General Chat Thread, Poll: Why are we so far behind... in General; After seeing the thread about are you working today (Bank Holiday) and the large number of responses of yes in ...
31st August 2009, 08:42 PM #1
Poll: Why are we so far behind...
After seeing the thread about are you working today (Bank Holiday) and the large number of responses of yes in various forms, just wanted to do a poll really and try to see why so many of us are.
Is this management forcing and expecting too much from us over short periods of time as the 6 weeks isn't that long really when you need to try and keep other staff who work all year going, or is it that we have just been too relaxed and not worked hard enough, or is it down to illness, staff leaving etc. Or is it that we (ourselves) have just tried to do too much and not got it done but started so many of them its not possible to just abandon them or another reason.
I personally think mine is a bit of the management over-expecting, we did a 6th form centre conversion (as pics show on here) we were allowed a bit of leeway into the start of term, but we all know what they want really is ready for 1st day of term not 2 weeks into it (I also want that). That was delayed due to me being the Data Manager for 7 weeks of term and not being able to comit as much time with my tech to it in the early stages, and thus the holiday work got delayed as i was not as far on with that as I should have been and then it was the slippery slope where everything then sort of followed on from that point.
I will add the centre is near enough done now which is great but still plenty of other bits left to do and some jobs have been scrapped and shelved for a later point (probably a long weekend fairly early on I suspect, but could be as late as half term, but I don't want to wait till then as I will be on my own by that point so may have to prepare to be inducting my new tech shortly after then or over then fingers crossed!)
31st August 2009, 08:56 PM #2
working with someone who is an al____ic dont help! i say no more!
31st August 2009, 09:14 PM #3
It's usually a combination of all of the above. Sometimes the rate of work slows when you go to do work in a room and there is building/other work already in there causing delays.
I usually find that I underestimate the amount of time needed to make changes while keeping everythng magically running for staff that are in during the holidays. Shorter opening times too.
Plus you usually find a whole load of extra things get added to the plans just after the holidays start.
31st August 2009, 09:20 PM #4
I expect too much of myself.
Had new server installed, got rid of winsuite, setup network like it should be, imaged god knows how many models of computer, ICT Suite update and school website in joomla...whilst trying to have something that resembled a holiday (im term time only)
31st August 2009, 09:35 PM #5
The problem is that most multimillion pound organisations with networks the size of the average school has considerably more staff, change management processes and heaps more cash to spend on their infrastructure. It's a miracle that we do as well as we do. Come the BSF changes we will have the backing of large ICT teams, at the expense of our flexibility and innovation of course.
31st August 2009, 10:09 PM #6
For us its probably all of the above.
Management expect too much, I expect we can deliver too much.
Unexpected interruptions from staff and contractors.
Building delays, late deliveries.
Extra work "that must be done" dumped on us by leadership at the last minute.
Jobs taking twice as long as estimated due to hellish software.
A team member not always pulling their weight.
I could go on ......
31st August 2009, 10:10 PM #7
- Rep Power
Presently we're waiting on a couple of rooms having building work finished before we can do anything - thus the computers are all ready to go, they just need a bench to sit on and electricity to power them! The builder has promised he'll have it finished by tomorrow... hmm... I predict the next few days will be spent heaving machines all over the place!
31st August 2009, 10:16 PM #8
So much to do, so little time, not enough staff.
In the larger picture (for me, personally; but includes work) - sometimes I'm my own worst enemy having such a busy schedule to fit everything in, that naturally less time gets devoted to each thing that I do.
31st August 2009, 10:49 PM #9
Victim of my own success = management expect too much.
Unforeseen problems - server hard drive failure a fortnight ago and major wood rot problems diagnosed in Victorian building just before hols = no floor boards for four weeks and therefore no access to half the hardware!
External forces - contractors fixing floor disappeared for nearly a week, leading to above
Staffing issues - there is only me
Expecting too much of myself? On this occasion, no.
Chaos next week as we try to put the school back together in time for 7th? Guaranteed!
1st September 2009, 01:11 AM #10
Idiot Network Manager, thinking he has all the time in the world...
I did ask the Network Manager before organising my Summer off (Term Time Only) if he needed me in, as there was alot of work to do...
He replied "No I will be fine and we can just grab a student in to do your work", miffed & V annoyed, I booked a Road Trip around Europe until the middle of August. The other Senior Techinician asks for my help cabling in a new block and I agree to come back after my holiday and help him out, as it is we work out that we will be very pushed to get it done on time.
End of July I get a phone call demanding I come in from the Network Manager, to which I say in no uncertain terms "no, I'm a 1000 miles away” (I also tell him to expect my notice when I come back as I have a new Job in September).
Come back and Sweet FA has been done, and now he has gone on a weeks holiday and told his Line Manager that I’m handling the reimaging of all the stations and deployment of our new Laptop bank, all without a word to me. All this while I’m supposedly not reporting to him.
Now both the new block is behind and I still have another 150 Laptops to go.
*End of Rant*
Roll on the new job (& my exit interview) I say!
1st September 2009, 06:13 AM #11
i think the work rate thing is down to experience. Not only the practical experience but the experience of having to manage time. Those are skills in themselves.
Far too often people don't set themselves realistic objectives based on a lack of experience, and the experienced will factor in issues such as working around contractors or other 'unforseen' circumstances which in reality can often be 'forseen' if you know how things tend to play out with builders and all sorts of contractors scheduled to be onsite [or not as it turns out]......Even with experience, without the resources too often too much is tasked within the time frame allocated and certain tasks run over time delaying others, and then other things are shelved or put back to a later, indeterminate period. That's not the end of the world, but it does represent a loose end or two.
Ofcourse, if more money and resources were available to throw at these tasks it'd be more of the case that school IT staff took on more of a PMO role rather than running around doing everything themselves. Doing everything yourself, and countless weekends and evenings sure does build up that experience, but i prefer to build up experience under less strenous circumstances during normal working hours.
I appreciate that's a luxury many don't have.
1st September 2009, 08:31 AM #12
Forgetting that I'm just a one man team, it having been a very long and stressful year, my being worn down and expecting too much from myself.
That's what I blame it on.
1st September 2009, 09:10 AM #13
I think I could have coped with just the extra work that was dumped on our lap the first week of the holidays, and the fact I lost a member of staff as he moved to a better paid job - the thing that killed it for us was the need for our ISP (sleazynet) and LEA to communicate together and make the connection changes we needed at a specific time, then not doing them for 5 weeks which had a knock-on effect on all our schedules. How difficult do you reckon it would be to make some router changes? Well, it's taken five months of constant badgering!
The amount of work was already huge due to increased computing requirements and deployment of whole new virtualised infrastructure, a big job for two people - but a lot of it hung off what IP ranges we were supposed to have, what routing kit was being changed, what hardware we were expecting in on "promised" deadlines.
I worked out that around 75% of my orders this year from my vendors (who were previously ok) have been wrong, delayed or cancelled because they "didn't actually have that stock to sell" (which strangely only ever gets mentioned the week that payment is due).
I think it's a harsh lesson learned this year, lots on - not enough workforce - bad delivery times by external contractors.
Next year we'll be doing less over the summer and more over the year I reckon, spacing out the bigger work.
1st September 2009, 10:24 AM #14
Other - please specify in the thread: The school wants a lot of things done, but isn't prepared to spend the money...
1st September 2009, 08:57 PM #15
All of the above:
1.Management expecting too much from us
In addition to all the normal stuff (new machines, images, etc) we were also allowed to upgrade the network (using our contractors) but without any more ICT help. But the head cleaner complained about this too, so I'm not getting picked upon.
2.Unforeseen problems EG Server dying unexpectedly
yep I lost one definitely, and 3 others now complain of disk failures.
It's okay though, we're replacing them this coming half-term.... I hope they all last.
Not only that the Air conditioning flooded the server room...
3.External Forces causing it E.G. External Contractors delayed
Building work took nearly two weeks when they'd agreed to one week.
Except I still have no power in our office...
4.Expecting too much out of yourself
Always bloody do.
Can't change the configs on all the Wireless APs and be plugging in new phones at the same time.
5.Staffing issues / poor work rate from staff
We need to have extra bodies in August not less, and yet one of the techs is term-time only.
I was only allowed extra staff to do the equipment asset register audit, it has taken two of them over a week (ICT stuff only), they haven't finished yet, and they have been "stolen" by the SLMT to do admin/SIMS stuff.
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