To document… Part 4 (Post 30)

As it’s the last day of #blogjune, I thought I should wrap things up re the documentation workshops.

At the last documentation workshop we finished assigning authorship, which achieved a lot towards getting others at the table other than the original few. We then extended this exercise by identifying which documents could possibly be prepared concurrently across the teams. This was really worthwhile as their was recognition that even more people needed to be a part of the process. We finished the session there.

So my initial issues were:
– the process of documentation is more important than delivery
– the process of documentation is controlled by 2-3 people, while teams await instruction
– the documentation is written to meet the needs of the authors, not the end readers who need instruction
– the process of documentation is mind-numbing slow, with at least 2 workshops and revisions per piece of documentation
– there is an expectation there will be about 30 pieces of documentation. To be completed before handover to delivery can begin
– the owners are very possessive of the documentation

I was hoping the process would:
– share ownership of the documentation
– reduce the amount of documentation required
– reduce the time to produce the documentation
– get us moving towards delivery while still ensuring people receive the instruction they require.

To date, the changes are:
– we have shared the ownership of both the documents and the process of creation
– we have identified documents that can be prepared concurrently, to try to address the time required

To address the amount of documentation my Manager colleague and I will be looking at the ‘templates’ to either reduce, or introduce shorter versions. We will also look at how we can start working towards delivery without all the documentation needing to be completed first.

It is an ongoing negotiation with the teams, but I do feel there is a step forward. I also know that the next ‘review workshop’ now has 8 at the table, not 3. The 5 that are now included are very happy to be there.

It’s one small step, but it’s in the right direction.



Brief break (Posts 27-29)

There’s been a brief break in transmission, ‘cos I took a brief break. And yes I’m cheating on #blogjune by counting this post as 3, but you should know by now that I’m lazy. I’ll give you 3 photos though.

After a very hectic day at work on Friday, I headed down to Tootgarook to spend a couple of nights with the ‘gals’. We do the same weekend every year, and this is our 5th year in a row. The holiday house in the family of a girlfriend of mine, who I’ve known since we were 15. The ‘gals’ can include a mix of her sisters (she has 4), friends from her street and me. This year there were four – my girlfriend, a neighbour, an old neighbour who now lives in Ballarat, and me. I know my friend’s friends and we all get on fine – we all have kids, though different ages, and are all working mums in a variety of senses – though they would probably consider me the most career-oriented.

Friday we took it easy, kicked back with an easy chicken, salad & bread roll dinner and swapped updates on progress of our families. The Saturday, after a late brekkie, we cruised the local shops and then headed for a massage at the local ‘skin care & beauty therapy’ spot. Lovely. This part of our yearly ritual, and as the shop has added a new ‘energy cocoon’, we have promised ourselves an hour of a mud wrap cocoon, to be followed by an hour of hot rocks massage… Can’t wait!

Dinner was takeaway pizza and pasta, and 3 bottles of champers! This is where I flag I abstained. The meds I’m on do not allow me to drink alcohol – thinks could get very messy. So while it was a merry night, I was not quite as merry as others. All good fun though. This is where the value of coming together once a year is fabulous. There will be no judgement as it will be a year before we are all together in the same room again.
The weather was truly wintry, but I do like the beach in winter. Except that Saturday afternoon the rain started, and stayed. And followed me home for all the drive on Sunday morning. Who cares though, when you have a comfy house with great company. And of course a few blankets.




Sew frigging what (Post 26)

I’ve been losing the battle in re-sewing the MJ calisthenics costume.

On a positive note, I have won the war with the sewing machine. I downloaded the manual for a somewhat similar Janome and managed to deduce what was wrong. After a fiddle or two with dials and knobs, the sewing machine likes me again.

On a lesser than positive note, re-sewing the costume to make it tighter is nightmarish. I have not finished either. I’m away this weekend, so the earliest I will get back to it is probably Monday. And I’ve just discovered an email from my boss asking me to facilitate a session on Monday afternoon. Bugger. I was going to do a half day for home on Monday, as I need to be in the office Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Not sure I can say no though, as the participants include our Executive team and members of the Board. Double Bugger. Will try to talk my way out of it tomorrow. Not expecting success.

All said, I’m pretty GRRRRR at the moment. I’m thinking. This MJ costume is going to have as much remodelling as the real thing. And I don’t think the original was happy with the end result either.


Snap, crackle, pop (Post 25)

At the best of times, when I get tired I get testy. If you add the woozies and a sensation of being off-balance, the tiredness comes earlier and the grouchies follow.

I was fine at work for most the day, with the dizziness and imbalance setting in as I left for the day just after 4pm. It had been a pretty good day health-wise so I was disheartened when the same old sensations returned. By the time I got home after the 1 1/4 hr commute, I was suffering.

Then it doesn’t take much. The joking response of ‘really, do I have to?’ from my husband when I ask him to take Kid1 to calisthenics. The call of ‘Muuummm’, which usually means one of the kids, or both, ‘need, something. Realizing the bins aren’t out yet. The dog faithfully following me every step around the house as his way of saying he hasn’t been fed yet.

Snap. Crackle. Pop.

My family has worn this for the last 2 months. In my life at the moment, the world does end with a bang, not a whimper.



Procrastination 101 (Post 24)

So I was working at home today, and it all went well… till about 12pm. Then I happily went with any distraction I could find.

I found Twitter first – which is fun, but the distraction is only 140 characters at a time. Then WordPress. Woo hoo!!! I decided I’d give my blog a facelift.

Easy enough. Then I thought I’d add a category cloud, as I liked how this looked on Kate’s blog. Not so simple. I hadn’t realised how many posts I hadn’t categorised. UNCATEGORIZED was my favourite category!!! In fact, even when I’d chosen categories, I still had them listed has UNCATEGORIZED!

So I went through and updated them all. The best way to avoid work – it wasted almost an hour!!!!!

I then felt very guilty and finished the piece I was working on. Guilt is something you have to work on for Procrastination 101.

Now I think I’ll have a nanna nap. Because I can.


Memories of my mum (Post 23)

I’ve been sewing tonight (damn calisthenics costumes!) and it’s made me think of my mum.

She sewed a lot for me as a child. I remember calisthenics costumes she sewed – and she got the double whammy as I’m a twin, poor thing. There was a gorgeous princess dress – puffy short sleeves, a fitted bodice and A-line skirt in a satiny light blue, and a Pinocchio costume of shorts with braces and a white shirt. I’m sure there were others but they are the two costumes I remember.

A couple of years later there was also a ruffled peasant skirt with a broderie anglais blouse, and a corduroy a-line skirt with matching vest. Yes it was the ’70’s. Mum didn’t actually like sewing much, but she did it. She fair preferred knitting, and was a very talented knitter.

I got my love of knitting from my mum. I remember loving the jumpers she knitted me, as a child, as a teenager and as an adult. Unfortunately knitting was one of the first losses through Alzheimer’s. We weren’t aware that Mum was suffering from Alzheimer’s at that stage, and she blamed arthritis in her hands. Afterwards it was more apparent that she wasn’t able to follow the patterns anymore, and forgot where she was up to.

The last couple of things she knitted were a baby blanket and jumper for my first child. By the time Kid2 arrived, Mum had stopped knitting and within 18 months she was diagnosed. I still have the blanket and the jumper, and will keep them always.

I regret I didn’t keep the many jumpers she knitted and the clothes she sewed, but the sentimentality just wasn’t present then. I do have her knitting needles, and her old knitting box which has holes in the lid to determine the needle size – all imperial measurements of course. She used to have lots of old knitting patterns when I was a kid, but sadly they were discarded in a house move.

I have tried to pass my love of knitting and sewing on to my girls, but with no luck. It still may happen, but I think it’s unlikely. Perhaps I can have a go at the grandchildren, if I’m that lucky.


Teen parenting…. Karma (Post 21)

Last night there was a small incident, that it won’t go into to respect the privacy of the innocent, but it made me think back on my teen years, with my current perspective of a parent of teen daughters.

OMG! How did I survive my teens? To put things in context, my parents had but a small place in my teen years. My father was absent (returning when I was 18) and my mother abdicated from the role of strong parent. My older brother escaped the family home when I was 14. As a result my other brother, sister and I were pretty much left to do what we wanted, unsupervised. And we did.

It horrifies me now – both in terms of what I got up to and the risks I took. Boy, if I’d had me as a parent I would been locked up with the key thrown away. I mixed with a rough crowd – into alcohol and things by 15-16yo. I was very much on the periphery of this group, as a somewhat straight teen trying to be way cooler than I was. As an insecure girl, without a huge amount of self-esteem, it was risky place to be as I was joining in things I knew were not right and that I didn’t really want to do – but I didn’t want to be seen as the conservative, uncool person that was really me.

Now I see my daughters and worry. In some ways the risks are less – they are far more knowledgeable than I was. And they both generally have more confidence than I did. But the risks, though changes, are still very real. For instance, any slip ups now, and it can be immortalised on social media. The peer pressure is still there, as are woeful teen self-image issues, and alcohol and drugs are ever present.

So I tell my kids:
– tell me anything. I will always have known worse and I’d rather know.
– trust yourself and your gut instinct over anyone else.
– the friends you have in high school (as a teen) are generally friends by proximity only. As an adult you will choose your friends differently, based on what ‘you’ like, rather than a need to be part of something.
– accept that the teen years have a load of crap that is a part of it all. Very few remember their teen years as ‘the best of times’.

I know they will both grown into wonderful adults but I hope their paths are not too bumpy. You need some bumps to develop the ‘smarts’, but I hope they don’t have too many so they get damaged on the way through.

At the end of it all, I think I turned out OK – so my kids should be fine. But there were some rough, vulnerable years there.

I am ‘sweet’ 16 in the photo. Not sure what the hair was about though 😉