to keep up with my user support role, continue pushing smaller projects through, and project manage this implementation, I was really looking forward to it.

But then today I learned that I may not get to play the role in this implementation that I’d hoped for. My managers are considering having a project manager that we’re working with on another project handle a large portion of the project management for this implementation as well.

They have all the right reasons, and if I were in their shoes I would do the same. Hell, six months from now I might really appreciate that someone else got the assignment.

But not now. Right now I’m just disappointed.