Category Archives: Work

The BST didn’t go smooth

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The BST didn’t go as smooth as I hoped.

For one, the netbooks that were used for the UAT and training should have been configured properly, otherwise testers would have highlighted that they’re experiencing problems doing the test or training.  Testers did not log any issue about this before.  So, yeah … the netbooks weren’t configured as they should have been.

Second, the network at the client’s office was intermittent.  We encountered errors when submitting the document to the system.

Geez … one really important advice.  If you were to do a business simulation test, you’ve got to make sure that it’s done properly.  Don’t be rushed to test your system.  It should be tested when it’s ready and it must be done in the production environment.  A simulation test should replicate as close as possible to the actual live system.  No point testing on the staging server.

Anyway, I do not know if it’s good news or bad.  Our system go live has been postponed to a later date.  My team is able to deliver the system free of bugs come Tuesday.  Unfortunately, the client has other plans in mind …

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Tomorrow is our BST

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BST … for Business Simulation Test.  We’re going to have it tomorrow and is going to be on-site.  This means making a visit to a substation somewhere in Klang Valley.

This is going to be interesting.  I mean, who gets to go into a substation?  Only the foremen and engineers, right?

Let’s see if I can snap some pics of how it looks like on the inside 😛

It’s 10:07 pm.  I’m now still in the office.  At the last minute, a lot of things are required for tomorrow morning.  And yes, as usual a lot of the work that we’ve been doing was needed like yesterday.  Everything is urgent.  We just keep going …

Menara TM is HOT HOT HOT!

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Menara TM is like a sauna!  The air conditioning has broken down since yesterday.  We heard that it’ll only be fixed by Sunday.  Oh dear … imagine being cooped up with no windows to open 😦

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The day after the air-conditioning broke down, we were running a UAT session in a training room.  There were about 20 of us in there.  The desktop computers were switched on and so were notebooks.  No ventilation … So we had to bring  couple of standing fans in.  It became really stuffy that some opt to move to the meeting room next door.  Some testers complained they couldn’t think … from lack of oxygen 😛 Everyone was stressed out.

I’ll be working this weekend …

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Yesterday, we had the project status update meeting with our customer.  Their infra team has to refresh the staging environment for the UAT next week.  They will only refresh at off-peak hours, so that means they’ll only start at 6:00pm today.  It would take them at least 9 hours and their asking to give them till Saturday morning.  Well, that means we’ve to get in for work by noon.

With that, I’m thinking who’ll take care of the babies.  Hubby can look after the 2 older boys.  He might take them out somewhere.  He might just take them to Empire Gallery as the boys love to go there.  They’ve been going there with their Ty-Yan (Aunty Yan) and Neng (grandma), which I guess could be every week when I’m at work.

I guess I’ll bring the babies to work if I have to.  I do not want my mother-in-law to take care of them this weekend.  She’s been taking care of them during weekdays.  She needs her break.  Well, this is an option.  I still need to think about it.

Ok .. I gotta start work.  It’s critical time!  Haha … I’m exhausted 😦

1st day at work

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Yesterday was my first day back @ work.  It went OK.  The team was conducting SIT for the second application we were working on before I left for my loong leave.

My mind was half focusing on the session and the other half on my babies at home.  Last month, my colleague’s 3-month old baby passed on.  I saw him yesterday and asked how he and his wife are coping with the loss.  When asked how it happened, he explained that the doctors discovered she had early pneumonia. It is said that pneumonia is common in babies.  That day she was at the nursery as any other normal day.  She choked and that’s how it started.  The nursery called them and the baby was immediately taken to the hospital.  By evening, she was gone.  I couldn’t imagine how they feel, especially the wife.  She must have been utterly devastated.  It’s heart-wrenching for me to even hear this loss.

After reading some articles on “pneumonia and babies”, I have the urge to take the babies to Dr. Lee, the well-known paediatrician at Sime Darby Medical Centre.  Seeing him puts me at ease unlike other doctors.

Here are some babies and pneumonia articles I found at:

A belated Merry Xmas to everyone!

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Dear all,

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a belated Merry Xmas and Many Happy Returns! 

I was not well last week.  I had taken sick leave for the 3 days starting from Tuesday to Thursday.  However, I came in to work on Thursday for a few hours to check on urgent matters before the long weekend holiday.

Today, we’re back to work.  A few colleagues are away today.  I’m catching up on work … again.  We’ve a few deadlines this week to deliver to the client.  The requirements sign off is also in this week.  We hope that it’s signed off so the team can begin designing & developing the applications.

Adios …
Kawiz

Writing requirements documents

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The main question that pops up is what to write for your requirements documents.  In my team, we need to provide a Business Requirements Specifications (BRS) document and a Functional Requirements Specifications (FRS) document.

What’s BRS and what’s FRS?  How do these two documents differ?

Explanation on the differences between a few requirements documents can be found here.  There’s another page that explains the differences really good, particularly on how the BRS should be written:

Quote Conrad van Dyk:

1.The BRS should not be on a “broad level” unless that was your specific mandate. A proper BRS should be as specific as possible (hence the term “specification”).

2.The BRS should answer the “what is needed” question ONLY. I found that users/clients would sometimes insist on having specific design requirements in this document. I always advise such clients that I will rather draft the FRS containing that type of detail.

3.The BRS should always be in a format that the business will understand and should contain narration and diagrams that will make sense to the user/client. This might sometimes require you to be creative with regards to modelling (but being creative is what distinguish a good BA from a not so good one).

More on the answers given by others, click here.

Requirements gathering workshop

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Dear all,

I’ve been silent last week.  I’ve been pretty busy with requirements gathering workshops last week.

We are to revamp 2 existing applications that our client has been using for 12 and 8 years respectively.  So there’s a lot of good features that we need to maintain in the new applications.  The client have decided to revamp the applications as their direction is to have all applications to be on SharePoint platform – “To establish a scalable platform for communication, collaboration and knowledge exchange among employees”.

I’d like to share one website that talks about software requirements and I find it a good reference.

Cheers,

Kawiz

Taking meeting minutes, how important is it?

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I was asked to take minutes for another team during their User Requirements Confirmation Session last Wednesday.

What was meant to be a 4-hour meeting ended up lasting the whole day!  The main issue was the users were not sure what they want.  Even though the team has conducted 4 requirement workshops, the users were still not sure that day.  Furthermore, there was this particular person who was always trying to contradict a requirement.   He would usually start with, “Masalahnya … [bla bla bla]”.  So then the argument starts …

Anyway, before the meeting, it’s important to take attendance and know who are the people there.  Take note of the time the meeting started and use the meeting agenda to structure the minutes.

If you are not familiar with everyone, it would be good to have everyone give a short introduction before starting.

During the meeting, you must be attentive of what is being discussed, major issues raised and the decisions made.  Only take note of the main points.

At the end, take note of the time adjourned.

For us, our minutes format would also include an Actions List at the end.  So, everyone knows who needs to do what.

Once you’re done with the minutes, get a colleague to review its contents before sending out to the customers.  Also, when you email them, include a message like this:  “Please review the minutes attached.  If there are any changes needed, kindly reply within one week.  Otherwise, the minutes will be deemed correct.”  This would kind of help the team if there are users who tend to deny that they ever said something during the meeting, which tends to occur with tough users and those who do not want to take responsibility … hehehe …

SharePoint Certification for Functional Consultants

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My PM has been talking to the team about taking up a SharePoint certification.

After passing the exam – Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring – I would be getting the certification for Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist:  Microsoft OFffice SharePoint Server 2007 – Configuration.  More information here.

We target to take the exam next month.  Hmm … I need to make time to study … argh!