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A Day in the Life… Schedule of Secrets

by Cliff Lewis • August 3, 2011 In an earlier episode, the developer provided a To Do List solution for displaying AWS assignments. This solution works well but, from user input, the developer learns of a short coming.

“I caught these two at it again,” spits the developer as he shoves Fred and George into the boss’s office.  George, a respected proofreader, has been with the company for more than twenty years. And Fred, a production designer, is always looking for creative ways to circumvent the system.

Without a word, the developer flips a folded piece of paper onto the boss’s desk. As the boss opens the paper, his confused look turns to dismay. What he has in his hands is contraband print out of a job schedule. “Oh this again… what’s the big deal? So what if they print out a schedule now and then?” the boss sympathetically responds.

The developer’s eyes flash “Big Deal?” He shouts, “Look at the date on that! It was printed out over a week ago!” Then, as he pounds his fist on the desk for each syllable, he recites, “SCHEDULES ON PAPER ARE OBSOLETE AS SOON AS THEY ARE PRINTED!” He turns his venomous glare to the two employees who are now looking quite ashamed. He continues in earnest “Don’t you realize how dangerous it is to pass print schedules around? In the wrong hands, someone could assume the dates to be accurate. Those dates could be days or even weeks off. This could disrupt the workflow of the entire shop.”

The developer pauses for a response. George sheepishly replies, “But I need the schedule so I know where to route the proofs when I am done.”

Fred jumps in, “We used to have the schedule right on the job bag. We could see who was next in the workflow.”

George adds, “But now that the schedule is in Virtual Ticket, it is hard to get that information.”

There is a moment while this comment floats around the office. The boss turns to the developer and breaks the silence, “Oh, why don’t you just give them access to the Schedule Form in VT? They can then see all the schedule details they need.”

“WHAT? They could also change any information they want. That is not an option!”  snaps the developer.

“Alright then, create a Schedule Review form that is read-only and give them access to that,” replies the boss, growing tired of the conversation. With a shoo, shoo gesture the boss looks away and says, “Just go do your programming magic and leave these people alone.”

After an hour of cool down, the developer reruns the conversation through his head. “Well, the boss is right. The employees should not be reprimanded for trying to overcome a flaw in my system. The Schedule Review form will help provide the information but it is not enough.” He thinks for a moment and then smiles, his eyes twitch as he thinks through a new idea.

Later that day the developer was back in the boss’s office. As they both stared into the monitor, the developer explains, “Clicking on the Job in the To Do List will open the Schedule Review form.” The screen changes to display the new form. The developer continues, “This is the simple view of the schedule we discussed. It shows the status of each assignment and who is assigned to it.”

“That looks good. That’s what the staff need,” responds the boss.

“Yeah, that is good but I thought of an additional solution,” replies the developer as he now clicks on the To Do List to complete a schedule assignment. After Virtual Ticket acknowledges the completion of the assignment, another window pops up. This window displays the next activity in the workflow and who is assigned. The developer explains, “Now every time an employee completes an assignment they will be instructed where to route the job materials.”

“Good job,” commends the boss “You always come through with good solutions. But next time, maybe lighten up a bit and don’t be so serious.”

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