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Work has become a little more.. interesting..

My forecast model for Customer Accounts has pretty much been completed... For the last three weeks I've been moving at my own pace, gradually putting together a model I can feel confident in, that has the functionality I really need. It's been very much my own little thing, with no pressure or real expectations.

Suddenly, the whole thing has kicked up a gear (or three).. When I went in today, it was all fun and games, and it was just a case of putting something together that worked. By the end of the day, I have the outline of some objectives against which I'll be measured in my half-yearly reviews, some deadlines, and a better idea of what my responsibilities in the coming weeks and months are likely to include.

All in all, I'm quite happy with that.. The idea that I will have to meet certain measurable standards in my forecast gives me something to aim at - it's almost like a game, in a way. A very statistical maths-based game, but a game nonetheless. But then, I used to say that about exams too..

Now that I know I'm pretty much aiming to be no more than 5% out in my monthly forecasts, and no more than 10% out in any given weekly forecast (still to be formalised, and perhaps modified to reflect that an over-forecast is better than an under-) it gives me a challenge, it sets out some clear guidelines and motivates me to improve my accuracy.

I suppose that's really the trade-off with the new position - on the one hand, you get more freedom and more interesting work (not to mention more money), but the price of that is justifying your work to others. In my old job, my objectives included such things as "Awareness of departmental stationary budgets" and "Knowledge of compliance regulations".. People really did write about how they save stationary by only using one paperclip at a time, and things like that. I got so fed up with my objectives that I added "Increase Card Revenue" and "Improve Customer Relationships" to mine, just for fun...

But in addition to the objectives, there are suddenly deadlines. By the end of next week, I have to report (and in several cases, find) a series of figures in order to build up a preliminary forecast until the end of next year. It's nothing I can't do, but it's the sudden existence of a date by which it must be done that's thrown me a little. Still, it's just another challenge :o)

But still, there's a great feeling of freedom.. Without phones to man all the time, it seems that provided I do 35 hours of work for the department per week, how they're spread out isn't overly important. Hence four hours of interest calculations on Wednesday, two hours of interest calculations today, and I'm still on target for over 35 hours of my own work.. Ah, the joys of being a workaholic.. :o)

Yesterday's interest calcs were really rather boring - it was just 30 accounts, all with the same thing happening on the same date, and all of them were spot on. Well, for me, anyway. The other area doing the testing was using a prototype spreadsheet that I hadn't tested fully, and kept getting different answers because I'd cocked it up. But today's was good fun.. it was more of a problem solving exercise than anything else, and it reminded me just how much I like playing around with my spreadsheet...

I'm just off on a ramble now, I've noticed. Oh well..

Tomorrow should be quite good fun - I'm playing with the Productivity people, doing some process mapping, and trying to understand how their composite key volume indicators translate to headcount requirements. Yes, this is fun to me. Sorry...

Anyway, I'll end it there, I talk about work far too much anyway...


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