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When The Cavalry Needs Faster Horses

July 21, 2016

No, Rodney, we’ve got it covered we really don’t need you to help. You’ll just confuse things.

I was on site at our facility in Kansas City. We were getting ready to launch a new line of business. It meant that we would start taking calls on a new call type. Our agents had been training for six weeks. And for six weeks, they had not been able to log into their computers. They could log into the local computer, but when they tried to log into the network session for the new line-of-business, they instead, were logged into the old line-of-business. We were using a network program called Citrix. Each line-of-business had it’s own Citrix “pool.” 

It’s not a tough thing to fix. You move the agents from one pool to the other. Well, I couldn’t, of course, but if you put the request in, the proper team will make all the necessary security and network changes. It takes about five days. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out that we had a problem until the day before the launch. And I was having a though time convincing my team that I could help. 

I’m pretty sure if I escalate to Debra’s team they can help move this along.

Well, we’ve already involved Debra’s team.

They hadn’t involved Debra’s team. For two weeks they had been trying to get the client to move the agents to the correct pool. It was Wednesday morning and the launch was 24 hours away. I finally decided I’d just call my contact’s team at the client anyway. 

They quickly went to work trying to get our agents moved. The client team I escalate to is like me. They don’t actually do anything. They talk to the team’s and people who can do things. They pushed hard all day. Finally, at 4:00 they made the call. Or rather Debra called me,

Rodney, the business has decided to postpone the launch. We’ll go on Friday instead of tomorrow. We just didn’t have enough time to move the agents.

Twenty-four hours more and we would have been in the clear. Instead, we had only our fifth missed launch date out of a couple dozen. I hate to miss launch dates. In fact, if we are more than an hour late on our launches, I consider it a serious problem.

It’s not unusual for IT to be asked to solve problems. It’s what we do. It’s the reason the company paid to send me to places like Kansas City. We actually LIKE solving problems. It’s why many of us got into IT in the first place. And like Mr Scott on Star Trek, we often have a reputation for being miracle workers. Or, sometimes we are like the cavalry, coming over the hill to save the day. 

But, occasionally, the cavalry needs a little advanced notice. I was surprised that they teams didn’t ask me sooner. But, we can’t fix what we don’t know about. I arrived in Kansas City on Tuesday night. I found out about our issue Wednesday morning. I had planned to come in on Sunday. Had I been on site on Monday, we’d have had the time we needed. As it was, 24 hours was just not enough time to work our miracle. 

Sometimes the Calvary needs just a little more warning. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2016 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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