Date: November 3, 1977
Time: 12:00 Noon
Location: Golden Carriage
Topic: Computing Consortium in Higher Education
Speaker: Dr. Tim Brown, Chief of the Office of Research, Planning and Research Division Dept. of Social & Health Services
Ever wonder about the background of the persons making decisions on your hardware, software, and personal contacts? Each member of the Data Processing Authority Board has agreed to submit a brief personal profile for publication. We will include three (3) profiles a month.
John A. Cherberg
Mr. Cherberg has held the position of Lieutenant Governor of the State of Washington since 1957. Prior to his State service, he taught for twelve years and was football coach for the University of Washington for ten.
He has a long, long list of honorary awards and life memberships, including the Post-Intelligencer Man of the Year Award, the Flaherty Medal, an Honorary Life Membership in the Seattle Federation of Teachers, and is an Honorary Chief of the Yakima Indian Nation.
His current activities include the Senate Rules Committee, State Finance Committee, State Capital Committee, State Patrol Retirement Board, and the International Committee on Tourism and Trade.
Bert L. Cole
Commissioner of Public Lands, State of Washington
Bert L. Cole was first elected to a four year term as the State of Washington's Commissioner of Public Lands in 1956 and has consistently been reelected by one of the largest voter margins in the state.
He administers the Department of natural Resources (DNR) which manages nearly five million acres of forest, agricultural and aquatic lands.
His philosophy is stewardship of the land for the benefit of both present and future Washingtonians. Under his leadership, income from the management of state trust lands has increased from $9.6 million when he first took office, to $75. 5 million in fiscal 1977.
Cole recognizes that the strength of our state's economy is based on our renewable resources. He believes we can and must continue to have jobs in forestry and agriculture while protecting the quality of the environment.
Born and raised in Western Washington, he graduated from Ferndale High School and the University of Washington. Before his election to statewide office, he had been an educator, banker, logger, City Councilman and County Commissioner. Cole has received numerous awards in forestry and conservation, and has gained international recognition for his progressive management of natural resources.
C. E. Carpenter
Chuck Carpenter, as General Manager of the Newsprint Division, is responsible for the director of Weyerhaeuser Company's entrance into a totally new business of manufacturing and marketing newsprint. The first newsprint mill is under construction in Longview, Washington. Start up of the mill will be June of 1979. After the mill starts up, Mr. Carpenter will be responsible for the overall direction and administration of the Newsprint Division.
Prior to coming to Weyerhaeuser company in 1964, Mr. Carpenter was employed by Boeing as a technical writer, flight test engineer, and systems analyst. He is a former member of the Executive Council of the Society of Management Information Systems and the Executive Board of the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Brown received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1970. He has been involved in applied research programs since 1969 with research in suicide and community mental health programs.
Dr. Brown came to the Department in January 1975 and was promoted to Chief of the Office of Research in May 1976. His initial responsibility centers on a number of programs including mental health and developmental disabilities, to name a few.
Dr. Brown resides in Olympia, is married, and has one small daughter.
by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., Software Massager, IBM
The book is a collection of essays on Software Engineering, blending facts with the author's personal opinions, which makes for entertaining as well as, thought provoking reading.
He begins by likening large-system programming to the La Brea Tar Pits, where the fiercer the struggle, the more entangling the tar becomes. His analogy continues with the difficulty of pin-pointing the problem's - "Any particular paw can be pulled away."
He shows graphically the expenditure necessary to integrate a single program into a finished system product, which explains why the final result costs nine times as much as the program code.
The next chapter gives insights into estimating and scheduling large projects. He argues convincingly: "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later."
Some of the techniques he has found to be beneficial are explained. On one large project, he found a significant percentage of each person's time being spent in filing updates to the project documentation workbooks. The entire text of the workbooks was placed on disk, making the latest material available to all. Savings were realized in man-hours, and paper and distribution costs.
He warns against what he calls the "second system syndrome." Most analysts first large systems are bare bones, he finds, while on the second one they experiment with frills and embellishments.
On maintaining schedules he states: slippage is due to termites, not tornadoes."
He advises the "purple wire technique" for maintenance, a practice of making the newest changes extremely visible until they have passed the test of time.
His most important admonition is to "PLAN to build one to throw away." He claims the first one will be scrapped anyway, so you might as well plan for it!
A small book, well worth reading.
Twila Perry, General Administration
The Evergreen State College has offered part-time college credit studies in data processing, computer science, and related fields for some time now. A number of state employees have enrolled in various programs to obtain specialized instruction (for instance, in the APL language) or to work towards completing a degree.
Evergreen is a fully accredited four-year liberal arts college which currently offers a bachelors degree only (although a masters program is in the planning stage). The College has a number of different instructional modes available to its students including:
(1) Modules--A module is a more or less traditional course which lasts for one quarter and represents one fourth of a full-time student load. Modules are normally offered in the evenings and are primarily offered for specific discipline areas such as calculus, foreign languages, accounting, computer programming, etc., which are well defined and repeatedly attract relatively large numbers of students.
(2) Coordinated Studies--A coordinated study program is generally intended as a full-time load for a student and may last from one quarter to a year or more. Coordinated studies are almost always interdisciplinary and draw together faculty with several different skills into a focused group study of an issue or problem. An example of a coordinated study program is "Foundations of Natural Science" which combines physics, biology, chemistry, and the necessary mathematics into a unified study preparatory to more specialized work later on. A more issue oriented program is "The Nuclear Power Issue" (winter/spring 1977-78) which will examine the question of nuclear power from a variety of viewpoints including technical issues, economics, legal questions, and political considerations. Typically, coordinated studies programs seek to unify knowledge rather than fragment it into specialties.
(3) Individual Contracts--An individual contract is a negotiate agreement between a student and faculty member detailing a personalized course of study to be undertaken by a student and the support to be provided by the faculty member. Individual contracts are very flexible and provide students, particularly part-time students and advanced students, a vehicle to meet their unique educational needs. Much of the instruction in data processing and computer science at the College has been conducted through individual contracts.
The combination of modules, interdisciplinary programs, and individual contracts offers a choice of approaches to fulfilling degree requirements. It is also fair to say that it requires somewhat more maturity in the students she is not told what to take and when to take it. For the individual who is trying to complete a degree while holding down a full-time job, the flexibility can make it possible to focus an only those things of interest and to construct a schedule that is livable.
Some recent discussions have indicated that there may be a fairly large number of state employees in data processing who would like to begin or complete a degree on a part-time basis. Therefore, the College is actively exploring the possibility of designing an academic program targeted for these individuals. Before we can go much farther, however, we need to know two things:
(1) What areas of studies would be most useful?
(2) How many people might take advantage of this kind of program?
We are currently looking at studies in the areas of data processing technical tools (programming languages, system design, etc.), business & financial skills, management and public administration, and the liberal arts disciplines such as mathematics, writing, etc.. We'd like your ideas on what would be useful.
Most academic programs at the college have been designed for full-time students until this last year. This makes it difficult for working people to attend classes or otherwise work towards a degree except very slowly. If there are a sufficient number of people, however, we could specially tailor a degree program for part-time students which would include more evening classes.
If you think you might be interested in having Evergreen establish a degree program designed for state data processing personnel, (or if you know someone else who might be interested), please let us know.
Director of Computer Services
The Evergreen State College
Can you stand in a meeting and effectively express your ideas? Can you sway an audience toward your point of view?
One of the painful facts of life is that there are many speakers - - - but few good ones. Most either say too little, or too much.
"It takes a lot of courage to stand up and speak," it has been said, "But it takes a lot more courage, sometimes, to sit down and listen"
STAND UP, to be seen,
SPEAK UP, to be heard,
SHUT UP, to be appreciated!
The Computer Report Audit (CRA) committee has completed its task to define the objectives of the audit and the development of an implementation plan.
Objective: To assist in the control of report distribution costs and to improve the pertinence of the report itself,
It should be noted that the audit is a review of the reports or output. It is not a system review or audit.
A slightly modified version of an existing questionnaire, developed by David Fields, State Forms Management Department, has been chosen as our survey document. It's title? Report Distribution Survey and Critique.
The following implementation plan was adapted by the committee and submitted for approval to the ADPM organization. Approval was given and implementation is in PROGRESS, Steps 1 through 3 have been completed and the remaining tasks are on schedule.
D. C. Brown
Dept. of Transportation
|As a Whole||CRA Committee||Agencies||DPA / Staff|
|l. Define objective, implementation procedures, and questionable, (September 1977)|
|2. Approve objectives, implementation, and questionnaire. (October 1977)|
|3.Executive Director approve objective, implementation, and questionnaire. (November 1977)|
|4. Distribute questionnaire to Agencies, (December 1977)|
|5. Agencies users receive questionnaire and instructions for its completion. (December 1977)|
|6. Each Agency's DP manager receives completed questionnaires and compiles answers, analyzes results and comments. Summaries are forwarded to CRA Committee. (March 1978)|
|7. Staff compiles Summary Report of results and recommends how process is to be handled. (April 1978)|
|8. Receives committee report and forwards to DPA. (June 1978)|
ADPM Chairman's Corner
I am a strong believer that whatever you're doing, good or bad, it should be a "Learning" experience.
Last year while sitting for two days as a member of an AMIS I panel, I posed the same question to each of the candidates. That question was, "In your past work experiences, you have probably worked for some good supervisors and some bad supervisors. What qualities of the good supervisors will be emulated when you become a supervisor? What faults of the bad supervisors will you try to avoid?"
Before I give you the most common answer, please pause and reflect how you would answer this question. How would your employees answer this question?
The quality of a good supervisor which was most commonly given was "a good communicator, a supervisor who keeps me informed."
The most commonly identified fault of supervisors was "the supervisor who didn't care or have the time to work with me."
How much information and time do you share with your employees?
The following letter was submitted with attachment for publication in the newsletter:
Mr. Jim Anderson
President, Washington State Association of Data Processing Managers
State Department of Ecology
Saint Martin's College Campus
Lacey, WA 98503
This letter will advise you and the Managers Association that the WDPSC Users Association has requested the Data Processing Authority to send all future statewide RFP's to the data processing community for information and comment prior to being released to vendors. We feel that this is an important step in insuring that these contracts address the needs of agencies other than the one whose needs originally prompted a particular RFP. We are requesting that the Managers Association make a similar request to the Authority if its membership agrees.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to formally refer some of the issues discussed at the WDPSC Planning Session in June to the Managers Association. As you know, we identified a long list of perceived problems in state data processing. On further examination, many of these seemed to go beyond just the WDPSC environment and the Users Association felt that such issues might more properly be addressed by a more representative body such as the Managers Association. A list of these issues is attached. I'd be happy to explain our rationale for referring these more fully at the next Managers Association meeting if you wish.
John O. Aikin
Chairperson, WDPSC Users Association
1. Lack of a consistent non-political state data processing plan.
2. Lack of qualified candidates upon Department of Personnel registers.
3. Data Processing salaries are non-competitive.
4. Lack of agency planning hinders data processing planning and Service Center planning.
5. There are too many state and federal entities - external to the Service Center--able to influence the management of the Center--to the detriment of Service Center users.
6. Vendors contribute to the instability of the Service Center customer base by marketing hardware (CPU's) directly to Service Center user agencies.
7. Orderly migration to new technologies and expanded services is precluded by multiplicity of artificial controls imposed by DOP, GA, DPA, OFM, and the Legislature. (It takes a crisis and service level degradation to make things happen.)
8. Center decisions do not always serve user needs.
9. DP salaries too low,
10. Acquisitions take too long.
11. It is unclear who has authority for approving user's planned use of the Center.
12. Legislative policy calls for fixed budgets; fixed budgets and uncontrolled factors cause cost over/under runs; cost over/under runs cause loss of credibility or worse.
13. Unresolved authority and lack of DP understanding by bureaucracy causes red tape; red tape and fixed budgets cause delays in implementing better (though not cheaper) ways of using computers to solve problems.
14. It is too hard to deal with our complex data processing environment.
15. Cannot get, keep and use people effectively.
16. Rapid change in technology causes an uneven user development process.
Our profile of the month, Will Wolf, Director of the Washington State Data Processing Service Center #3.
Will joined the data processing ranks in 1854 as a Tab Equipment Operator for the Department of Motor Vehicles. He has progressed from the lower echelons of the data processing field to Director of Washington State Data Processing Service Center Number Three. Will spent time in operations, programming, systems analysis, and as Assistant Director for Information Systems with the Department of Motor Vehicles before accepting his present job. Will attributes his success to self-motivation, self-study programs, state agency training courses, and having worked for and learned from some outstanding managers and administrators. He has frequently been in a position to give presentations do a variety of technical and professional groups including the Legislature.
Will has been most active in organizations which deal with highway safely related data and is currently vice chairman of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) D-20 Committee for the development of a "Model Motorists Data Base" Standard for state's use. Additionally, he has been chairman of the Washington State Traffic Records Committee and national chairman of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Data Processing sub-committee.
What's involved in the responsibility of a large service center? Will says he never expected the job to be easy; and it hasn't been; its a very challenging position. The center provides the computing resources far the Department of Serial and Health Services and the Department of Licensing. They do not, however, provide data entry services nor systems design and programming support. These services are included in their charter; but because the present user agencies have their own staffs, it is not necessary to incur the added overhead.
Will's responsibility includes a Univac 1100 2x2 installation running in full multi-processor mode. The system is direct access and on-line communication oriented including ever nine billion plus bytes of direct access storage contained on 48 spindles and managed entirely by DMS 1100, Univac's data base management system. The only exception being the system data sets and program libraries. An additional four fixed head disks are used for memory swapping and paging. Included in the T.P. Network are over 170 terminals used far access and updating the data base, while approximately 40 terminals are used for the demand processing/conversation timesharing system -- a counterpart to TSO. Main storage consists of 262K words of primary high speed storage at 385 nanosecond access time per word and 512K words of extended processing storage at 800 nanoseconds.
The establishment of a new data processing service center and the conversion of the two largest agencies from a data processing standpoint, represents the most major undertaking data processing wise in Washington State Government. Considering the size of the project, Will feels strongly that the user conversion efforts met most expectations. The Department of Licensing planned an eighteen month conversion. The final conversion for DOL was completed within 14 days of the planned date. The DSHS conversion was set at eighteen months, to be completed by the end of June. Actual completion was September 1, 1977. Both agencies are presently in the process of disposing of their no larger used system.
Will feels consolidation at some levels is worthwhile, justifiable and necessary, although, consolidation for the sake of consolidation is detrimental. Very large data bases with extensive communication requirements mandate a large system which also provides an environment for consolidation.
Hobbies? Besides being a licensed private pilot, Will and his family have several! He and his wife are actively involved in designing and building their own home -- it's in the final stages now after its inception in 1973. They also share their interest in gardening and photography. Will's wife, Marcia, is currently teaching at OTCC with Journalism as her specialty. Children? Yes, three boys -- Chris, 16, Kevin, 14, Brad, 12 and daughter, Jennie 2~. Will describes his family as "well-planned." The boys are typical boys with Chris into mechanical engineering and design (he's building an old fashion bicycle, large front wheel, small back) and drama. Kevin enjoys music, sports, mechanical things, and is an avid fisherman. Brad is the star musician with his piano. Jennie, at her advanced age, really gets a kick out of life -- she is a VERY GOOD little girl. Will has a complete workshop for mechanical and woodworking, making the boys hobbies another family project. They all love the outdoors.
Will's short range goals and ambitions include seeing Service Center #3 continue to develop into an effective organization able to provide efficient service to its users. He feels he has put together a workable organization and has acquired a top level staff which can continue to develop and enhance the services provided by the Center. His long range plans include a desire to continue his advancement and finish his career with state government. Following the seven years he has left to retirement, Will would like to own and operate a small business such as a sporting goods outlet or perhaps do private consulting work.
This corner will be used, beginning with the November issue, for management technique articles, The primary author will be Mike Pennachi, Training Officer for the Department of Licensing. Mike joined state service nine years ago following completion of his B.S. in Industrial Arts. Starting at the Department of Personnel in the Interagency Training Division for three (3) years, Mike moving to the Department of Ecology as their training officer for four (4) years, arriving at DOL in January, 1976.
Teaching, in the area of management techniques is Makers specialty. He has taught state employees through the Interagency Training Division, was the originator of the Basic Supervisory Certification Program taught at Olympia Technical Community College (OTCC), and is currently teaching at City College.
While this section has been tentatively developed for Mike, please feel free to submit any applicable management technique articles.
A million thanks to all of you for your faith, trust and tremendous cooperation over the past nine years. It's been a very gratifying experience to serve as your ADP Training Coordinator.
Office of Fiscal Management
A rather plain looking young lady was confessing her sins. "I'm guilty of the grievous sin of vanity," she admitted to the priest. "Only this morning I looked into my mirror and admired my beauty."
"Is that all, my daughter?"
"Yes, Father," was the reply.
"Then go in peace " said the priest. "To be mistaken is not a sin."
Making a mistake in business isn't a sin either, unless we fail to admit it or recognize it. Hopefully we're right most of the time, and when we aren't, we're big enough to admit it.
Business decisions are, at best, a guessing game. Even with all the facts in hand, no one can be right all the time.
Nobody likes to be wrong--especially leaders proud of their ability and position. But the fact is that they are going to be wrong every now and then. When they are, they can't let foolish pride stand in the way of recognizing it promptly, admitting it, and correcting the situation as quickly as possible.
A certain number of mistakes are par for the course. Even the best leaders make bad decisions now and then. But good managers correct them as rapidly as possible--if they don't, they aren't nearly as good as they could be.
Admitting one's own fallibility doesn't hurt a person's image. It builds a reputation for courage, fair-mindedness, and progressive thinking.
Have you ever, for example, criticized an employee, then discovered later that the person was completely right? To some leaders this is so embarrassing they prefer to forget it--the quicker the better. The right thing, of course, is to go to the person and admit that you were wrong. people will respect you for your fairness if you do. If you don't, they'll carry a black mark against you for a long time.
Have you ever turned down an idea or a suggestion, then realized later it was a good one and you probably should have accepted it? Did you then admit your mistake to that person? Few things would make people feel better or more like doing good work for you. They'll think more of you for admitting your error, not less.
Do people feel free to come to you to question one of your decisions? Or are they afraid you'll resent it?
There are no infallible leaders, and it doesn't pay to pretend to be one, Good leaders are always ready to question, correct, or change anything--especially if they are the ones responsible for the error in the first place.
In the September issue of the newsletter, a request soliciting comments relating to the content of the newsletter was published. Eighty five copies were mailed, nine responses returned to the editor. Several responses offered more than one recommendation. Following are the comments:
In summary, from the few who responded, the recommendations were, for the most part, constructive and positive. Overall it appears the newsletter is generally accepted in the present format. Thank you all who responded. Your recommendation will be helpful in publishing future newsletters.
NOTE TO ALL READERS: The comments solicit the talents of every DP Manager to keep the community informed as to services, philosophical ideas, humorous antidotes, and technical news bulletins.
Association Minutes - October 6, 1977
The meeting was called to order at 12:30 by Chairman Jim Andersen. There were 25 members and guests present.
Pat Manley introduced the guest speaker, John Eoff. He is the coordinator for the Higher Education Computing Consortium. John described the functional organization within the higher education system. This organization is headed by the Council of Presidents whose membership consists of the five university and The Evergreen State College presidents. This organization was formed to address common issues and to encourage cooperative activities among its members.
Under the Council of Presidents are several inter-institutional committees to address particular areas of concern. These committees include members from each of the six institutions and represent such areas as Academic Officers, Business Officers and the Higher Education Computer Consortium Board (HECC). John Eoff provides staff support to HECC. They are currently developing a system-wide plan for cooperative efforts relating to data processing. Each of the other committees have contributed to the development of this plan which is expected to be completed in November 1977.
Jim Andersen then opened the business portion of the meeting. The Treasurer's report was given by Bobbi Giovannini. The September balance was $39.41 and $3.14 was spent for October's guest speaker's lunch. This leaves a new balance of $36.27.
Bobby Giovannini gave the DPA announcements which covered the September 21 and October 5 meetings. The September meeting was the first meeting for the seven new Authority members. The October meeting was an all day meeting to provide background information to the new members and for discussion of the non-concurrence items in the LBC Audit.
Don Brown gave a report on the Computer Report Auditing Committee. The committee felt that an existing state form S. F. 214 would serve to collect the information for control of report distribution costs and to improve the pertinence of the report itself. The next step in this process is for the DPA to distribute the forms to the agencies asking them to conduct the survey, summarize the results and send them to the DPA. The committee will review the results and present them to the Association. If agencies have an existing procedure to collect this information, the results of their efforts will be accepted. We don't want to have duplicate activities.
Patti Palmer thanked those who had submitted articles to the Newsletter. She also mentioned that she had included a questionnaire on the attendance report for suggestions on how to improve the Newsletter.
John Aikin reported that the Emergency Backup Planning Committee had completed a draft of the policy and standard and it is scheduled for final approval at the October 12, 1977, DPA meeting. The question arose--"Did the data processing community have a chance to review the standard?" Apparently there had been a slip-up in the normal procedure as the managers hadn't received copies. The Association suggested to the DPA that the normal procedure be followed. (The standard has been rescheduled for approval at the November 2, DPA meeting and drafts of the standard have been distributed to the community.)
Paul Newman reported for the Personnel Liaison Committee. He expressed the continuing concern of the committee on the expenditure level of the Training Program. The Department of Personnel has been able to divert an additional $25,000 to this program. This gives a total of $119,000 which is still short of the agreed upon 75% funding. Dick Applestone reported that he received a response to his letter to the Department of Personnel on the Job Matrix. That committee will meet with Doug Tanabe to discuss the Job Matrix,
The next item for discussion was the Associations 1977-79 budget. During September a proposed By-Law change was sent to all voting members. The change allows the budget and membership fee to be approved by the majority of members at large at a regular meeting of the Association. This change was approved on a favorable vote of 23 to 2. Next, Don Dahl moved and Dick Applestone seconded a motion to approve the budget and agency membership fee which was presented at our September meeting. The motion passed.
The Chairman moved on to new business. The Association had received a letter from the Service Center #1 User Group outlining some broad areas of concern in the data processing community. (A summary of this letter is contained elsewhere in this newsletter.) The Executive Committee will review the letter and propose any appropriate action.
The meeting was adjourned.