I Love Problems

Well, I don't looooove problems.  I merely need them in order to improve...

I found a glitch in our invoice system that was losing who the client was.  Not to bore you with technical mumbo-jumbo, but the SQL server was losing the ClientID when replicating from another invoice.  Anyway, invoices were getting corrupted or broken and we couldn't figure out why.  I love problems. 

The seemingly easy way to fix a problem like that is to simply edit the specific ClientID of the invoice and it's fixed.  Done.  Lickety split. 

Or by actually getting to the root cause of the problem -- which is a much bigger pain in the neck -- the problem can be fixed forever.

I chose to dig into the code and find the problem.  I found it and fixed it after a long time.  (Truth be told, it wasn't that hard to spot the error.  But for the sake of this story, let's assume it was a monumental toil of blood, sweat and tears.)  The benefit of fixing a problem for real -- rather than addressing its symptoms -- is that I have now saved myself and the staff tons of time in the aggregate.  No more constantly fixing the same thing over and over.  Even little chores add up over time if they continue for a year! 

The moral of the story is to fix something forever, not just for the short term.

  • What steno stroke are you constantly having to fix or compensate for that you should identify and work on?
  • What work around solution are you constantly having to invoke in order to use your CAT software?
  • What makeshift contraption are you constantly coming up with in order to get something done?


Friday, February 17, 2012

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

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