I found the assessment manager document I think I wanted, but I'm still not sure it's going to tell me everything I want to know, especially when it comes to using the analysis portions of it. A great deal of it is still, "do this, do this, do this", but not very much of the, "we are doing this because of..."
but again, I've only been using it for 6 months, perhaps I just need to be more patient.
I think it's really a question of perfecting your tweaking (or as Microsoft calls them, macros) and understanding Capita logic (ie workarounds). Like on SupportNet, when you check a case, you can't go direct from the forums to the websupport, you have to go back to the home page, then to case, otherwise you get an error.
Yes, unfortunately the internal policy is not to make the system easier and user friendly to use, it is to push the use of the expensive training services. All suggestions for improvements from within the software teams are met with a blank wall, as these would interfere with the lucrative revenue stream. Eventually they give up and either leave, or become a 'lifer' just plodding along doing what the managers tell them.
Remember that this company is there not to help you, but to maximize it's revenue. The documentation simply smokescreens the deliberate lack of UXP.
I was wondering how Capita can release software with such a shoddy and complicated UI. That actually explains it quite well. That said, I have seen improvements in the software and it's interface with the recent but gradual opening up of the MIS market.
You have to take a step back from that and say from a business point of view - what does that represent? So it's worthwhile investing the money in a new set of software and interfaces to chase this market. Maintaining and improving what you have already sold is just not cost effective. From an ethical point of view taking pride in the product and making it the best you can in a business environment takes second place where you are selling into a captured market.
A good example of this is the use of live Wirral children's data in the SIMS training packages data.
Funny, i got a letter recently, saying that all dealings regarding Groupcall Emerge now have to be done directly with Groupcall, so the two companies can maintain distance for the advantage of the customers. It implies that Capita will be entering the market in that area soon - meanwhile i'm still waiting on a patch. I know they're different teams, but maybe they could close down the expansion team and put them to work in the 'old modules need work' team.
Now that's a nice thought. Now if there was internal documentation on the old modules that was usable, instead of it all being in the lifer's heads, there would definately be a possibility of that. However, once a developer has escaped the maintenance team they will fight tooth and nail to keep working on the new stuff. They are more likely to leave and move on if there is no more new style work available. Remember that once you know the new technology and techniques you will be able to escape and get a better job - once embedded in the old side, there is no escape...
..and though there is an agreement to let the partners (like groupcall) know about the interfaces change and the contents of those changes, at any time there is no co-operative agreement to stop them writing out the partners with their own versions within a new release.
I recall one of them complaining that Capita uses it's revenue to develop new changes in unfair competition - well yes, when an elephant is plodding along behind you, don't stop suddenly.
Think Capita's a bit like Tesco. People moan about how they control the market and have a monopoly and how they have branched out into other fields to attempt to meet profit targets, but that's a problem with society, not with the individual company. So long as they don't forget the core service which is why you're there, we'll all be fine. After all, no-one shops in Tesco if it was open rubbish hours and it cost a small fortune. I do think Capita needs to get back to the core service.
But it does cost a small fortune and they aren't open 24 hours!
Common mistake, you've looked at the total bill, cut out all the bits you ended up picking up, look at cost of what you originally required. The core SIMS license is peanuts, it really is cheap, it's all the extras. Schools get into that, well, whilst I'm here, I might as well get, rather then going else where.
OK, it's going to be cheaper to get milk from tesco if you have to drive 5 miles to get to ASDA - the driving being the cost of integration. If you get into a group - like an LA, you either get the economy of scale and only send 1 person to go get the milk from ASDA, or you can make it worth while for ASDA to build a store next door ( ie integrate with what you've already got). You could always switch superstore, but the problem is people like Tesco bread, but ASDA biscuits or ASDA bread and Tesco biscuits. Basically what I'm saying is, Bromcom shouldn't have tried to become an MIS, it should have continued to push e-registration. Capita shouldn't push into other areas, if it does, it has to except it's going to be the poor man option - pricing should affect this. They don't, they claim it's better - mainly due to "integration" - however this isn't correct.
I'm guessing the poor mans option would nark a few engineers off at Capita, but it's true, having a small team fighting Capita for resources even on the inside vs an entire company with a single focus is never going to win.
If I had a time machine, I'd "OpenStack" the SIMS core - that would be open and controlled by a charity, then have a business arm that supports the charity - support, training packages and add-ons - like InTouch
The Tesco idea is a very good one, and let's take this a little further and look at Tesco's question of accountability. For example on the Horse meat issue.
Once this became a real public issue, they walked their way back down their accountability trail, found the problems, admitted where the processes were wrong and fixed it for the future - because their customers can go to Asda or Morrisons quite easily..
Using your time machine, let's go back to approx 2011 when the scandal about the parents of the dead student were sent a letter from SIMS threatening them that their deceased child could not go to the Prom unless they improved their attendance.
Unfortunately though that one issue was fixed in the SIMS system, as the customers could not switch to the other suppliers so easily, all the other letters and instances where parents will receive other letters even though their child had died that could be fixed were identified and not fixed - because it does not make commercial good sense to fix them in the full profit model.
But i need teh extras cos teh school down the road has those extras and i don't want to look like a cheapskate and at one point teh government said i needed those extras, then they changed the type of extras, then they just plain backtracked but you get what i mean :p
Now they are part of my setup, and i have to keep buying batteries, and pay for wear and tear, and cleaner to make it shiny, and i've hired staff to look after it.
It's just lucky Tesco do own brand, so i can go cheap on cleaning cloths rather than get Vileda, but i can't scrimp on batteries.
Thought it was something like the 80% attendance rule not classing being dead as reason for leaving. I'd be surprise if they hadn't fixed the letter to deceased by now. Again, goes back to the get the core business right, else people will leave. Just remember it takes time for such things to change, SIMS is small fry in the grand schemes of things.
And you got any linky to the Wirral comment earlier? And @vikpaw, yer, surprising how well that works - IT: you need a new server, head: we don't have money, IT: school down road just got a new big server - Head: we'll take the bigger one.