Various Companies

2002 - 2003

Chronic unemployment led me to strike out on my own.

3 Core Communications

I was drafted by a former coworker to work with this company and get them out of the"two-kids in a garage" mode of operations and into productivity. Basically, it was a reprise of the role I played with Metro. The company had no process for managing projects, no process for developing software, no process for quality assurance, no process for delivering the product, no process for supporting the product, and no budget to implement any of it.

I am a firm believer in providing only as much process as the stage of corporate development can bear. The mistake most companies make is either to provide no process at all, or immediately attempt to implement the processes in place at Microsoft. Companies need to grow their processes in step with the maturity of the company overall.

3 Core Communications was just coming out of the start up stage. They needed simple processes. They did not have time to stop and learn complicated procedures while trying to live with explosive growth. They were smart enough to know that they needed some process. The package I gave them was tailored to the relative simplicity of the organization at that point. Yelling down the hall still worked as an effective means of coordination at the tactical level, but the strategic decisions had to be committed to a process.

Moses Cone Behavioral Health

During my period of unemployment, I would often have lunch with my wife where she works at Moses Cone Behavior Health Hospital. I got to know the staff, and also became aware of a problem they were having billing patient assessments and tracking the hours spent on doing patient assessments. I took this as an opportunity to re-sharpen my business analyst and programming skills and to become better acquainted with MS-Access.

The patient assessment process has a complicated set of business rules that is based on the facility in which the assessment is done, whether it is in or out of network, the time of day and day of the week in which the assessment was done, and who did the assessment. The end product had to track who did what when and in the end produce a billing invoice to the facility, and a time card charge for payroll. I was able to produce a summary report for the billing, and a spreadsheet directly importable into payroll for the time charges.

I also did some volunteer work at the hospital. As I was unemployed, I conducted a weekly one-hour session with the patients on how to deal with the trauma of unemployment, and how to organize and conduct a search for the next job. I figured I had a lot of experience and was an expert in the field, so I might as well share it.