Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Fun at UMB

Tonight I got my first introduction to Microsoft Project. My IT project management class is not going quite the way I'd hoped it would-my project team of five includes three people (including me) with some experience implementing IT projects and I had begun to suspect that we would all be better off if we didn't know a thing about IT-my suspicions were confirmed when we talked to the professor tonight. The professor is vague and unclear and always goes over time.

Tonight, as a special treat we got to go work in a computer lab on MS Project. The professor had a handout of things to do. The handout was written assuming we'd be using Project 2007. The lab had Project 2010 installed. Apparently they're a bit different.

Trying to get the project done was like learning a piece of new software while sitting in North Station. Instead of the announcements being "Now loading on Track 5 is the 5:40 PM train to Newburyport" the announcements were 1)the professor suggesting certain things and 2) getting them wrong and having someone else from the class correct him and telling everyone what to do (even though very few of my classmates have used Project before we are mostly IT types who are used to figuring out software and helping others figure it out. I would have been highly amused by the class offering usage tips to the Prof if I hadn't just been annoyed.) but even so the interruptions were mostly distracting. One of my team mates was sitting next to me-he spoke to me in soothing tones when it looked like I was frustrated. That helped.

But UMB? Get your ass together! I've taken technical classes at Bunker Hill and the lab write-up for what we had to do was always better written and (and this is important!) matched the software/hardware that was *actually* installed on the computers we had to work on. If I'm about to train people on a piece of software I make sure that it's installed on the PC(s) I'm about to train them on and that the training materials that I've written up correspond with what they are going to experience. I'm not a Rocket Scientist (or even a Rock Scientist) but this is common sense. Furthermore, I don't just hand them the training material and tell them to "have at" I lead them through the process.

So that was fun.

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