Association of Data Processing Managers
April 8, 1982
- Introduction of Guests
- Presentation of Guest Speaker
Mr. Ben Knowles, President of BSI (Formerly Brandon Systems Inc.)
"Tragedies and Remedies in Project Management"
- Approval of Minutes
- Treasurer's Report
- ADPM Board Report
- DPA Announcements
- Old Business
- Personnel Liaison
- Office Automation
Association of Data Processing Managers
March 4, 1982 Minutes
- Called to Order - John Aikin.
- Introduction of Guests:
- Wayne Hemphill, General Administration
- Gordon Gaspard, Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Treasurer's Report - Starting cash: $945.51. We received interest of $5.40 and one Forum vendor fee of $200.00, bringing our cash to $1,150.91.
Expenditures: $6.00 for speakers lunch. Leaving a cash balance of $1,144.91.
- ADPM Board Report - There was no ADPM Board meeting so there was no report.
- Old Business:
- Don Brown reported for the Personnel Liaison Committee. The Committee is looking at the overall recruitment and testing of the CSA series. They are developing a document on what they can, and cannot change. The Committee is trying to be very innovative in their approach to the problems.
- Office Automation - Tom Bennett was not in attendance due to the Computer Fair at the University of Washington, consequently there was no report.
- Approval of Minutes: Jim Michal of the DPA proposed an amendment to last month's minutes. The amendment would be to replace all of item "D" under DPA announcements with the following:
George Pickett reported that the WLN was reviewing the potential for a WLN computer, as recommended by a Touche Ross and Company consultant study. Dr. Hollister questioned the visibility of the option of remaining at Service Center Two in the consultant report. Mr. Wilson commented that it appeared the pull out from Service Center Two would cost the state taxpayer more than a WLN computer alternative. Bob Payne stated 75 percent of the WLN revenue came from non-state funds and that any acquisition plans would deal with the issues raised.
The amendment was moved, seconded, and passed. The minutes were then passed as amended.
- DPA Announcements:
- Plan Summaries: There were a number of plans before the DPA for approval. The plans that were brought up to the Board were all approved with the understanding that the DPA and Service Center One would resolve the staffing problem relating to their plan. In addition, the compendium of plans annually put together by the DPA was approved to be put together again this year.
- Communications and Reports
- Service Center Two reduced their rates approximately five percent effective January 1, 1982. Dr. Hollister questioned the rate reduction due to the fact that he had received a letter of concern from the Users Group of Service Center Two expressing their concern over the rate reduction cutting into the cash reserves. Service Center Two's User Association will be meeting in March and will be discussing the rate reduction and its impact at that time. It was also noted that the DPA could request Service Center Two to raise their rates if they appeared to be getting into financial difficulty.
- The Washington Community College ComputingConsortium and Univac dispute was resolved and amotion was passed rescinding the restriction ofService Center Three to announce the apparentsuccessful bidder for some telecommunicationsfront-end equipment.
- Service Center Three requested DPA approval for a five percent rate reduction retroactive to March 1, 1982. The DPA has taken no action on this request yet. (Written approval was granted on March 9, 1982.)
- There was a request from Service Center Four at Eastern Washington State University to rescind their service center status. It was decided that any decision would be postponed one month to provide time for Eastern Washington University Service Center user to express any concerns which they might have.
- John Nicholson gave a report on the statewide communications study. John reported that if the state embarked upon a statewide network there wouldnot be any savings to the state, indeed there would be a $43,000 loss over a five year period. This was surprising news and Mr. Flanagan of the DPA was directed to work with Mr. Nicholson and the previous task force to determine why this report was not in agreement with the Task Force report previously presented. There will be a report next month.
- The Employment Security Department had anticipated approval of their distributive processing plan at this DPA meeting. The study of this determined that there were still some issues to be resolved, and the Data Processing Authority and Employment Security Department are still working to resolve those issues.
- New Business:
- Dr. Ruben Marti announced that the training schedule for the Spring quarter has just been printed in the ADP Newsletter, and tomorrow the DP Advisory Committee for HRD will meet in order to start the planning for the next fiscal year. Major trends will be on the new structured methodologies. If any individuals have any comments on these points please contact Dr. Marti.
- There was a discussion regarding the minimum level of people eating lunch to qualify for a $6.00 buffet. This is the second month in a row that we have missed. It requires 30 people to eat, to qualify us for the $6.00 buffet. Arnold's has agreed to one more month to see if we can reach the minimum number necessary.
There was a discussion which followed regarding the alternatives to the buffet as we presently have it. It was pointed out that sometime ago the Association was restructured to increase interest on the behalf of certain people in the data processing community. Even with the restructuring we have not accomplished that end. We also haven't done much to change the meetings in order to improve attendance. Dick Applestone pointed out that it's probably due to the inactivity of the Board. John Aiken stated the matter will be taken up at the next Board meeting. Emory Kramer stated that on the notification there will be a block to identify whether the attendee will be eating or not eating lunch.
- A question came up in the last month regarding membership in the Association for non-state organizations. Discussion followed which included the reference to the Bylaws which state that "membership is open to the most responsible data processing personwithin a state agency." It was pointed out that there would be no particular advantage to an organization to have membership in the Association. It was at this point that it was referred to the Board for further consideration.
- As per the motion that was passed last month John Aikin prepared two letters regarding opposition of the Managers Association to the ANS Standards Associationand the Data Processing Authority. In the letter to the DPA John requested that the DPA be more fully involved in language standards and other subjects that will affect the state as a whole.
- We received a letter from Mr. Wold yesterday indicating that he felt that way as well.
There were none.
- Joe Coogan introduced our guest speaker for the day. The guest speaker was Mr. Will Wolf, Director of Service Center Three.
It is a pleasure to introduce career state executive of over28 years experience--one of the "founding fathers" ofimaginative and effective state data processing WillWolf. After leaving high school and serving a brief stint in the Marines he joined the Department of Licensing as a tab operator trainee in 1955 B.C. (before computers). His talent quickly surfaced; he soon attained the position of D.P. Manager and Assistant director at DOL where he served with distinction for many years. Just a few of his many accomplishments at DOL were: installation of one of the state's first computers in the late 1950's, led the state to a position of national D.P. prominence during the 1960's in pioneering on-line/real time processing systems. Promoted cost effective vendor hardware competition in 1967 by installing the state's first major 'other vendor' computer system-RCA Spectra 70's. In 1975 when he could have veryeasily and justifiably rested on his laurels, he became apioneer again. He accepted the challenging position as first and only director of Service Center Three (SC/3) (with another brand of 'X' computer) where he continues to add to his long list of accomplishments. In closing it must be noted that Will's activities go well beyond D.P. including such diversified interests as aircraft piloting, scuba diving, vineyard owner, home building, and occasionallybeing 'volunteered' for such interesting and non-controversialsubjects as the Office of Information Systems reorganization Task Force.
CURRENT STATUS OF THE PROPOSED OIS
I am not going to go back into the background of the OIS Task Force report. I think all of you are reasonably familiar with that report, in particular since it was presented to this group by Mr. Bratton.I thought I would just very briefly cover the planning project that we had, for some of you that may not be too familiar with it. Essentially, the project structure that we sought out was pretty much a follow-on of the project structure that was embedded within the Task Force Report.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank some people that really worked hard, long hours and for giving up a lot of their personal time to put together the Transition Plan. The people that were key and instrumental are Mr. Ross Eberle from Department of Revenue. He was the staffer that basically staffed the Administrative Steering Committee project. Also helping him a great deal was Dennis Jones, who had to kind of fill in because Ross did manage to get some vacation during that period of time. We asked Denny to help, and he graciously contributed much of his time. John Flanagan and Larry Seaberg for the role actually in the planning and implementation portion of the Transition Plan and Larry Garrett, who had the key responsibility of putting the legislation together. I would just like to go on record to thank those people for a lot of hard work and a job well done.
Our objective, of course, was to put together a Transition Plan and have it available prior to the convening of the Legislature. We did release the plan on January 6, 1982, and again, as I mentioned, that is this particular document; and if you didn't get a copy of it and you want one, I believe we still have some available.
OK, where have we been with the piece of legislation. I don't know how many of you people have been tracking it. I have found it to
be a very interesting and learning experience to be that closely associated with the piece of legislation that you plan to ~et through. I have a list here of the meetings and dates, and I would ike to touch on them because I find them interesting. The first public visibility that the legislation got was on December 18, 1981, when the proposed piece of legislation was heard by the Joint Regulatory Committee. That is a committee made up of certain Senate and House members that is a joint committee that is chaired by Mr. Williams.On January 6, 1982, the House Select Committee on Deregulation and Productivity heard the bill again, and that was the first time that the draft legislation was available for Committee review. Between January 6, 1982, and January 13, 1982, there was a lot of activity that took place, primarily between the House Committee and members of the independently elected officials in state government, and certainly higher education. It was at that time when a great deal of muscle flexing, so to speak, was taking place on behalf of the elected officials and, as a result, the House Select Committee on Deregulation on January 13, 1982, exempted the Legislature and the elected official~, but did not at that time exempt higher education from the provisos of the bill. On January 15, 1982, I personally had the opportunity to go over and introduce the bill to the Legislature. You have heard the term "dropping the billing into the hopper," well that is literally what you do. They have a basket over in the Bill Receiving Room called the hopper. It has the word hopper on it, and you take your piece of legislation, which has been signed off by the various people, and you drop it in the hopper. It is not very exciting, but at least now you know when someone says dropping it in the hopper, that is literally what they do. And of course as a result, the bill is read into the Legislature the following Monday, on January 18, 1982. At that time, it had received its number House Bill 941. The bill, after it was read in, was referred to a particular committee; and in this case, it went back to the Committee on Deregulation and Productivity. Between January 18, 1982, and February 1, 1982, there were numerous meetings that were held between the project team, between policy committee members and between members of that particular committee, the House Committee and the House Committee's staff.On February 1, 1982, the House Select Committee on Deregulation and Productivity heard the bill again. It was at that meeting that they exempted higher education. At that time, it was felt that most of the resistance on behalf of the Legislature and higher education had been satisfied.
On February 4, 1982, on the House floor, there was a substitute bill presented. It was passed by the House and was referred to the Appropriations General Government Committee. The major differences between the substitute bill and the original bill were that the original bill was basically setting up an operating agency which had the responsibility over systems, programming, operation and the whole works. It was a very large agency, large budget and presented large lumps in people's throats. The substitute bill, which was put together by the House staff, basically set up an agency that is a regulatory agency, does not have operational responsibilities and does not have systems and programmer responsibility. There are a number of other differences, but that right there is the major substantive difference between the two pieces of legislation. Needless to say, the original bill, which was prepared by the Task Force, has never seen the light of day since. On February 10, 1982, the Appropriations Committee met and passed the bill out of the Appropriations Committee. It then went back out onto the House floor on February 11, 1982, for a second reading.
At that time, the House staff introduced a second substitute bill HB941. That bill was passed and moved on to Rules for further reading. February 12, 1982, the Rules Committee met and moved the bill to second reading on the House calendar. On February 15, 1982, the billcame up on the House floor as a second substitute bill. There were some minor amendments made to it, and then it was sent back. It came back up again on February 18, 1982, on the House floor. They suspended the rules and returned the bill from the third reading calendar back to the second reading calendar. When something like that happens, you know somebody has got some problems with the bill. As it turned out, we found out later what the problems were. It happened on February 24, 1982, when the bill came up on the second reading calendar on the House floor. The first amendment that was offered to it was to further exempt the Legislature from the provisos of the bill.That amendment passed with a unanimous vote of one. The second amendment that was presented by Representatives Wilson and Prince was an amendment to exempt the Department of Transportation totally fromthe provisos of the bill, and that sparked a great deal of debate on the floor. Representatives Wilson and Martini spoke for it, and Williams, McGuiness, James, Monohon, Thompson and Touche spoke against the amendment. It was brought up for a vote, and the amendment failed on a 37-58 vote, with three members abstaining. The Chairman then moved the bill back to Rules three, and that is where the bill has been ever since.
That, very quickly, is what I wanted to present to you. If you are interested in tracking the bill and you want to write down a telephone number, there is a Legislative hotline number that you can call and get the status of any particular bill. It is a 1-800 number. The number is 562-6000. You can call there and they have a computer inquiry terminal and can tell you where any bill is.
Mr. Wolf's presentation was followed by a brief question and answer period.
- Joe Coogan announced the upcoming speaker for the Managers' meeting in April: At the next meeting, which will be held April 8, 1982, Mr. Ben Knowles, President of BSI (formerly Brandon SystemsIncorporated) will be our speaker. Topic: "Tragedies andRemedies in Project Management."
- Mr. John Aiken adjourned the meeting.
ONE-DAY DP TRAINING COURSE LEAVES ONE FRUSTRATED USER
The following is from Computer World, March 1, 1982.
Everyone involved with information systems knows that users particularly user management - require extensive DP training. But what can you do with users who - quite legitimately - are just too busy to take the time?
Ira Schoen had the problem in spades. He was the management analyst in the U.S. International Communications Agency (ICA) Education and Cultural Affairs directorate (ECA) who, in late 1980, was assigned to work with the Automatic Data Processing (ADP) department and upgrade obsolete batch-oriented mainframe systems.
After only a few weeks on the job, he found a universal disenchantment with those systems developed by ECA managers and branch chiefs.
WHY THE UNHAPPINESS?
Much of their unhappiness, Ira believed, was attributed to their fears of being hemmed in. Their ignorance of the technology would not permit the users to take off on their own system development pursuits, much less have intelligible communications with the DPers. The net of it was a deepening sense of frustration with not being able to control their information systems destiny.
Ira realized that systems training of ECA management was critically important, starting with himself. So he enrolled in the February 1981 session of the five-day computer literacy course that I regularly teach for ICA foreign service officers and headquarters managers. The class covers all the major DP areas, emphasizing hands-on demonstrations on the Wang Laboratories, Inc. OIS equipment that is used throughout the agency.
In his March 1981 letter to the ICA training officer for DP, Ira stated that he "found the computer literacy course well suited to the general audience for which it is intended.
"However, it is my opinion that such a course, due to its length and depth, would not suit the needs of many ECA managers at the present time...
"I would like to propose an intensive two half-day course, based upon computer literacy, which would emphasize computer systems concepts with some hands-on exposure. Initially, I would like the course to start with the very basics, advancing as far as possible (without being too technical) by the close of the second half-day."
Ira's position was based on the simple fact that the coordination of international visits, a program tied into U.S. foreign affairs, requires the close attention of ECA managers and does not permit the luxury of sending a manaager off to computer school for five working days.
But the ADP senior analyst assigned to work with ECA on its office automation projects took vigorous exception. In his April letter to the ICA training officer, he said: "Our concern with ECA's proposed course is that participants will think they have attended full-scale introductory training.
"As you know, a good introductory course will let participants identify basic concepts and then discuss their automation needs intelligently. Also, it will give participants a 'gut-level' feel for programming and operations.
"We believe that mid-level managers and supervisors must have this background if they are going to deal with computer professionals adequately and present their needs in a coherent fashion. An eight-hour briefing cannot, in our opinion, accomplish these goals..."
Ira felt quite put upon that the ADP analyst would oppose such an effort. He was determined to get the training program going and make it a success - with or without the analyst's support.
So in April 1981, he responded with a memo to the training officer, which said: "...ECA has not even reached the point of naming our proposed course. When we get to the naming process, please be assured that its title will assuredly reflect the course's intent...The division-chief-level in ECA is generally GS-14 or its equivalent or above - hardly mid-level managers and supervisor's...We have no intention to present this course to our participants as a substitute for , full-scale' introductory training."
Not a peep was heard from the ADP analyst after Ira'a memo - so the course was on.
Letters to Stone should be addressed to him at Box 270, 1377 K St. , N.W. , Washington, D.C. 20005.
Newsletter also included an updated schedule of DP training classes for the spring quarter that is not included here.
Newsletter also included a paper titled "Data structured System Development Inversion and Mapping" that is not included here.