Meeting with da boss

June 11, 2011 at 10:44 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I think this organisation is full of Indian Chiefs… I met with another top management, whom I supposed is the Managing Director.

My actual organisation supervisor is an Indian as well, but she claim herself to be a born-and-bred African… there’s a Sales Manager, and 2 other ppl with the title of “Business Manager” who is also an Indian as well.

…The typical Indians whom we classify as foreign talents in Singapore… all here as top management.
So… we just gotta learn to live with it…

It was a good introduction chat… da boss told me to know more about Africa, the region, and the country…

Also, I’m on the same page with him with regards to finding a focus for this internship, rather than going all around trying to cover all bases 😉


Friday happenings…a rude awakening

June 11, 2011 at 09:32 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Determined to make today a productive day, I thought through all that have happened over the past 3 weeks and came up with a list of targeted questions for the users.

The main objective was to address the problem of data error coming from the measurement of oil in storage tanks. What the people at production would do is a process called tank sounding to measure the volume of oil. Then they would measure the temperature. Using this 2 data, they would perform some calculation to determine the tonnage of oil in tank.

I thought that since errors are coming from data collection, perhaps it could be the manual calculation and entering of data that could possibly go wrong…and the solution would be to build the formula into the system to do the calculation.
Turn out that it was already being done, with the exception of 3 tanks without calibration data in place… so for that, the user will still have to perform manual calculation.

In conclusion, there wasn’t a real problem.

Towards the end of the day, my pseudo-supervisor came into the office and asked me what I’ve done.
Happily, I reported the above and she retorted rudely ” so what have you done? what are you going to do about it?”
“Could you come up with an Excel chart to help the user do away with manual calculation?”
I was too shocked to formulate a reply… so I simply kept quiet.

Sure I can… the Excel formula would be simple: Mass = Density x Volume
But does it help solve the problem?
…and most likely it would be wrong, because the data is with reference to a calibration data for the tank, and the density table for the particular oil concerned… i.e. I will have to make assumption that the oil tank is a perfect cylinder and the oil expands linearly with temperature increase…
…and I could do all these since I’m so free, but would it be “busy work”?

Must change be necessary?

Must “something” visible need to be done?

Perhaps this is my rude awakening… people out there wants to see something tangible (an Excel chart, a report, etc) done & would not accept the recommendation for things to remain status quo…
Imagine if a company hires a consultant, and the consultant simply diagnose that nothing is wrong with the company, it should remain as it is, would the client be able to accept it?
It would be like a patient who is down with a minor infection going to a doctor… the doctor, with the right diagnosis, simply tell the patient to go home and rest, drink more water etc., without prescribing any medication, would the patient accept it?

Hmm, some food for thought for me…

…and for a funny link very applicable to me, uncanny resemblance of a lifeguard part-time job:

Professional Attachment 2011

June 8, 2011 at 10:25 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m pretty confident I could have gotten a good grade for my previous internship, but since it’s an unofficial one, I still have to do my Professional Attachment (PA) as part of my course requirement… but still, that internship was a good one and provided me a valuable learning experience!

I’m in Ghana now doing my PA. First week was spent travelling & trying to settle down; second week was the understanding of job scope and learning the operations of the company, very productive I must say; now in the third week, there seem to be a break in the momentum, getting stuck in the rut & not making any progress in work, reading the same report & reviewing the same process flow chart over & over again… no progress means no progress 😦

So I guess it’s time now to get into the reflective mood, and reviving this blog seems like a good idea… the only issue is the erratic Internet connection here that makes web-surfing a frustrating experience… oh well …

What is Lotus Notes?

September 1, 2010 at 03:50 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Internship Experience…

August 11, 2010 at 14:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reading up on “Havard Business Review on Knowledge Management”, came across this paragraph which perfectly summarises my internship experience.
“When Suchman asked the clerks how they did their jobs, their descriptions corresponded more or less to the formal procedures of the job manual. But when she observed them at work, she discovered that the clerks weren’t really following those procedures at all.
Instead, they relied on a rich variety of informal practices that weren’t in any manual but turned out to be crucial to getting the work done. In fact, the clerks were constantly improvising, inventing new methods to deal with unexpected difficulties and to solve immediate problems”

R&R in HK

July 1, 2010 at 14:33 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Took a package sightseeing tour to HongKong Island (I’m in Kowloon) today, since it’s a public holiday in HK.

Ok, back to work 😦

high & dry

June 22, 2010 at 04:28 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I can’t help but feel that my Singapore boss simply don’t care about this project.

A list of meeting agenda does not serve as a guide…

Left high & dry, I could only try my best… 加油!

My meeting with the Profs today…

June 17, 2010 at 10:23 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Met with my two professors today… and here is my takeaway, sharing with everybody:

  1. Identify current problems and foreseeable problems from expansion; differentiate between process problems and human problems
  2. Identify several business process flows based on customer type (customer’s requirements that determines the process)
  3. Differentiate between product specific and/or customer specific processes
  4. Key account management; having an IT system customized to interface with key customers so as to provide a convenient channel for business transactions, customers would think twice about switching middleman (a possible motivation for having the IT system)
  5. Document Management System; tagging of documents, document versioning or document trail
  6. Try to look at the same problem from the perspective of another industry

A tale of two cities

June 15, 2010 at 15:58 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Something random; and not related to the Charles Dickens novel…

Singapore cat (felis catus singapore):
Fat, dumb, and happy … already lost the instinct to forage for their own food, not to mention hunt for mouse, birds etc.

Jakarta cat (felis catus jakarta):
Stealthy, hungry, and still possess the ability to hunt.

Witness for the first time in my life, an actual cat which managed to get a mouse in Jakarta… while Singapore cats only wait for those “cat lovers” to feed them with cat biscuits…
…but let me not blame Singapore cats, being lazy is their survival strategy; by tugging on the heart-strings of cat lovers, they get their food which ensured their survival… a successful strategy…

But as a Homo Sapien Singaporean, I need to constantly remind myself to stay hungry, and not get too comfortable here … let’s get out of the comfort zone and work my ass off!!!

time to tap into the brains of the Profs

June 14, 2010 at 16:47 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Since Mr Singapore Boss & Mr Developer is both on leave, I figured out that the best thing I can do is to ask my Profs out for lunch or coffee, to tap into their vast reserves in their brains, and also into their many years of experience.

Hope this will help ensure the success of my project.

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