PPPPPP- FUBAR

PhoenixBill

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To be fair, all corporate projects aren’t disastrous boondoggles. All managers aren’t incompetent buffoons. All corporate directives aren’t illogical hallucinations. Nevertheless, with enough time in the corporate environment, examples pop up all too frequently and the Dilbert cartoons ring true far too frequently.
 

Teleguy61

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Contracted IT services, in my experience, are universally salespeople, and they promise to
whatever, usually inexperienced and not in touch with the real world, contact that their new system
will be able to do anything, including slicing bread and controlling all the Roombas in the
main office facility.
I am tempted to say it never works, but that is maybe--maybe--too extreme. It is usually not as advertised.
My wife's office has transitioned to a new platform and no one, not one person, ever asked the operations people, who make the business run after all, what was needed.
Not one, not once.
Total SNAFU.
 

bluesfordan

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uh oh, that is exactly what my credit union has been sending me emails about for the last couple of months. last time I logged in there was something about not being able to see everything from May 12-18th.

OP - it wasn't DCU, was it?
 

burntfrijoles

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To be fair, all corporate projects aren’t disastrous boondoggles. All managers aren’t incompetent buffoons. All corporate directives aren’t illogical hallucinations. Nevertheless, with enough time in the corporate environment, examples pop up all too frequently and the Dilbert cartoons ring true far too frequently.
I think that's fair. "All" is too generalized but I think "some are boondoggles"; "too many are incompetent buffoons"; "too many corporate directives are short sighted and out of touch".
We encouraged far too many talented folks to enter management, marketing and finance instead of STEM. Corporations pay lip service to excellence as they are focused more on the market and bonuses.
Prior to retirement, I saw too many decisions being made by people far removed from the customer and stakeholders. I saw red flags which were raised ignored or minimized by the PTB. There was a growing disconnect workers and executives.
Leadership is now an oxymoron.
UPDATE: The Credit Union announced that all was well with online services but the mobile system was still down. Less than 30 minutes later they rescinded that proclamation and we enter another day of downtime. I'm telling you this is sheer brilliance at work.
 

Wrighty

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Prior Planning Prevents P!$$ Poor Performance
My credit union has been converting to a new "On Line Banking Experience" since Friday. The system is still not back up. I can only guess that they have a crappy vendor, crappy IT department, a crappy host system among other failings.
The institution has been teasing this new "experience" for almost a year and, if I recall correctly, it was supposed to occur much earlier.
I don't know how much they tested the system, including their cutover plans but they have failed completely thus far.
I am not an IT guy but I have been involved with conversions and cutovers for entire hospital systems. Some went more smoothly than other and one was severely impacted by the inadequacy of the host system, compounded by the failure of the tech support folks who were an outsourced contract service. (The system functioned, it was just incredibly slow.)
The current situation can only be described as a complete cluster F.
I am just venting.
That’s what system ‘improvements’ do. Everything from the primary school dinner menu to the UK railway time tables and everything in between won’t work for months after tge ‘upgrade’. Computers are supposed to help us do the jobs we’ve always done faster and more efficiently by cutting out the drudgery. Unfortunately, come the Monday morning start up the most common conversation is: employee ‘I want to do this’. IT bod: ‘you now have to do this’…………………In other words ‘we don’t know how to make the computer do what you want’
 

bluesfordan

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That’s what system ‘improvements’ do. Everything from the primary school dinner menu to the UK railway time tables and everything in between won’t work for months after tge ‘upgrade’. Computers are supposed to help us do the jobs we’ve always done faster and more efficiently by cutting out the drudgery. Unfortunately, come the Monday morning start up the most common conversation is: employee ‘I want to do this’. IT bod: ‘you now have to do this’…………………In other words ‘we don’t know how to make the computer do what you want’
at my old accounting job, we went with Oracle in an attempt to homogenize the three separate divisions of the company, now that they were all under one roof at the new facility. Needless to say, it was a clusterboink. Almost none of our reports would run the way we wanted them to. Millions of dollars were thrown at the boondoggle. While I am not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination, I eventually beat my head against the wall enough to extract the reports we wanted.

When I mentioned that at my next review, they were like "so, you want a medal or something? That's your job."

"No, it isn't. I went above and beyond, and I'd like some recognition for that."

Did I mention I was getting paid a princely 13.06 an hour? Which was apparently too much to spend so they outsourced my job overseas? **** a bunch of MBA ditherheads.

The upside was I got out of that miserable job and life went on.
 

Wrighty

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at my old accounting job, we went with Oracle in an attempt to homogenize the three separate divisions of the company, now that they were all under one roof at the new facility. Needless to say, it was a clusterboink. Almost none of our reports would run the way we wanted them to. Millions of dollars were thrown at the boondoggle. While I am not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination, I eventually beat my head against the wall enough to extract the reports we wanted.

When I mentioned that at my next review, they were like "so, you want a medal or something? That's your job."

"No, it isn't. I went above and beyond, and I'd like some recognition for that."

Did I mention I was getting paid a princely 13.06 an hour? Which was apparently too much to spend so they outsourced my job overseas? **** a bunch of MBA ditherheads.

The upside was I got out of that miserable job and life went on.
‘Clusterboink’ what a word that is!
 

getbent

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Lots of organizations are scrambling right now. There are threats to systems that the guys who wrote the original code never could have imagined.... so, companies are spread thin, budgets are tight, but the work has to go on... which means... the kinds of problems the OP is encountering.
 

Mjark

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I would assume most sophisticated IT departments have development, testing and live environments for maintenance and ongoing enhancement R&D but who knows. Financial folks should have crackerjack IT folks.
One advantage the big evil banks have is good IT. We do virtually all our banking on line.
 

archetype

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Years ago I worked in corporate for a large multI-national company. They announced with great fanfare that they were going to implement a complete ERP system; when a customer purchased a product, raw materials to replace it would be automatically ordered and the whole system (production, warehousing, maintenance etc) would be tuned accordingly. Dozens of contractors were employed in an off-site office to work on the complexities of the many factories involved but senior management kept sending out weekly updates that all was going well and a rollout date was announced with a daily countdown sent out to all employees. Then…the evening before the scheduled rollout…a new email was sent out.
The entire project was cancelled. All contractors on the project were immediately dismissed. (This boondoggle was easily a $15 million waste of money; I interviewed one of the participants for a grad school paper.) Yet the senior managers still collected their annual bonuses even though the rest of us didn’t get a raise that year.

Project Management International has analyzed the market for decades and states (IIRC) that 50-60% of projects fail. Generally it's organizational disfunction that provides the origins of those failures.
 

archetype

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I don't imagine that the Credit Union developed their own system in-house but rather selected a vendor with expertise and a number of successful installations. In health care systems there are two very dominant vendors of health information systems and a few others that are quite established. I've been through four major conversions in these complex systems and two went smoothly. One was compromised by and inadequate host system (which was predictable and should have been anticipated by IT management) and the other was a failure of piss poor planning and an almost laissez-faire approach by IT. In the latter instance, one department performed well because they had excellent planning and were well trained.

Having been in healthcare IT for 15 years I've seen how things work and don't work. The best team, supported by the best vendor, can design, test, and implement the best systems, but...

So many implementations are derailed by the client's pride-bound business leadership that believes:
- That they are smart, so experienced advice from subject matter experts isn't heeded or needed.
- Risks will never turn into incidents, so don't plan for them and especially...
- Don't allocate a contingency fund to fix risks that turn into incidents.
- Schedules are infinitely malleable.

@burntfrijoles I've mainly dealt with Cerner, some Epic, and a dozen smaller EHRs. I was a Project Manager on the infrastructure side, with my specialty being full responsibility for design and implementation of all computing, printing, networking, and telecom for new hospitals, from 4 orange stakes in the ground to full occupancy.

I've delivered great success to hospitals and believe strongly in the mission. During my last gig I retired because I could no longer stand the incompetence of "leadership" and the organizational disfunction it wrought. The things I was hired to do were thwarted at every turn until I decided I wouldn't tolerate it. I was generous in giving a month's notice to effect a proper transition. I was the 5th or 6th PM in that role and all previous PMs had quit or been fired.
 

burntfrijoles

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We do virtually all our banking on line.
I think most people do. I think many banking systems are closing brick and mortar branches. I've been an on-line user for at least 15 years. I have two banks and one of them is a fully internet bank. (Ally)
I've been an IT business analyst and project manager in hospital systems. I'm sure you and I could swap hair-raising stories.
Most definitely. Some are more hair raising than others.
This current banking/credit union conversion is the poorest I have seen. It's a good thing someone's life is not at stake because they would be dead!
 

burntfrijoles

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I've mainly dealt with Cerner, some Epic, and a dozen smaller EHRs.

During my last gig I retired because I could no longer stand the incompetence of "leadership" and the organizational disfunction it wrought.

So many implementations are derailed by the client's pride-bound business leadership

I worked with Cerner, first as an end user for 7 years and then as an analyst for another 7 years. IMO Cerner's greatest strength was the ability to customize the experience for the end user. Hospitals are like fingerprints. They are all different. They have different logistics, programs, services etc. Our implementation went smoothly in most areas and not as smoothly in a few but, overall, would be considered a great success. When I retired Cerner began pushing their "turn key" system approach and some of the hospitals in our national group bought into it. From what I hear, it has experienced massive problems. Turnkey may work in smaller applications but they are worthless in complex systems like a hospital. Additionally, hospitals are constantly changing with new innovations, methods, programs, procedures. The vendor has to evolve to meet changing needs.
It's not always the client's problem. Sometimes it's the vendor. A vendor can mislead or inadequately address client specific needs. I'm just glad I'm out of it.
In the case of this credit union, something obviously went terribly wrong whether it's the in-house IT folks or the vendor.
UPDATE: Just shy of 5 days and the system is only up periodically but exceedingly slow and transactions are not posting. The mobile app is dead.
Further, the "improved experience" promised is pure BS. Bill pay with e-bills is much worse from appearances. The interface is prettier so the enhancements may just be cosmetic.
In summary it's a total $h!+ show.
After the dust clears, and things appear to be stable enough I may consider switching to another bank. I have lost confidence in these folks.
 

archetype

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I worked with Cerner, first as an end user for 7 years and then as an analyst for another 7 years. IMO Cerner's greatest strength was the ability to customize the experience for the end user. Hospitals are like fingerprints. They are all different. They have different logistics, programs, services etc. Our implementation went smoothly in most areas and not as smoothly in a few but, overall, would be considered a great success. When I retired Cerner began pushing their "turn key" system approach and some of the hospitals in our national group bought into it. From what I hear, it has experienced massive problems. Turnkey may work in smaller applications but they are worthless in complex systems like a hospital. Additionally, hospitals are constantly changing with new innovations, methods, programs, procedures. The vendor has to evolve to meet changing needs.

Yes! You've been there and done that.

Without naming names, I worked for a system that was one of the two biggest Cerner installations in the world. It was highly-customized across multiple hospitals and ambulatory facilities and we always had a ton of Cerner employees embedded in our own teams.

The Cerner folks told us that the most prevalent client complaint they received was that the software needed to be customized (that cost a lot of money) and many clients wanted to run something that came in a shrink-wrapped box and required very little work. Cerner certainly knew better, but IMO caved to this idea with disastrous results. One-size-fits-all fits no one when it comes to EHR use: clinicians and, ultimately, patients pay the price daily. Cerner should have left the shrink-wrap, lower end, price conscious market To Meditech, Allscripts, etc.

Folks, I now return you to your regularly scheduled program, especially for those with no interest in Electronic Health Records (until you're lying in a hospital bed and listening to a nurse swear under her/his breath while staring at a monitor).
 




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