It never ceases to amaze me–you start a new job (or contract, in my case), and things go fine until you need some specialized piece of knowledge. Like in my case, this week, how to do a new copy for CICS? Not only does IBM change the process every now and then, but sometimes shops have their own custom way of doing it.
After trying to find something on the company web site, I finally just called a guy that had helped me recently with an unrelated problem, but at least he had a connection to CICS. I got the answer with a simple email, “newc.” Sure enough, that was the transaction that I needed to get it done.
Why is this so hard?
Companies have set up intranets to make things easy to find. But, they never are. Sure, I can always find the cafeteria menu, but I can’t find any reference to a CICS expert. It would be so easy to do.
- A forum (or wiki). You could post a question, and everyone could benefit from the answer, by doing a search on whether someone had posted it before.
- A list of subject matter experts. Duh. Like someone who does a lot of CICS programing. And someone who’s a systems programmer.
- An area in the company directory where people could list their areas of expertise.
Here’s another example that fits in this category that I thought was pretty funny. I was trying to find a sort option that would let me replace a character, x’20’, with a blank. After searching on the internet, I found the solution–a parm card called findrep (find and replace). I tried it. Abend. Huh? Oh yeah, my installation hasn’t upgraded Syncsort to that level. We might have it, but who would I call to ask? No clue.
Yes, I could try the Help Desk, and I might actually get to the right person, but you know how that goes–“Tell me what Syncsort is, again?”
I’ve even tried, when I was an employee, to elevate ideas like this to upper management. I never got a response. I think they think I’m just trying to get them to look at a social network implementation. I can’t seem to get my point across.
Take this freebie
So, if any IT management execs are reading this, you have a green light to bring up this brilliant suggestion as if it were your own. You’ll get a guaranteed good response from my peers.