Times, they are a changin’…

This week has been exceedingly busy for me. At work, specifically. To bring some of you up to speed, I currently work as a Technical Support Engineer for a medium sized enterprise level software company. We specialize in process and methodology tools for use in software development. I have been working very hard towards transitioning myself from a full time support role, to a full time tech writing role within the same department. This has been slow going in the past two years, but things look like they will be changing in my favour fairly soon…

You see, we are trying to implement a new knowledge management tool as spear-headed by my boss. We have our Executive VP signed off on the project and even have P.O.s for the work, which is a HUGE achievement for us. My boss and I have been playing with the software; installing, configuring, using, and of course breaking it as best we can (after all we ARE in support!).

Monday was the first day of any serious work to be done on this project. We had the team from the vendor in the office along with 3 or 4 of us at any given time for introductions, and then into the “Statement of Work” definitions to determine exactly what needed to be done in order to ensure a successful rollout. This meant I was away from my desk for the better part of the day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, an event I am not used to. Seems this is the week for doing things I am not used to as I was also invited out to dinner on Monday night by the main sales guy from our vendor company. Being wined and dined at “The Bungalow” in Corona Del Mar was quite a treat, but more so was actually quite useful for me professionally as it allowed me to chat up another admin of the tool from a client company of the vendor who has been invited by the sales rep.

Tuesday saw some serious implementation discussions regarding both the hardware for the application to run on, as well as design factors within the app its self. I felt lucky that I was involved in these meetings since I was able to provide my opinion on certain items and help drive the look and feel of the tool once we are live.

Wednesday was more implementation work at a finer level of granularity. But don’t be fooled, this is not a roll out that will be done next week. Rather, our scheduled go-live date is the middle of April, and lord knows we need the time! There is a literal metric butt-load of work to be done before, during, and especially after the live date passes us by.

The huge news for me, however, is that both my boss and my Executive VP are treating me as the “Knowledge Manager” who will be in charge of the new tool and the authoring/review process. Potentially this will even create a team of people underneath me (which has its own issues I will need to overcome). The point here, though, is that my role as a support engineer will begin dwindling, and my role as the knowledge manager will begin increasing until it becomes a fulltime position, at which point my title and role will be officially changed. I will finally have something which I have been working towards for a very long time; I will have decision authority with regards to how knowledge is authored and provided to our customer base. I will finally have my hands quite dirty with writing content, creating process, and reviewing other engineers’ contributions. Damn, it almost feels like a REAL job with career potential!

While the above may not seem like a lot, it is HUGE for me. I finally am beginning to feel like a valued employee who has some beneficial contribution to make to the way we do business. More over, this is a good boost to my self esteem, which is (and has always been) pretty damn pathetic. My need for some level of validation is being realized in a material way which doesn’t include stupid engraved lucite “awards” to try an make me feel accomplished.

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