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All stories you see on this page are accounts of projects I have worked on and the actions I took to realize value for the team, department and company. We all have similar experience where we contribute to make the company better. I hope to describe the situation, the opportunity I saw in the situation, the actions I took to realize positive results. While the date of each story in unimportant, I attempted to document the month and year of each opportunity.

For the uninitiated, this format of story telling is based on a behavioral interview style where the interviewer asks the candidate to describe how the candidate handled various situations in a conversational, productive style. I find this format an easy one to use in documenting my career projects. If you find it easy to read, I highly encourage you to invest your time in learning and practicing the method to achieve the following:

Yes, this is a story-telling method. It's an engaging method. And it works, so give it a try.

Tools Governance Report   Innovation Leadership Communications CustoerSuccerss DrivingForResults

Date: May 2010

Situation

From preliminary tools usage analysis, we found users are not using the tools correctly.

Opportunity / Task Working Towards

In some cases, users may need education and in other cases, they may be simply complying. In any case, I proposed we explore usage further as there are opportunities to improve usage, and more importantly yield the benefits of proper tools use which the company purchased through higher tool costs.

Action

We are in process of identifying all tooling parameters and prioritizing which parameters will yield the greatest value in the quickest time. Then, based on priority, we will develop the appropriate tool governance reporting to share with management so they may independently take action and improve tools use. The objective is to educate users and provide consultation that allows them to understand the benefits of their project as a result of proper tools use.

Results

In May 2010, the internal team was bought in and appreciated the objective of the governance reporting effort. Since we address many support and mentoring activities, our expectations is the simpler ticket counts will be reduced and the team can focus on more complex, value-added issues.

Disagreement with Management   Communications effectiveness

Date: April 2010

Situation

Throughout the last four years, our division has been catering to millennial in a way that has conditioned individuals to expect promotions and pay increase despite their lack of effort to achieve acceptable performance. In essence, I disagreed with my management's approach in dealing with employee expectations.

Opportunity / Task Working Towards

The opportunity I saw was in setting clear expectations with employees and developing an equitable and a fair work environment. By developing such an environment, employees can gain confidence in their management and rest assured favoritism is not practiced and promotions are given in a fair manner. Its shown that employees favor such an environment and lessens the company liabilities.

Action

I discussed my thoughts and concerns with my management in a way that indicated the management team "we" were creating such an environment. I also discussed the result of these actions and that the current business environment requires a different approach.

Results

By May 2010, my management returned with comments on how we need to ensure we are creating a fair environment and that promotional considerations are reserved for those that not only demonstrate skills but where there is business need for a resource in such a capacity. In subsequent conversations, my management also stressed to my team members in 1-on-1 sessions when queried for promotional opportunities.

SERVICE Mantra Staff Goals   Innovation Leadership Communictions CustomerSuccess Effectiveness Teamwork

Date: Dec 2009

Situation

The vice president tied the unit initiative SERVICE mantra to the ISG initiative and challenged management to work towards greater customer focus. Guidance from management was intentionally lacking and it was front-line management's responsibility to develop a strategy for their respective areas.

Opportunity / Task Working Towards

After careful review and analysis, I saw an opportunity to improve my department's capabilities in providing better customer service and improve teamwork. However, I wanted to use this opportunity to improve individual capabilities to achieve team improvements.

Action

First, I reviewed the SERVICE mantra with the team. During the review and with the team's participation, I developed mini-SWOT analysis of each SERVICE Mantra vectors. The SWOT analysis provided each team member the ability to rank the team and prepare for their individual rankings. I then took a survey of each team member in a way that identified the top three weakest areas per their rating. Next, I worked with each employee to define an individual development foal for the 2010 that was documented, detailed, and contained thresholds for meeting and exceeding the objectives. I measured the team's weaknesses using similar technique to loosely quantify ranking so we could continue the improvement process.

Results

In December 2009, SWOT analyses resulted in a documented list of strengths and weaknesses for the team. We also listed all opportunities for the team. We also listed all opportunities for the team to strengthen their weaknesses and their listed threats that could derail our efforts. The analyses were also medium to leverage for individual capabilities. In the rankings, each vector was assigned to one unique ranking from 1 (weakest) to 7 (strongest). All team member rankings which were then compared against the SWOT analyses. Team members quickly saw areas where we, as a team, needed to focus our energies. Using individual rankings, each team member and I developed personalized performance goals for two of their top three weakest areas.

In May 2010, Each team member has been working on achieving their personal goals. Goals require demonstration of acquired skills throughout the year.

Operating Level Agreements (OLAs)   Communications Leadership Integrity CustomerService CustomerSuccess

Date: Nov 2008

Situation

My organization was requested to provide an Operating Level Agreement (OLA) with specific statements on 24x7 support. We did not have a published OLA for users to consume.

Opportunity / Task Working Towards

Although I could have produced one OLA for my organization, I saw a need to develop OLAs for all service areas in my ISG unit. This would provide a consistent services OLA for the development communities and ensure all areas in the unit deliver on the OLA.

Action

I drafted an OLA based on existing documents, then merged multiple departments into one agreement. Although the document was important, the language used to ensure all areas of the unit adhered to general service delivery was important to the buy-in by those organizations. I also created customized sections for each organization in the unit to accommodate that organization's unique situation. For example, my organization provides tooling support. Another are may only provide resource support - both adhere to general agreements, but my organization also requires users follow stated tooling standards. I then presented the OLA to my peer management, my director, and my vice president for review, critique, and challenge. During the challenge, I received questions on specific agreement language, document setup and the organization's ability to meet provisions. I answered questions and challenges based on my experience with OLAs, my education and practice in ITIL, and my experience in supporting enterprise-wide tools support. on publishing the document, the management team discussed the merits of enterprise-wide communications vs. grass-roots. I proposed an enterprise-wide communications to bolster confidence in the unit and build on integrity to the customer service. After some discussion, the management agreed and the vice president communicated the availability of the document in the ISG staff meeting.

Results

The OLA was published and our users were notified of its availability. The requesting organization expressed their gratitude and had no further questions on the support.

Change Management Integration   Innovation Communications Leadership

Date: 2008

Situation

My team uses ITIL based processes and tools as well as SDLC based process and tools. When changes start on the service support side that requires software development, we were managing two ticketing systems. While using two systems is not the issue, the conflict arising in using two systems was the issue.

Opportunity / Task Working Towards

I saw an opportunity to integrate o interface the two systems for enterprise change management. Since ITIL based systems and SDLC based systems both use change management, I saw the opportunity to create an efficient workflow for one comprehensive solution and one ticketing system for change management.

Action

I initiated a project to interface HP Service Manager and IBM Rational ClearQuest. I defined a vision and developed models that demonstrated how each change management system provides functionality for the computing space. I rallied key managers from other ITIL areas such as incident, Problem and Release Management as well as key decision makers from the SDLC areas. To each, I explained the concept, my objectives the opportunities for the company when the two systems are correctly interfaced. I then obtained preliminary approvals to work with relevant development areas so ClearQuest can pass Change records to Service Manager. The effort required projects on both development teams which meant a focused approach. I stayed focused on the objective and worked with development managers to ensure the objective would be reached.

Results

In the end, the interface was built an applicable records were tested and transferred between two systems. Users can initiate service management changes from SDLC system which provides continuity and audit capability. The project was completed with minimal number of resources and on-time. Each record transferred contains an originating signature so any change initiated from SDLC can be racked into production. This project exposed a large opportunity to reinvent enterprise workflow which started in 2010.

Author: Rakesh D. Rathod

Created: 2023-02-27 Mon 17:03

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