Time for a morale booster…
This is just a short post and I’ll try to keep it brief because it’s the message that’s important, but the background to the lesson would otherwise be long winded.
EDIT: This turned out longer than expected
So I work on a lot of projects all at one time as resources for one project may not be available until a certain date or whatever and this means I can maximise progress. Skip ahead if lists bore you. Let’s start with a sample of some I’m working on or have built (which will be vague on purpose or seem silly without scope, but hear me out). So here’s the list and status:
- Arcade machine for work (mame etc.) – 50% complete.
- 3d printer to use at work to engage staff from the less technical departments or make available for whoever to use. – 100% Complete a year ago
- Rfid Scanner for the Genius Bar so employees can scan their ID to bring up details for their IT support instead of answering 100 boring questions and waiting for the IT guy to type it all in etc. but also prints a free barcoded coffee voucher for use in our cafe – 100% complete 2 years ago
- A virtual reality/augmented reality product (details I will keep under wraps) – 10% complete due to lack of resources 🙁
- A gesture interface to slide shows (think leap motion)
- A kiosk to try the new technology before IT release it to the company.
- Targeted trouble shooting teams (think A-Team for IT.) containing devs, support, network, hardware specialists who can consult or make problems go away more efficiently due to being self contained – 100% designed and pitched a year ago.
- Customer focused solutions that reduced a complicated chore of booking a meeting room or logging an issue to a 3 click process – 100% strategy complete and initial projects scoped.
- An innovation corner to allow other staff to see what we really can offer and how it could change their workflow for the better.
So the boss takes myself and a few key managers out on a field trip to a company that recently won an innovation award. I’m excited to see innovation that I didn’t have to create because personally I don’t think my stuff is that good. The first thing we notice when we arrive is that the place is clean and comfortable. The color schemes are well thought out etc. Generally a beautiful office. So we meet the tech manager and the tour starts.
Eventually we arrive at the Genius bar where they have an RFID scanner for logging customer details. This is right next to the Innovation Area. On display is nice makerbot 3d printer just below the Leap Motion gesture interface device and virtual/augmented reality tech, for which they’re creating a new product and uses EXACTLY the same tech as my work. Next to all of that is a little touch screen kiosk on the wall where you can try out Windows 10 now before the company deploys it. The tour continues and we’re told about they’re trouble shooting teams and how they’re reducing number of clicks to a solution so customers have a better IT experience. Basically EVERYTHING I’ve been doing.
Now don’t get me wrong, there were a few things there were some great innovations and implementations that I’d not thought of and I picked up a few to bring home. At first I was heart broken because everything I was doing (and struggling to do due to lack of company buy in or support, mind you) was being done here (some things I’d done years before them) and they won prestigious awards for it! You can imagine I was quite sad.
But here’s the moral of the story. If you believe in your idea, don’t give up. Try it, and, if it fizzles no matter how much you try to make it work, shelve it for another time or environment.
I had great ideas. They weren’t failing because they were silly or sucked. It was the environment. They are great ideas. They’re just executed somewhere else. Right now I’m happy I found out I was capable doing something good.