I’m looking again at my monthly output report summary for the first half of FY 2010-11, and the results show that it’s been far bleaker than ever. Average productivity rate for the first half of the year was only at 3.66 (the lower, the better), in which the target we have set for that first half was 2.25. Even worse, my productivity rate for December (start of the second half) was at 12.98, which is disastrous and beyond unimaginable. January was a bit better, but still not enough.
The problem now is making up for the next three months. Obviously, I will not be able to make it on our target 2.00 productivity rate by the end of fiscal year, but the goal now is to make the overall productivity rate look better.
So how did I end up here? Who’s fault was it? Somehow, I tend more to answer the second question. Were the cases that difficult? Am I just performing not at par? Well, the answer goes both ways.
Image courtesy of HubPages
During my mid-year evaluation with boss last week, she asked me if I’ve been distracted at work. Later on, she told me to focus more on my cases and how I’m working on them.
I will sound guilty on this, but for me those were clearly her indirect way of pointing out on my procrastinations at work. In short, my tendencies to browse other websites during work hours.
It’s more or less the same: Check outside e-mails, visit forums, read blogs (albeit gaming blogs have been lessened — just more into Gizmodo and Jalopnik nowadays), check a coupe of forums, and then social sites (very much less Facebook to be honest, but added Twitter).
There were a few days before that I tried not accessing any non-work sites at all. I felt those days were very productive, but to be honest, it was driving me mad. Perhaps I was just being accustomed to it, but there was a difference for sure between ‘browsing to keep you sane’ and ‘browsing just because your lazy’. I remember opening and closing my Yahoo Messenger every now and then, probably because my brain sensed it was my only non-work window during that time.
I then realized that probably the best way to handle this is not by stop opening non-work sites, but rather asking myself when should I open them, and ask myself if do I really need to.
Image courtesy of this awesome ‘What’s the deal with Angry Birds?’ comment thread.
Now how about my actual performance at work? I’m also at fault here because I think I’m getting dumber recently. That’s an honest assessment, really, but I won’t discuss it here because I believe it will be best discussed on a separate blog post. Anyway, moving on…
I’m still disappointed by the fact that when another colleague is trying to ask me on work stuff from my modules, I am unable to provide a quick, immediate answer to them. I believe that reflects on the way how I handle cases — most of the time I have no immediate answer to some of the client’s queries, especially on critical cases. Perhaps I have been too dependent on using the Advanced Search box and trying to find similar occurences.
And for most of the time, it ends up in frustration and panic, especially for urgent cases. It gets frustrating because not that I don’t want to handle that particular case anymore. But rather, I wish I knew the answer immediately so that I could solve that case faster.
Image courtesy of XKCD.
I do remember mentioning earlier that the problem goes both ways. One of the reason I said that is that lately, cases have been more and more difficult. That is expected for me as a P2 (some sort of designation telling that I am not an associate anymore) though, but then again it goes back to my problem earlier of not being able to solve cases quickly.
It would be nice if we will be assigned relatively easy cases every now and then. I do remember having one a few weeks ago, the client advised me to close it since the proper instruction was provided to them. It was a great feeling, knowing that I’m adding something to my monthly output that isn’t a workaround problem that won’t be counted in my analysis output.
Sure, if we keep on getting easy cases then we will only keep a good output, but the growth developed from solving difficult cases will not be there. But there will be always a great feeling of confidence, seeing your output count continuously increase.
Another issue that in some ways is out of our control, is that at times the client can be also the cause of our dip in outputs. Primarily those who do not reply when we need it the most.
I’m pretty sure you (assuming you, the reader, have the same line of work as mine) have had those times where you wanted to follow-up something, but we get no answer from them. And only when we give them a deadline, they reply with either a ‘No’, or a ‘Yes’ that is too late and already counted for the following month.
Worse, these cases get stuck in an eternal void that is our queue. When you try to get back on them, you end up with a time that could’ve been spent on other cases.
Perhaps my cases were the most strangest compared to everyone in the team. So far I have a case that has not reoccurred in the last 2 years but they still put it in their priority list, a case that is outside of our scope but the client still insists otherwise, a case that goes back and forth because the solution was made for another product, and a number of cases that keep on growing because of ‘testing’ that is yet to be completed.
Image courtesy of IMDB.
All of these leads to another dilemma — Sure I will have another chance of getting all of these right for next fiscal year, but will I even make it there without being sent into Performance Improvement Plan (PIP, because ‘being fired’ is way too pessimistic for me)? I had a sigh of relief when I got a ‘Successful’ rating last year, this year though, I’m still hoping that it’d be the same.
I REALLY do not want to end up in PIP because that will be very embarassing on my end. A P2 who’s performing badly? It would not only give a bad impression, but it may even spark some non-P2’s into bitching again.
Yes I am performing badly, but yes, I am doing something about it.