• Subject: Re: Value of COMMON
  • From: MacWheel99@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 16:18:47 EST

In an earlier post, you explained that you need to get up to speed on some 
topics associated with new responsibilities for you, and new management needs 
by the company.  

Often when managers decide that it would be a good idea to deploy stuff that 
will benefit the company, they do not want to hear that you need to go to IBM 
school to learn all this, before they see benefits & that the schedule of IBM 
classes is such that it will be several years before you can get all the 
classes you need.

Get a copy of the IBM schedule of classes & look at the web site showing the 
information you need to learn & which classes involved, & road map to get 
there.  You will end up with several pieces of paper highlighted ... there 
are 10-15 classes you need to attend, which will take you away from the 
company for 10-15 weeks, and ROI will be delayed until several months after 
these classes because you will then need to be applying what you learned, and 
in that time period technology has marched forwards & you caught up with 

Get copy of COMMON seminars & see that you will need to go to next COMMON and 
one after that & be away from company on this education for a week every 6 
months & ROI starts a few weeks after you come back from COMMON because you 
are implementing all kinds of things.

You also need to try to get your management to go to ONE DAY of COMMON just 
one day ... reason being two fold.

Immediate reason is they see what the AS/400 can be used for, its potential 
today, applications that are working effectively & from this they can budget 

e-commerce e-ERP e-forms 
the power of zero degradation zero downtime
security issues performance issues

Secondary reason is they also get to see how rapidly they got up to speed on 
AS/400 capabilities & will look more favorably on COMMON being something that 
all IT staff & IT managers ought to be able to go to without an arguement.

When you use the internet do you feel that it is an efficient way to get 

We do get answers to our questions, but perhaps not right away, and there is 
education there, it is like an extension to manuals - we have to know where 
to ask & how to explain the problem, but we do not have a thorough 
understanding of the situation.

You know the difference between IBM white books and IBM red books.
White Books are by the developers ... here is all the stuff you can do with 
this tool.
Red Books are by people in the field ... you want to do X ... here is how to 
do it.

On Line education is like being in a field of paper air planes - each one is 
some pages out of these manuals - we ask a question & hopefully the right 
paper air planes dive bomb us with the answers we need, but we still do not 
have a big picture well structured.

COMMON is like an IBM pink book, well structured with both the white books 
and red books perspectives - learn tools thoroughly, connect the dots of how 
to solve X with pros & cons of which tools to use.

The answer to the question "Why?" "What can we learn, not available cheaper."

Well if immediate ROI is not important, if time to aquire education is 
infinite, if the dollars are not there, then COMMON is not a good investment, 
unless you want to pay for it 100% yourself.  Take your time, as many years 
as are needed, to aquire the education you need at much lower prices.  Let 
the company continue to suffer for several more years by not learning how to 
use its resources effectively.

Some companies offer reimbursement of cost of employees getting education.  
The employees select the classes & turn in report card to employer.  Employer 
makes judgement call is this relevant to making this employee more useful to 
us, then reimburse on a sliding scale like 100% for "A" and less for others.  
Most IT education is merely a stamp of attendance, not a grade.

When a company installs a new application, does an ERP conversion, is there 
not an investment in education to see that everyone using that application 
know how to work it productively?  Or do they say "Here is a new 
responsibility for you do work with - we will not give you any manuals or any 

The knowlege worker will first protest that this has negative impact & that 
some education in the new responsibility is needed, and as soon as possible, 
and if the company does not support this request then the employee either 
pays for the education out of own pocket, and/or updates resume.

>  Here's what I expect to hear when I request a trip to
>  COMMON: "Why?  What can you learn there THAT WILL OR
>  COULD APPLY TO OUR COMPANY that you can't learn at a
>  less expensive, closer conference, or via online, or
>  via books, or via IBM education, etc., etc.?"  In my
>  mind, these are valid questions.  I am asking for
>  specifics that allow me to get past the "giddiness" or
>  the excitement that would preclude me from giving the
>  decision makers the best information that would
>  persuade them to go along with this.  Would it be fair
>  to suggest to them that, given our current situation
>  (as described in previous posts), COMMON would give us
>  the biggest bang for the buck?

MacWheel99@aol.com (Alister Wm Macintyre) (Al Mac)
AS/400 Data Manager & Programmer for BPCS 405 CD Rel-02 mixed mode (twinax 
interactive & batch) @ http://www.cen-elec.com Central Industries of 
Indiana--->Quality manufacturer of wire harnesses and electrical 
sub-assemblies - fax # 812-424-6838

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