Saturday, June 14, 2008

New position update

I thought I'd give an update on the situation with my new position. In case you need a refresher (read: haven't been paying attention), this post explains how the concept was introduced to me, and this post shows how quickly the concept changed.

My last conversation with my boss left me with the understanding that I needed to 'spec out' the mission, purpose, duties, and processes of the new dept. Only, I wasn't clear how far I was supposed to go with it. How much trust and autonomy was really being given me?

So last Fri I discussed the situation with my best friend, Spouse, who suggested that since the scope and parameters appeared not to have been decided upon yet, I should be the one to decide them. He told me to outline the new dept the way I thought it should run, knowing my aptitude for efficiency, and I really appreciated his input.

On Mon I got an Outlook meeting invitation from my boss to review my specs on Wed, so I took some time on Mon & Tues to put most of my ideas on paper. (Well, actually I typed into a Word document.) On Wed I expanded some of the items that represented changes to our existing processes, then sent my boss the draft just prior to our arranged meeting time.

Although I felt a reasonable high level of confidence in my work, I still wasn't sure if my work was within the scope my boss was looking for but had not communicated to me.

So with the document open on both of our computers I began reviewing the outline and explaining why certain choices were made. When I got to the 2nd or 3rd bullet under the 1st item, I heard what sounded like my boss about to say something, so I paused... 1/2 expecting him to apologize for not having defined the project better for me, followed by a statement that I was totally off base. But instead, he simply wanted to clarify something, and then I went on.

About 1/3 of the way through the document review he finally gave me some feedback. "This is good. This is exactly what I was hoping to see. Please continue." I believe I felt my heart leap in relief before I continued on.

About 2/3 of the way through we got to the section that addressed billing and when he saw the billing header, he said "Oh good, you're including billing. I wasn't sure if you were going to include that or not, but I'm happy to see that you have. Please, go ahead." That compliment was like an injection of adrenaline that boosted my energy and confidence.

When I concluded the document review he gave me a couple of suggestions, such as using a different font color to show where development would be required, then thanked me for doing such a good and thorough job. He told me he was really happy with the proposal and with the fact that one of his people (me) had constructed it. I thanked him for the kind words, and we finished up with a short conversation about implementation and his desire for the finalized document by Fri (yesterday), which I delivered on time.

After hanging up from the call I scolded myself for my initial lack of confidence, but then patted myself on the back with a reminder that I'd only been given a general concept with barely any parameters with which to work.

My next hurdle will be to present the outline in a meeting with the Production manager and CTO, to hopefully get their buy-in. Stay tuned.

Crush du Jour: Lee Rumohr


Kevin said...

oh god! Lee! Love him so much!

and thanks for the update.

Oh God! Lee! Love him so much!

Bugsy said...

Way to go Mark! Sounds good so far.
Thanks for the update. Good luck.