I have been slowly talking and working with someone to build a better select survey site. We are restricted to using this because they are our supplier. It would probably be easier,faster, more modern, to have a whizz kid freelancer come in and build a database our users would access through a web page or something. We can’t do that because of MONEY. And because we’ve got this system.

Initially when I asked, I was told “nah, can’t do that with this software”. But slowly, by calling and thanking and by being appreciative of work done by the survey team, it appears they’ve grasped what I need to do. I am now close to having a survey that users can log into, have their basic information prepopulated, and use a matrix table to provide a lot of information to us quickly. Given the number one answer for not returning information to us has been “we’re too busy and it’s easier to write and then fax “(!) I hope this will be a “very good thing”. I just need to check this will work each and every time and the date will update automatically to this weeks. (Nothing worse than having to choose today’s date when the default date is 12 months in the past).

This is not sexy work. This is not great big data analysis, or accessing servers, or building complex routines. OR EVEN MANAGING USING PRINCE2, LEAN, OR AGILE.
I have found working in big, public, organisations isn’t about doing things in the most modern way. The systems have grown from a big decision to purchase a system. The cost of replacing systems for smaller lighter solutions appears to be prohibitive, in time and in person time/cost. Solutions are found using existing systems until they can no longer cope and fall down.

It’s such a massive win in my books when you can get someone to do what you want by asking if there are workarounds and calling them and thanking them when they do something.

I still like my job, and I’ve been here since May.


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